By IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub

2 April 2018: Since January 2018, the Talanoa Dialogue Platform has been receiving submissions from UNFCCC Parties and non-Party stakeholders on the three questions of the Dialogue: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? This summary provides a brief overview of some of the submissions received from Parties regarding the three questions.

Inputs that were submitted before 2 April will be included in the report to be presented at the UN Climate Change Conference convening in Bonn, Germany, from 30 April to 10 May. Those received after 2 April will be included in the report to the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC.

Party submissions thus far include those from Australia, China, Ethiopia, the EU, Fiji, Indonesia, Norway, Palestine, Saint Lucia for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Saudi Arabia for the Arab Group. Input has also been provided by Switzerland, Costa Rica, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden, supported by Monaco.

Where are we?

On the first question (Where are we?), many of the submissions concede that current emission trajectories and policies are at odds with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The CARICOM submission reiterates support for the global average temperature rise to remain below 1.5°C, given that climate change impacts are already being experienced in the region with lower warming levels. It laments that Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are not yet on a pathway to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. The submission states that CARICOM countries’ economic and physical survival is already being threatened, and their adaptive capacity challenged or potentially exceeded. It warns that the observed temperature change in the region is greater than the global average stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sea level has risen by around 20 centimeters over the past 100 years, and heat waves are already impacting ecosystems. [Report of CARICOM Workshop on IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C and Talanoa Dialogue] [Caribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card 2017] [US Global Change Research Program’s Climate Science Special Report: Executive Summary]

China’s submission underscores that efforts to address climate change are inadequate, and notes “huge gaps” in pre-2020 mitigation ambition and action. It indicates that: developing countries are still facing financial difficulties and barriers in delivering climate actions; greenhouse gases (GHGs) are still rapidly accumulating in the atmosphere; and good practices and opportunities regarding mitigation, adaptation and international cooperation have been identified through through the Technical Examination Process on mitigation (TEP-M) and adaptation (TEP-A).

Fiji’s submission discusses, inter alia: political will and effective policymaking, including the Fijian Government’s introduction of innovative green fiscal measures to stimulate investments and economic growth in a range of sectors; successful mitigation initiatives, including solar home systems, a renewable energy revolving fund and solar islands; and Fiji’s progress on adaptation in the housing, transport, agriculture, energy, health and education sectors.

The Arab Group’s submission laments inadequate funding flows to developing countries, including for the transition to more climate-friendly technologies. It states that a carbon market with carbon pricing should not be considered as a source of funding or as a catalyst for action, and describes the adverse impacts of response measures in many developing countries, particularly those that are heavily dependent on a single sector or commodity.

The EU’s submission confirms that the EU is set to surpass its goal of a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020, and that the EU 2030 climate and energy framework will lead to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030; noting that the reduction target has been translated into a legislative framework that will ensure objectives are met. It also describes, inter alia, the EU’s share of global emissions, its specific mitigation efforts, and governance and an ongoing review of energy and climate policies in the EU.

Where do we want to go?

On the second question (Where do we want to go?), the CARICOM submission reaffirms that 1.5°C mitigation pathways are the only way forward, and highlights that regional efforts are underway to provide detailed assessments of the impacts of 1.5°C warming. It states that CARICOM expects scientific evidence presented through the Talanoa Dialogue to highlight the need for more ambitious, updated NDCs by 2020 to enable vulnerable communities, such as those in small island developing States (SIDS), to survive.

China’s submission calls for climate targets to be aligned with the SDGs, and for global climate goals to be equitable, taking into account the principle of common but differential responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC).

The EU stresses the need for considering synergies between enhanced climate action and support, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The Arab Group’s submission supports a regime that acknowledges differing circumstances between developed and developing countries. It notes that the level of developing country actions directly relates to the level of developed country support, and highlights the need for adequate, predictable and sustainable means of implementation for developing countries to implement their NDCs and build resilience.

Underscoring the aim of collectively meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, particularly the temperature and long-term mitigation goals, the EU’s submission states that the EU’s NDC and its domestic mitigation targets are consistent with reducing emissions by 80-95% by 2050. It notes that the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) will provide clarity on the scale of the challenge to meeting the temperature goal, and on how this compares to the 2°C goal. The submission also discusses the need for creating enabling environments for transitioning to low emission development pathways, and progress made by various EU countries on such transition.

How do we get there?

On the third question (How do we get there?), submissions discuss various actions required to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. China’s submission underscores the need to, inter alia, encourage technology innovation and enabling policies to promote an “energy revolution,” and accelerate structural changes in the economy to decouple emissions and economic growth. It calls for stimulating climate-friendly lifestyles, and providing developing countries with adequate financial, technological and capacity building resources for mitigation and adaptation actions.

In its submission, Fiji calls attention to the need for: adequate, predictable and sustainable finance for mitigation efforts; innovative climate finance; development of institutional capacity; access to technology; overcoming economies of scale; and enhancing national carbon sequestration. It also explains that Fiji will adopt “no regrets” adaptation measures, which include: better management of natural resources, particularly of coastal habitats, land and water; disease vector control; and improved spatial planning.

The Arab Group’s submission recommends, inter alia: ensuring that equity and CBDR are implemented across the Paris Agreement Work Program (PAWP); considering the impacts of the implementation of response measures and removing barriers that may hinder technology development and transfer; establishing a clear process for monitoring progress and reporting of financial support; and ensuring that the provision of funding achieves a balance between adaptation and mitigation.

The EU’s submission highlights the EU’s ongoing work on a proposed strategy for meeting the long-term Paris goals to be presented by the first quarter of 2019, noting that all its member States will develop national low-carbon mid-century strategies. The submission stresses the need for considering synergies between enhanced climate action and support, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA). It describes, among others, the EU policy framework for domestic action and preparing for enhanced action, and sectoral opportunities and policies to enable the transition. The submission outlines the EU’s assistance to other countries in transitioning towards low-carbon and climate-resilient pathways; and, stressing the need for a just transition, calls for mitigation action by and with non-Party actors. [Talanoa Dialogue Platform] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Non-Party Submissions to Talanoa Dialogue] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Presidencies’ Approach to Talanoa Dialogue in First Half of 2018]

Source:: IISD – International Negotiations

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