The ICCA Panel of Experts engages with States on the Paris Agreement Draft Conciliation Annex
On 13 November 2023, the ICCA Panel of Experts held a briefing on the Paris Agreement Draft Conciliation Annex with States’ Permanent Missions to the United Nations. The event, titled “The Paris Agreement Conciliation Annex: Another Arrow in the Global Quiver for Responding Effectively to Climate Change,” was organized with the support of the United Nations Foundation and the sponsorship of the Republic of Vanuatu. With over 50 States’ representatives registered, the event provided an opportunity for States to provide their input on the Draft Annex ahead of COP28.
The briefing commenced with an overview of the Draft Annex by Catherine Amirfar, Co-Chair of the ICCA Panel of Experts, followed by an engaging discussion among the panelists and an interactive Q&A session with States’ representatives in attendance. The panel, moderated by Catherine Amirfar, was composed of Toby Fisher (Member of the ICCA Panel of Experts), Christel Tham (Rapporteur for the ICCA Panel of Experts), and Professor Cymie Payne, who was one of the over 80 stakeholders consulted during the first phase of the Draft Annex consultation process.
The panelists highlighted the importance of the Draft Annex at a time when the international community is entering a new phase of climate action. Current calls for collective negotiation and cooperation are accompanied by an increasing need for effective dispute resolution mechanisms. Conciliation is not only the default method of dispute resolution for many States under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, but it is also the only compulsory mechanism under these instruments. By setting out proposed procedures predicated on party consent, the Draft Conciliation Annex provides States with a blueprint to effectively resolve disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
The panelists discussed key features of the Draft Annex including its complementarity with existing compliance mechanisms under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, avenues for non-disputing States and other third parties such as NGOs to participate in the conciliation, the mandate and constitution of the conciliation commission, the Draft Annex’s balanced approach to transparency and confidentiality considerations, and mechanisms for the enforcement of and compliance with any recommendatory award issued by the conciliation commission. States’ representatives raised other important issues for consideration, including concerning the capacity of smaller States to meaningfully contribute to the eventual negotiation of the Conciliation Annex—an issue that the panelists explained the Draft Annex is intended to resolve by providing a starting point for those negotiations—and to effectively carry out a conciliation proceeding in a fair and equitable manner.
Looking ahead, the Panel will present the Draft Annex at two side events at COP28:
3 Dec 10h30 – 11h20 GST
The Paris Agreement Conciliation Annex: Another Arrow in the Global Quiver for Responding Effectively to Climate Change
ICC Partner stage (Blue Zone, badge required) and online (see ICC's digital platform)
5 Dec 13h20 – 14h30 GST
Experts Panel: Developing the International Climate Regime through Conciliation and Compensation
Climate Law and Governance Day, Middlesex University Dubai and online