You have One Job (for the 25th time): Respond to the People and the Science

COP decision text might not always be Shakespeare, but it is how the countries of the world express their collective will and intentions on climate change. With the world teetering on the edge of total disaster, and with less than one year to decide whether to lock in NDCs that commit us to more than 3 degrees of warming, the signal that UNFCCC Parties send this year on ambition will have a special importance. 

Wednesday, Parties had their first round of consultations with the Chilean Presidency on the 1/CP.25 decision; the text that will tell us and all people around the world whether or not they are up to the challenge.  Will you do the right thing and send the strong political signal that we need in order for us to again trust you with our futures?

We have been quite clear on our measuring sticks for the 25th gathering of parties — it feels like Groundhog Day, so here we go:

  1. Acknowledge that you will be guided by science and the 1.5°C goal. 

  2. Commit to the highest level of ambition for revised NDCs to be tabled in 2020, well ahead of COP26 and in time for the Secretariat to prepare a synthesis report on the aggregate global ambition level (and seriously you need to deliver those NDCs already by 1st quarter, but there are also other great moments like Earth Day, in April, or the UN Environment Day, in June).

  3. Acknowledge the increasing impacts and the devastating loss & damage that is already occurring, in particular in the most vulnerable countries.

  4. Include us and other stakeholders such as Indigenous Peoples, communities, and marginalized groups — in transparent, participatory, and inclusive national review processes for NDCs. All of us need and want ownership over the transformational policies and plans that you are proposing to save our climate at the national level. 

  5. Commit to doubling your pledges to the GCF and scaling up to the US$100 billion goal. And you should really support capacity building for developing countries for NDC enhancement and implementation.

  6. Finally, design and implement your national climate plans in a participatory manner addressing cross-cutting issues including those related to environmental integrity, social justice, and the just transition - leave no one behind!

Go on, you can do this! The Youth and the People are all watching and we are really tired of expensive food, terrible audio, and artificial lights in conference centers in Europe for the fourth time in five years.

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