The Petersberg Dialogue on 17th -19th June, the Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA) on 20-21st June, jointly hosted by Canada, China and the EU, and the Ministerial meeting between France and Germany on 19th June, provide important opportunities for Ministers to deepen their understanding on how to craft a COP 24 outcome which best supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and to send positive signals to unlock progress in the run-up to the Bangkok session.
While negotiators worked steadily in Bonn on technical negotiations, unlocking progress to the level needed to achieve COP 24 outcomes will require higher political engagement on issues such as differentiation and flexibility, as well as good faith signals on means of implementation (such as finance and capacity building), to strengthen trust between Parties and provide reassurance that previous commitments will be met. Greater clarity on the expectations around the outcome from the Talanoa Dialogue, which CAN expects to culminate in a political process to raise Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by 2020, will also be useful for Ministers to discuss.
In this Briefing, Climate Action Network outlines its expectations for the upcoming Ministerial Dialogues with the view to providing guidance to Ministers.
Overarching expectation for COP 24
The central outcomes from COP 24 need to include the adoption of a robust and balanced set of implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement, capable of facilitating greater ambition and delivering on adaptation, loss and damage and support, as well as strong political signals from Parties to initiate national processes for reviewing and enhancing their NDCs by 2020.
Real money to support real action
At COP 24, concrete steps to strengthen the trust and confidence in the Paris Agreement regime and accelerate its implementation will be required, for which finance is a key element.
Ministers should use the Ministerial meetings to take the climate finance discussions forward. This should include identifying benchmarks for a successful finance outcome in Katowice, exchanging views on how to deliver loss and damage finance for the vulnerable, and discussing the timing to start finance discussions on Post-2025 finance, considering new donor countries.
Signals to demonstrate progress on real finance will also be crucial for achieving positive outcomes at COP 24. The upcoming replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), through, for example, the doubling of current commitments, as well as ensuring predictability and robust accounting rules, are some of the steps that can be taken by wealthy countries to maintain trust between Parties in the Paris Agreement regime. Current donor countries and those in a position to do so can also identify moments ahead of COP24 to send the right signals to strengthen the trust and confidence in the Paris Agreement. Demonstrate how finance will be scaled up to meet the $100bn goal by 2020 through information provided in ‘strategies and approaches’ and elsewhere will be key.
Particularly countries like Australia, Canada, Norway and New Zealand as well as countries who already contribute largely to the GCF like Germany, Japan, France and the UK need to come together to discuss on how to mitigate the US fallout.
Another precondition to ensure the Paris Agreement can deliver on its objectives is for the overall framework to be robust, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity, avoiding double counting and loopholes. Monitoring, reporting, and review should cover all Parties whilst recognizing different national circumstances. The framework should provide flexibility. Such flexibility should not be used as an excuse to keep the status quo but rather to enable participation, balanced by the overarching goal to enable progression and facilitate improvement over time. In-depth Ministerial discussion of the details may not be necessary, but Ministers should send the right signals to ensure sufficient progress at the additional UNFCCC session in Bangkok, including through a draft text to be produced by the Co-chairs in advance of the session.
At COP24 Ministers will reflect collectively on the progress and shortcomings on Pre-2020 action. Ministers could use their diplomatic channels at the side-lines of the Petersberg Dialogue and MoCA to encourage ratification of the Doha amendment as a matter of urgency, in order to send a positive signal at the opening of the Pre-2020 stocktake. 32 countries are left to ratify to ensure entry into force. It would also be pertinent to start reflecting on actions that can be taken to address shortcomings from the Pre-2020 phase to strengthen the Paris Agreement while honouring current commitments. The commitment to mobilize US$100 billion climate finance per year by 2020 needs to be part of this discussion.
NDCs for 1.5°C
At SB48 Parties engaged constructively in the Talanoa Dialogue to exchange views on “where are we, where do we want to be, and how do we get there?” with regards to meeting the Paris goal to not exceed 2°C and pursue efforts to stay below 1.5°C. During the Dialogue many parties and non-state actors highlighted the need for greater ambition of countries’ NDCs to close the temperature gap. Key inputs included recognition of the synergies between expediting implementation and meeting urgent development goals, and the need to unlock additional potential embedded in the conditional components of NDCs.
At the Petersberg Dialogue and MoCA, Ministers are well positioned to start discussing a political outcome from this exercise to enhance NDCs through national processes by 2020, as well as to agree on 5-year common timeframes to harmonize updating of contributions going forward. To maintain the momentum, it would be opportune for the COP 23 and COP 24 Presidencies to organize a Talanoa Dialogue session in Bangkok to explore how the input from the first preparatory phase will feature in the Ministerial conversations at COP 24.
Transitioning to a future that is compatible with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement will require economy-wide transformational change. Decision-makers must ensure they are fully informed on the options to guide the transition, taking a long-term view to create the appropriate policies for a just transition. Growth in green industries outpaces nearly all others, providing jobs and benefits to communities, yet a false narrative of “jobs-versus-environment” is employed by incumbent high-polluting industries to protect their economic self-interest. At the Petersberg Dialogue and MoCA, Ministers must recognise that harnessing the opportunities from the transition, and managing the risks to certain communities, will require a carefully planned process, including developing national long-term decarbonization and sustainable development strategies. This process should involve stakeholders and consider the different policy options and to harness the socio-economic benefits of a just transition to net-zero GHG-emission and climate-resilient economies.