'The best rules in the world won’t save us if countries aren’t willing to commit to stronger action"
30 April 2018: The current climate talks in Bonn must pave the way for key outcomes at the COP24 at the end of the year. This includes significant progress on the implementation guidelines- the set of rules that will govern the Paris Agreement, the Talanoa Dialogue, and on finance for climate action. It is urgent for countries to step up in 2018 with commitments to enhance ambition and to limit the huge gap in emissions between current pledges and what the science indicates is necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.
The Talanoa Dialogue process focuses attention on the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which are the building blocks of the Paris Agreement. Countries have numerous opportunities to update targets in their NDCs: such as, by assessing their current achievements and revising their emission reduction targets, by implementing the Kigali Amendment to phase out potent hydrofluorocarbons and take action against other short lived climate pollutants, by framing policies that boost climate resilience in different sectors such as in infrastructure and agriculture, by setting a timeline to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and by updating adaptation plans, among others.
Mark Lutes, Senior Global Climate Policy Advisor, Climate and Energy, WWF, stressed the importance of these talks to bring the Paris Agreement to life in 2018.
“By the end of COP24 in December, we need decisions in a number of areas, including agreed elements of the nationally determined contributions to ensure consistency and comparability across national commitments. Among other issues, we need to know how the ongoing ambition cycle – the global stocktakes – will work. We need to know how implementation will be transparent and accountable through the transparency framework. We need to know how scaled up finance and technology support will be mobilised.
At the intersessional meeting in Bonn, Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor, Greenpeace, said countries would need to accelerate progress on a range of technical issues on the rulebook. By the end of the session, he expected no less than a “clear legal text with options and strong ownership from parties.”
“Countries need to sort out certain tasks under the transparency framework, namely whether – and how – flexibility should be granted to developing countries that need that. The other dimension [of the politics] is ambition. A lot of the Paris rules are about gradually enhancing ambition. I want to highlight that the ambition part of the politics is also very important and has been rather neglected at the expense of differentiation and flexibility.
Finance is a cornerstone to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement said Lucile Dufour, International Policy and Development Adviser, Climate Action Network-France: “If in 2018 countries really want to make a change and are committed to making the Paris Agreement robust, sustainable and fair finance cannot be left behind.”
The growing impacts of climate change around the world were clearly seen throughout 2017, but there has been insufficient progress on finance to come to terms with these growing needs.
“The first reason why finance needs to be central in these discussions is that it can help enhance trust and confidence between developed and developing countries. Finance can help create the conditions for success at COP24 and secure smooth progress on the Talanoa dialogue, the Paris rulebook and discussion on pre-2020 ambition.”
Conversely, a lack of progress on finance could become a bone of contention, she added.
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Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
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