Paris climate draft goes into final round

A ‘Draft Paris Outcome’ providing the final base text for the 195 countries of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to craft the Paris agreement was released on Wednesday evening. It contains a provision for a progress review of the agreement that could be either in 2023 or 2024.

The 29-page outcome document will now be taken up for discussion overnight on the key questions of finance, loss and damage payments to developing countries, emissions-cutting obligations for emerging nations and the frequency and nature of review.

France, as the chair of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) of UNFCCC in Paris, hopes to pull off a major victory with an agreement that has been in the making for six years after the failure of the Copenhagen summit.

In Wednesday’s text, the issue of differentiation under the Article on Purpose remains within brackets, indicating that it awaits discussion and finalisation. “This Agreement will be implemented on the basis of equity and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances and on the basis of respect for human rights,” says the suggested provision.

On the long-term temperature goal, the outcome contains three optional provisions — to reflect the 1.5°C temperature limit; to reaffirm the below 2°C limit and to express the goal as well below 2°C; to have below 1.5°C as the temperature limit. The last option is accompanied by a provision emphasising use of the best available science, equity, sustainable development, and the need to ensure food security.

Under the crucial Finance section, a progression of fund raising beyond the $100 billion to be raised annually from 2020 is proposed.

Draft for more than $100 billion of funds

In the ‘Draft Paris Outcome’ released here on Wednesday, Loss and Damage that will pay developing countries to respond to the effects of climate change is included as Article 5 tentatively, and the Warsaw International Mechanism is to serve the Agreement on the subject.

While the Technology Mechanism will underpin the Article on Technology Development and Transfer, development, removal of barriers, and flow of funds are still under discussion.

Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases, which in the short term lies mostly in the realm of developed countries, is also up for intensive discussions, as peaking of global GHGs is to be done “as soon as possible” with the developed countries doing more initially and developing countries taking longer. Emissions cuts for a later period are in a suggested a range: [40 - 70 per cent] [70 per cent] [70-95 per cent] below 2010 levels by 2050.

Under the crucial Finance section, a progression of fund raising beyond the 100 billion dollars to be raised annually from 2020 is proposed.

Future promises are also part of the Paris discussions, and each country’s successive pledge is to represent a progression beyond its previous efforts and reflect its highest possible ambition. In this clause, the CBDR principle awaits finalisation.

Parties may be required to communicate a pledge every five years in accordance with decisions of the CMA (the meeting of countries) being informed by the outcomes of the global stock take. India has been consistently saying its INDC is for 2021 to 2030, indicating it is not for one before that period is over.

Several civil society organisations responded to the outcome draft calling for greater dedication to phase out fossil fuel by 2050.

Another NGO, ActionAid International said the draft agreement continued to leave developing nations hanging. “There are just two days to reach a deal that is fair and just for the world’s poorest. With what’s now on the table, rich nations are still holding the purse strings, unwilling to commit to their fair share of action.”

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 7:51:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/paris-climate-draft-goes-into-final-round/article7966918.ece

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