Some memos for you all today…

11 March 2014

To all countries:

In Warsaw, Parties agreed to kick-start their domestic preparations to develop post-2020 commitments. While a few brave countries will present on their progress, ECO has a few key questions for all countries:

1) Has your government started a process to prepare and submit ambitious targets by Lima and, at the very latest, by March 2015? Will your government meet that deadline? If not, then what needs to be done? Are you doing it? If not, start now!

2) What scientific reference was used to set your targets? Is it the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report? Will you aim to stay below 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius? What likelihood are you using in your assessment of what is required according to the science? Is it 90% certainty to be on the safe side, or is 50/50 adequate? What indicators will you use when sharing the effort between countries?

3) What about finance for adaptation and mitigation, technology transfer, capacity building, and loss and damage? Do you have a process for increasing the level of action, finance, and support for technology transfer?

4) Are you planning to provide transparency on what your target will consist of? Will this information allow for it to be quantified and compared, as well as assessed against adequacy, and equity indicators?

Just to be clear, ECO doesn’t consider mitigation to be the only element of intended nationally determined contributions. The level of finance, technology, capacity and adaptation support required must be included in developed countries contributions too.

To make this a bit simpler: for developed countries, the process is rather straightforward, as there can be no backtracking from Kyoto-style commitments. There is also the need to provide detailed information on quantified economy-wide emission reduction commitments, in addition to international support to provide finance, technology and capacity building for developing country actions. all countries must justify how their proposed commitments align with adequacy and equity principles. 

All countries must agree on the ongoing process of review and on ratcheting up the process to scale up their contributions. 

To presenters on domestic preparations:

Today some brave countries will report on how their domestic preparations for post-2020 commitments are going. This is also known as “please update us all on how your Warsaw ‘homework’ is going”. ECO would like to outline what it expects to hear for a few of these countries. 

European Union: You get bonus points for starting your post-2020 target process early, but you are sorely lacking in ambition. Reducing emissions 40% below 1990 by 2030 domestically will simply not get us on track to a 1.5 or 2 degree Celsius world; at least a 55% below 1990 levels by 2030 domestic target is necessary. ECO is also wondering about your finance contribution – details on that also seem to be lacking… 

China: ECO has been so pleased to hear province after province announce a cap on coal (since last September). To prevent Chinese air quality from getting even worse, there is no other option than to peak and decline coal consumption as early as possible. We’re looking forward to hearing about your domestic preparations to ensure that all those actions being implemented today can snowball into an ambitious post-2020 commitment, and how you can get international recognition for all the work you’ve been doing.

United States: The US has been excellent at telling others about the types of information that should be in post-2020 commitments (they even had a proposal on this pre-Warsaw). They’re rather far from leading when it comes to their own efforts to cut emissions. ECO is keen to hear how the US proposes to develop a target that matters for the climate, because the current 17% below 2005 levels target, well, that’s just [removed by ECO to respect diplomatic comity]. In coming up with this target and communicating it to the UNFCCC, ECO would like to remind the USA that there can be no backtracking from economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets using a common base year, accounting rules, and short multi-year commitment periods for developed countries. Perhaps ECO missed that in the US’s submissions and would be pleased to hear the US reaffirm that that will be the nature of its target today. 

South Korea & Mexico: Being part of a group with ‘environmental integrity’ in its name, ECO looks forward to hearing about how your domestic preparations will produce post-2020 commitments that are both fair and adequate. 

Saudi Arabia & the United Arab Emirates: Doha was a missed opportunity to proposed concrete NAMAs, especially given all the renewable energy work happening domestically. ECO hopes to hear that preparations for post-2020 commitments, including financial contributions to support climate action are getting better.

Nepal on behalf of LDCs: ECO is excited to hear about LDC preparations for designing low-carbon development and climate resilience strategies. There is so much potential here – let’s ensure that there is the climate finance available to make it happen! 

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