Tag: Equity Reference Framework

CAN Intervention in the COP19 ADP Opening Plenary by Uthra Radhakrishnan, 11 November, 2013

Thank you Co-Chairs,

My name is Uthra Radhakrishnan, and I’m speaking for Climate Action Network.

As communities around the world get swept under the climate disaster rug, we have little time left. This means getting ambitious about ambition.

In CAN’s opinion, the key to ambition is equity, and not equity as vague words like “fairness” that can mean anything or nothing.  Equity must mean an agreed list of indicators that are based upon the Convention. This list must include indicators for Adequacy, Responsibility, Capacity, Development Need and Adaption Need – which all Parties know, prior to tabling their pledges, which be used to evaluate those pledges. 

Let us not mince words.  As we all know the Philippines is the latest to feel the brutal reality of climate disruption.  The point of the equity indicators approach is to identify the front runners that are actually proposing to do their fair share, and the free riders that are proposing to waste even more time.

Here in Warsaw, Parties will be discussing the timeline and process by which pledges can be made and reviewed and strengthened as necessary. CAN is calling for a process to include the development of a common set of equity principles and indicators.

Let us be clear, the pledges must include finance as well as mitigation. And given that they must be made next year, we need equity indicators to be discussed here and now.


Looking for Ambition in Warsaw and Beyond? Tune In to Equity


ECO is very pleased to note that the volume on CAN’s proposal for the Equity Reference Framework has been turned up at the Bonn session. ECO now asks Parties that they go back home and add it to their favourite playlists to keep them inspired between now and September, when they will turn in submissions on what architecture they foresee for a successful outcome in Paris.

Through this session and at the ADP2 (April/May), Parties have made it clear that the “principles of the Convention will apply and need no reinterpretation in the 2015 agreement.” We are (doubly) delighted that Parties have identified this as common ground. Having said that, there is work to be done to ensure that these principles don’t just remain principles in the Convention and that they get translated into actions and commitments on the ground.

But we have less than a thousand days left between now and Paris. Keeping this in mind and reminding ourselves that there can be no ambition without equity, ECO had proposed a practical process to ensure that Parties have a clear understanding not just of how their commitments will together enable us to stay within a 2 degree C world, but also of how their fair shares can be formulated. This would mean that Parties develop a shared Equity Reference Framework that embodies the Convention’s core equity principles. As you might already know, ECO identified these to be: a precautionary approach to adequacy, CBDRRC and the right to sustainable development. Along with the latest science, these core principles, reflected in an agreed list of indicators, and including of course the call for developed countries to take the lead in climate mitigation, can be used as a benchmark when framing, setting and reviewing Parties’ mitigation and financial commitments.

ECO is excited about the level of response that this proposal has received, both through some Parties’ call for an Equity Reference Framework at the ADP plenary and the excellent turnout at the CAN side event. South Africa, Kenya, The Gambia on behalf of the LDCs – ECO warmly welcomes your constructive interventions on this matter. A special thanks to South Africa for a strong reminder to Parties during the closing plenary of the ADP for the need for a clear set of rules for fair and equitable effort sharing that would lead to equitable access to sustainable development. Brazil, Norway and EU – ECO welcomes your openness and interest and looks forward to more from you. ECO now encourages all parties, in their submissions to the ADP co-chairs ahead of Warsaw, to outline what criteria and indicators they think capture the equity principles as identified above. This would lead us to a Party led process with extensive expert input designed to get us to a workable framework for assessing both mitigation and finance commitments.

While we would have loved to have another meeting for Parties before Warsaw, this is not to be. However, we are excited to know our friends from the Nordic Council will be organising an entire meeting exclusively focused on the question of equity. We would love for this to be an open and inclusive meeting that takes on board experts and other stakeholders, so it can feed into Warsaw in a substantial manner. ECO thinks this exemplifies good leadership and welcomes and encourages more of such spaces and platforms for tuning into and turning up the volume on equity.

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Submission: Equity Reference Framework Discussion Paper, June 2013

Equity is back on the negotiating table, and this really is no surprise. The negotiations were never going to succeed unless they faced the challenge of “equitable access to sustainable development.” Unless they faced, more precisely, the equity challenge: holding to a 2°C or even 1.5°C-compliant global emission budget while also supporting a common right to adaptation and sustainable development. These are preconditions of any successful climate transition. The difference today is that we all know it.

Today, as the negotiations begin again in earnest, the core challenge is to move the equity agenda forward, in a manner that allows us to simultaneously 1) increase short-term ambition and 2) pioneer a track to collective post- 2020 emissions reductions that are in line with the precautionary principle. This won’t be easy, but it may be possible. Three conditions will need to be met.

