Shared Vision Needed Before Durban

ECO loves workshops, and luckily, there more are to come! For instance, the facilitators of the shared vision informal have keenly noticed an interest by Parties to hold one more workshop on what a long-term global goal for emission reductions might mean for developing countries – and ECO would add  – global peaking year.

Here ECO offers two smart observations: (i) if the workshop is held only in Durban (rather than, as ECO would suggest, at the tentative Fall/Spring session) Parties will not be able to adopt a COP decision on the much-needed long-term goal just a few days later (as if at these talks anything was ever dealt with at the urgency and speed it deserved); and (ii) the experience of Copenhagen shows that it doesn’t take a workshop to know that negotiating a long-term goal without understanding who contributes what and what’s the fair share of their responsibility, will be very difficult. ECO believes that this understanding, at least in some principled form, needs to be in the Shared Vision outcome of Durban.

The long-term goal itself, as well as the peaking year, requires a look in the science books rather than negotiations or workshops.  The potential to act on the outcome of the review, which could recommend a strengthening of the temperature target to 1.5°C (for the sake of millions, future generations, and many islands and their inhabitants) must be kept in sight.  This calls for an emissions pathway that keeps 1.5°C within reach while allowing a high probability for keeping warming well below 2°C.