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Equity and the ambition ratchet

Guest content
22 November 2017

Share The World's Resources is one of many signatories to the latest Civil Society Equity Review, which proposes a policy framework for a fair sharing of efforts and resources to meet the global commitments on keeping greenhouse gas emissions within safe limits.

We are not on track to achieve the principal aim of the Paris climate agreement: keeping global temperature rise to well below 2°C, while pursuing 1.5°C. More ambition is urgently needed. This ambition will not be easily achieved. Real cooperation will be necessary, and it will not be possible without equity on both the mitigation and adaptation sides of the climate challenge.

The first round of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — the proposed reductions in domestic greenhouse gas emissions that countries presented at the Paris climate summit in 2015 — implies at least 3°C of warming. 

Fortunately, the Paris Agreement offers ways of securing increased ambition, while taking due account of ”means of implementation and support” and being conducted ”in the light of equity.”

Despite the Trump administration’s chilling threat to abandon the Paris Agreement, the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, a key part of the agreement’s ambition ratcheting mechanism, has to be more than a meaningless talk shop. The reality is that, if the Paris temperature limits are not to be breached, all countries need to take on more mitigation than currently pledged.

This means different things for different countries. It is essential that wealthier countries urgently and dramatically deepen their domestic mitigation. And, if they are to contribute their fair shares, they must also support additional actions outside their own borders. 

Meanwhile, many developing country pledges do meet or exceed their fair shares. Yet, they too will have to do much more: the 1.5°C objective requires profound action in developing countries that cannot realistically, or fairly, be expected without meaningful levels of international support. 

Ultimately, the challenges here will crystalize around the 2023 Global Stocktake, but the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue will set important precedents. Thus, it must pioneer a process for assessing the adequacy and fairness not only of collective ambition, but of individual country contributions as well.

To that end, Parties should prepare to justify their efforts as fair contributions to a shared 1.5°C global effort. They should do so in transparent ways, measuring their contributions against fundamental equity principles. If their contributions fall short, they must be prepared to quickly strengthen them.

Read the full report here

Original source: Civil Society Review