Presidency’s Text Proposals – the Good, the Bad, and the Missing.

10 December 2019

The COP Presidency’s text for the principal decisions from COP25 is now into its second iteration, and the contours and fault lines are becoming clearer. 

The text must clearly and unambiguously convey the collective will from all Parties to raise ambition on confronting the climate emergency, including through the communication over the coming months of NDCs that close the emissions gap to 1.5°C. 

The current text has some good language on enhancing ambition, and even calls the global climate emergency by its name! It must be improved and strengthened, but it is a solid floor for building a strong statement. 

Word trickling out from the noontime consultation with parties suggests broad support for the Presidency’s approach, although, of course, there is a lot of haggling over the key details. 

To respond to the growing call for action, the language of ambition must be preserved and strengthened with stronger references to the IPCC reports and clear guidance on NDC revision. The language around public participation in the enhancement of NDCs and related principles is encouraging.

Missing is language on ecosystem-based approaches, including in the recognition of the role of oceans, and on the need for a just transition to protect workers and communities.

Guidance is also needed on the timeline for next year, with an invitation to submit in the first quarter, and a cut off date of September 1 for the Secretariat’s aggregate assessment of the impact of the NDCs submitted by then. 

It will be important to get a strong reference to pre-2020 shortfalls that doesn’t let developed countries off the hook, without undermining the drive to strengthen efforts in post-2020. 

Finally, there must be no declaration of completion of the Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP) until parties agree on Common Time Frames for post-2030 contributions. Lack of agreement on this would leave a gaping hole in the PAWP, and in the long-term environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement. 

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