The Long Night

13 December 2019

ECO knows, as you come into the venue this morning, you are preparing for a long night. While progress has been slow and negotiations have been frustrating, ECO still has hope for a positive outcome. To make things easier, we have outlined three issue areas that should be a top priority in reaching an acceptable COP decision tonight.

When the final plenary closes this evening, ECO expects Parties to send clear political signals that you will address ambition in all three long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. This includes ambition in providing the necessary support to developing countries to address and act on the climate emergency. It means responding to the science and bringing your national climate plans in line with the 1.5ºC goal. And it entails bringing civil representatives to the table when discussing your national climate plans, so that we can all contribute to achieving the highest level of ambition possible. This ambition needs to be reflected in the enhanced NDCs by 2020, and the UNFCCC Secretariat needs to be given a mandate to produce a synthesis report well ahead of COP26 to assess the aggregate effect of the enhanced NDCs.

Delivering finance to address loss and damage
Will we again delay action and support for loss and damage? We hoped the WIM review at COP25 would fully operationalise its third mandate for action and support; to listen to the needs of developing countries along with providing new and additional finance to address loss and damage. But in the final hours, it seems that we might not even reach an outcome. The asks being put forward by the countries most affected are perfectly reasonable: finance, an expert group on action and support, and a network for enhancing on-the-ground implementation. Developed parties, however, delayed and debated in circles on using existing finance and questioning proposals for enhancing the WIM. Will this COP deliver another year of injustice by delaying a response to the needs of vulnerable people?

Don’t get things wrong on Article 6.
And seriously, don’t get things wrong on Article 6. If you undermine environmental integrity in Article 6 you risk gutting the Paris Agreement of its effectiveness. If you can’t get this right in Madrid, ECO would prefer you not do it at all. It is essential that you protect the principles and integrity of the Paris Agreement rather than opening up holes and letting in a whole lot of hot air. But we’re not done yet! If you want to try again at the 11th hour, keep reading, ECO is happy to remind you how to get it right below.

This is the last ECO of the session and we’re going to give it to your straight. People are calling for ambitious and immediate climate action in the venue, in the streets of Madrid, and across the globe. You have one more opportunity to deliver the response that is needed, a response that is just, and a response that may save us all. So get to it!

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