The prospects for COP22 in Marrakech could have been muted after the historic Paris COP. The news that the Moroccan presidency will make pre-2020 climate action the focus of COP22 made us giddy with delight!
With the Global Climate Action Agenda now formally recognised under the Paris Agreement, it can be strengthened based on the lessons learned in the first year. It was with joy that we learned that the champions for pre-2020 climate action-Laurence Tubiana and Hakima El Haité-plan to start consultations on the way forward next month.
Anxiety hit when we started getting mixed messages about the Action Agenda’s future. Is it to be a platform where any and all actions are shown? Or a platform where the most impressive initiatives are to be given due credit?
ECO has some ideas that could help as guiding principles to select/exclude initiatives for the Global Climate Action Agenda. We are certain that strong criteria, combined with a clear, efficient governance structure, should be applied to cooperative initiatives which include non-state and subnational actors. Guiding principles could be based on:
1. Significance: It is important that the initiatives have significant adaptation or mitigation benefits.
2. Transformational: The Action Agenda and TEP should represent the gold standard of initiatives that contribute to the system changes required for a low- to zero-carbon economy.
3. Science-Based: Initiatives should be based on the best available science. They should offer concrete, measurable, and time-bound objectives to help facilitate tracking progress.
4. Transparent: Strong and transparent accountability mechanisms that ensure trust, legitimacy and credibility.
5. Just and Fair: Initiatives under the Action Agenda and TEP should represent equitable solutions that do not threaten human rights or result in adverse environmental impacts.
6. Additionality: Initiatives should enable the involved countries to deliver more emission reductions or support than they would have done otherwise.
We don’t have all the answers, but these guiding principles offer the basis for further discussion. The Global Climate Action Agenda and TEP must have the necessary integrity to ensure that they contribute to closing the ambition gap by 2020 in a manner that protects environmental integrity and human rights.