The international community is negotiating a new global climate agreement to be applicable from 2020 onwards. A new report by Ecofys, Climate Analytics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), the NewClimate Institute, the Öko-Institut and the Wuppertal Institute analyses options for the following design elements: Participation and differentiation of countries; Types of commitments, including also the compulsory character of the commitments and time aspects; Guidance on ambition of the commitments to assure adequacy of global and individual countries’ efforts; Transparency of commitments.
While the negotiation process is already far advanced, opportunities for the process to strengthen the robustness of mitigation commitments continue to exist – inside and outside the UNFCCC negotiation process.
Some examples for opportunities found in this report are:
- Allow for self-differentiation in the type of commitment and level of ambition, but provide independent methodological guidance so that countries better understand mitigation options and how their capability and responsibility relates to that of other countries. Self-differentiation should further be limited through the rule of no backsliding.
- Establish a common end-point to guarantee long-term adequacy of the commitments, independently of current country circumstances. Gradual convergence to a common level can also be an element of the accounting framework.
- Create a framework to integrate actions by non-government actors. International Cooperative Initiatives can contribute significantly to mitigation, but should present an effect beyond already on-going national activities to increase ambition.