The Saudi Top 20

Don’t sell yourself short, Saudi Arabia, under any definition you’re important! During Wednesday’s ADP session on the information required for INDCs, Saudi Arabia suggested that only the world’s top 20 emitters should worry about offering mitigation contributions to a Paris Protocol. The rest of the world, they said, should focus on adaptation, as their emissions are “minuscule”. ECO already debunked the “minuscule” argument yesterday. Nothing is minuscule when you’re phasing-out fossil fuel emissions. And you can’t very well achieve the ADP’s purpose of “ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties” if 80% of Parties don’t mitigate. However, when you look at the countries in the top 20, Saudi has created quite the problem with its creative approach – it’s on the list, any way you slice it. As ECO digs deeper into this Saudia Arabia-style differentiation, things become more and more curious. Someone call Norway; tell them to toss out their reductions target of 40%. Switzerland? Who needs its 20% target? On the other hand, ECO wonders whether Saudi Arabia has contacted its fellow Like-Minded Developing Country group members (China, India and Iran) to break the news that they should join Saudi Arabia in doing most of the mitigation effort! Back in the real world, it is clear to ECO that we need all countries to do their fair share of mitigation in the post-2020 period. Rather than arbitrary cut-offs, each country should show why its proposed contribution is both adequate and fair — based on an agreed list of equity indicators. ECO gives Saudi Arabia an “A” for creativity, but an “F” for failing to protect the vulnerable.