It’s on everybody’s lips and on everybody’s mind: COP22 is going to be the Action COP. The Moroccan presidency will need to do their utmost to start closing the ambition gap with concrete action on mitigation, adaptation and support. ECO invites Parties to join the incoming presidency in its efforts to build on the spirit of Paris.
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ECO is somewhat concerned that after this week in Bonn, and following on the excitement of 177 countries signing the Paris Agreement last month in New York, delegates are being lulled into a false bonhomie. Much still needs to be done to ensure the Paris Agreement’s timely entry into force and to complete work on the various mechanisms, NDC guidelines, accounting rules, enhanced transparency framework and other key aspects of the Agreement. These issues should be given the careful consideration they need to get it right.
Between now and Marrakech, developed delegates should start reflecting how much adaptation matters to the continent that is going to host COP22. Africa (along with many other countries, to be sure) is already bearing the brunt of climate change: crops are failing, water is diminishing, and lives and livelihoods are under threat from climate change. These mounting impacts are underscoring the frightening lack of adaptive capacity in many developing countries and communities, and the need for donor countries to ramp up financial assistance to enhance adaptation and resilience.
The goal of strengthening transparency systems is not a new one; it’s been on the table since COP16 in Cancun, and work has been ongoing since then. The enhanced transparency framework is at the heart of delivering the Paris Agreement and achieving the level of ambition consistent with keeping warming to less than 1.5°C. Transparency is equally applicable to both action and support, and enhanced reporting of climate finance should be seen as an opportunity to win more ambition on finance, by clarifying what exactly is counted.
As you prepare to leave the city on the Rhine, here is some food for thought. Here is your charge for Marrakesh: fully integrate the rights package in the preamble to the Paris Agreement (human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, just transition of the workforce, gender equality, food security, ecosystem integrity and intergenerational equity) into all climate actions at international and national levels.
Assignment: Submit clear views on the objectives, scope and modalities of the 2018 facilitative dialogue. Due: Before Marrakech.
A key outcome from Paris was Parties’ acknowledgement that current ambition levels are inadequate. The 2018 facilitative dialogue, mandated from COP21, presents a clear opportunity for countries to ramp up means of implementation, increase ambition within their proposed INDCs, and enhance the commitments already undertaken by Parties under the KP and the Cancun agreements.
In the two decades that ECO has been calling for action on shipping and aviation emissions, the period between now and Marrakech might be the best opportunity ever for some good news on both fronts.
It has come to the attention of ECO that, during the SBI contact group on Arrangements for Intergovernmental Meetings yesterday, many Parties and their lawyers were unclear about the definition of a fairly basic legal concept: “conflict of interest”. ECO knows that many negotiators (and certainly their legal experts) are lawyers. Imagine our surprise when several delegations feigned ignorance of the concept. As a public service to them (and all of us), here are the legal basics:
The 2015 G7 saw Angela Merkel use it as an opportunity to emphasise the need for climate action, and as a way to keep G7 leaders engaged in the run up to Paris.
Now it is time for Japan to take the lead and galvanise the other G7 countries. However, it seems that they don’t have the same fervour as the previous hosts. The Japanese seem to have been fairly lacklustre in their attempts to make climate change a core component of the agenda. But never fear, ECO is here with some helpful suggestions about how our dear leaders can help the Japanese deliver.
Japan started on the right path when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. It has since gone downhill. Paris delivered on the main negotiating demand that Japan proposed: action from all Parties and a framework for transparency and accountability. Ahead of the Japan G7, ECO believes Japan needs to do more.
1) Japan has all the national ingredients to advance a prosperous and thriving zero-carbon economy. Along with the US and Germany, Japan is one of the leaders in innovation of energy technologies, including wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power.