The KP has its fans for good reasons, like legally binding commitments, its base year and common metrics, not to mention its compliance regime. ECO knows that the KP is not perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got, and it has to serve as the baseline for the new regime. And Ministers, ECO must be loud and clear – we must see more ambition.
The news that virtually none of our KP Ministerial friends will be joining us is highly distressing. The KP matters, both politically and practically. The Protocol is the mechanism that demonstrated and institutionalised political leadership from developed countries. The second commitment period and a commitment to increase ambition from ALL developed countries pre-2020 was a key part of the package in Durban that resulted in the launch of the ADP.
It’s not just ECO asking for more ambition. We think the Antarctic ice sheet melt might have been a sign that Ministers should do more, or perhaps that the cacophony of voices around the IPCC fifth assessment report analysis would have spurred them into action.
So where is developed country leadership right now? ECO reviews the state of play.
Those still making it legal….
EU, here we are again: “yes, but.” Yes, Europe has made a real effort and arguably leads the world on climate action. It’s on track to overshoot KP commitments and can boast during today’s ministerial. But only a few key political supporters blocked tougher targets from becoming a reality. Those deeper 2020 cuts could surely (and still can) be met. And if they aren’t, it sets Europe back for the post-2020 period by forcing lower ambition, while leaving excess credits in the system that will be held over to make compliance easier and ultimately undermining real decarbonisation.
Norway, with your wealth and high potential for renewables, you of all countries should be able to show that securing prosperity without destroying the climate is possible. But that means planning for life beyond oil and no longer wreaking havoc via your state-owned company Statoil pursuing ever dirtier and riskier oil in the Arctic and in the Canadian tar sands business. Drop your double-standard on climate action.
Australia, Tony Abbott’s messed it up again. The latest rumour ECO has heard is that the G20 will exclude climate change from the agenda. Did Tony not notice the strong signals sent by two G20 members about cutting emissions and regulating coal? Ha! If anything should be excluded, it should be mining and burning more coal. But from a country that has a measly 5% reduction target for 2020, ECO is not surprised and might be laughing but for the impact of that dirty coal…
Those who jumped ship…
Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Russia: it’s the same old song, so we won’t sing it. But we all do know how it goes.
That one big country that never did join in the end…
USA gave a great big kick to coal at the beginning of this week. ECO supposes it’s better late than never, but there is still a lot of ground to make up and greater cuts to be made. So keep going and this time, be sure to bring it to the party!
Clearly the developed world still has a lot of work to do to fulfil its ‘leading’ role. A lack of ambition from developed countries could be the perfect excuse, were any country seeking one, for avoiding commitments or ambitious actions in the future. But ECO is confident that no country will stoop to such crass opportunism. All countries are now fully aware of the scale of the global effort required and the need for urgent, ambitious and equitable actions. In Mexico and Indonesia, more action is underway.
The game is on Minsters, there are less than 500 days left to get your act together. So step up and deliver.
Penny wise, pound foolish
We applaud the ADP Co-chairs’ tradition of emphasising openness and transparency as a key part of the party-driven ADP process. But now, it seems that this tradition might be under threat, with the Contact Group meetings limiting space for observers. This alone was shocking enough, but given the level of interest in these critical meetings across the world, ECO was flabbergasted to be told that “due to budget constraints” the ADP Contact Group meetings won’t be webcast.
Let’s get something clear. When a session is webcast, everyone with an internet connection and an interest can follow our work online. It’s real-time transparency. When it’s webcast and made available on demand, it’s full transparency.
The Co-chairs need only look as far as the system adopted by the Technology Executive Committee, which offers convenient real-time access to their sessions as well as archiving. Anyone can access them.
The UNFCCC budget should ensure that these important proceedings are webcast. To get the ball rolling, ECO offers to put up the first 500 Euros. Over to you, governments.
An ambitious deal means equity
Regular formal equity reviews of Parties’ commitments under the UNFCCC is important for an ambitious deal. We’ve run out of time to achieve a formal review of the post-2020 targets before COP21, so here is ECO’s twofold approach: 1) Parties agree to a formal equity review in the 2015 deal and 2) civil society assists in reviewing the adequacy and equity of upcoming mitigation and finance contributions.
ECO also encourages others to undertake equity reviews as we believe that different equity checks will be useful.
Join the CAN Equity Side Event today at 16.45-18.15h in BMU’s Room Solar. It might even help Parties to prepare their NDCs…