Legal scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement
The scope, structure and design of the 2015 agreement should be consistent with a 1.5ºC global carbon budget with high likelihood of success, including targets and actions within an equitable framework that provides the financial, technology and capacity building support to countries with low capacity. It should be serious about ensuring sufficient support for dealing with the unavoidable impacts of climate change. It should be built on, developing and improving the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention including transparency through common and accurate accounting and effective compliance processes, respecting the principles of equity. The form of the 2015 agreement should be a fair, ambitious and legally binding protocol.
Kyoto Protocol as a basis for the ADP
The Kyoto Protocol provides a good basis for future Protocol, its rules have been tested and should be improved and built upon. Existing elements of the Kyoto Protocol that provide a basis for the new Protocol include:
· Long-term viability: the KP provides a framework that can be updated for each 5-year commitment period, while maintaining its essential elements
· Top down approach, setting an overall objective, an aggregate goal, for developed countries, allowing appropriate consideration of the science, with comparability of effort between countries established through their respective targets (Article 3.1)
· Legally binding, economy-wide, absolute emissions reduction targets (QELROs) for countries with high responsibility and capacity, expressed as a percentage below the 1990 base year (Annex B)
· A system of 5-year commitment periods, with comparability of effort measured against a common base year allowing for reasonable cycles of review linked to the IPCC reports and for comparability of effort (Articles 3.1 and 3.7). A commitment regime under the new 2015 agreement should set at least two 5-year commitment periods, so that there are clear consequences in the already-agreed second period for failure to comply with the first 5-year target, and so that a next set of two 5-year targets is in place before the first 5-year period expires. The system should include an adjustment procedure similar to the adjustment procedure under Article 2.9 of the Montreal Protocol that is restricted to increasing ambition. This adjustment procedure should allow both unilateral real increases in ambition by a country and for a ratcheting up of all countries resulting from an adequacy review.
· Monitoring, review, and international verification system (Articles, 5,7,8 and associated decisions)
· Compliance mechanism composed of two tracks – facilitative and enforcement (Article 18). Compliance with the new 2015 legally binding outcome will depend in large part on effective *domestic* compliance processes, which can be facilitated by sharing of domestic best practices in compliance design. This will in turn facilitate better compliance with international obligations.
· Mandatory review of provisions of the Protocol for subsequent commitment periods (Article 3.9)
· Supplementarity – ensuring that market or non-market mechanisms are supplementary to (ie, CDM) to domestic actions, and don’t undermine the fundamental need to decarbonize all economies (Article 6.1d)
· Required reporting on ”demonstrable progress”, establishing an important reporting requirement and stocktaking (Article 3.2)
· Basket approach to GHGs, and the ability to list new gases and classes of gases (Annex A)
· Use of Global Warming Potentials (GWP) to allow comparability of the impacts of different gases on global warming (Article 5.3)
The Equity Reference Framework
Equity is back on the negotiating table, and this is no surprise. Climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC were never going to succeed unless they faced the challenge of “equitable access to sustainable development.” Unless they faced, more precisely, the equity challenge of not just holding to a 2°C or even 1.5°C-compliant global emission budget but also supporting sustainable development and adaptation. These are the preconditions of any successful climate transition.