Don’t Go Far Off

ECO is thinking of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda as we look forward to visiting ‘El Pais de los poeta’ – the land of poets. As Neruda said, “Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —  because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.”

And while we haven’t seen much great poetry in SB50’s draft decision texts, ECO is happy to help out as we head towards Santiago.

ECO did have great hopes that Parties would at least agree on a deadline for adopting a decision on common timeframes and summarizes (very poetically) the draft conclusion on this agenda item for you:
And thanks to some Parties,
They decided right there and then,
The best thing to do,
Was to meet again and again.

To be clear, ECO believes that Parties need to come to a decision on five-year-common-timeframes at COP25. And therefore to Chile we say — we welcome your leadership and expect you to take us to adopting a decision in beautiful Santiago.

ECO appreciates the hard work of negotiators on the Article 6 text. 
Let us put what we need in crystal clear prose: phase out Clean Development Mechanism credits, adopt strong social and environmental safeguards, avoid double-counting and include corresponding adjustments for all transfers. However, ECO is concerned that to some decision makers, the text agreed at SB50 might be as challenging as a dadaist poem to make sense of. ECO, therefore, hopes the Pre-COP in Costa Rica delivers a good basis for a decision on robust rules in Santiago.

ECO is not sure if the ‘gentleperson’s agreement’ that kicked off discussions on the IPCC resembles a tragedy or absurdity. Or maybe even both? Starting from its ridiculous and offensive title, it is the kind of old-fashioned patriarchal story which never should have been written – like the Twilight novels. By not allowing a substantive discussion, Saudi Arabia clearly violated its part of this shady deal. To ECO, it’s obvious that if you stand with science, then you reject this gentleperson’s agreement. 

The authors of common reporting tables (the common tabular formats), on the other hand, might not win a Nobel prize for literature with their work, but let’s admit it, on busy days you sometimes enjoy less drama – so kudos for the constructive and tireless work.

And for those working on the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, the work has just begun with a new call for submissions. ECO hopes countries take less time than George R.R. Martin is taking for the Game of Thrones novels and submit their views well in time for ministers to have an informed discussion at the pre-COP in October.

The big finance story, while not present in the agenda, is pretty present in everyone’s minds: it’s the GCF replenishment. We are looking for those heroes that will make the best of the next Board meeting and adopt great decisions that will improve the functioning of the fund.  ECO will remind contributor countries again and again that at least doubling their individual pledges is the least we expect in order to enhance ambition, regardless of other discussions happening at the board level. Also remember we are one year away from the magic moment, where developed countries should have mobilized USD$100 billion in a transparent way. Finance might seem all over the place once again, but we know that without predictable support, increasing ambition will not be possible. 

ECO does not want to leave you without at least one more fabulous quote from Neruda who wrote: “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” Your leaders are invited to New York to come with actions to address the climate crisis we are in. If they do not deliver what the people and the planet need, we will hold them accountable and ensure there are consequences. With Pablo Neruda in mind and apologies to Game of Thrones fans: Spring is coming.

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