Results of the 50th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB50) in Bonn, June 2019

The 50th Session of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies (SB50) took place in Bonn from 17-27 June 2019. The meeting focused primarily on outstanding negotiation issues from COP24, which include above all the discussions on market mechanisms. In addition, among many other topics, negotiations on technical and methodological aspects of the transparency rules adopted in Katowice also started.

The SB50 included meetings of the permanent subsidiary bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), i.e. the 50th Session of the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) and the 50th session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA). The main results achieved on matters related to transparency and mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement (PA), as well as an outlook on upcoming meetings in 2019, are described below.


Discussions on transparency focused on methodological issues related to the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) for the Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF), including the design of common reporting templates and outlines for the biennial transparency report (BTR). During the two-week negotiations, progress was made on outlining the new common tabular formats and tables for greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, the tracking of progress in the implementation and achievement of NDCs, and the reporting on support provided and received. Discussions on training programmes for technical experts that will conduct the technical expert reviews also started. Work on these matters will resume at COP25 in Chile.

Parallel to the transparency negotiations, two important events related to the current MRV arrangements under the Convention took place: the 9th workshop of the Multilateral Assessment (MA) and the 7th workshop of the Facilitative Sharing of Views (FSV). While the former examines progress made by developed countries towards achieving emission reductions and their quantified targets, the latter constitutes a forum where developing countries present the results of their most recent Biennial Update Reports (BURs). A total of 19 developed Parties were subject to the MA, while 9 developing countries took part in the FSV, out of which all but one underwent the process for the second time. This process has demonstrated its usefulness in many aspects, for example, in identifying concrete capacity-building needs and in improving and institutionalizing the reporting process over time. In this regard, it provides valuable experience to prepare for the more stringent future requirements under the ETF.

Cooperative approaches (Market mechanisms) under Article 6

One of the key elements of the PA’s Rulebook that still requires being resolved are the rules for the use of market mechanisms under Article 6, in a way that its use contributes, globally, to real reductions in GHG emissions, while simultaneously contributing to sustainable development.

Issues that remain to be resolved include, inter allia, how overall mitigation is to be achieved, how double counting of transferred mitigation outcomes is avoided, and whether and how credits generated within the market mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol would transition into the new regime.

Despite the divergent views by Parties, the draft texts further developed in Bonn contain all elements requested by Parties and provide a basis for concluding on this issue.


Chile will host COP25 (2-13 December 2019) in the capital, Santiago de Chile. Among the overall expectations for the COP towards raising ambition and enhancing implementation, it is expected that further progress will be made on the methodological issues related to transparency and that the pending questions on market mechanisms be resolved so as to finalize all elements of the Katowice rulebook.

The “Pre-COP” will take place in Costa Rica from 8-10 October. It will provide an opportunity for Ministers to exchange views on key issues of the COP25 agenda prior to the negotiations in Santiago.

In addition, the Climate Action Summit convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York on 23 September promises to deliver renewed impetus for more ambitious action on climate change and, above all, its accelerated implementation. Countries are expected to present concrete, realistic plans to enhance their NDCs by 2020, in line with reducing GHG emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

More information can be found here.