Yesterday, a handful of Ministers from developed and developing countries met in Plenary ÅšlÄ…sk to discuss the need for enhanced action pre-2020. This is, of course, because the levels of climate action and emissions reductions until now have been, and continue to be, woefully inadequate. The same can be said about finance and other support to developing countries.
Thankfully, it is not too late to make a difference – to close the gap and avoid carrying this burden into the future, as has clearly been stated by several developing countries during the plenary discussion. As the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C makes abundantly clear, every year, every gigatonne of emissions, every action, and every fraction of a degree makes a difference.
We hope the discussions yesterday contribute to urgent efforts to scale up action, as well as reinforcing the message from the IPCC report as to what is needed to get on track to staying below 1.5°C degrees.
Importantly, the outcomes of this crucial high-level meeting should be captured in a COP24 decision, along with COP decisions from ministerial discussions on finance and on the Talanoa Dialogue. Together, these will contribute to the balanced package we all want.
ECO considers some elements critically important, and thinks these should be captured in the outputs of this stocktake and related COP decisions, such as:
- Recognition of climate action shortfalls in the pre-2020 period – particularly from developed countries, and calling on them to meet and exceed targets ahead of 2020;
- The need for scaling-up finance and support, including through the Green Climate Fund in – meeting the $100 billion commitment with rigorous accounting methods agreed by all Parties;
- A call for cooperative action between countries €“ e.g. the International Solar Alliance and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative; and
- Recognition of the role of non-state actors, and bottom-up initiatives such as those stemming from the Global Climate Action Summit agenda, and other international co-operative initiatives
Finally, a COP decision should welcome the IPCC special report on 1.5°C, drawing conclusions as to how it should inform both pre-2020 and post-2020 actions. Because, in the words of the representative of St Kitts and Nevis — who spoke truth to power in the plenary on Saturday €“ applauded by many and facing off against the reactionary, destructive and inhumane positions of Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US – it would be ludicrous not to welcome the report.