December 10, 2015
By Leia Achampong, Climate & Energy Assistant at WWF European Policy Office
Week two of COP21 opened with a new text handed over to ministers from negotiators, with a mid-week deadline for an agreed text. The conference is on track to a fruitful outcome, but must embody the necessary strength, durability, and ambition to ensure a truly transformational outcome, to low carbon societies.
The EU has consistently spoken of the need for an ambitious agreement in Paris applicable to all, which has a long-term goal (LTG) that includes revisions on how and when ambition needs to be increased; a robust transparency and accountability system; and upward review cycles. Quite recently the EU has seen the light for the need for these upward review cycles to be every 5 years.
Yet a current sticking with the EU though is the start of any such review. Any review should start under of 2020, in order to avoid locking in the current low-ambition intended Nationally Determined Contributions (iNDCs) for the 2020 – 2030 period. Current iNDCs take us on a pathway closer towards 3 degrees, than to our 1.5 degree call. It is imperative that this review process is not delayed, and that all Parties sit down to revise their iNDCs upwards. All countries can accomplish more. The world must get back on track and reaffirm the credibility of these climate talks by agreeing to a pre-2020 start date for the reviews, and the EU must actively insist on this.
Finance is a very high agenda item here in Paris, and the EU along with several Member States has made announcements to finance a number of pre-2020 climate related projects. These announcements are very much welcome, but as things stand there is no moment forming around post-2020 finance yet! Which isn’t entirely to the taste of developing countries and vulnerable communities that need finance to be scaled-up from a floor of $100 billion in the post-2020 era. Unfortunately, Europe’s Finance Ministers missed a crucial opportunity to send a strong signal to developed countries about harnessing innovative sources of finance -something that is reflected in the current negotiating text-, when they could not agree on a structure for an EU Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) that could have included allocating part of its revenue to climate finance. A discussion only expected, to be picked up again mid-way through 2016.
One memorable quote from the EU’s participation in High-level ministerial(s) in Paris was that developing countries could count on the EU. A good sentiment to have, especially with regard to building a stronger coalition with developing countries, an initiative that would be better served by the EU developing a stronger position on Loss & Damage in line with that of developing countries.
Ambitious sounding political statements are no replacement for actions. All countries must mobilise to strike action, at the heart of this global challenge, and to ensure that COP21 doesn’t become a missed opportunity!epopress