Equity for All

ECO hopes that the ADP discussions will focus on solving the equity puzzle. The world needs an effective, science-based, fair and ambitious climate agreement. Here is an attempt by ECO to demystify the climate puzzle we are facing. The fact that atmospheric CO2 concentrations recently reached the 400 ppm mark was an ominous reminder about the urgency of substantial actions to keep temperature rise well below 2 degree C, and the ultimate goal to return it to 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels. To resolve this challenge, developed countries must increase their pre-2020 pollution reductions and ramp up support for developing country actions through finance, technology and capacity building. Adaptation and loss and damage should also be given the necessary levels of support. These are the preconditions to rebuild the trust among Parties and for a successful outcome from Paris in 2015.

ECO believes that negotiations will never succeed unless Parties confront the equity challenge. More precisely, Parties need to deal with their differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, while protecting developing countries’ need to provide their citizens with sustainable living standards, as is available to citizens of any other country.

At the minimum, this means Parties need to develop a shared “Equity Reference Framework” that embodies the Convention’s core equity principles. ECO identified these as: a precautionary approach to adequacy, CBDRRC and the right to sustainable development. Along with the latest science, these core principles, taken from the Convention itself, including of course the call for developed countries to take the lead in climate mitigation – can be used as a benchmark when framing, setting and reviewing Parties’ pledges and financial commitments. Increasing ambition of pollution reduction should be based on a fair share approach.

To achieve this task in a time bound manner, ECO suggest that Parties need to take a systematic approach to make best use of the time and resources available. First, we need to hear Parties' focused ideas about core equity principles and respective indicators. We also need to hear Parties' ideas for a process by which relevant articulations of the core Convention principles and proposed indicators can be quickly distilled into a concise list. This list can then be used to establish the fair share commitments of Parties in what ECO calls the Equity Reference Framework. Over the next two weeks, the ADP should begin the discussions required for the 2015 agreement, in the context of standardised equity indicators and taking steps to realise this framework. ECO seeks an Equity Reference Framework that institutes a process to scale up Parties' commitments and pledges for the post-2020 agreement, by inviting Party submissions and a process that includes review of commitments by international experts.  

Parties must go beyond just the principles to develop standardised indicators. The present session should be sufficient to crystallise the indicator discussion, which will lead us to the development of the framework.

At the end of the day, of course, all of this will depend on Parties taking the equity challenge seriously and stepping forward to make the difference required for a successful ADP outcome in Paris. ECO will be closely watching, and that’s really not a surprise, as we are friends of equity and the ADP

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