Draft Text still a mixed bag in critical final hours of negotiations

Katowice, 14 December 2018: As a new draft of the negotiating text emerged in the final hours of the UN Climate Talks currently underway in the southern Polish city of Katowice, civil society expressed concern that key elements still need to be strengthened considerably to deliver a strong outcome from COP24.

“Countries need to show that they have understood the 1.5 IPCC Report. The COP must embrace the IPCC findings and decide on a way forward by which to translate the signs to climate action,” said Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International.

This is imperative to fill the gap between the current level of ambition as reflected in countries’ NDCs and the targets in the Paris Agreement. Countries also need to develop domestic processes for enhancing their NDCs. Calling on the EU as a member of the High Ambition Coalition, in particular, she said that the EU must advocate for greater collective ambition from its member countries by 2020. “Have you heard the call from the Climate Vulnerable Countries? … The talks on ambition cannot just be waffle. It has to be clear.” said Morgan.

Turning to the Rulebook, Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute, said that although civil society is seeking compatibility with the 1.5 report, there has been mixed progress on reaching this goal. Whilst the inclusion of NDC compliance mechanisms in the current text can contribute to assessing the levels of commitment coming forth as new NDCs are announced, much more comprehensive work is required. To date the Global Stocktake has also failed to account for Loss & Damage, which is a crucial element of the Rulebook for the developing world.

Calling for a more comprehensive Rulebook and particularly strong language on transparency that prevents countries from hiding their inaction, Dagnet warned that “Failure to get a Rulebook that preserves environmental integrity would ultimately undermine ambition, would undermine human rights, would undermine the effectiveness of the regime, and would prevent us from reaching our goal.”

Speaking on the issue of Loss & Damage, Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, stressed that vulnerable nations need to be accounted for as many millions of people face loss and damage from climate change impacts on a daily basis. Although significant efforts by countries on adaptation is observed, the developing world is dependent on the inclusion of Loss & Damage in both the Rulebook and the Global Stocktake in order to ensure that assistance from wealthy and high emitting nations are provided. Although Loss & Damage has been included in the Transparency Framework, it is only mentioned as a footnote in the Global Stocktake, while being omitted entirely from the current text on Finance.

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Advisor, Climate Action Network, France, said that the recent commitments made by countries to the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund have been overshadowed by discussions on how finance will be implemented in the Paris Rulebook. The current iteration of the text includes more robust language on predictability; however, it falls short when addressing transparency. Lacking transparent reporting on finance would undermine the greater progress we’ve seen achieved on predictability. Furthermore, the text has failed to properly deliver on goals for post 2025 finance, which are intended to reassure the developing world of long-term support.

Dufour urged progressive nations to push for a Rulebook and Ambition Outcome that takes into account the needs of the LDCs and develops a realistic pathway towards 1.5C.

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org . For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Coordinator, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830