Fast Start Needed for 1,5 Review

Earlier this week during a SBSTA contact group, a group of countries particularly vulnerable to climate change requested a workshop and technical report by Cancun on the costs and opportunities of mitigation to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 o C. The report could draw on recent scientific studies in advance of forthcoming IPCC scenarios, and equip Parties with an early look well ahead of 2015 at the options available when they deliberate the long-term temperature goal under the LCA. Since many governments with a view to adopting 1.5o C as the long-term goal agreed the Copenhagen Accord in part because of the promised review of 1.5 by 2015, there should be a lot of support for getting the ball rolling. Perhaps not to our surprise, however, there are quite few a developed countries coming up with all sorts of excuses why such a report can or should not be done by Cancun – we don’t have enough time, the UNFCCC can't do this, it is in the wrong agenda item, etc. But ECO has to ask this: Why would parties raise excuses against assessing the most recent scientific research? Could such a report present some inconvenient truths? The UNFCCC cannot be serious about a long-term goal unless it is informed about the underlying science and all the resulting options.  A study on actions associated with limiting temperature rise to 1.5 o C would be well in line with the precautionary principle under the Convention.  But therein lies the problem -- that would involve Parties agreeing to align ongoing deliberations more firmly with the principles of the Convention, which has been a bit of a challenge lately.  We eagerly await the draft conclusions from the SBSTA contact group on Agenda Item 9, and for evidence that vulnerable countries' pleas wont fall on deaf ears again.

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