CAN Submission: 2013 - 2015 Review, April 2013


The First Periodical Review process provides the opportunity to reinforce science-based knowledge into the highly political UNFCCC negotiations. It could contribute to the new deal in 2015. Some say that the review is probably the most important near-term opportunity to strengthen action to limit climate change. Thus, an effective review process could contribute to an ‘upward spiral of ambition’ on global emission reduction limiting global temperature rise below 1.5 degree C. This can only be achieved if the current pledge-and-review phase is overcome and the international community agrees on a new legally binding instrument applicable to all countries, including developed countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

As already outlined in section (a) application of principles of the Convention, the 2015 agreement should fully respect the principles of equity including common but differentiated responsibility and respective capability and equitable access to sustainable development. This will result in a range of national obligations, including mitigation actions. It is appropriate for countries at different levels of responsibility and capacity to take different kinds of mitigation action.

Countries with high capacity and responsibility are candidates for ambitious, legally-binding, economy-wide, quantified emissions reduction targets. Countries identified in Annex 1 of the Convention must agree in the 2015 agreement to legally-binding, economy-wide, quantified emissions reduction targets, the level of ambition of which should be informed by the science and the 2013-2015 Review and by equity. It is expected that this will be in excess of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. Other kinds of commitments include, but are not limited to, renewable energy and/or energy efficiency targets and sectoral targets. Countries with low capacity and responsibility would only be obliged to take nationally-appropriate mitigation actions explicitly contingent on financial and technical support. All commitments and actions should be amenable to measurement and reporting to ensure that global goals are being met.

The ADP is mandated on preparing the 2015 climate deal, which can be supported by an efficient first periodical review.

The Review starts in 2013 and should be concluded by 2015 with COP21 taking appropriate action according to the Review's findings. The foremost scientific source of information will be the IPCC with its Special Reports on extreme weather events (SREX) and renewable energies (SRREN) and in particular, its 5th Assessment Report (AR5) to be adopted in 2013/2014. Moreover, the national communications and the biannual reports of the countries will be taken into consideration.

The Review should take into account an assessment of the overall aggregated effect of the steps taken by Parties in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention and should consider strengthening the long-term global goal, referencing various matters presented by the science, including in relation to temperature rises of 1.5 °C.

As Parties need to commit to a solid process to identify and agree on a long term global goal and commit to inscribing it in the 2015 legally-binding outcome, it is necessary to turn this around and put global emissions on a pathway to keep warming well below 2°C, and to keep 1.5°C within reach, global emissions must peak by 2015. The long term global goal should be informed by the science and by the 2013-2015 Review. How the effort to achieve this long term global goal is allocated amongst parties, or groups of parties, should be informed by the discussions on equity. In order to inform the scale of individual party commitments, the global goal will need to be determined early in the process – by 2014 at the latest.

Whilst a 2050 goal is very important, it will be of greatest use with an indicative pathway, which can be used as a guide for future ambition, and can be used as a measure of whether we are on track to meet internationally agreed objectives.

In light of this, in the in-session workshop on the first periodical review during SB 38, available information should be considered. Paragraph 161 in 2/CP.17 mentions sources, as long as IPCC AR5 has not been adopted, the IPCC Special Reports SREX and SRREN (e.g. the scenarios with the highest Renewable Energy shares global primary energy supply reach approximately 43% in 2030 and 77% in 2050) contain important relevant information. CAN wants to mention, additionally,

-       to better understand which different short term action is needed either to limit warming below 1.5 degrees

-       to better understand the roles and characteristics of different sectors and technologies for mitigation:
e.g. that transport  - in line with decision 2/CP.17, par. 160 (c) and (d) especially international transport, as a major, general point must be included in FPR considerations - might will probably be one of the most difficult sectors and what implications this has for the dynamics to tackle it especially when structural change is part of the solution

-       to ensure cumulative global CO2 emissions until 2100 compatible with the long term goal and which share of proven fossil resources need to remain below the ground and what are the best instruments to guarantee that this will be respected

-       how the special warming effects from aviation emissions (from contrails and cirrus clouds) can be effectively mapped in climate scenarios until 2050 or even 2100 so that policy makers better understand this effect, draw conclusions on that and discuss on action necessary to minimise these effects.

COP decision 1/CP.18 states “Recalling that the first review should start in 2013 and be concluded in 2015, when the Conference of the Parties shall take appropriate action based on the review”.

The workshop should give signals if direct action as draft COP decision in 2015 should result from the 2013 – 2015 Review, or if the FPR primarily feeds ADP Workstream 2 to increase short-term ambition.