Tag: Scientific Review

CAN Annual Policy Document, Full Version: Katowice - Spurring the Paris Agreement to Action, November 2018

The IPCC report on 1.5°C is a siren alerting humanity to the urgency of the climate crisis. The report shows even half a degree of warming makes a huge difference in terms of impacts; more than was previously known. It also shows that, already, some communities and ecosystems are being forced beyond the limits of adaptation. The report further demonstrates the tools needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C are within the scope of science and human capability. It is economically and technically feasible, but we need political will right now.

2018 brought together numerous leaders from states and regions, cities, business, investors and civil society at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), to underline the transformational action they are already pursuing. The Virtual Climate Summit convened by the vulnerable countries reinforced efforts to fight climate change in solidarity with all those facing this threat on the frontline. The baton has now been passed on to all governments.

This year, Parties engaged in a facilitative dialogue (Talanoa Dialogue) to take stock of the collective efforts towards the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal and to inform Parties on the preparation to update their Nationally

Determined Contributions. The Talanoa Dialogue also considered pre-2020 action and support. At COP24, during the High-level Ministerial Talanoa Dialogue, governments will commit to step-up their national ambition and review and enhance their NDCs by 2020.

Tools for implementation are essential for enhanced implementation of climate action. Predictable, sustainable and transparent finance — both public and private — is at the core of climate action and it is necessary for developing countries to fully implement their NDCs and instill trust in the Paris regime.

Clarity on the delivery of finance is vital. The Green Climate Fund board meeting in October agreed to a replenishment process in 2019 and sent a clear signal that the fund is back on track with a commitment to deliver US$1 billion for climate action in developing countries. At COP24 we need additional signals and concrete agreements on predictability and accountability to make the Paris Agreement work. The Paris Agreement is a promise to the people that governments will take collective climate action to protect us. At this year’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 24) governments are working towards a December 2018 deadline to adopt the key elements of the implementation guidelines to operationalize the Paris Agreement. The Agreement is the most collaborative piece of legislation in human history and it has sparked real hope. This year is the time to embrace multilateralism and spur the Paris Agreement into action by agreeing on robust, fair and cohesive rules. The rules will expand on the Paris Agreements ability to act as a foundation for countries’ collective action to tackle climate change and to increase ambition over time.

At COP 24, Parties to the UNFCCC must realize the vision of Paris by:

• Agreeing on a robust, fair and cohesive set of implementation guidelines to solidify the Paris regime and a roadmap to finalize outstanding issues;

• Stepping up and committing to enhancing their NDCs by 2020 in line with climate science;

• Reaffirming their climate finance commitments, agree to robust accounting standards and concrete ways to enhance predictability of funds from the contributor countries. Several elements will be necessary to enable both immediate and longer-term action:

 

RAISING AMBITION FOR THE PROTECTION OF PEOPLE AND PLANET:

• Informed by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, the Talanoa Dialogue must send a strong signal to step-up climate ambition: through a COP Decision recalling paragraph 23 and 24 of Decision 1/CP.21 to enhance current NDCs by 2020; taking into account the discussions and outputs of the Talanoa Dialogue in the process of updating their NDCs and reflecting progression over time; and through a Co-Chairs of the process report on the Pathways to Action outlining specific and actionable key steps, responding to each of the questions raised in the Dialogue separate from a more technical summary by the UNFCCC Secretariat;

• While urgent action is required to avoid the worst impacts the vulnerable countries already face severe damages and displacement that require urgent support. Five years after the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage (WIM) was established at COP19, it is time to fully operationalize it. COP 24 must deliver highlevel guidance for the review of the WIM in 2019, including a need-assessment for loss and damage finance.

SUPPORT FOR ACTION TO ENABLE INCREASED AMBITION:

• Contributor countries should strongly reaffirm the collective commitment to scale up climate finance to $100bn per year by 2020, and back it up with concrete commitments, including the reaffirmation of their commitment to the GCF through sending political signals towards an ambitious replenishment and agree on accounting rules for climate finance which are robust and provide full transparency on actual assistance provided to developing countries for mitigation, adaptation and L&D. This needs to include agreement on accounting rules which ensure contributor countries report grant equivalent amounts for loans and other non-grant instruments; that non-concessional instruments are not counted as climate finance; and that only the climate-specific part of finance provided is counted.

