Assessing the Assessment-Phase Discussion

We all agree that we need an ambitious agreement in Paris that can avert the worst of climate change. But how will we know that we’ve got an ambitious agreement when we march through the Arc de Triomphe with the final text in hand? How will we know that the INDCs put forward by Parties will collectively be sufficient to rise to the challenge and that each Party’s INDC will individually represent its fair share? 

Easy - we assess them! And worry not, assess them we will!

ECO believes that, by Lima, Parties should agree both on the information to be included in the INDCs as well as on the assessment process before finalising them for the Paris deal.

In this light, ECO is surprised and confused to hear that the Like-Minded Group yesterday insist that Parties shouldn’t agree on anything more than the elements of information for INDCs in Lima. In other words, that there would be no agreement on assessing or reviewing of the targets.

ECO is also equally surprised by Russia, who said there is no need for assessing the contributions, Australia who had already voiced the same sentiment during Sunday’s ADP session, as well as Brazil who sees an assessment of targets before Paris as counter-productive. South Africa, who are still arguing for an efficient equity review (ECO thinks that this is great!), surprisingly advocated that the assessment should only start after Paris.

ECO strongly believes that these assessment of national contributions assessments should take place before Paris to increase ambition and avoid any lock-in of inadequate contributions.

In Lima, Parties must agree on a process to assess the adequacy and equitability of the contributions (hint: an ex-ante equity assessment maybe?). In that context, Parties will need to decide how and when to formally review and assess INDCs within the UNFCCC process, what to do in cases where contributions fall short, and how, where, and when to provide a space for civil society, think tanks, international organisations and other Parties to present their own equity reviews (hint: an in-session workshop at the June 2015 Bonn session maybe?).

And since all good things come in sets of three, here’s another hint for your discussions on the information needed: Parties must use them to communicate why they believe their INDCs represent an ambitious and adequate contribution to the global climate challenge and explain, informed by an agreed list of equity indicators, why this contribution is fair.

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