CAN Annual Policy Document: Marrakech - Galvanizing Ambition, October 2016

With the Paris Agreement entering into force less than eleven months after COP 21 concluded, leaders have demonstrated their ambition and willingness for decisive action on climate change. The establishment of a Global Market Based Mechanism (GMBM) under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down climate damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) further demonstrates the commitment that governments undertook in Paris to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre industrial levels.  

While COP 21 in Paris delivered the architecture and the regime in the form of the Paris Agreement, COP 22 will need to galvanize ambition within this regime. This means to swiftly enable transformative action, shifting away from outdated forms of energy to transformational plans to a brighter, cleaner, fairer and safer future for all. Continuing the collaborative and balanced process that was initiated at COP 21, this transformation must not only be in the hands of a few, but should instead derive its power from a shared sense of leadership among all those that helped shape success in Paris, including through catalysing and building on the ambition shown by non-state actors as well as governments.

We should celebrate the remarkably early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, but at the same time remember that we are now living in a 400ppm world, in which global temperature records are being shattered each month. People all over the globe are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. The need to act continues to be urgent, and in Marrakech we must shift attention towards rapidly scaling up ambition, which has lagged behind in the past few years.

COP 22 must create the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action. Concrete progress on capacity building, the $100 billion roadmap and success conclusion of the facilitative dialogue would be essential for building trust and unlocking pre-2020 ambition. In laying the longer term foundations for the new Paris regime, agreeing on a time bound work plan for the rule book, to be finalized no later than 2018, rapid progress on loss and damage, and greater clarity over how 2018 facilitative dialogue is conducted would define success at COP 22.

Finally, the Paris Agreement reiterates the necessity for all governments to respect, promote and take into consideration their respective human rights obligations when taking climate actions. Beginning at COP 22, the new climate regime in the post-Paris era must build on this mandate and promote the integration of human rights into its various areas of work.

Summary of key points:

Assessing, reviewing and scaling-up ambition: To keep the global temperature in line with Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will require revision and strengthening over the course of the next few years. Revising them in five-year cycles and underpinned by ambitious, national long-term strategies presents opportunities for concentrated political attention that could result in greater collaboration and rapid increase in ambition. 

·        Assessments: Through the facilitative dialogues in 2016 and 2018, and the first global stocktake in 2023, the Paris Agreement has in-built mechanisms, to assess progress and scale up ambition. COP 22 should get the ball rolling on these by successfully concluding the 2016 facilitative dialogue. The facilitative dialogue should take stock of progress and identify implementation gap. CAN proposes that a comprehensive chair’s summary is produced from the 2016 facilitative dialogue capturing the discussions as well as potential options to explore for bridging the implementation gaps.

·        The facilitative dialogue in 2018 should be conducted over the course of 2018, ensuring a process in which countries are prepared to ramp up their level of ambition in current NDCs and look at opportunities to further increase ambition in the next round. COP 22 should adopt a decision to invite countries and other stakeholders to submit their views (particularly on format, scope, inputs and outcome) on the facilitative dialogue by 31st March 2017, with a synthesis report from the UNFCCC that should inform a workshop on the facilitative dialogue at SB 46.

·        COP 22 should establish a Preparatory Process for the Global Stock take (PPGS), culminating at COP 25 in 2019: This preparatory process would help in drawing lessons from the facilitative dialogues conducted over the next few years, it would also help in developing the modalities to assess over all progress towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Enhancing action pre-2020: Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.

·        Radical collaboration facilitated by the high-level champions and an improved Technical Expert Meetings (TEMs) process with a narrower focus would enable greater mitigation ambition. Along with this, strong guiding criterions for initiatives would allow UNFCCC to maintain high levels of integrity.

·        Adaptation and loss & damage should be given greater priority and tangible steps to finance them should be taken urgently. COP 22 needs to set in motion concrete steps for additional adaptation action pre-2020. This includes the identification of adaptation actions that need to be urgently financed at High-level dialogue on finance. The financial requirements for addressing loss and damage also need to be addressed at COP 22. The COP should undertake to operationalize the need for L&D finance as acknowledged in Article 8 of the Paris Agreement. 

·        COP 22 should give greater clarity on the $100 billion roadmap. The roadmap should demonstrate how a 50:50 balance between adaptation and mitigation finance is achieved. The expected COP decision on long-term finance (LTF) should also include an aspirational target for the provision of annual financial assistance for adaptation to be reached by 2020.

Transparency and Accounting of Action and Support: A core set of robust and enforceable MRV rules will be critical to driving forward the ambition necessary to ensure the success of the Paris Agreement.

·        Transparency Framework: the post-Paris transparency framework should be completed no later than 2018. The framework should be robust, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity and avoid double counting as well as loopholes. Monitoring, reporting and review should cover all Parties whilst still recognizing different national circumstances. The framework should provide flexibility and this should not be used as an excuse to keep the status quo, but rather as a means to enable participation, balanced by the overarching goal to enable progression and facilitate improvement over time.

·        Comparability of NDCs: A minimum requirement should be that Parties indicate a direction of improvement for the information they provide in their NDCs. This could range from information to specify emission pathways, intended use of international markets, renewable and energy efficiency targets, fossil fuel phase-out, participation of civil society, indigenous peoples, and affected local communities, respect for and promotion of human rights and gender equality, conditional aspect of the contribution, or “stretch goals”, information on financial support needed by developing countries in order to achieve their pledges.

·        Accounting for finance: In order to address existing insufficiencies in the reporting of climate finance and to avoid overestimation of climate-specific net assistance, at COP 22, SBSTA should adopt a detailed work program and timeline to advance discussions on modalities of accounting for climate finance. While discussions may need to continue at SB 46 and COP 23, the draft decision for modalities of accounting should be presented for consideration and adoption by CMA no later than 2018.

·        Accounting for adaptation: Decisions on adaptation communications should identify the capacity needs of vulnerable countries, including approaches to plan and communicate adaptation requirements in light of different warming scenarios, and promote ways to communicate on adaptation progress (and limits) effectively and efficiently for different reporting purposes.

·        Accounting for agriculture forestry and other land use: Countries must account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in a comparable and transparent way, especially those which intend to include emission reductions or increased removals from the sector as part of their NDCs. The Convention employs a land-based system of reporting and this should be used in the new agreement and should applied towards accounting for AFOLU sector.

Finance: Provision of finance is key towards galvanizing ambition and COP 22 needs to take several decisions on facilitating greater climate finance flows.

·        Adaptation: COP 22 should adopt a decision clarifying the role of the Adaptation Fund under the Paris Agreement. COP 22 should also encourage countries to announce financial contributions to both the Adaptation Fund and Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund.

·        Loss and Damage: COP 22 must the review the WIM with a view to put more emphasis on enhancing action and support to address loss and damage and the need to provide the WIM with more resources to deliver on its tasks. The five-year work plan should be guided by strategic objectives which can develop the WIM in the next phase into a tool that is ideally in position to respond to L&D that has already taken place and prevent further loss and damage.

·        Technology: COP 22 must mandate the SBI to develop and recommend an adequate, sustainable and predictable financing model for the CTCN for adoption at COP 23, taking into account the CTCN host’s obligations to also provide and seek out funding.

Organization: