The final draft of the Paris Climate agreement which will be taken up for discussion in the high-level segment of Ministers beginning Monday was released by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change on Saturday.
French President Francois Hollande said instituting a review mechanism to monitor compliance on carbon emissions by countries, and transfer of climate-friendly technologies to developing nations continue to be hurdles, but they could be resolved by “pushing ahead”. Future generations will be “very strict when they judge what was done by heads of state here” to avert dangerous climate change, he said.
The draft text has several optional provisions and amendments for consideration by various parties, as the French Presidency and the member nations of the UNFCCC thrash out differences and try to arrive at a consensus. The unresolved issues are placed within square brackets in the text.
Informed sources confirmed that India felt that a transparency and accountability regime should not treat rich and poor nations alike. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed as much to President Barack Obama during their meeting in Paris for the Leaders Event. For example, India does not have the capacity to measure automotive emissions based on vehicle use accurately, while the U.S. does that every year.
An agreement in Paris is keenly awaited not just by governments but by the global business community too, as it would unlock massive investments in renewable energy technologies by recognising plans that cover 94 per cent of global carbon emissions of 184 countries. The insurance industry also views it with importance, as intense weather events cause more losses.
On behalf of the G77+China, its chairperson Mxakato-Diseko tweeted, “G77 welcomes that we now have a Party-driven negotiating text.”
The overall goal of the Paris agreement, to keep global temperature rise to a specified quantum compared to pre-industrial levels, is pegged at either “below 1.5°C”, or, as “well below 2°C”.
Many contentious issues remain to be resolved in the draft, starting with long term quantified emissions reduction for a 2050 target, finance for developing countries, updated targets for countries based on stocktaking of carbon dioxide, equitable distribution of the remaining carbon budget for the world, and making explicit the responsibility of developing countries versus developed nations.
Options included in the text talk about developed countries and others “in a position to do so” engaging in economy-wide carbon emissions cuts. There is also a clear option which says the extent to which developing countries would effectively implement their commitments would depend on developed countries living up to their own commitments on financing, technology transfer and capacity building. This reflects India's position.
On peaking of greenhouse gas emissions, the discussion is on making it “as soon as possible” with the caveat that peaking requires deeper cuts of emissions by developed countries and longer periods for developing countries. Achieving zero GHG emissions growth by 2060-80 is proposed.
The text also states under the Finance section, which has several suggestions on how funds can be mobilised from developed and other countries, that “appropriate pricing of greenhouse gas emissions in its many forms, is an important instrument for the reorientation of investment and finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low emission and climate resilient economies and societies”.
A technology framework will be part of the deal, “providing overarching guidance to the work of the Technology Mechanism”. It would promote and facilitate enhanced action on technology development and transfer.
The document that forms the basis for the final Paris Agreement has been prepared by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action of the UNFCCC.