• To make climate finance more predictable, countries shall fully operationalize Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement. It requires that Parties at CMA1-3 agree on a process to provide qualitative and quantitative information in accordance to all sections of this article. All contributor countries should agree to provide similar types of ex-ante information for every channel and source to ensure comparability and coherence, including a timeline and the format for submissions.

• Parties must agree to discuss the post-2025 finance goal in a structured, inclusive and balanced way. At COP24, the APA should recommend that the CMA1 adopt a process to discuss this goal and ensure sufficient time for Parties and observers to provide input. This process should include a clear timeline for the agreement of the target and should welcome technical and scientific inputs from all bodies of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, including an updated needs assessment and review of past climate finance and its effectiveness.

• COP24 must achieve a Technology Framework which ensures the focus of technology development and transfer is on the most climate vulnerable populations, achieving a balance in addressing adaptation and mitigation technology support. The Periodic Assessment must stipulate that the bodies of the Technology Mechanism collect data to assess its impact on technology development and transfer and contribution towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

PRESERVING THE SPIRIT OF PARIS BY AGREEING ON ROBUST AND FAIR RULES:

A core set of robust and enforceable guidelines — that build on and enhance the existing systems of transparency — will be critical to ensure trust and drive ambition:

• For transparency of action, it is essential that accurate and robust information is provided by Parties in a methodological manner concerning efforts on greenhouse gas inventories, NDC implementation and achievement, adaptation, finance, and allowing for non-state actors to contribute to the framework;

• Flexibility under the Enhanced Transparency Framework should be reflected in each element of the Enhanced Transparency Framework and be used as an enabling vehicle allowing progression over time. Parties should agree on minimum floors for the frequency, scope, and level of detail provided as well as guidelines for how flexibility is applied.

• Parties should adopt constructive guidelines for NDCs, including guidance for features of the NDCs, for the information in the NDCs to facilitate their clarity, transparency, and understanding, as well as for the accounting used in the NDCs. Guidance should include an invitation for Parties to provide information regarding how rights-related considerations, including a gender perspective, have informed the planning of the NDC. Such guidance may be differentiated, but not bifurcated.

• Develop accounting guidance based on inventory reporting under the Convention for REDD+ and LULUCF well before 2020.

• Any transfer of international emissions reductions should help to enhance ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). At COP 24, parties should phase out the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms and not recognize Kyoto emissions units for compliance with non-Kyoto mitigation commitments.

• In their transfers of international emissions reductions, Parties should avoid all forms of double counting as well as support and encourage all Parties to move toward economy-wide emission targets as called for in Article 4.4 of the Paris Agreement.

ROBUSTNESS OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT NOW AND OVER TIME:

• Parties need to decide on a single five-year common time frame for NDC implementation at COP24 in line with Article 4.1 of the Paris Agreement to enhance consistency and comparability of NDCs as well as better harness rapidly evolving real-world opportunities and incentivize early action and enable the best synchronization with the Paris climate regime.

• Parties need to finalize the general design of the Global Stocktake (GST) at COP 24. To serve its purpose, to ratchet-up ambition, the design needs to include the following elements:
– sufficient duration of 18-24 months, wherein some phases (e.g. input gathering and technical consideration) can overlap.
– the GST should be organized in workstreams oriented towards the three long-term goals of the Paris Agreement in Article 2 (temperature, resilience, and finance flows) and include a workstream on loss and damage.
– additionally, means of implementation (finance, technology, and capacity building) should be considered a cross-cutting issue of these workstreams.
– for the stocktake to be “conducted in the light of equity” means to treat equity as an overarching issue across all work streams and with regards to the design of the GST.

• Submit long-term greenhouse gas emission development strategies in line with Article 4.19 of the Agreement to transitioning to a future that is compatible with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and Just Transition.

ADVANCING WORK BEYOND THE PARIS AGREEMENT WORK PROGRAM:

• The work of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) must enable Parties and other actors to take action that builds adaptive capacity and resilience, contributes to the equitable achievement of the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal, and safeguards food security, the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, gender equality, environmental integrity, and human rights.

• COP24 must now finalize the effective operationalization of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform, learning from good practices in other multilateral forums and collectively agreed principles as well as providing it with adequate resources to perform its work.

Organization: 

CAN Briefing: the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C SR1.5 at COP 24 and the Talanoa Dialogue, November 2018

 

CAN calls on Parties

  • to welcome the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C report in a COP decision;
  • to fully consider the SR1.5 in the political section of the Talanoa Dialogue;
  • to reflect the findings of the IPCC report in a COP decision committing Parties to review and enhance their NDCs by 2020, thereby initiating the ratchet mechanism of the Paris Agreement.

