The Emperor’s Clothes

ECO keenly looks forward to today’s presentations on developing country action as we expect they will demonstrate more ambition and readiness for action than what was presented yesterday.

Many developing countries have recognized that their pledges and NAMAs can reduce emissions while growing their economies sustainably and creating a climate safe future. A future where people are lifted out of poverty, have access to clean safe energy, and the unavoidable impacts of climate change managed.

NAMAs should be developed within the context of Low Emission Development Strategies or Plans (LEDS/P) both to reduce emissions below business as usual in the short term and to fulfill their sustainable development objectives while also achieving a low carbon economy.

Specific steps which can be taken internationally this year include:

  • Making operational a robust MRV system and Registry – enabling recognition of early action and matching enhanced action with support;
  • Agreeing a concrete plan and timetable by Durban to clarify the assumptions, metrics and scope of actions, and related support required;
  • Establishing an ongoing iterative process that involves hearing from every single country on their strategies and plans.

Early action is needed and the capability to act is there. However, technological and financial support as well as capacity building is crucial to realize the full potential of mitigation actions in developing countries.

There is thus a dual obligation on developed countries to both act and support. Fulfilling that obligation will give practical meaning to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. This support is essential for both preparation and implementation of Low Emission Development Strategies or Plans and NAMAs.

The ongoing lack of ambition by developed countries is a serious breach of trust in terms their existing obligations under both the Convention and the Protocol. To ensure environmental integrity in an equitable manner developed countries must reduce their emissions by more than 40% and leave sustainable development space for developing countries. But it is clear that all countries need to do far more, as ECO has said many times over. Those with more capabilities should act sooner and faster.

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