Don’t Let Bonn Lull You

26 May 2016

ECO is somewhat concerned that after this week in Bonn, and following on the excitement of 177 countries signing the Paris Agreement last month in New York, delegates are being lulled into a false bonhomie. Much still needs to be done to ensure the Paris Agreement’s timely entry into force and to complete work on the various mechanisms, NDC guidelines, accounting rules, enhanced transparency framework and other key aspects of the Agreement. These issues should be given the careful consideration they need to get it right.

Only 17 states, so far, have deposited their instruments of ratification, and their emissions represent just 0.05% of total emissions. ECO is quietly optimistic that the agreement could enter into force this year or early next, though. The US and China are planning to ratify this year, as are some other countries, and the EU will at least initiate its ratification process before the (northern hemisphere) summer. However, several key countries are yet to signal when their own domestic ratification processes might deliver.

We cannot wait. Countries must ratify the Agreement as soon as possible, and then work diligently to ensure that the objectives are met, by rapidly ramping up their ambition in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Climate impacts are already threatening the survival of some states, while damage to ecosystems and societies threaten numerous others. This month, scientists confirmed that five of the Solomon Islands have already disappeared below the waves. Meanwhile, forest fires in Alberta, Canada, continue to burn out of control. Thousands have been evacuated as the combined size of the fires swells to 85,000 hectares. Terrible devastation by heat waves, droughts, floods and landslides is being experienced across South Asia.

Parties, working together with civil society, citizens, mayors, the renewable energy industry and others must grasp this opportunity to ratify the Agreement, enhance ambition and embrace the path toward a cleaner and more resilient future.

Don’t Let Bonn Lull You

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