Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

12 December 2019

ECO [welcomes] [recognizes] [notes] the publication of the triad of chapeau decisions, known to all you negotiating lovelies by the melodic monikers 1/CP.25, 1/CMP.15 and 1/CMA.2.

There are good elements in the current drafts, but there is still room for improvement in the remaining [2][3][4] days of COP.

ECO welcomes the strong thread of scientific recognition, especially in 1/CP.25. Indeed, for climate change, it is imperative for our survival that politics is led by science. It is evil for politics to play fast and loose with the facts, and the fact is, much greater mitigation action is needed. An explicit mandate for all Parties to revise and enhance their NDCs €” both mitigation and adaptation intentions €” by October 2020 should be included. And since the decision text includes recognition of the gap, it should also include a mandate for the secretariat to calculate the size of the gap, based on NDCs received, in time for COP26. The potential of nature for helping deliver resilience and mitigation aims is already well explored, and now should be the time to realize this potential. Regarding nature: while the importance of ocean ecosystems is well reflected in the text, it seems odd that land does not receive similar recognition. 

1/CMP.15 is welcome for its brevity in its succinct and to-the-point calls for urgent delivery of per-2020 promises and for further ratifications.

The strong focus of 1/CMA.2 on adaptation issues is very welcome, but the text seems rather light on mitigation and means of implementation. The NDCs should be “enhanced” and not merely “updated” (notwithstanding the Paris Agreement’s requirement that each NDC should be a “progression” on the previous one). We have the IPCC trio of reports to underscore why there is such a need for rapid and speedy decarbonization. For many Parties, this requires the support from developed countries €“ the text should reiterate this fundamental pillar of the UNFCCC architecture. 1/CMA.2 does a good job of recalling human rights, but it would be so much more powerful a statement if included in the operational language, along with recognition of the importance of environmental integrity.

In short, the draft texts are a good start, but have the potential to be even better.

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