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Article 3 on mitigation: what’s in, what’s out?

By December 10, 2015 No Comments

A new draft of the Paris agreement was released this Wednesday afternoon. Here is a quick overview of the progress that was made on article 3 on mitigation since the last draft that was released on Saturday.

What is now in for good?

1. Five-year cycles for INDCs: The text also says that INDCs should be based on the information available in the global stocktake. This is good progress to ensure that ambition is ratcheted up over time.

2. Long term strategies. This is a completely new addition. It means that all parties should voluntarily communicate long term low-emission development strategies.


Infographic on the new text on Mitigation.


What is now in with brackets?

1. Two options for the collective long term goal: The first option provides a clear percentage of emissions reduction by 2050 while also including the aim to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. References to decarbonisation of the global economy, climate neutrality and the equitable distribution of a common carbon budget are completely left out. The second option merely aims for the decarbonisation of the global economy that is to be achieved over the course of the century. It doesn’t include quantified emissions reduction.

2. 2010 as a baseline: In the first option, negotiators have now agreed to use 2010 as a baseline for emissions reduction.

3. Clear percentage of emissions reduction: either 40-70% or 70-95%.

4. NET zero emissions: This is not so good as this is likely to encourage the use of false solutions as well as an overly optimistic reliance on carbon sinks.


What is now out?

1. International transport emissions: It has been completely wiped out of the agreement andthe decision. Big win for ICAO and IMO, not so much for the planet…

2. The Ex Ante process: It was originally aimed for parties to communicate their INDCS prior totheir finalisation in order to ensure their adequacy with the long term temperature goal.

3. Lack of precision on the time frame: The 2060-2080 timeline for zero emissions is out andhas been replaced by two fuzzy options: by the end of the century or after the middle of thecentury.

4. Language on respective capabilities: The differentiated efforts paragraph now only refers todeveloped countries taking the lead for economy-wide emissions reduction.

5. INDCs guided by best available science: INDCs will now merely have to be designed in the light of different national circumstances.

6. Explicit reference to the international transfer of mitigation outcomes in the section dedicated to accounting.

7. Features of the INDCs:

What about REDD+?

Art 3 Bis on REDD+ is now almost completely freed of brackets. However, the REDD+ Mechanism has disappeared. Instead, parties are merely encouraged to incentivise the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and to enhance conservation and sustainable management of forests. It is also worth noting that the joint mitigation and adaptation mechanism (JMA) is now out, although the text still encourages the use of JMA approaches.

Finally, on Art 3 Ter. on a mechanism to support sustainable development, the main change is the addition of brackets on whether the mechanism should be applied to developing country parties only.

Charlotte Flechet

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