In Cancun at COP16/CMP6, UNFCCC Parties agreed to limit a rise in global average temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to consider strengthening this goal to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The UNEP report Bridging the Emissions Gap, released in 2011, found that current country pledges for 2020 are not adequate to reduce emissions to a level consistent with the 2 degree or 1.5 degree target, with an emissions gap in the range of 6-11 GtCO2e in 2020. However, the report demonstrates that this emissions gap can be bridged through many economically and technologically feasible options.
Despite several achievements at COP17/CMP7 in Durban, levels of ambition remain insufficient. Increased action is therefore urgently needed now, as well as up to and after 2020, to bring the aggregate ambition level in line with what science suggests is necessary. The level of ambition may be defined as the anticipated collective level of Parties’ greenhouse gas emissions by a certain date, based on successful implementation of their pledges and commitments under the UNFCCC and other relevant initiatives.
This submission focuses on options within the UNFCCC for increasing climate ambition. These options are complementary and include practical recommendations for the COP and CMP.
Our recommendations, discussed in depth in the submission, include:
- Revise existing commitments to increase ambition before 2020
- Negotiate new commitments for the post-2020 period in line with the science
- Enhance coverage of sectors and climate forcers
- Scale up finance, technology and capacity building
- Support and replicate effective implementation
- Promote mitigation actions with an emphasis on co-benefits
- Promote equity and environmental integrity
- Establish consistent, complete, comparable, transparent, and accurate common accounting rules for Annex I emission reductions
- Clarify Annex I and non-Annex I pledges
- Launch rigorous, credible and effective periodic reviews