The IPCC report on 1.5°C is a siren alerting humanity to the urgency of the climate crisis. The report shows even half a degree of warming makes a huge difference in terms of impacts; more than was previously known. It also shows that, already, some communities and ecosystems are being forced beyond the limits of adaptation. The report further demonstrates the tools needed to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C are within the scope of science and human capability. It is economically and technically feasible, but we need political will right now.
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The CAN Science Policy working group covers the issues of science, geoengineering, 1.5oC and the Second Periodical Review of the Convention. Science will be our yardstick and must be the same for political decisions in the UNFCCC, the IPCC and other relevant international fora.
The group will be actively engaged in debates and political assessments for and with CAN members on several aspects emerging on Geoengineering technologies and 1.5oC. The group helps advance CAN members thinking and positioning through the development of briefing papers, consultations, information sharing and hosting of strategy debates on these topics.
For CAN though the 1.5 C issue is crosscutting and relevant for all working groups, it has a specific role in this working group since advanced climate science focus on this temperature threshold as a survival target and several geoengineering technologies promise to be part of the 1.5 C climate solution.
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CAN calls on Parties
- to welcome the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C report in a COP decision;
- to fully consider the SR1.5 in the political section of the Talanoa Dialogue;
- to reflect the findings of the IPCC report in a COP decision committing Parties to review and enhance their NDCs by 2020, thereby initiating the ratchet mechanism of the Paris Agreement.
CAN emphasizes the findings of IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5°C:
At COP ?23, Parties to the UNFCCC must realize the vision of Paris by making substantial progress on all agenda items under the Paris Agreement Work Programme. The development of a zero draft of the implementation guidelines, in form of a text, will be a key milestone to measure success.
COP 23 must also lay the ground, in form of a roadmap, for a successful facilitative dialogue in 2018 to assess collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and indications of implications for revised NDCs.
Several elements will be necessary for creating the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action:
Raising Ambition to Avoid Increasing Impacts:
- The Ambition Mechanism consists of three elements: a facilitative “Talanoa dialogue” in 2018 (FD2018), to assess collective progress against a 1.5°C pathway and to increase ambition thereafter, a second periodic review to translate science into policy, and a global stocktake to increase ambition every 5 years. Comprehensive progress must be made in the design of these elements at COP 23 to ensure they fulfil the potential for raising ambition that they embody.
- Loss and Damage: CAN believes that the first Pacific COP is a unique opportunity for the WIM to fully implement its mandate. This includes generating and providing finance for loss and damage, including from innovative sources, adopting a stronger five-year workplan for the WIM than the one the ExCom approved in October, mandating the WIM and SCF to elaborate modalities for clear and transparent accounting of finance for loss and damage, and providing adequate finance to implement the mandate of the WIM.
- Adaptation: Adaptation must be part of the ambition mechanism. In order to make that happen, clear guidelines for adaptation communications need to be adopted by 2018 and the Global Goal on Adaptation needs to be operationalized. A more comprehensive review of the institutional arrangements on adaptation, including National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), must also be initiated to determine if they are fit-for-purpose.
- Agriculture: To enhance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to identify and catalyze action to address gaps in knowledge, research, action and support, a joint SBSTA/SBI Work Programme on Agriculture and Food Security should be established by COP 23.
Support for Action to Enable Increased Ambition:
- Finance: COP 23 should result in progress towards ramping up climate finance to US$100 billion a year by 2020 to be increased by 2025, progress in mobilizing private finance in developing countries, and improved transparency of finance mobilized and provided. The imbalance between mitigation and adaptation finance should also be recognized and lead to increased adaptation finance and confirmation that the Adaptation Fund will serve the Agreement.
- Technology: The Technology Framework must ensure support for climate technology towards the goal of successfully implementing NDCs. To this end, the periodic assessment must include metrics and indicators that will enable countries to make informed choices and predict the needs of developing countries for transformational technologies.
Transparency of Action and Support:
- Enhanced Transparency Framework: A core set of robust and enforceable guidelines that build on and enhance the existing systems of transparency, towards a common framework, is critical in driving ambition. The modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) should ensure that accurate and sufficient qualitative and quantitative information on adaptation, finance, policies and measures, and projections are submitted by Parties.
