The week began on a high note with positive signals coming from some major emitters, they’re moving in the right direction, but all countries can go further and faster. ECO expects - and the world needs - more positive signals alongside concrete additional commitments between now and the Ban Ki-Moon Summit in September, COP20 in Lima, all the way to the March 2015 deadline.
You might be asking, what about today? ECO has been perusing the information note for this Ministerial and noticed its four objectives for the session, so here’s our take on what your role is on:
1. Motivating the Parties to do more
ECO promises to have our cheerleaders - in custom outfits in your national colours, chanting in your native language - out for any Minister announcing new mitigation, financial commitments or actions pre-2020, in any session. This offer remains open through to the Ban Ki Moon Summit!
2. The political implications of the IPCC findings, for both mitigation and adaptation
The results of the AR5 are crystal clear.
All fossil fuel emissions need to be phased out and we need to start immediately if we want to remain within the lowest temperature limit of 1.5oC. It’s not just about phasing out all the bad stuff, we need to phase in the good stuff too - a 100% renewable future with energy access for all.
WGII reflects that our adaptation response to current extreme weather events remains low, highlighting an “adaptation deficit” in both developing and developed countries. ECO is concerned that this is being replicated in the ADP. Let’s be clear: a 2015 agreement is not politically or practically feasible without addressing the deficit. The ADP must have significant support to scale up adaptation action for developing countries if it wants to protect the most vulnerable people and ecosystems.
Adaptation has long been given a lower priority in the negotiations, including in the ADP. ECO is pleased to see many developing countries now seriously considering what a new agreement needs to deliver to match their growing adaptation needs, and address loss and damage. A key element is more resources provided by rich countries. We also need to start thinking on how we can all be preparing for the impacts of climate change. Ask yourselves, Ministers, what would climate change look like if we took it as seriously as we did the global financial crisis? This is a global challenge and we need radical changes to protect our planet from a climate disaster. Take off your party political hats, and put on your thinking caps! We need bolder and braver policies to protect us from climate change.
3. The preparation of nationally determined contributions from all Parties
ECO has many wise friends in many countries. These friends would like to help support the ADP by conducting an independent civil society review of initial pledges on both adequacy and equity. This review will cover not only mitigation offers, but also what rich countries are planning to provide on climate finance (for both mitigation and adaptation), as a crucial element of those countries’ fair share in the global effort. Ministers, our friends don’t bite...unless you’re timid with your ambition! The ADP needs to create a formal space for civil society reviews, and the independent analyses and reviews we expect other expert groups (like UNEP) to produce, as to inform the process. This is extremely important and must not be allowed to fall through the cracks. Concrete signals on this assessment process today and an agreement on it in Lima are critical.
4. Providing political guidance and support for the ADP
Ministers, though sometimes you may suspect otherwise, ECO does like you! We get very upset when you don’t show up to things (see yesterday’s edition). It’s up to you to lead the convoy as we head to Paris. Climate change is the most pressing challenge of the 21st century and this calls for continued political engagement at the highest levels until the crisis is solved.
Ministers, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in – the world needs your leadership!