· First, the Parties must work together, in good faith, to find a way forward on equity. It will not do for each to assert the uniqueness of its own “national circumstances.” There must be a global way forward.

· Second, pre-2020 ambition must be increased. Developed country targets must be strengthened to be in line with the demands of the science, and significant amounts of financial and technological support must arrive before Paris.

· Third, there must be a path forward for “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,” and it must lead to a dynamic, “equity spectrum” approach to CBDRC that is responsive to global economic evolution.


We Saw Success for Warsaw


ECO was impressed by the creative moves of the delegates on the dance floor Saturday night. Now, with only 16 meeting days left this year, ECO expects to see an increasing amount of creative and ambitious Party moves inside the negotiation rooms too, to make the COP in Warsaw a success. (It is worth clarifying that this does not mean wiggling out of commitments!)

2014 - the year of ambition - is just around the corner. The foreseen KP Parties' revision of their targets next spring offers a timely moment for all countries to revise their near term targets, while Ban Ki-Moon’s leaders meeting in the autumn of 2014 presents a great opportunity for tabling new 2025 targets.

In Warsaw, Parties will need to commit to both strengthening their current targets (to bridge the 2020 gigatonne gap), as well as to putting forward new, post-2020 targets in 2014 that are fair and adequate. To ensure that the 2014 pledges will be transparent, quantified and comparable, Parties will need to agree on some guidelines in Warsaw. Equally, the Warsaw Decisions will need to give further clarity on the nature and scope of commitments for countries at different levels of responsibility, capability and development. Commitments should include mitigation and finance and be guided by an Equity Reference Framework (ERF), for which a formal process needs to be established.

While Parties have already agreed to deliver a negotiating text on the 2015 agreement before May 2015, Parties will need to adopt a work plan and milestones for producing this text in Warsaw. Specifically, Parties must agree on key elements for a structure of the 2015 deal so that subsequent sessions can build on them  to move steadily towards a comprehensive final agreement, and not leave all decisions to be resolved at Paris. We all know where that leads…

All developed countries must set out – in a comparable manner - what climate finance they will be providing over 2013-2015, as part of doubling fast start funding levels for this period, and commit to a roadmap for scaling-up global public climate finance and reaching $100bn per year by 2020.

ECO would like to extend a formal invitation to Finance Ministers to take part in the Warsaw COP so that the “high-level ministerial dialogue” (yes, parties in Doha wanted it to be THAT special) actually delivers the decisions we need so urgently on finance. Parties must also pledge specific amounts of finance to the Green Climate Fund, which must be operationalised in Warsaw, and to the Adaptation Fund.

Parties must also agree on a way to ensure that international aviation and maritime transport, which are not included in national emissions targets, make a fair contribution to emissions reductions, and to financing climate actions in developing countries. These are the fastest growing emissions sectors worldwide, and their fuels are currently not taxed, unlike domestic transport sectors, which means they are not paying for their climate impacts, and have an unfair advantage over other sectors.

As should be clear by this point, dear ECO reader, there is much to do in Warsaw and afterwards. This week, the ADP should focus on its work plan from now until the COP. As time is short and ECO is completely fed up with procedural nonsense (SBI anyone?), this does not mean spending the week discussing whether to suspend or conclude the ADP (as ECO can only imagine the potential mess of trying to open another ADP session and the agenda discussion that would ensue). Rather, Parties must set a deadline for the next round of submissions and clarify the content sought. Here, views on the decisions from Warsaw including guidance on a deadline for initial pledges (2014), information on the details of those pledges and the process for review (i.e. the ERF process), as well as initial thoughts on the overall structure of the 2015 agreement, are a minimum.

Finally, you can’t spend all of your time planning. You’ve got to also be doing. So, in addition to the ADP work programme forward, ECO urges Parties to take time preparing the actual tangible outcomes for Warsaw, including in terms of 2013-2015 finance pledges, loss and damage mechanism and near-term ambition. Here’s to a productive week!

Related Newsletter : 

Towards Consensus on Equity


ECO was overjoyed on Saturday when a number of Parties publicly called for a process to develop an Equity Reference Framework. Such a process would be an opportunity of the first order, one that could allow us to unlock ambition, maximise participation, and ensure success in Paris.

South Africa, Kenya, Gambia on behalf of the LDCs – ECO warmly welcomes your constructive interventions on this matter. We now encourage all Parties to make submissions to the ADP co-chairs ahead of Warsaw, and to support a Party-led process with extensive expert input designed to get us to a workable framework for assessing both mitigation and finance commitments.

