Working toward an equitable and ambitious international climate agreement in 2015 that is informed by science, considers the specific needs of the most vulnerable populations, and catalyzes sustainable development.
We’re now entering the final, significant stages of negotiations leading up to the major climate summit in Paris in December known as COP21, where countries will reach a new international climate agreement. There are now two week-long negotiating sessions remaining before Paris; the first takes place next week in Bonn, Germany. What issues will negotiators face and what needs to happen at the Bonn meeting?
So far, 56 countries (including 28 member states of the European Union) have submitted their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Reflecting the nationally determined nature of these climate contributions, they vary significantly in form, scope and coverage. Yet a key question for all of them is: Have they provided information about whether they are fair and ambitious?
Switzerland announced its post-2020 climate action plan yesterday, making it the first country to officially submit its contribution to the international climate agreement to be finalized in Paris at the end of this year. It's a promising start, with the country committing to reduce its emissions 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Many questions came into sharper focus, as did the central tasks for the next major moment in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks—COP 20 in Lima, Peru in December. As this Bonn session concludes, here are some takeaways on what needs to happen in Lima to set the stage for an ambitious, effective global climate agreement.
How should countries decide what to put into their national emissions reduction plans, and how should they be evaluated? What should governments, civil society, and the private sector take into account in thinking about the equitability of a country’s actions?
After 17 months of debate, the UN Open Working Group has proposed a set of Sustainable Development Goals to succeed the Millennium Development Goals, which expire next year. These goals focus on eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
How do these newly proposed goals square with this ambitious aim?