ECO’s Recipe For Success

19 October 2015

While France is renowned for its mouth watering cuisine, the negotiating text for COP 21 will need major changes to avoid leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

The co-chairs have brought from the kitchen an incomplete meal with bland elements of uncertain origin. Crucially, the entire non-paper lacks that key ingredient necessary to stay in the running for a Michelin star: ambition.

To start with, the ambition and durability of the international climate regime must be secured through a review and revision mechanism based on the principles of equity and CBDR, which should work to increase Parties’ ambition over time in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Clearly, the proposed “Global Stocktake” does not make that cut. CAN proposes the adoption of a Paris Ambition Mechanism (PAM) that would link and synchronize Parties’ mitigation, finance and adaptation commitments in 5-year cycles. The PAM should combine a scientific review of the adequacy and equity of Parties’ commitments with implementation support for countries that wish to act beyond their domestic capabilities. It should hold the first round of reviews well before 2020.

A good chef thinks through a meal, from the amuse-bouche to the digestif. Likewise, this deal must be thought through all the way to the long-term goal.

That’s why countries must commit to reach full global decarbonisation and a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and to develop national decarbonisation strategies based on accelerated deployment of efficiency and renewable technologies.

The adaptation section of the agreement should include a call for increased financial support for adaptation, and recognise that rising temperatures will require greater adaptation efforts and that adaptation needs will escalate with lower level of mitigation ambition.

On loss and damage, the Paris Agreement can’t merely note the problem; it must ensure that institutional arrangements under the Agreement will continuously strengthen support for loss and damage—in a separate section from adaptation.

The current draft does not ensure the predictability and adequacy of future financial support. At the last session, the G77 called for the Paris Agreement to establish collective targets for financial support set in periodic intervals. To ECO, this makes a lot of sense, especially if there are separate targets for adaptation and mitigation support from public sources, accompanied by real action to shift private and public investments.

Firm commitments by developed countries and others with comparable capacity and responsibility to contribute to meeting those targets should be inscribed into the agreement. ECO also suggests re-inserting language to support recipient countries in assessing their requirements for enhanced action, to facilitate such support.

The COP decisions on pre-2020 action must catalyse implementation on the ground by strengthening the TEPs, appointing high-level champions to further good mitigation opportunities, and matching them with the necessary finance, technology, and capacity building support. The text must also create processes to identify adaptation support and cooperation needs at different levels. Crucially, developed countries must demonstrate how they intend to scale up public finance in order to meet their commitment to mobilise US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Paris must put in place a means to avoid the double counting of credits used in international transfers, setting durable principles to ensure the quality of any credits used and their contribution to sustainable development.

Finally, a palatable Paris Package must ensure respect for human rights, responding to the needs of people and communities through strong public participation provisions.

Only when such a menu is prepared will ECO be able to truly say: bon appétit!

ECO’s Recipe For Success

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