The Review is sometimes thought of as a minor agenda item. ECO does not agree. It reincorporates scientific findings in the political UNFCCC negotiations in order to raise ambition and close the gigatonne gap. So, negotiators, if you happened to forget its significance, this is a reminder to pay sufficient attention to the discussion on the first periodic Review (2013-15).
At COP18, we need several decisions on the Review – most of all a decision on its scope, but also on the modalities. Modalities would include the body to conduct the Review and a finalized workplan for a timely start, effective work and strong recommendations in 2015. The workplan must not be forgotten over contradicting views on the scope (reviewing 2°C or reviewing the long-term global goal and the process towards achieving it (as phrased in Cancun) or to the means of implementation). Mexico yesterday suggested bridging the differing views on the scope by starting with the Cancun language and possibly later further defining the scope. Gracias, Mexico!
In case Parties, at a later point in time, seek to consider reviewing the means of implementation, ECO suggests inserting a chapeau in the coming draft decision on the scope, referring to the different reviews in the Cancun and Durban decisions on finance, technology, capacity building and biennial reporting. These various decisions to review the means of implementation have already been taken, so that there is no need to duplicate this undertaking in the first periodic review (2013-2015). A better approach would be to strengthen all reviews by linking the first periodical Review to the other review processes. This would make them more powerful at all ends.
In summary, ECO is confident that it is possible to find a way out of the present stalemate concerning the review 2013-2015, so that the review can begin in 2013.
ECO appreciated the chair's facilitation of yesterday's spin-off group, moving the discussion to the modalities, such as the potential expert group that would conduct the Review and first steps in organising the work starting next year.
Of course, ECO already has its own perceptions and milestones in mind for the 2013-2015 Review roadmap:
1) Beginning in 2013 with a workshop on the Special Reports of IPCC (SRREN and SREX) at SB38
2) A subsequent workshop back-to-back to the adoption of AR5/WG I of IPCC at the COP in 2013, where conclusions on WG I-related issues for the Review will be drawn.
3) In May 2014 there should be a second workshop back-to-back to the adoption of AR5/WG III (including WG II related issues), so that...
4)...SB40 in June 2014 could draw conclusions on it
5) After adoption of the Synthesis Report of AR5, a workshop could be planned
6) The COP in 2014 should take note of this analytical phase of the review and take a decision on the envisaged steps on the Review for 2015 that lead to action
7) In 2014/15 the political analysis should take place
8) To ensure action in 2015, SB 42 should write a draft decision on the action the COP should take on the basis of the review
All these activities should inform the other, above-mentioned review processes to create small but powerful tools for avoiding dangerous climate change.