The Paris Agreement sets a clear vision for the world to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C, through a full decarbonisation of the global economy. It also provides a framework to improve action on mitigation, adaptation and finance through regular reviews and renewed commitments – for all countries simultaneously.
With the Paris Agreement clearly setting out the task that lays ahead, this year Parties need to create provisions under the Paris Agreement that will enable, incentivise and enforce action at a national level. This requires a delicate balancing of provisions that enable national action and those that create obligations. Civil society has an important stake in this process and must be listened to.
We cannot forget that current commitments are wholly inadequate to keep warming to 1.5°C. At current emission levels, we will use up our entire 1.5°C compatible carbon budget by 2020. Urgent action is needed now. The Technical Examination Process (TEP) should focus on identifying actionable solutions that can close the gigatonne gap and the barriers to these solutions. But identifying solutions is not enough – the newly appointed champions for pre-2020 action should produce a scenario note for the next 2 years showing how they intend to address barriers and enable actual implementation.
The next best opportunity to rectify the current shortfall from the inadequate (I)NCDs will be at the 2018 “facilitative dialogue to take stock of the collective efforts of Parties”. Parties must start preparing themselves from now for the (re-)submission of NDCs in 2018. This review must take relevant findings from the upcoming IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and the INDC synthesis reports into account.
Additionally, countries need to dial up the ambition of their INDCs in line with climate objectives, with adequate support to developing countries and a clear view on the economic, social and environmental co-benefits that come with low carbon development.
The question mark over finance needs to be removed. Uncertainty in scale, delivery and scope of climate finance is and has been the biggest impediment towards progress. A roadmap to the US$100 billion annually is urgently required. This roadmap must close the financing gap in preparing for and addressing rising climate impacts, be rooted in predictability and based on transparency between developed and developing countries. The result must be support for the most vulnerable in dealing with impacts through adequate and predictable climate finance, especially via the loss and damage mechanism.
The success of COP21 and Paris Agreement is not a given – history will judge it based on the scale of results achieved by countries in the following years and decades. These results depend to a great extent on the scale of financial flows between countries for enabling national action. ECO hopes that countries will be true to their word, and the Agreement will be fully implemented.