Reminder to self: things to keep in mind when setting a path toward a safer world

8 June 2015

We are entering the last week of negotiations for this session, and everyone has a lot on their plates. But on the mitigation front, assistance is at hand for you, dear delegates, to help you capture all the right elements. So grab a piece of paper, a napkin or open up the notes function on your phone and jot down your own simple checklist.

First, think Long Term. A Long Term Goal (LTG) must be in the text of the Paris agreement. While many options remain in the text, the main thing for Parties to remember is that a LTG must be consistent with 1.5°C to put us on the pathway towards a safer world. And it must have a clear objective, let’s say: “phase out fossil fuel emissions and phase in 100% renewable energy by 2050.” This would put us on track to minimise risks and allow climate resilience while ensuring a sustainable future for all.

Second, remember the number 5. A LTG is essential, but there’s a value to having renewed commitments every 5 years. That way, Parties can compare their planned actions on a common temporal scale, while preventing the dreaded lockin of low ambition and cooperation. Advice from life: people and relationships (and markets!) change over time. So it makes sense to have a renewal of commitments that equitably reflect the reality of changing markets and national circumstances.

Numéro Trois, close the gap: Pre-2020 mitigation action was the focus of two key technical events at this session. But now that those events are done, let’s move on to the political part. It’s exciting that things are happening quickly in WS2. A couple of proposals for elements of a COP decision on pre- 2020 mitigation action have been floating around. Parties can settle on both elements and process by Thursday. Doing so will lay the basis for an ambitious and actionable COP decision in Paris, and a process going beyond 2020, until the gap is closed.

But ECO is expecting more. The decision must in various ways show how the pre-2020 ambition gap will be closed, lest we start the post-2020 regime off on the wrong foot, staring into a deep cumulative gap.

Guidance to the Convention’s technical and financial bodies on prioritising work to close the gap is needed. This comes on top of outlining new and clearer mandates for the Technical Examination Process (TEP) and high level engagement, ensuring that cooperation on mitigation action in developed and developing countries can take off, be scaled up, and replicated.
And fear not: there are plenty more ideas at your disposal. So now that you have some notes, you will always be ready!

Reminder to self: things to keep in mind when setting a path toward a safer world

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