CAN emphasizes the findings of IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C:

  • Climate change is happening now. At the current ~1°C warming it is affecting people, ecosystems and livelihoods around the world.
  • Every half degree of warming matters – 1.5°C is safer than 2°C (or more) for people and nature.
  • We know what is needed to achieve 1.5°C:
    • Rapid and deep cuts of global greenhouse gas emissions in all economic sectors.
    • Carbon dioxide removal - some 1.5°C pathways with more stringent emissions cuts reduce the need for later removals. Forest and land use restoration are better than riskier, untested options.
  • Current country pledges (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement are not sufficient – they take us to at least ~3°C.
  • Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is possible but would require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society.
  • Limiting warming to 1.5°C can go hand-in-hand with achieving other world goals.
Organization: 

CAN Annual Policy Document: Pacific COP - Solidarity and Action to Realize the Promise of Paris, October 2017

At COP  23, Parties to the UNFCCC must realize the vision of Paris by making substantial progress on all agenda items under the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The development of a zero draft of the implementation guidelines, in form of a text, will be a key milestone to measure success. COP 23 must also lay the ground, in form of a roadmap, for a successful facilitative dialogue in 2018 to assess collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and indications of implications for revised NDCs.

Several elements will be necessary for creating the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action:

Raising Ambition to Avoid Increasing Impacts:

  • The Ambition Mechanism consists of three elements: a facilitative “Talanoa dialogue” in 2018 (FD2018), to assess collective progress against a 1.5°C pathway and to increase ambition thereafter, a second periodic review to translate science into policy, and a global stocktake to increase ambition every 5 years. Comprehensive progress must be made in the design of these elements at COP 23 to ensure they fulfil the potential for raising ambition that they embody.
  • Loss and Damage: CAN believes that the first Pacific COP is a unique opportunity for the WIM to fully implement its mandate. This includes generating and providing finance for loss and damage, including from innovative sources, adopting a stronger five-year workplan for the WIM than the one the ExCom approved in October, mandating the WIM and SCF to elaborate modalities for clear and transparent accounting of finance for loss and damage, and providing adequate finance to implement the mandate of the WIM.
  • Adaptation: Adaptation must be part of the ambition mechanism. In order to make that happen, clear guidelines for adaptation communications need to be adopted by 2018 and the Global Goal on Adaptation needs to be operationalized. A more comprehensive review of the institutional arrangements on adaptation, including National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), must also be initiated to determine if they are fit-for-purpose.
  • Agriculture: To enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to identify and catalyze action to address gaps in knowledge, research, action and support, a joint SBSTA/SBI Work Programme on Agriculture and Food Security should be established by COP 23.

Support for Action to Enable Increased Ambition:

  • Finance: COP 23 should result in progress towards ramping up climate finance to US$100 billion a year by 2020 to be increased by 2025, progress in mobilizing private finance in developing countries, and improved transparency of finance mobilized and provided. The imbalance between mitigation and adaptation finance should also be recognized and lead to increased adaptation finance and confirmation that the Adaptation Fund will serve the Agreement.
  • Technology: The Technology Framework must ensure support for climate technology towards the goal of successfully implementing NDCs. To this end, the periodic assessment must include metrics and indicators that will enable countries to make informed choices and predict the needs of developing countries for transformational technologies.

Transparency of Action and Support:

  • Enhanced Transparency Framework: A core set of robust and enforceable guidelines that build on and enhance the existing systems of transparency, towards a common framework, is critical in driving ambition. The modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) should ensure that accurate and sufficient qualitative and quantitative information on adaptation, finance, policies and measures, and projections are submitted by Parties.
    • Transparency of Action: MPGs must include transparency of mitigation and adaptation and should be broad enough to account for different NDC types towards providing up-to-date and relevant information to the global stocktake.
    • Transparency of Support: Key concepts of modalities for accounting climate finance must be identified at COP 23, including further guidance on how to report on non-financial support. Support should be provided to developing countries that will enable them to comply with common standards of the transparency framework.
    • Flexibility in the Transparency Framework: CAN encourages Parties to recognize flexibility in different ways for countries that need it while at the same time encourages Parties to make MPGs that could be implemented by all Parties that will ensure maximum levels of detail, accuracy, and comparability.
  • Accounting for Agriculture Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU): CAN believes that it is essential that all Parties account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in all land use sectors in a comparable and transparent way using the methodologies provided in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and NDC-consistent base years measured using agreed methodologies.
  • Accounting for International Transfers: CAN believes that any transfer of international units should help enhance ambition of NDCs. This can be done by ensuring that the guidelines for Article 6 avoid double counting and are in line with the goals of transparency, enhanced ambition, environmental integrity, human rights, and sustainable development.
  • Accounting for International Shipping and Aviation: Parties should urgently take action through national, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures to reduce transport emissions and ensure that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) give adequate account of measures and efforts in the FD2018. Parties should also include information on bunker fuel burn and relevant transport work in their NDCs and ensure that the use of any mitigation outcomes guarantees environmental integrity and is not double counted.

