UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

First published 13 Dec 2015

Your correspondent is only too well aware that he is likely to have missed many of the implications of this agreement on first reading but nevertheless lists some points which struck him:

  • Some countries have not yet provided their ‘contributions’ (measures/savings).
  • The intended nationally determined contributions lodged by October 2015 are insufficient to limit global warming to 2° (all figures relate to above pre-industrial levels).
  • A revised synthesis report on the aggregate effect of intended nationally determined contributions is required by May 2016.
  • A 2018 meeting will review progress and assist with the preparation of nationally determined contributions.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C
  • Countries to provide regular updates on contributions and may include methodology, contribution to Convention objectives etc.
  • The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement to establish common methodologies and metrics.
  • the Adaptation Committee and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group to jointly develop modalities to recognize the adaptation efforts of developing country Parties and the steps necessary to facilitate the mobilization of support for adaptation in developing countries
  • The Green Climate Fund to expedite support for the least developed countries and other developing country Parties
  • Developed countries to set a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries;
  • The transfer of technologies.
  • The establishment of the Paris Committee on Capacity-building whose aim will be to address gaps and needs, both current and emerging, in implementing capacity-building in developing country Parties.
  • The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement to identify the sources of input for a global stocktake and to report on the overall effect of the nationally determined contributions communicated by Parties, the state of adaptation efforts, support, experiences and priorities and the latest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;
  • The strengthening of the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, by inter alia holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change; and by increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production.
  • The Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
  • Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, including forests.
  • Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information related to projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties.
  • Each Party shall regularly provide a national inventory report of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases, prepared using good practice methodologies accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter.
  • This Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

This is clearly a quick summary. It is difficult to establish how far this progresses beyond a statement of good intentions without really addressing the issue of feedback from the global stocktake back to the Parties to make the necessary changes to policy to meet any shortfall – and how such shortfall might be allocated in the event of continuing updated shortfalls.

© Unsourced text and images copyright J R B Livesey 2015

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