The dynamic, lovable beast we know as Workstream 2 is our best apparent opportunity to bend the emissions trajectory downward by 2020. It has also been a beacon of hope that Parties can work together to develop climate solutions. Also, some of these solutions, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, have massive co-benefits beyond emission reductions.
Over the past year, the scope of Workstream 2 has widened. It expanded beyond closing the pre-2020 emissions gap. Discussions now also include addressing the pre-2020 ambition gaps on adaptation and finance, and should include means of implementation. On the face of it, this is a good thing. There’s much immediate need for adaptation action, and an equally substantial need for support. Focus from Parties could help accelerate overall action in these areas.
Even so, some nights, especially after the Bonn intersessional, ECO has laid awake concerned that discussions on adaptation might be used by some to slow down overall progress on Workstream 2. Progress on both adaptation and closing the pre-2020 emissions gap are critical to the fate of the vulnerable. And, refreshingly, Workstream 2 largely has been a space where Parties have worked constructively, rather than played games. This should continue.
By avoiding duplication and properly placing the Adaptation Technical Examination Process within the decision text, Workstream 2 can provide an important contribution to adaptation in general, while also keeping our eyes on that looming emissions gap.