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Closing the Pre-2020 Gap

By February 11, 2015 No Comments


It’s the interconnected elephant in the room.

We may be talking about an agreement that is going to dictate how we deal with climate change in the post-2020 period, but we’re still 5 years away from that.

What can we do in the meantime? This is not only a question of time, but one of equity and justice. The developed world has sat on their well-supported heels for far too long, and since Kyoto, many developing nations feel that their lack of increased ambition has put the global agreement at risk. And who can blame them.

Many even say that increased pre-2020 ambition could be key to unlocking global ambition in the post 2020 period.

On Tuesday however, negotiators took some time out to address it and advance the “Technical Examination Process” between now and 2015.

When the now famous Durban platform was first created, it was decided that all countries should work on enhancing mitigation ambition to close the pre-2020 emission gap. Since then, the work has continued and countries have ‘searched’ desperately for new, technical and innovative ways of further increasing mitigation efforts around the world. Even now, this process is still going on and new technical opportunities are constantly being revised and updated.

In this regard, since 2014, Technical Expert Meetings are held with a view to spread and share positive public policies and innovative multilateral initiatives that can have a strong mitigation potential on a voluntary base. At least in principle.

Voluntary targets might be popular among some countries, but after the failure of the top-down approach revealed in Copenhagen, the task now is to propose bottom-up solutions if we want to inspire countries to take the type of short-term goals to keep global warming below 2°C.

In Lima, the Climate Action High Level Meeting of the 11th of December was another important momentum for catalysing climate action, after the Ban Ki-moon Climate Summit in September 214. And the COP20 final decision allowed to continue the technical examination of opportunities in the period 2015-2020 (article 19). It means that the Technical Experts Meetings will continue, new political momentum with all stakeholders (State & non-State actors) will be convene, in the aim to support the implementation of policy options highlighted by these momentums.

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Another important outcome of the COP20 was the “Lima-Paris Action Agenda”, a joint declaration from the Peruvian presidency and the French incoming presidency to call to strengthen cooperative climate action with all relevant stakeholders at the global, national and subnational scale, as well as NGOs and the private sector.

Last but not least in Lima, a website named the Nazca Climate Action Portal has been launched to further “capture and catalyze climate action in support of 2015 agreement”. The portal aims to demonstrate the strategic action being taken by non-state actors either individually or as part of cooperative initiatives.

Tuesday’s meeting was only a consultation where countries and intergovernmental organizations shared their views on the Technical Examination Process, but those kind of symposium are fundamental if we want to accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy, especially in a period where clean technologies are becoming increasingly competitive.

This will therefore require to continue and increase the momentum, to catalyze all the international cooperative initiatives that are on the table, and to Parties to seize clean good practises and to be nourished by these opportunities.

The good news is that no countries seems reluctant to the relevance of this technical examination process, but good intentions always have to be activated, with the implementation of some of these good practices, with concrete action. So please, instead of cumulating a lot of initiatives, focus on the best ones.

And for more inputs on these topic, let’s check the ECO analysis here.


This is a guest post from Clément Bultheel from CLI


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