As Wednesday’s stocktaking made clear, all Parties agree we need to do quite a bit of work to get the ambitious, equitable and comprehensive climate deal the world needs. As one French group (no, not the incoming Presidency) puts it; we need to work harder, better, faster, stronger.
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Being clear helps better direct policy and allocate resources appropriately. So ECO also wants to be clear. Paris needs to improve transparency and accountability on many different fronts: mitigation and adaptation actions and means of implementation. And to be even clearer, it does not mean additional burden. And importantly, improved transparency and accountability will build trust.
Delegates, are you also hoping that soon you’ll be able to come to Bonn in super-efficient aircraft, helping to solve the problem of emissions from international aviation? ECO is guessing that the answer is a resounding: “Yes!”
All week, the expression “enabling environments” kept coming back into use during the finance sessions. Several Parties raised questions about what it actually means. ECO has a few worries of its own. Since this week has been about gathering feedback and building convergence, a bit more clarity on this term needs to be enabled.
Does anyone really question whether land is central to what we’re all trying to do here in the UNFCCC? No, didn’t think so. Not only is the land sector critical to our mitigation efforts, but one of the key reasons we so urgently need to stop climate change is to still be able to use it to grow food and, um, eat, in a few decades’ time.
FYI: ECO is highly principled, and believes that a key role of the Paris agreement will be to enshrine durable principles. Specifically for carbon markets, the following principles should be inscribed:
Real: unless the emissions reductions have actually occurred, and are not an accountancy trick, what’s the point of a market?
Rumours are circulating that certain Parties have been shopping a less-than-precise interpretation of EU positions in Bonn. Apparently, one of the main messages has been that the EU’s proposal for 10-year commitment periods has developed into quite an obsession, with little chance of recovery. ECO begs to differ.
With all the puffery at these talks, you’d think a little more hot air might not be noticed. The problem is, it’s not just a little bit of hot air, the result is sweltering.
The lack of integrity of the market mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, combined with weak targets, have created an 11 gigatonne CO2e hot air loophole. That’s right, 11 big ones — clearing up that loophole would go a long way to closing the gigatonne gap. One important way would be to agree the KP hot air credits must be ineligible for compliance in the Paris agreement.
When working at a microscopic level, we know there is a danger of delegates losing perspective. In June, the presentation of the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) results saw intensive exchanges on new science, the impacts of climate change and how to keep warming at 1.5/2°C. But the end saw Saudi Arabia and others sideline an agreement to inform the ADP on their work and conclusions.