Have You Done Your Stretches?
6 December 2018
ECO has been running back-and-forth from the negotiations in areas B and D to side events in area G. ECO is getting quite the exercise! However, ECO forgot to stretch before exercising €“ and now, ECO feels sore. ECO hopes that Parties in the transparency negotiations don’t make the same mistake. We all know that stretching is vital to maintaining individual flexibility and improving balance so you don’t slide off slippery sidewalks.
Speaking of (back-)sliding, ECO would like to remind Parties that they decided in Paris that they would maintain at least the frequency and quality of reporting as under the Convention.ECO thinks this applies to reviews as well…there’s no avoiding a true technical expert review.
Flexibility and support are crucial, so reporting and transparency can improve over time. Luckily, the Paris Agreement clearly provides flexibility for those developing country Parties that need it in light of their capacities. Flexibility and support have to be provided to develop the capacities of those Parties who need it. But you can’t keep stretching forever, at some point you need to begin exercising. Flexibility should no longer be provided to Parties once they have the capacity. Improvement plans are a great tool to help Parties to build their capacity over time as well as to track their progress.
ECO believes that discussing an end-date at this time is inappropriate as it is impossible to know how long it will take to develop the requisite capacities, but, hey, certainly Parties can revisit this question at a more appropriate time. ECO also notes that flexibility without limits is essentially just an exemption. The goal of flexibility in the Paris Agreement is the continuous improvement of capacity, so that all Parties are eventually able to fulfill the same requirements, at which point flexibility will no longer be needed. ECO encourages Parties to stretch to find the middle ground: where flexibility is built into specific provisions (as applicable) and is accompanied by the necessary support.