On Equity: Part 2

30 April 2013

The following are excerpts from a particularly incisive intervention in the ADP workshop yesterday afternoon. In case you missed it, ECO suggests you take a look. And if you didn't miss it, ECO suggests you take a look anyway, since it's a subject Parties need to work much more on:

“What is needed is a process that would allow for a proper equity review of the pledges, to be conducted in parallel with the equally-critical science review.  To that end, the Parties should launch an open, expert process to develop an equity reference framework that is suitable to the evaluation of national pledges.  This framework would have to be designed to maximize both ambition and participation.  Parties, when making pledges, would be guided by the knowledge that these would be evaluated within both the science and equity reviews.
How to think about such an equity review?  The first point is that the demands of equity have already been agreed.  This is true at the level of the Convention’s keystone text on CBDR & RC, and it’s true of the four fundamental equity principles – ambition, responsibility, capacity, and development need – that underlie the principle of CBDR & RC and, of course, our shared vision of 'equitable access to sustainable development' as well.
None of this is going to change.  Nor should it.  Climate, after all, is a global commons problem.  The cooperation needed to solve it can only exist if the regime – as it actually unfolds in actions on the ground – is widely seen as being not only 'fair enough,' but an actual positive driver of developmental justice around the world.
What is needed is dynamic equity spectrum approach.  This is our key point.  And here I must note that a dynamic equity spectrum approach would be entirely consistent with the principles of the Convention, and in particular with the principle of CBDR & RC.
One final point.  We do not have to agree to 'a formula' to have a way forward.  Reasonable men and women can disagree about the indicators appropriate to, say, capacity.  And if we approach the problem in good faith, we may yet find that all plausible, dynamic approaches to CBDR & RC yield approximately the same, or at least strongly overlapping results.  Which might just be good enough, at least in the short term.
To sum up, we need a solid science review, we all know it.  But we need an equity review as well, and on this front it will take some time to work out the details.  But we already know the key thing – will not succeed without a deal that’s at least, as the Australians say, 'fair enough.'  And the equity spectrum approach may just be the best way to get one.”

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