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.