2016–2020: What will happen before the Paris Agreement enters into force?

This article was first issued by I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics in ClimasCOPe #6

Photo d'identité - Clément Bultheel

Author: Clément Bultheel is studying international relations at ILERI in Paris. At the COP19 in Warsaw, he integrated the French climate delegation as a Young Delegate. He recently became CliMates’ Global CliMate Politics program, after joining the CliMates’ negotiation tracking team.

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Source, UNFCCC Climate Action Now, Summary for Policymakers, November 2015

The emissions reductions targets announced by the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Parties for the second Kyoto Protocol commitment period (2013–2020) are not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to 2°C1. This 2°C limit is widely accepted as a ‘tipping point’ for dangerous climate change, and was agreed as an international warming threshold at climate talks in 2009 in Copenhagen. To close this gap during the pre-2020 period, collective actions that aim to cut GHG emissions and mitigate climate change, both by governments and economic actors, must be strengthened and amplified.

The Agenda of Solutions aims to do just that by recognising all actions have noteworthy climate co-benefits, implemented by non-state actors. Highlighted on an international level by Ban Ki-moon during the New York Climate Summit, the Action Agenda (or “Agenda of Solutions”) has been used, since the twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP 20), by the Peruvian and French COP Presidencies under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) framework. During COP 21, sectors identified by the LPAA has been focused on during a series of thematic events, and a lot of new cooperative initiatives have been launched.

Additionally, UNFCCC negotiations on the pre-2020 ambition will be included within Workstream 2 of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP). These negotiations take place in the form of Technical Expert Meetings (TEM) to influence the development of national public policies within sectors (similar to those in the LPAA).

The mandate of the ADP has expired at COP21 and negotiations have changed gear, focusing on the draft new climate agreement. Given this, a priority will be to define a new framework for discussion within the UNFCCC that continues this dynamic by linking the general ambition of the Parties to non-state climate actions. By addressing all stakeholders’ interests, this framework for action will rise above political differences, strengthen the pre-2020 ambition, and above all, offers levers of action to further the transition to a low-carbon economy.

After the COP 21, High-Level Events may be held annually to keep up the momentum generated by the Action Agenda. Alongside the COP presidencies, ‘Champions’ have been selected among UNFCCC Parties to build on the momentum of the « Agenda of Solutions » within the UNFCCC and play the role of intermediaries for non-state actors. The aim is to centralise non-state climate actions under the UNFCCC.

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Source: I4CE – Institute for Climate Economics

The examples of partnerships and initiatives given in this figure do not represent an exhaustive list.

1 The emissions reductions targets set by the Parties are all less ambitious given that the Doha Amendment that extends the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is not binding. It has been ratified by only 53 of the 144 Parties required to enter into force. The pledges are only made on a voluntary basis.

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