The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) held the fourth part of its second session in Bonn, Germany, from 10 to 14 March 2014. As in previous meetings, the LDC Group actively engaged in the negotiations to ensure that the voices, needs and priorities of the poorest and most vulnerable are highlighted in every aspect of the process determining the post-2020 climate regime. Parties agreed on the need for a more formal mode of negotiations, and at the closing plenary established a contact group to begin its work after the opening plenary of the fifth meeting of the second session of the ADP (ADP-2-5) in June. It was also agreed that an additional session of the ADP will be held during the third week of October, before COP 20 in Lima, Peru.
2014: Year of Ambition
In his opening statement, Prakash Mathema, Chair of the LDC Group, noted a push-back in Warsaw on fundamental elements of the ADP’s work, including the legal nature of its outcome. He reiterated the Group’s strong belief that the final contributions of Parties should be anchored in the 2015 agreement in the form of commitments. He further underscored the need to respect agreed upon deadlines for delivering pledges, and importantly, to agree on and give ample time for a formal process to review them. In this regard, the Chair encouraged earlier actions by the end of 2014 for countries willing and capable to do so. Parties must strive to refine elements for the draft negotiating text, he stressed, and make clear progress on the issue of the adequacy of both individual and aggregate mitigation commitments to keep the average global temperature increase well below 1.5°C by the end of the century.
Far greater effort must also be shown to raise short-term ambition and accelerate action towards closing the pre-2020 mitigation ambition gap. The LDC Group requested greater clarity about the manner in which the outcomes of the technical expert meeting on opportunities for action on renewable energy and energy efficiency will translate into concrete actions for implementation. Concerned over the seeming lack of enthusiasm from many Parties to increase short-term ambition, the Chair stressed that increasing mitigation ambition in the pre-2020 period is vital for commitments and actions under the new Agreement to be consistent with the goal of keeping global average temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
2014 is the year of ambition, however, and through the concerted effort of all Parties, progress can be made on all these issues. From the upcoming meeting in Abu Dhabi (4-5 May) to the UN Secretary-General’s climate summit in New York (23 September), a series of high level events planned in the months leading up to COP 20 in Lima (1-12 December) provides an opportunity for all to galvanise the political will and momentum required for securing an ambitious, universal and legally-binding climate change agreement in 2015:
- The Abu Dhabi Ascent (4-5 May) is a high-level meeting to build momentum for the UN SG’s climate summit in September. The meeting will bring together ministers and key actors from business, finance and civil society, to encourage announcements of greater action and ambition by world leaders in September.
- A high-level ministerial roundtable under the Kyoto Protocol will be held in Bonn on 5 June; this meeting is to focus on progress made towards achieving the quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments for the second commitment period, and how to increase the ambitions of these commitments.
- A high-level ministerial dialogue on the ADP will be held in Bonn on 6 June; this meeting will focus on aggregate level of ambition in the context of the 2015 agreement and the nationally determined contributions.
- The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit (New York, 23 September) will bring together Heads of State and Government and business, finance, industry, civil society and local leaders to mobilise action and ambition on climate change.
- Pre-COP ministerial meetings will be held in Venezuela, from 15 to 18 October.
At ADP 2-4, long discussions were held on the nature and scope of the intended nationally determined contributions of Parties to be communicated where possible, by the first quarter of 2015. For the LDC Group, NDCs form the first step toward the mitigation component of the 2015 agreement, towards enhancing the implementation of the Convention. The Group therefore called for developed country Parties to provide all necessary incentives to developing country Parties to ensure that all are engaged in the national exercise to assess their efforts toward achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention, as well as to provide contributions in a quantifiable and comparable manner. “The development of nationally determined contributions should guide Parties in inscribing mitigation commitments in the 2015 Agreement,” the Chair stated.
The Group strongly expressed that adaptation should be supported in an effective manner taking into account the level of emissions reduction expected to be achieved through the implementation of the 2015 Agreement and associated level of temperature rise projected. Moreover, the Agreement should ensure comparability of efforts among developed country Parties and include provisions to ensure that they undertake their commitments in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner; contributions must be assessed by international review processes. This demands that an effective compliance system be incorporated in the 2015 Agreement, and that mechanisms put in place produce real, verifiable and additional emission reductions, ensuring environmental integrity and which are subject to international verification and oversight. Equally important for the success of the 2015 Agreement are necessary means of implementation to be able to address mitigation and adaptation obligations of all Parties. These should include finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building to support effective and strong global climate action and allow developing countries to engage in climate-resilient development.