You had one job!!
17 June 2019
For nearly 30 years climate negotiators have been focused on building a global climate regime that can leverage the ambitious action we need to limit emissions, the resulting climatic disruptions, and to respond to unavoidable impacts. Although there is still some work to be done, the rules are now largely in place.
The time has now come for climate negotiators and their governments to direct a laser focus on the primary reason the UN Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement were created €“ limiting warming and facilitating fair and ambitious climate action to reduce emissions and protect and enhance sinks. After all, everything that has been done for the past three decades has been either to lay the groundwork for this effort, or to deal with the impacts and consequences of our failure to act fast enough.
So let’s get on with it!
This means, first and foremost, taking every opportunity to ensure that the central instrument of the Paris Agreement €“ Nationally Determined Contributions €“ live up to their world-changing potential. NDCs 1.0 clearly have a lot of bugs and are not up to the task. It’s a no brainer that every country must revisit their plan and prepare to submit a revised version by 1 September 2020 at the latest, in line with their fair contribution to putting the world on a 1.5°C path. Adequate support must be put in place to do this.
The consideration here in Bonn of the IPCC 1.5°C report and setting the scope of the Second Periodic Review of the global goal both provide an opportunity to inform the level of ambition €“ for emissions reductions, adaptation, and loss and damage €“ required from Parties and other actors.
In Bonn, and going forward, every intervention, every bilateral, every hallway encounter, should be informed by the need to close the mitigation, support, and resilience gaps i.e. closing the Ambition gap! Negotiators and parties should use every opportunity to encourage each other to share ideas, progress, and proposals for more action, financing, and other support, and to create partnerships and coalitions to implement actions, when opportunities arise.
NDCs 2.0 should build not only on the policies and actions of national governments, but also on the efforts of non-State actors, sub-national governments (cities, states, provinces, etc.), companies, financial institutions, investors, civil society, and others. Many of these actors are already putting in place ambitious targets, initiatives and interventions showing that much more is possible if we treat climate change with the seriousness and determination that it deserves, and if we work together.
Parties can use their time in Bonn to discuss how to support and strengthen the efforts of both state and non-party stakeholders, by getting behind a transformative role for the Technical Examination Processes on Mitigation and Adaptation and also the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, both of which need to be reinvented and strengthened in the post-2020 period.
Nothing less than a concerted and coordinated effort by all actors will be required to put the world on a sustainable and equitable path to limiting warming to 1.5°C. Achieving this is the primary task of negotiators in Bonn and beyond. But this is not the only task. Finance for adaptation and loss and damage is also urgently needed. Continued failure to meet mitigation goals will only increase the costs and gap related to adaptation, resilience and loss and damage.