 

Robustness of the Paris Agreement Now and Over Time:

  • Long-Term Strategies and Action Agenda: To encourage increased ambition and early adoption of low-carbon pathways, all countries should come forward with long-term strategies as soon as possible, following a fully participatory planning process with G20 countries leading the way and submitting well before 2020. Strategies should include countries’ planned peak years, the year they expect to achieve a balance of sources and sinks, and details of conditions or support needed. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.
  • Civil Society Participation: Fijian “talanoa” spirit should serve the Parties with a longer-term framework for fruitful and balanced deliberations. In particular, active civil society participation should be guaranteed during the FD2018 process, the development of guidelines for the global stocktake, the transparency framework, deliberations on Article 6 and in the development and implementation of long-term strategies.
  • Gender Action Plan and Indigenous People’s Platform: This year the Gender Action Plan should be adopted and the Local Communities and Indigenous People’s Platform should be made operational to ensure that those that may be victims of climate change are being empowered
Organization: 

Seize the Date: 2018

Parties came to Marrakech pledging to turn the Paris Agreement into action. But some countries don’t seem to see the need for a COP decision at all, let alone a decision that enables Parties to start discussing how to make the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 a successful part of a momentous year to increase overall ambition.

ECO wants a clear decision from COP22 that recognises the importance of a robust, inclusive, and transparent Facilitative Dialogue that takes advantage of the benefits of ambitious climate action, and achieves the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Parties should welcome the ability to design a Dialogue that represents an opportunity to take stock of progress already made, identify concrete steps to accelerate implementation, take account of the latest science (e.g. the IPCC report on 1.5°C), acknowledge front runners, and identify further opportunities for cooperation, in a facilitative manner. Waiting until 2023 for the Global Stocktake will be far too long to seize all of the opportunities already at hand.

Here are some lessons learned from past review exercises: agree a process for an effective and impactful Facilitative Dialogue, welcome Parties and non-Party stakeholders to share their views on what would lead to success and how to get there, start with an informal workshop in Bonn in May, and help Parties think through the options and opportunities for an effective process.

ECO encourages Parties to give the current and next presidencies the responsibility to advance the organisation of the Facilitative Dialogue, to use all the means and resources necessary for an effective design, and have them to report back at COP23 on the inputs generated throughout 2017. There’s no time to lose—we need to accelerate actions and scale up support now. The 2018 Facilitative Dialogue is an opportunity not to be missed.

Don’t Leave for Tomorrow What you can do Today

Popular wisdom suggests that you never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because that increases the chances that you will get it wrong, miss deadlines, or both! Climate  ambition is not an exception to that rule especially when missing the deadline could mean losing lives, ecosystems and countries.

Paris Decision clearly states that NDCs do not set us on a well below 2ºC path (not to mention 1.5ºC). Therefore all countries must review and raise the level of ambition if we wish to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

So far ECO has not seen much enthusiasm for this from any country…except one! Argentina was the very first country to state that a review process for its 2015NDC will start right away after Paris… And it did!

ECO wishes that Argentina’s example will inspire other Parties,to do the same. That’s the only way to be ready for the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018, a decisive moment if we want to achieve the 1.5ºC goal set in the Paris Agreement.

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Timing Scientific Reporting to Increase Ambition 

The period through 2020 is critical to increase ambition. The 2018 Facilitative Dialogue will play a key role. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C (expected September 2018) will provide important input. Before Paris, the scientific input of the First Periodical Review (FPR) and its Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) was critical.

