The 2020 deadline for the entry into force of legally binding commitments for all Parties is too late to meet the 2°C target unless pre-2020 ambition can be urgently and equitably increased. To do so, developed countries must step up in the KP and LCA, while the ADP can also help raise ambition in mitigation and the means of implementation.
In this spirit, ECO would like to remind Parties of the numerous benefits of shorter (5 year) commitment periods in the KP. They:
–Enable targets to be based on the best available science and updated frequently
–Reduce concerns about locking in low levels of ambition (and ECO has many of those!! Do I hear 30% anyone??)
–Maintain links with the political accountability cycle, which is typically 4 to 6 years (longer commitment periods make meeting targets someone else’s problem)
–Encourage early action (whereas it is easier to put off action with longer periods – just think: when did you do your homework as a child?)
It is also completely unacceptable for the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, and any other developed country that reneges on its Convention commitments to take the lead, to remain outside of a legal agreement for the rest of the decade.
Amendments, such as the ability to ratchet-up targets within a commitment period, should be included in the Kyoto amendments, independent of commitment period length. Further amendments could also be made to assuage any concerns about adopting a 5 year CP as well.
Finally, ECO is concerned that 8 years would establish a bad precedent, leading to even longer commitment periods in the future (i.e. 2030) and longer IPCC assessment cycles (i.e. 8-10 years) currently being pushed by some Parties. In other words, 8 years is the “gateway drug” to poor regime architecture long term.
Ours is an ask of all governments – to do more, faster, to save the planet. The EU and the few other committed developed countries should start by adopting a 5 year commitment period for the Doha amendment. To quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy – Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends. And we all know how that story ends.