12 Years Left: What Have You Done to Respond to the SR1.5

10 December 2018

The SR1.5 report is a game-changer and Parties cannot leave Katowice without responding. And how, dear Ministers, does ECO think you should respond? With nothing less than a COP decision in which countries commit to strengthening their NDCs no later than 2020. You will be attending many high-level events this week on pre-2020 ambition, finance and the Talanoa Dialogue and ECO decided to make things easier for you by outlining what commitments are needed in such a decision.

First, commit to strengthening NDCs in line with the SR1.5 report. At the end of November, 48 of the most vulnerable countries committed to strengthening NDCs in line with the SR1.5 report during the Climate Vulnerable Forum Virtual Summit. Likewise, 19 European Heads of State or Government have called on all countries to revisit and update their NDCs; ECO hopes they haven’t forgotten the EU’s NDC is also in need of revision! In June, 23 countries, including Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain, committed to exploring the possibility of stepping up their ambition. Now that these countries have been presented with the SR1.5 ECO expects that they will follow through with the utmost urgency.

As the most vulnerable countries noted: significant and urgent measures are needed to halve emissions by 2030 €” including phasing out coal power. Parties will also need to submit or revise their mid-century emission reductions development strategies. ECO was pleased to hear Japan commit in its contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue that it will be submitting in 2019.

Second, Parties need to commit to launching or accelerating domestic processes to strengthen these NDCs. Last week, four former COP Presidents” from Fiji, Morocco, France and Peru, issued a declaration inviting Parties to do just that; highlighting the importance of multi-stakeholder participation.

The domestic processes are necessary, but not sufficient. There needs to be a process within the UNFCCC that ensures Parties are moving with the urgency that the SR1.5 requires. The most vulnerable hinted at such a process in their CVF declaration. Such a process would complement external events like the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September 2019. For instance, next June, Parties should update others on the progress made in strengthening their NDCs.

Third, Parties must launch consideration of the post-2025 finance goal. It really goes without saying that if all Parties are expected to strengthen their NDCs by 2020, the poor and most vulnerable countries need clarity on financing post-2025.

The declarations from the CVF Virtual Summit, the European Heads of State and Government, the Past COP Presidents, the June Ambition declaration as well as very helpful submissions from AILAC, CARICOM, EIG, LDCs and AOSIS, show that the beginnings of a high ambition coalition to deliver a strong and substantive COP decision to respond to the SR1.5 report.

We leave you with some advice to keep in mind heading into week two of negotiations:

EU: you need to support the most vulnerable in building this coalition;

Umbrella Group: your comments about post-2025 finance goal as a non-starter are unhelpful, to put it diplomatically. What about trying a more positive and constructive approach next time you’re given the floor?

Canada, New Zealand and Norway: you like to paint yourselves as ambitious, but this position on the post-2025 goal really calls that into question. When will you start to walk the talk?

Japan: if you would like your candidacy for the GCF Executive Director position to be taken seriously, you too need to move on the post-2025 finance goal and announce your replenishment for the GCF. When can we expect this to happen?

Argentina: it’s time to talk to your (A)BU colleagues and bring them along!

USA, Kuwait, Russia and Saudi Arabia: your behaviour in refusing to welcome or endorse the SR1.5 report in some SBSTA conclusions on Saturday night was appalling. ECO really wonders whether you can read, if that is your response to the SR1.5. If you cannot support the global response to the SR1.5, then get out of the way.

Saudi Arabia (yes, you again): we have one special question: you”ve been putting up a horror show ever since day one, aren’t you tired? Because we kind of are.

BASIC: some of you did not feel welcomed to join the High Ambition Coalition, but don’t worry €“ the door remains open to you all.

AOSIS, AILAC, CARICOM, EIGs and LDCs: stay strong and demand the action the world needs!

ECO has faced some disappointments in week one. The good news, dear Ministers, is you have all of week two to make this a successful COP. ECO is taking the SR1.5 very seriously; it’s time for you to show the world that you are too.

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