- Transparency of Action: MPGs must include transparency of mitigation and adaptation and should be broad enough to account for different NDC types towards providing up-to-date and relevant information to the global stocktake.
- Transparency of Support: Key concepts of modalities for accounting climate finance must be identified at COP 23, including further guidance on how to report on non-financial support. Support should be provided to developing countries that will enable them to comply with common standards of the transparency framework.
- Flexibility in the Transparency Framework: CAN encourages Parties to recognize flexibility in different ways for countries that need it while at the same time encourages Parties to make MPGs that could be implemented by all Parties that will ensure maximum levels of detail, accuracy, and comparability.
- Accounting for Agriculture Forestry and other Land Use (AFOLU): CAN believes that it is essential that all Parties account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in all land use sectors in a comparable and transparent way using the methodologies provided in the 2006 IPCC Guidelines and NDC-consistent base years measured using agreed methodologies.
- Accounting for International Transfers: CAN believes that any transfer of international units should help enhance ambition of NDCs. This can be done by ensuring that the guidelines for Article 6 avoid double counting and are in line with the goals of transparency, enhanced ambition, environmental integrity, human rights, and sustainable development.
- Accounting for International Shipping and Aviation: Parties should urgently take action through national, bilateral, regional and multilateral measures to reduce transport emissions and ensure that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) give adequate account of measures and efforts in the FD2018. Parties should also include information on bunker fuel burn and relevant transport work in their NDCs and ensure that the use of any mitigation outcomes guarantees environmental integrity and is not double counted.
Robustness of the Paris Agreement Now and Over Time:
- Long-Term Strategies and Action Agenda: To encourage increased ambition and early adoption of low-carbon pathways, all countries should come forward with long-term strategies as soon as possible, following a fully participatory planning process with G20 countries leading the way and submitting well before 2020. Strategies should include countries’ planned peak years, the year they expect to achieve a balance of sources and sinks, and details of conditions or support needed.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.
- Civil Society Participation: Fijian “talanoa” spirit should serve the Parties with a longer-term framework for fruitful and balanced deliberations. In particular, active civil society participation should be guaranteed during the FD2018 process, the development of guidelines for the global stocktake, the transparency framework, deliberations on Article 6 and in the development and implementation of long-term strategies.
- Gender Action Plan and Indigenous People’s Platform: This year the Gender Action Plan should be adopted and the Local Communities and Indigenous People’s Platform should be made operational to ensure that those that may be victims of climate change are being empowered
Parties came to Marrakech pledging to turn the Paris Agreement into action. But some countries don’t seem to see the need for a COP decision at all, let alone a decision that enables Parties to start discussing how to make the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 a successful part of a momentous year to increase overall ambition.
ECO wants a clear decision from COP22 that recognises the importance of a robust, inclusive, and transparent Facilitative Dialogue that takes advantage of the benefits of ambitious climate action, and achieves the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Popular wisdom suggests that you never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because that increases the chances that you will get it wrong, miss deadlines, or both! Climate? ambition is not an exception to that rule especially when missing the deadline could mean losing lives, ecosystems and countries.
Paris Decision clearly states that NDCs do not set us on a well below 2oC path (not to mention 1.5oC). Therefore all countries must review and raise the level of ambition if we wish to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
The period through 2020 is critical to increase ambition. The 2018 Facilitative Dialogue will play a key role. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C (expected September 2018) will provide important input. Before Paris, the scientific input of the First Periodical Review (FPR) and its Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) was critical.
ECO readers know that to keep warming to well below 1.5°C, we need to increase ambition before 2020. The good news is that there are countless opportunities for reducing emissions more quickly. Developed countries in particular have responsibility for increasing their ambition and providing the necessary support so these opportunities can be realised.
Given the current lack of collective ambition, the Global Stocktake is a crucial tool to make a serious assessment of the Parties’ progress on meeting the objectives they all signed up to in Paris, and identify what still needs to be done. The Global Stocktake must gather momentum by ensuring broad ownership over its process and its conclusion.
This is an unjust world, but the climate transition cannot not be. If we’re to have a real chance at the Paris temperature targets, we must avoid narrow nationalism and commit to equity. Yet, even after the Paris breakthrough, equity is treated as an irritant or a danger by even by some of our high level champions. several of whom are prone to railing against “burden sharing” and even “carbon budgets.”