Australia – Fossil of the Day – December 4, 2014 – COP 20 Lima (Summary)
Coo-eee! Australia has today taken first place in the Fossil of the Day. The dubious award was handed down after Australia said in an ADP session on the 2015 agreement that loss and damage should be an element of adaptation, not a standalone part of the Paris Protocol. But hear this, this stance is in direct opposition to the countries most vulnerable to climate impacts including those from AOSIS, the LDCs, the Africa Group, AILAC who want to see the agreement feature loss and damage as separate issue. not bundled into adaptation.
It is not possible to adapt to your farmland being turned into desert. It is not possible to adapt to losing your land due to rising sea levels. Not really that cool with another major Typhoon bearing down on the Philippines (incidentally the third during a COP) and with the IPCC warning that some climate impacts will soon be irreversible. The Aussies will lose mates on this one.
The European Union wins the second place Fossil of the Day Award for calling for a 10 year commitment period, a sure fire way to lock in low ambition in the future climate deal. No European Union, 10 year cycles is not the right timeline for the next deal.
Five year commitment periods ending no later than 2025 is the approach you want to follow in order to capture the fast evolving dynamics of domestic political and energy situation.
Only this time frame will prevent us from locking in low ambition,. Only this time frame incentivizes early actions, and ensures the politics is linked to the latest climate science.
EU, you must not pretend that your hands are bound by your 2030 climate and energy package towards 2030. There is no technical reason at all that you cannot put forward a target for 2025 based on what you have agreed in the package.
The time to decide a common five year period is here and now in Lima, in order to enable countries to prepare their INDCs with a clear guidance on this 2025 timeframe. The quality of future climate regime is at stake, in a rapidly changing world where renewable technologies are becoming ever cheaper and competitive.