Equity – Into the Future

13 December 2018

Soon, as we all know, the horse trading will get serious. But though ECO can only stand on the sidelines and shout advice, here we go: A short term compromise that hobbles our long-term prospects would be a disaster, and must be avoided at all costs. This is true across the spectrum of critical issues €“ from finance to loss & damage €“ but it’s true in particular when it comes to the Global Stocktake, which is critical to the legitimacy of the regime and €“ in particular €“ critical to the effective functioning of the ambition mechanism.

When the smoke clears, if we’re to respect the clear Paris mandate for a meaningful stocktake that is conducted “in the light of Equity,” the related modalities must ensure that equity€”for example how parties consider their contributions to be fair and ambitious€”is considered across all items. Ensuring Observers” inputs into the stocktake can help in getting this right, especially since they aren’t subject to the same constraints as Parties, who aren’t always able to speak freely. Civil society can€”as will be obvious to anyone who attends today’s side event on the new report from the Civil Society Equity Review coalition (hint: 3PM, Wisla).

Nor is this coalition alone in the stocktake business. Brilliant and experienced analysts from around the world are sweating bullets to ensure that Paris delivers on its promises, and the Parties can only benefit from their inputs. And what’s to be lost by taking those inputs seriously? The Parties have the ultimate authority, and they should use it well and wisely. This means many things, but listening is surely among them.

There’s more at stake than just inputs, of course. The stocktake is going to be critical, and equity is needed in all of its modalities. This goes for NDC guidance, and technical analysis, and transparency, and the processes by which debate and deliberation unfold within the stocktake’s processes, however they evolve. None of this can be finally settled today, but it will all matter a great deal tomorrow. Keep the doors open!

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