A THINK TANK LEVEL THOUGHT EXPERIMENT ON CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS
This paper is an effort between researchers from different countries and with different backgrounds to achieve an agreed text on an important issue in the climate negotiations through a thought experiment of ‘think tank level negotiation’. It is a significant achievement for two groups of authors from China and Europe to have come this far.
THE MITIGATION FRAMEWORK IN THE NEW CLIMATE AGREEMENT
Countries have agreed to negotiate a new climate agreement by 2015. One of the key elements of this negotiation process will be a new mitigation framework and new emissions targets for all. How should the information that Parties put forward be structured, in order to promote participation, equity, transparency and ambition? The new agreement needs to find a way to allow the continuous strengthening of the action of sovereign states, to reflect the 2?C objective. It will also need to provide a flexible and equitable framework for mitigation targets, to reflect both different levels of uncertainty and the large spectrum of countries and gaps in the development of different country groups.
CLIMATE MITIGATION: REBUILDING THE MACHINE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
There is a need to shift out of the ‘target mentality’ and towards an understanding of climate change as the challenge of shifting long-term social, technological, investment and infrastructural pathways, as well as behaviours. Uncertainties in such structural processes may be particularly high in developing or emerging countries still undergoing industrialization, demographic shift, and urbanization. Mastering them requires long-term policy horizons, cooperation, technology innovation and policy learning, focusing on the drivers of emissions reductions.
FROM TARGETS TO NATIONAL PATHWAYS
The Warsaw decision stated in 2013 that mitigation targets would be nationallydetermined. In this context, the discussion around a global goal should no longer be seen as a basis for top-down allocation, but rather as a directional reference against which global progress must be assessed to identify the gap to be filled to foster enhanced action. It is essential to integrate the long-term perspective in national policy making, international cooperation, and private sector anticipations. Under the new agreement, countries would put forward long-term low emissions pathways combined with a rolling, multi-year target framework.