The proposal details legal text for each article of the Paris agreement, including three overarching frames:
A long-term goal to have net zero GHG emissions as early as possible in the second half of this century, noting different timeframes for developed and developing countries;
A long-term goal to reduce the vulnerability and build the resilience of communities facing climate impacts that would guide both national and international efforts; and
Five-year cycles for assessing and strengthening countries’ actions to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in a manner that is fair to all countries. These three cycles should be equal in their importance and universal to all countries but with differing approaches depending on each country’s circumstances.
“This proposal represents a strong and achievable outcome in Paris that would send clear signals to the world that the low-carbon transition is accelerating,” says Jennifer Morgan, global director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute. “It describes a realistic path forward to address climate impacts communities are facing today and escalate climate action over time. Based on input from hundreds of government, business and NGO representatives, we hope it will serve as inspiration for negotiators as the pace of the talks intensify.”
The proposal reflects the real-world priorities and capabilities of countries, as well as the choices that the consortium determined necessary and achievable to secure a positive outcome in Paris. For example, the ACT 2015 consortium chose not to include a quantitative adaptation goal, as proposed by some developing countries, instead calling for a long-term qualitative goal combined with a robust adaptation cycle that would be strengthened regularly. The legal suggestions are coupled with a memorandum explaining how decisions and choices were made.
“This proposal reflects a balance of priorities and required hard choices – the same difficult choices that climate negotiators need to resolve in the months ahead,” says Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. “This proposal demonstrates that it is possible to reconcile the interests of all major stakeholders and reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris.”
The ACT 2015 consortium is the broadest effort to date to engage countries, stakeholders and governments toward reaching a 2015 global agreement. WRI serves as the secretariat of the consortium which is led by leading national and international institutions and experts from academic institutions and organizations from developing and developed countries.