1.5°C to Stay Alive: the Paris Call for Action
18 May 2016
ECO would like to express its solidarity with the tens of millions of people around the world presently suffering from a super strong El Niño, on top of record breaking temperatures. These circumstances paint a bleak future for many, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalised peoples. Let us not forget, they are the least responsible for climate change.
A recent report highlights how, even at the current level of temperature increases, heat stress undermines well-being, the productivity of labour and sustaining health. And further, a growing number of nations are reaching the limits of what adaptation can do. In light of this, the reference to a 1.5°C limit, made by many Parties in their opening statements, sends a positive signal. It is also consistent with the decision made in Paris to bid farewell to the 2°C limit. The 1.5°C provision in the Paris Agreement helps the world better understand what the “well below 2 degrees” means.
Here in Bonn, governments have several opportunities to respond:
- Make the ambition, action and support required for a 1.5°C pathway key parameters of both the 2018 preliminary -stocktake and the fullstocktake in 2023.
- Start reviewing financial flows and scale them for a 1.5°C perspective, including phasing out subsidies for harmful fossil fuels.
- Accelerate pre-2020 action on mitigation in light of the COP 22 facilitative dialogue, adaptation TEMs, and the 100bn roadmap,
- Kick off the next periodic review and use the SBSTA research dialogue to improve understanding of the necessary actions.
It’s time that all Parties immediately shift away from emission intensive practices and come back with enhanced NDCs by 2018, or 2020 at the latest for countries with less capacity.
A 1.5°C world is possible thanks to global trends such as the falling cost of renewable energies. The affordability of these technologies will only increase if aided by further political commitment to a 100% renewable world. The necessary changes are not constrained by technology but by political will. Last week’s global actions to “break free” from fossil fuels demonstrate that a growing number of citizens aspire to a post-fossil and climate resilient world. It’s now time for governments to live up to the ambition they committed to in Paris.