Paris Daily Digest - Dec 6: Ministerial Negotiations Begin

Voces Verde Event.jpg

Below is the update from Sunday (Dec 6) from the climate negotiations in Paris.


On Saturday, the text which had been negotiated in the ADP working group for several years was handed off to the French presidency of COP21 and the higher level ministers from each country that will take the negotiations forward. As the ADP contact group closed, French Ambassador for the COP Laurence Tubiana stressed the need for vision and compromise - but making sure to note that "Nothing has been decided, and nothing will be left behind." This should help allay fears of a secret text, which was a disaster in Copenhagen. While small changes were made to the text since the previous day, the key issues unresolved (and therefore still in brackets in the text), are transparency, post-2020 finance, the various forms of differentiation for different issues, the global stock-take on climate action and cycles of ambition, and a long term goal..

Now that the text has moved to the French COP Presidency and ministers, they plan to have a group of 11 representatives of the 5 regular groups + SIDs to discuss legal and language, plus four cross-cutting groups on Finance/Means of Implementation, Differentiation, Ambition and Long Term Goal, and Work Stream 2 for Pre-2020 ambition. The four groups started meeting Sunday night.


Ministers started last night discussing what they want in the "ambition" section. Countries discussed the temperature limit that countries want, what long-term target should be included, and what is the best way to strengthen emissions reduction efforts over time. A number of countries discussed the need to reflect an effort to reduce temperature increases to less than two degrees C (3.6 degrees F), with a significant number suggesting that a goal of 1.5 degrees C was the preferred approach. Countries discussed various formulations for a long-term target with a number discussing the need to include a goal to decarbonize emissions over the course of the century, with some referencing the need for targets for 2050.

On the mechanisms to strengthen efforts over time - the "cycles", "ratchet", or "stock-takes" a large number of countries supported a "five-year cycle" where countries regularly detail more aggressive emission reduction efforts every five years. This group includes South Africa, Mexico, a number of the island countries, Brazil, US, key countries in Latin America, Australia, Philippines, and Indonesia. On the key issue of when the "stock-take" occurs and whether this will create an opportunity for countries to strengthen their efforts every five-years a number of countries stressed the importance of having the first such political moment well before 2030 in order to increase the likelihood that we can put us on a safer climate trajectory than the current targets imply. The EU and US proposed the first such stock-take in 2019, so that there would be an opportunity in 2021 for countries to strengthen their 2030 targets. A number of the small island states, key Latin American countries, and Brazil supported having a global stock-take no later than 2020.


Our "Afternoon with Robert Redford: Storytelling for Global Action" event was packed. The messages shared by Robert -Redford and the following panel were incredibly moving. #RedfordUNESCO was trending in Paris--a social media sign of success.

With other leading organizations Voces Verde hosted a "US Latino-Latin American Leadership and Collaboration on Climate Change" cocktail reception was this evening. The venue was crowded as speech after speech was given by Latino dignitaries. The event included remarks by Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon where he outlined why Latin America is such a critical region to address climate change. California President pro tempore Kevin de León provided remarks after a fantastic welcome from Adrianna Quinterro (see picture). He outlined how Latin leaders were dominating the climate issue through California, faith-based leadership (the Pope), and internationally (with the head of the UN body in charge of climate change born in Costa Rica).

And the Eiffel Tower was lite up with "Human Energy".