Delegates crafting the global climate agreement to be signed in Paris arrive in Bonn next week for the final session before the crunch summit in December. With only five negotiating days left to get the current weak draft text into shape, Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advisor, Mohamed Adow, said agreeing a proper review mechanism for national contributions was the top priority.
“Everyone agrees that the Paris deal alone won’t keep global temperature rises below two degrees Celsius and prevent dangerous climate change,” he said. “Paris will be the beginning of the global effort to tackle climate change, not the end. That is why it is essential that we have an ‘ambition accelerator’ for reviewing our efforts and increasing them over time.
“This review period needs to be no longer than every five years, so we don’t lock in long periods of inaction, and it must begin in 2018/19, not 2023/24 as proposed by the co-chairs leading the negotiations. That is much too late.”
Mr Adow added that the current text on which negotiations in Bonn will be based is too weak to get the job done.
He said: “Right now the document is illusory. It’s like a cardboard house: from afar it looks solid with lots of enticing activity happening in each room but when you get up close, you realise the windows are painted on and the whole thing is likely to fall over.
“It reflects only the lowest common denominator. The right labels are there: mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and a review cycle, but when you really read it, you see there is nothing concrete.
“For example, the text doesn’t make any clear requirement for climate finance to be provided by rich countries. Instead it calls on them to simply ‘lead’ this process and only to ‘strive’ to provide financial support.”
Mr Adow also said the text lacked coherence. He said: “There are some internal inconsistencies that need to be addressed. The mitigation commitments that have been made will lead to a world with temperature increase of up to 3 degrees Celsius but there is not enough finance or adaption support provided for vulnerable countries to survive in a 3-degree world.
“Crucially, if more adaption and technology is provided to poor countries to develop in a clean way, then more mitigation can be achieved across the board. We need a more logical and balanced agreement.”