New publication: Mitigation Commitments and Fair Effort Sharing in a New Comprehensive Climate Agreement Starting 2020

Ecofys, Climate Analytics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the NewClimate Institute, the Oeko-Institute and the Wuppertal Institute have published a new report on effort sharing in the new climate agreement to be adopted at the Paris Conference in December 2015 and to be applied starting in 2020.

Countries’ mitigation contributions are one central element in the negotiations. By the end of October 2015, 128 Parties had submitted their “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs), reflecting 155 countries, and covering around 87% of global emissions and 88% of global population.

Ever since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed upon, the level of ambition as well as the fair balance between parties has been the linchpin of negotiations. How can negotiations ensure that aggregate action by parties suffices to achieve the jointly agreed goal to limit warming below 2°C – or even 1.5°C as called for by the most vulnerable countries, in light of current science? How can a fair and equitable distribution of effort be enshrined in the agreement? How to move forward action on mitigation and adaption, and reconcile this with the pursuit of countries’ development aspirations and needs?

While the process of INDC submissions showed that most countries are to some extent willing to contribute to climate change mitigation, it was not possible yet to include a centralised assessment of country contributions. The level of ambition of contributions as well as the establishment of an assessment and review process will remain to be in the center of negotiations at the Paris Conference.

Against this background, the new report offers deliberations on what a “fair share” of mitigation in 2025 and 2030 could be. It shows, for a selection of ten countries – Brazil, China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, and the United States of America (USA) – , how their respective INDCs perform if related to different fair share approaches and effort sharing models. These assessments also take into account national mitigation potential and costs and the wider context of socio-economic development of the countries. Finally, current policies and politics of each country are included in the assessments.

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