A Brilliant Opportunity for the Way Forward

2 December 2019

ECO is not sure how many delegates remember
the First Periodical Review (FPR)(2013-2015) and its Structured Expert Dialogue
(SED), when the best scientists of the world presented their newest research on
climate change. One of their biggest message was the insight that there is no
guardrail for a limit on global warming (e.g. the 2ºC limit) as there are major
impacts for warming below such a limit. Consequently the FPR concluded and COP
21 in Paris decided to limit global warming well below 2ºC and pursuing efforts
to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The FPR finalised its tasks at COP 21, and
COP 21 decided to have a Second Periodical Review (SPR). This is an excellent
opportunity for delegates at UNFCCC negotiations to learn from the latest
science. What do we know on specificities of the Paris goals? What on a
potential overshoot of these goals and associated reversibility? How would
Parties change their mind after an intense consideration of the tipping points
that we are approaching? Last week seven distinguished climate scientists
alarmed ECO, revealing that humankind could enter a state of potentially
catastrophic climate change on a new “hothouse” Earth. The SPR also has the
task to examine the progress we see towards achieve the Paris goals. And the
Joint Working Group of SBSTA and SBI on the SPR should look at the role of the
Global Stocktake (GST) compared with the tasks of the SPR. Of course ECO has in
mind that the GST covers only member Parties of the Paris Agreement. Therefore
ECO favours that the SPR should also have a look on the progress achieved so
that we can have full coverage of global emissions.

In summary ECO is convinced that the SPR
could be very helpful in better understanding the climate crisis and what we
should do to keep its impacts as low as possible. Therefore COP 25 has to
decide on the scope of SPR and to install a SED at COP 25 so that the SPR will
able to begin its operational work next year.  

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