Director of publications
Teresa Ribera

Pierre Barthélemy, Marion Gourdin, Carine Antunes

Architexte et Anna Kiff


2B continued…The outcomes of the Warsaw Climate Conference and implications for Paris 2015
T. Spencer. Policy Brief.

IDDRI’s Climate and Energy team takes stock of the 19th Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Convention, with particular emphasis on the importance of the timetable for presenting State “contributions” in terms of GHG emissions reductions, on which the delegations reached agreement after two weeks of intense negotiations.

Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge: How can they be protected?
C. Chiarolla, R. Lapeyre. Policy Brief.

Proceedings of the international conference organised in Paris on June 7, 2013 by the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès and IDDRI, in collaboration with the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, the aim of the conference was to examine efforts to protect biocultural heritage and traditional knowledge (TK) associated with biodiversity. Its objective was to provide a critical assessment of the legal and economic tools that can be used to improve the potential contribution of biocultural diversity and TK to the livelihoods of local communities and to biodiversity conservation.

Croissance verte vs. décroissance : sortir d’un débat stérile
D. Demailly. Policy Brief.

Further to the conference “An innovative society for the 21st century” organised by IDDRI on 12-13 July 2013 at the French National Assembly, under the high patronage of the French President, François HOLLANDE, this article returns to the debate between advocates of green growth and supporters of degrowth, especially focusing on the interactions between economics and environment and the problem of decoupling pollution from economic development.

A post-growth society for the 21st century - Does prosperity have to wait for the return of economic growth?
D. Demailly, L. Chancel, H. Waisman, C. Guivarch. Study.

This article attempts to answer—as far as possible—the two following questions: Can we have any certainty about the future of growth? Assuming that the coming decades will be a period of weak growth fluctuating between an annual 1% growth and a stagnant GDP, can we still prosper? To answer these questions, a modelling exercise was carried out to investigate the links between the energy-climate nexus and the economy.

Peut-on sauver les forêts tropicales ? (Can we save tropical forests?)
R. Pirard. Presses de Sciences Po.

The author analyses the causes of tropical deforestation and ways to remedy the problem, giving special attention to the emergence of market instruments, payments for environmental services and REDD+.

The IDDRI article "Payments for environmental services and market-based instruments: next of kin or false friends" (Working Paper N°14/13, R. Lapeyre, R. Pirard) is cited in the Legal Aspects of the Aichi Biodiversity Target 3: A Scoping Study report, part of a series of scoping papers prepared under IDLOs Global "Legal Preparedness for Achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets" programme.

november 2013N° 46

The Warsaw Climate Conference: a timeline towards Paris 2015

The Warsaw climate conference (COP19) succeeded in setting a pathway towards the Paris climate conference in 2015, where states should strike a new global climate deal. Yet it showed how long and difficult the road will be. Fundamental questions remain unanswered requiring high level political engagement.

Countries all agreed to a timeline for developing and submitting new emissions reduction commitments (see below our discussion of the term): “well in advance” of the Paris conference, “by the first quarter of 2015 for those parties ready to do so”. Albeit vague, this timeline is important, as it sends a powerful signal that countries need to begin preparing their offers for Paris. The most important thing is that commitments come forward early, so that they can be looked at. And even though Warsaw could not decide on a formal process to review commitments in 2015, the current absence of an agreed review under the UNFCCC opens the way for complementary review options, e.g. under the Major Economies Forum or elsewhere, feeding into the UNFCCC to ensure sufficient clarity and ambition of commitments.

Countries were only able to secure agreement on this timeline because of concessions on the nature of the initial emission reduction offers. At this stage of negotiations aiming at adopting mitigation commitments from all countries, with the same framework for developed and developing countries, major emerging countries were simply not ready to accept the word “commitments”, which has a very precise, binding legal meaning. Therefore, in order to secure the weakening of “commitments” to “contributions”, these countries played an effective tactical game, inserting references to article 4 of the Convention which establishes the black and white distinction between developed and developing countries. As this is clearly a red-line for the US and EU, who hope to evolve the regime towards a more nuanced and universal allocation of responsibilities, in the end, these references disappeared from the text, in exchange for the weakening of “commitments” to “contributions”.

This shows that major emerging countries are not fundamentally averse to an evolution of responsibilities. They are ready for a new agreement. But until the content is clear, they will be prepared to play this “article 4 card” if the negotiations approach their current red-lines. By allowing the disappearance of this article 4 reference, major emerging economies also showed no real willingness to defend the interests of smaller developing countries, who might have a legitimate interest in financing and more “traditional” definitions of developing country responsibilities. This in turn gives an opening for developed countries to rebuild damaged alliances with smaller developing countries: by getting serious about the finance they promised under the Copenhagen agreements, and by being proactive on the issue of equity.

More broadly, the Warsaw negotiations showed how serious an issue financing is. In order to provide the scale of transfers that would be required to redress climate change’s fundamental unfairness, a much broader conception of the financing challenge is needed. It needs to encompass a broad package of domestic policies and enabling environments, scaled-up catalytic public funding, private sector investment, and starting reforms of international financial governance and regulation to more strongly integrate climate concerns. Without this broad package, negotiations will not deliver on the political or practical needs with regard to climate finance.

IDDRI is deeply involved in the preparation of COP21 in Paris in 2015. It has launched a large-scale project to model the emissions reduction commitments of major economies, in order to support these negotiations. In dialogue with leading think tanks in major economies, it is also involved in the discussions on the form and content of the final agreement. Finally, the COP is also intended to mobilize the plethora of actors and initiatives outside the UNFCCC. IDDRI is working with private sector groups such as the WEF, the WBCSD and the UN Secretary General’s office on this issue.