Countries meet at UN to work on 2015 global climate protocol

Global transition

This week the UNFCCC gathers again for the beginning of the annual two week session in Bonn to continue work on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which is to deliver a new global climate protocol by 2015 and address the inadeqacy of pre-2020 commitments. Delegates will also discuss issues related to implementation of commitments (under the SBI – Subsidiary Body for Implementation) as well as more technical details of the global climate regime (under SBSTA – Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice).

At the last ADP meeting, only one month ago, discussion on equity and fair burden-sharing took centre stage. Increasingly, governments are starting to recognise that the new 2015 climate agreement will not be adequate without it also being fair and equitable. This Bonn session should elaborate further those principles and indicators upon which an equitable framework can be built.

The EU is calling for countries to set the year 2014 as the deadline for countries to put forward targets for the post-2020 period. In order for this to be possible, Parties need to agree between now and Warsaw on the rules for such national target-setting. Targets and commitments need to be transparent, quantifiable and measurable so that thier fairness, as well as individual and aggregate adequacy, can be reviewed.

The national climate action pledges that are currently on the table will not bring us close to the 2 degree warming limit agreed by countries. Furthermore, given that climate impacts are evident in all corners of the world at just 0.8 degrees average temperature increase, this political target is considered inadequate by many. To assess these issues, the First Periodical Review also kicks off at this session. It is designed to ensure that the overall global effort against climate change is in line with the latest science and will be informed by the IPCC’s fifth assessment report, which will be released in stages between 2013-2014.

2014 must be the year of increasing targets. Therefore, there is an expectation that a draft COP decision for Warsaw will be produced here in Bonn. The decision should outline what countries must do within the UN processes in 2014 in order to reduce emissions before 2020, when the new ADP agreement is scheduled to take effect.