Singapore – ECO agrees with you on the primacy of the Convention! But let’s please be clear on one critical point: No Party proposing an Equity Reference Framework has any desire to re-write the Convention. Just the contrary. The goal here is to ensure that the Convention’s all-important equity principles can be put effectively into practice.

ECO encourages all Parties to now put forward views on indicators that simply but adequately represent these principles. With these views on the table, Parties could then define a basket of indicators that help inform and bound the discussion. Such a basket would give the Parties and Observers a standardised context within which commitments can be prepared and compared, and against which both Parties and independent experts could test the adequacy and fairness of all commitments.

US – if it’s any comfort, we can assure you that nobody believes that it will be easy to focus the diversity of views on equity into a working consensus. But it is possible, and such an effort, pursued in good faith, would yield its own benefits. The next few years will not see us agree on every detail, but we can reach a consensus that is sufficiently precise, and sufficiently robust, to allow the Parties to agree to commitments that accord with both the science and a full operationalisation of the Convention.

The 2015 accord will only be ambitious and inclusive if it is also fair. On that we can all agree. With the EU, Switzerland and other Parties also showing openness to this discussion, week one of Bonn gave us hope for genuine progress on equity. ECO looks forward to many more constructive discussions over the week ahead.

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Side event-Equity Reference Framework: Enabler to a successful 2015 climate treaty

Tuesday, June 11
18:30 -20:00
In Bonn, Germany in the Ministry of Environment, room WIND

Less than 1000 days to the 2015 deadline. CAN is calling for a formal process to develop an Equity Reference Framework that embodies the Convention’s core equity principles, and is designed to maximize ambition and participation. Such an Equity Reference Framework would give us, finally, a workable framework within which a successful 2015 treaty can be agreed.

Christian Aid (Mohamed Adow)
Germanwatch (Rixa Schwarz)
CAN-Europe (Meera Ghani)
CAN-International (Julie-Anne Richards, Moderator)

Equity for All

ECO hopes that the ADP discussions will focus on solving the equity puzzle. The world needs an effective, science-based, fair and ambitious climate agreement. Here is an attempt by ECO to demystify the climate puzzle we are facing. The fact that atmospheric CO2 concentrations recently reached the 400 ppm mark was an ominous reminder about the urgency of substantial actions to keep temperature rise well below 2 degree C, and the ultimate goal to return it to 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels. To resolve this challenge, developed countries must increase their pre-2020 pollution reductions and ramp up support for developing country actions through finance, technology and capacity building. Adaptation and loss and damage should also be given the necessary levels of support. These are the preconditions to rebuild the trust among Parties and for a successful outcome from Paris in 2015.

ECO believes that negotiations will never succeed unless Parties confront the equity challenge. More precisely, Parties need to deal with their differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, while protecting developing countries’ need to provide their citizens with sustainable living standards, as is available to citizens of any other country.

At the minimum, this means Parties need to develop a shared “Equity Reference Framework” that embodies the Convention’s core equity principles. ECO identified these as: a precautionary approach to adequacy, CBDRRC and the right to sustainable development. Along with the latest science, these core principles, taken from the Convention itself, including of course the call for developed countries to take the lead in climate mitigation – can be used as a benchmark when framing, setting and reviewing Parties’ pledges and financial commitments. Increasing ambition of pollution reduction should be based on a fair share approach.

To achieve this task in a time bound manner, ECO suggest that Parties need to take a systematic approach to make best use of the time and resources available. First, we need to hear Parties' focused ideas about core equity principles and respective indicators. We also need to hear Parties' ideas for a process by which relevant articulations of the core Convention principles and proposed indicators can be quickly distilled into a concise list. This list can then be used to establish the fair share commitments of Parties in what ECO calls the Equity Reference Framework. Over the next two weeks, the ADP should begin the discussions required for the 2015 agreement, in the context of standardised equity indicators and taking steps to realise this framework. ECO seeks an Equity Reference Framework that institutes a process to scale up Parties' commitments and pledges for the post-2020 agreement, by inviting Party submissions and a process that includes review of commitments by international experts.  

Parties must go beyond just the principles to develop standardised indicators. The present session should be sufficient to crystallise the indicator discussion, which will lead us to the development of the framework.

At the end of the day, of course, all of this will depend on Parties taking the equity challenge seriously and stepping forward to make the difference required for a successful ADP outcome in Paris. ECO will be closely watching, and that’s really not a surprise, as we are friends of equity and the ADP

Related Newsletter : 
Subscribe to Tag: Equity Reference Framework