The FPR concluded that the 2°C limit as a line of defence should be pushed lower. Additionally, the world is not on track to achieve this goal. In other words: meaningful mitigation measures must urgently be scaled up. In Paris, Parties used this input and took the important decision to strengthen the global goal to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C compared to preindustrial levels.

Periodic reviews and expert dialogues need to be repeated regularly under the Paris Agreement. We need to start with the Second Periodical Review (SPR) and its dialogue in 2017, or in May 2018 at the latest. A further session should be organised in October 2018 to summarise the content of IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C to inform the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018. Key questions here will be: What path do current NDCs put us on; and how far is that from achieving the Paris goals?

The SPR has to examine the adequacy of the long-term goal of the Convention and how far we are from achieving it. This should be in sync with the  IPCC process for AR6. The SPR should finish its work in 2022 or 2023 so that it can inform the Global Stocktake in 2023 with the latest science.

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Unfinished Business

ECO readers know that to keep warming to well below 1.5°C, we need to increase ambition before 2020. The good news is that there are countless opportunities for reducing emissions more quickly. Developed countries in particular have responsibility for increasing their ambition and providing the necessary support so these opportunities can be realised.

Marrakech needs to deliver an ambitious outcome on pre-2020 action—both on mitigation and means of implementation. The package should include progress on finance (particularly the roadmap to US$100 billion and outcomes from the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Long-Term Finance), strengthening of capacity building, a new framework for Global Climate Action, and meaningful outcomes from the Facilitative Dialogue on ambition and support (which should be reflected in a COP22 decision). ECO would like to remind delegates that the Facilitative Dialogue is not about congratulating yourselves on existing activities. The technical part should focus on identifying concrete ways to do more, individually and in collaboration, so that Ministers can agree on and announce new actions to close the pre-2020 gap next week.

Here are a few ideas ECO would like to suggest:

– Parties who have not yet ratified the Doha Amendments should; can you believe we still have to say this.

– Take a good look at the outcomes of the Technical Examination Process, and announce which opportunities for increased ambition Parties are willing to put into practice.

– Form partnerships between developed and developing parties to enable more ambitious action in developing countries, for example with funding for NAMAs.

– Commend Parties on track to surpassing their 2020 targets and encouraging them to take this into account as they revise their targets for the next round.

– Seize opportunities presented by the agreements reached at ICAO and in Kigali under the Montreal Protocol; and voluntarily agreeing to begin implementation earlier.

– Request a report on the opportunities for more ambitious targets under the Action Agenda, for consideration at the next Facilitative Dialogue in 2018.

Parties, you have been examining options and discussing possibilities for enhanced short-term ambition for years. Now is the time to act!

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Key to the Success of First Global Stocktake

Given the current lack of collective ambition, the Global Stocktake is a crucial tool to make a serious assessment of the Parties’ progress on meeting the objectives they all signed up to in Paris, and identify what still needs to be done. The Global Stocktake must gather momentum by ensuring broad ownership over its process and its conclusion.

ECO has identified one crucial feature of the stocktake: it must recognise not only information provided by Parties (through their reporting) and intergovernmental organisations such as the IPCC, but also information from other agencies and non-state actors, including research institutions and civil society. This inclusivity will build momentum by encouraging these institutions to close the knowledge gaps that currently exist in important stocktake areas, thus ensuring that the science that the Global Stocktake considers is really the best available.

Why would anyone want to exclude any useful information from this crucial process already so long before the first Stocktake in 2023? ECO has a hard time understanding why Parties would want to limit this scope, especially since they are deciding the modalities of a long-lasting regime.

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Equity After Paris

This is an unjust world, but the climate transition cannot not be. If we’re to have a real chance at the Paris temperature targets, we must avoid narrow nationalism and commit to equity. Yet, even after the Paris breakthrough, equity is treated as an irritant or a danger by even by some of our high level champions. several of whom are prone to railing against “burden sharing” and even “carbon budgets.”

ECO begs to differ, noting the Paris Agreement established a Global Stocktake process that is explicitly to be conducted “in the light of equity.” It would not be wise to conduct a first major assessment in 2018 (code name “facilitated dialogue”) of our various climate actions without considering equity.

Do we imagine that poor countries are going to develop strategies for decarbonisation—which have to be visionary and ambitious by their very nature—without substantial and predictable channels of support? And what about the need to face together the immense suffering and destruction that we hide with dry UNFCCC jargon? We need to start talking, with all due seriousness, of the equity challenges on this front.

This must be a just transition, or it won’t happen at all.

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