The Agreement on Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015) consortium is a group of the world’s top climate experts from developing and developed countries that have come together to catalyze discussion and build momentum toward reaching a global climate agreement at the forthcoming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit in 2015. To do so the consortium has developed three potential propositions for what the agreement could look like which it will present in a series of workshops around the world, including in developed countries, major emerging economies, least developed countries, and small island developing states. These workshops will engage a wide range of stakeholders and decision makers and enable key government decision-makers, business and civil society leaders to understand the implications of various options and links to national priorities.
The ACT 2015 consortium is also analyzing the three propositions for their environmental integrity and their economic and political feasibility. In addition, the consortium will conduct research and propose options for reaching agreement on key elements of the propositions. Taken together, ACT 2015’s research will provide ideas for how various options would contribute to an ambitious and effective post-2020 regime for the long term. Based on this analysis and a wide range of inputs from the workshops, the ACT 2015 consortium will put forth one proposal which it deems to have the highest potential for catalyzing an effective, fair, and ambitious transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient future both in developed and developing countries. This proposal will provide a key input to policymakers and negotiators as they look to reach a new international agreement by the end of 2015. The proposal will be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum addressing why the suggested elements will have the highest probability of success for catalyzing an effective, fair, and ambitious transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient future.
The three propositions
The consortium has developed three propositions for how the agreement could be structured. Each is consistent with the agreed goal of keeping global average temperature rise below 2 degrees C in order to limit the worsening impacts of climate change. These three proposed propositions are:
- Steady: In this proposition, each country would put forward an ambitious national commitment to reduce emissions which would reinvigorate the carbon market. These national commitments would be embedded within a global agreement that would provide transparency and accountability for countries’ actions. It would also include new and additional public funds particularly for adaptation as the impacts will occur, even in a world where the 2 degrees C goal is not breached.
- Dynamic: Like the Steady proposition, countries would put forward national commitments. However, short-term emissions reductions would be lower than those under the Steady approach, so countries would agree to an “ambition mechanism” that would create a process for countries to ratchet up their emissions-reduction commitments over time. Transparency and accountability are key, and these elements would be strengthened and applied equally to all countries. Because there would be a greater risk of overshooting 2 degrees C, there would be greater emphasis on a “loss and damage” mechanism.
- Pioneer: Instead of focusing only on national mitigation measures, countries would set a firm long-term, collective goal to phase out greenhouse gases to net zero (e.g. by 2050). Countries would have more flexibility on how to achieve that target, with the ability to choose policies and plans that work best for them, such as the rapid phase-in of renewable energy or phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies. This would allow those countries that wish to go faster further to do so within the agreement. A new innovative finance mechanism would be created and would flow directly to developing countries for technology and capacity building both in the fields of mitigation and adaptation. The agreement would also catalyze alignment across financial institutions. For example, development banks would more heavily prioritize low-carbon, climate-resilient projects.