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Creative Commons: UNFCCC, 2014

Hailed as a “bridge building session”, this week’s negotiations continued today with calls from the co-chairs for countries to find areas of convergence and compromise as the 2015 deadline fast approaches. Tackling the issue of finance this morning, there were more hints of growing consensus, with general support for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) and transparency of any financial commitments; the role the Green Climate Fund – the primary vehicle expected to allocate climate finance – will play in the new agreement; and an understanding that private finance can not and should not take the place of public finance commitments. However, on the nitty gritty of what commitments should look like and where they should sit in the 2015 agreement, divides remain, and discussions will continue throughout the week.

This afternoon negotiations turned to what country’s individual commitments to climate action under the agreement should include – specifically their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), as they’re called in UN-speak – which governments have agreed to put forward in the first quarter of next year. Central to the debate is whether those commitments should solely focus on mitigation, or also include adaptation and finance and where else these aspects could sit in the 2015 agreement. The INDC issue gets to the heart of the 2015 agreement; and judging by the amount of time devoted to the topic last June as well as negotiators’ comments today, progress will be slow and difficult.

With a general consensus growing – both inside and outside the negotiating hall – that the first pledges put forward by countries will not be enough to keep global warming below 2DegC, how to assess these pledges, both against each other and country’s global fair share, is also set to be a contentious issue. Our partners are proposing that a review of countries’ contributions – assessing their adequacy against a country’s responsibility, capability and development needs – takes place next June. That proposal, which is gaining support from some governments, “should lead to the up-scaling of INDCs before they are inscribed as part of the new agreement”.

As the talks wrapped up for the day, the list of speakers was still extensive, leaving discussions on this issue set to continue first thing tomorrow. But for many negotiators, one eye will be on BrusselsThursday, where a highly anticipated EU Heads of Government meeting could lead to the bloc being first to put their pledge on the table. EU leaders are meeting to finalise the bloc’s 2030 climate and energy package. Government leaders will assess the package currently on the table – which includes a 40% greenhouse gas emissions reductions, a 27% Europe-wide renewable energy target and a 30% energy efficiency target – and agree whether or not to sign off.

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From our partners

Partners joined delegates today to show their solidarity for the Philippines negotiator Yeb Sano and all the other talking part of the #ClimateWalk.

Today’s ECO deals with issues including the INDCs, adaptation and the European Union.

In the news

RTCC gives a round-up of the beginning days of the climate talks.

Outside of the negotiations, new analysis from Greenpeace shows that China’s coal use in the first three quarters of 2014 had fallen for the first time in a century.

Ahead of the EU Council meeting tomorrow, the New York Times looks at the high stakes of the decision, while Jose Maria Figueres writes in Al Jazeera and challenges EU to think of the next generation, rather than the next election.

Tools and resources

Check out the iisd’s latest photo-blog from today at the conference.

You can follow the UN Climate Talks in Bonn via Twitter using the hashtags: #ClimateAction,#ADP2014, #Paris2015.