Captain Planet, He’s Our Hero, Gonna Close the Gap Down To Zero…

9 June 2015

Hey Planeteers—our world is in peril! We are facing a terrible emissions gap that ECO has pointed out for years. Without significant emission cuts and increased finance in the next 5 years, keeping warming below 2ºC will be a dream, let alone below 1.5ºC. Our beloved planet will be exposed to devastating climate impacts. But there is room for hope: 5 country blocs have come up with proposals that can close this gap.

The EU and the Umbrella Group brought the powerful elements of fire and air to the negotiations, by expressing “grave concern” about the pre-2020 gap and the need to enhance pre-2020 mitigation ambition.

The EIG brought the element of earth to build a solid foundation through “triggering the preparation of project proposals to replicate successful projects presented in TEMs for interested parties”and “establish a more direct communication channel with the entities of the financial mechanism”.

AOSIS reinforced the earth element and proposed to establish an Action Platform as a COP agenda item. This offers a potentially rock-solid future home for this process, particularly if it is rooted in the Paris agreement.

The G77 (and when ECO went to press, this was only by plenary statement, not submission) offered water to break the dam that will unleash the flood of finance needed for more action. Their proposed canal system even offers ways to ferry the promised $100bn by 2020 forward.

But these elements are not in unison. Fire, air, earth and water are all divided along the traditional fault lines. The G77 douses the fire by only emphasising the need for developed country Parties to revisit, revise and honour their pre-2020 mitigation and finance pledges. Developed country Parties evaporate the waters of hope by focusing only on advancing the technical examination process (TEP).

Captain Planet and ECO know that heart and trust make up the power that must bring these elements together. The planet can be saved if:

Developed countries light the way with fire by honouring their existing pledges and ,go beyond these by removing conditionalities and increasing targets.

A solid foundation of earth is built into the TEP to make it a truly fertile ground for scalable and replicable international cooperative initiatives, and if this ground remains fertile in a post-2020 world.

The floods of finance can flow freely and bring life to projects in developing countries that are planted in the TEP process.

A strong wind of change, coming from a clear mandate for a high level process, blows and launches ambitious and additional new initiatives.

So come on, Parties, and combine your powers!

Captain Planet, He’s Our Hero, Gonna Close the Gap Down To Zero…

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