CAN Non-Paper: Options for a Long-Term Mitigation Goal in the Paris Accord, August 2015

All UNFCCC Parties agreed in Lima on a long-term temperature goal of limiting global average temperature rise to below 1.5°C or 2°C above pre-industrial levels.  Since then, Parties have considered the possibility of adopting a complementary long-term goal (LTG) to operationalize this temperature target. The new global climate agreement, whose adoption is anticipated in Paris this December, represents a tremendous opportunity to frame an adequate, overarching global goal for the decades to come, yet it also comes with risks in this regard.

It is therefore timely for CAN to summarize the debate surrounding the appropriate LTG to emerge from COP21 in Paris. Although negotiators are also considering including in the Paris outcome LTGs for adaptation, loss and damage, and finance, this discussion paper limits itself to providing an overview and explanation of the mitigation LTGs referred to in the Geneva Text, as well as of the mitigation goals that have been prominently articulated by civil society. The paper aims to inform negotiators and civil society actors by clarifying different options currently in the text and by presenting a discussion on what the ultimate objective of the new Paris Agreement could be.