The Warsaw city bikes are a good choice to explore this place which we call home for the next two weeks. The main task of ADP workstream 1 is to chart the course of work needed to deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement no later than COP 21 in Paris. So we should not spin our wheels in the same old direction with the same old interventions.
Here are some of the key points for the ADP WS1 outputs that will set the right course:
* The deadline for tabling commitments: 2014
The Paris Protocol must signal the beginning of the end of fossil fuel use, with commitments inscribed that put the world on an emissions reduction pathway consistent with 1.5/2°C. To ensure this happens, Parties cannot wait until they show up in the City of Light to make their commitments but rather must table them much sooner so that a review for adequacy and equity can be done. This means Parties must begin working on their proposed commitments right away so they can be tabled in 2014. And the 2014 deadline applies equally to mitigation and financial commitments.
These should not be viewed as ‘initial offers’ in some negotiating game, but real commitments that will add up to an ambitious deal from the beginning. The timeline for tabling in 2014, inscribing in 2015 and the adequacy/equity review are just the safety nets to ensure that goal is reached and there is enough time for ambition to be raised if need be.
* A basket of indicators to guide commitments and the Equity Review
In Warsaw, Parties must agree common equity indicators to guide the development of their commitments, including: Adequacy, Responsibility, Capacity, Development Need and Adaptation Need. Key milestones for the review also must be agreed and the review must be concluded early enough in 2015 that Parties have time to revise commitments.
* Information required for commitments
Sufficient information about the proposed commitments should be provided to enable the review ex ante for adequacy and equity. Such information should include the gases and sectors covered and the GWPs used. Information is also necessary for the land-use sector and carbon markets, and work needs to begin next year on a common accounting framework for them.
Further specific information may be required depending on commitment type. For developed countries this should be straightforward as commitments must remain in the form of absolute, economy-wide, multi-year, emission reduction targets. The 2015 agreement should retain the 5-year commitment period length in order to ensure responsiveness to the latest science.
* The contours of the Paris Protocol
In order to be able to deliver a draft negotiating text by COP20, Parties will need to decide on key elements and the work plan here in Warsaw.
The AR5 WG 1 report makes clear that all countries need to take deep emission reductions if we are serious about not breaching the 1.5/2°C threshold. It is also clear that the efforts for emission reductions by all countries will be different in this regard for arriving at fair and equitable emission-reduction efforts. Working backwards from December 2015, Parties need to agree here in Warsaw when to table, what to table, and how to review.