CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS ON TRACK, BUT STILL ISSUES TO RESOLVE

COP21 A new version of the negotiating text for UN’s Climate Change Conference in Paris in December was approved at the last formal pre-COP meeting in Bonn. The next step in the process of reaching a new climate agreement is an informal pre-COP meeting with 75 key countries in Paris from 8 to 10 November.

On 23 October roughly 1,300 delegates representing 195 countries agreed on a 51 page negotiating text which will form the basis for a global post-2020 climate agreement at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December.

Erik Filipsson, Strategic Policy Advisor, at Vattenfall, says that the negotiation text still contains too many options and brackets to get a clear view about what will eventually be agreed in December. “Naturally, at this late stage of the preparations it would have been desirable with more convergence and at least some of the key issues cleared off the table before the final negotiation round. But the latest draft agreement text is clearly an improvement and the negotiations seem to be on track.”

Pre-COP
An informal pre-COP meeting will be held from 8 to 10 November in Paris, where ministers from 75 countries have been invited by the current and incoming COP presidencies, Peru and France, with the objective to explore possibilities for further convergence.

“What is needed now is a push from the political leaders to take the negotiations forward and make sure that everyone arrives in Paris with the clear ambition to secure an ambitious climate deal,” says Filipsson.

60 per cent
The aim of the COP 21 summit is to reach an international agreement valid for all countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the UNFCCC’s (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) objective of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. This implies that carbon dioxide emissions need to be cut by 60 per cent by 2050 compared to 2010.

International cooperation
Vattenfall is convinced that carbon pricing is one of the most effective means of triggering significant abatements of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Carbon pricing has the dual benefit of stimulating CO2-emission reductions and at the same time contributing to the mobilisation of climate financing in line with the global commitment to support developing countries with climate action worth annually $100 billion by 2020. We believe that international cooperation in reaching the climate targets should be encouraged and therefore we are pleased to see that provisions on market mechanisms have been clearly included in the latest draft agreement text,” says Filipsson.

Although being optimistic about the prospects of the world leaders actually reaching a new global climate agreement in Paris in December, Filipsson states that the outcome of COP21 must be judged based on what it includes.

“The agreement must also contain a sufficient ambition level for mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions and a framework that caters for an effective target achievement by using market mechanisms. Since the national contributions which have been tabled so far collectively fail to put the world on a 2°C trajectory, the Paris agreement must also establish a process for gradually setting more ambitious targets over time.”

More pledges but still not enough to reach the 2°C target
Climate at stake in Paris
Latest draft of the Paris agreementVattenfalls position inför klimatmötet
Vattenfall's position (pdf)

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