Negotiators edge closer to long-term goal and five-year review agreement at COP21

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 3 minutes
3 December 2015

PARIS: The first few days of COP21 have seen welcome headway toward deciding a long-term goal and the five-year review process that will achieve it, progress The Climate Group’s policy expert Damian Ryan calls “critical”.

The headline-grabbing momentum of Paris has slowed since heads of state speeches were replaced with detailed negotiations. But negotiators are now close to agreeing a five-year review process for the agreed emissions reductions, a top official has told newswire Reuters.

There had previously been disagreement over the review process that would take place to ensure targets stay on track to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

A long-term goal in the climate deal and a regular mechanism that allows ambition to be increased are key calls to action of The Climate Group at COP21.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, explains: “A ratching review process and long-term goal offers more confidence for businesses, cities, states and regions to make longer term low carbon investment decisions. This is important because these so-called non-state actors have a huge role to play post COP21.

“These sectors are already adding 10-20% to what current national policies are set to achieve with their climate targets and have the very real potential to put us on a sub-2 degree pathway by the end of the decade – which is when any Paris agreement will officially kick in.”

Yesterday a section of draft text for the agreement was posted online by a "spin-off group" focused on mitigation, that includes a long-term goal of achieving zero emissions by 2060 to 2080. If this goal is included in the final text, businesses and sub-national governments will get the firm signal they need to continue driving a low carbon economy.

The text also states intent to shift toward climate neutrality and decarbonization, "over the course of this century" and "as soon as possible after mid-century."

Confidence levels that this working text will transform into a robust global deal from The Climate Group’s high-level business and government network currently averages a strong 65%, according to our latest Climate Barometer results. We will be surveying our network again this weekend based on headway made over the past week. 

In his daily analysis from the first day of COP21, Damian Ryan, International Head of Policy, The Climate Group suggests reactions from the private sector to these latest developments will be positive. “From a business and investor perspective, the long term goal and the review and ratchet discussion are two critical issues. This is because they will determine the clarity and certainty of not only new agreement but also the long term investment horizon of the private sector.

“A successful Paris Agreement needs to setup new rounds of commitments every five years. For each new round of commitments, governments should take stock of their collective progress toward the long-term goals in the Paris Agreement. This is necessary to inform the preparation of their new commitments. Dialogue on proposed commitments must also occur to ensure that everyone is doing their fair share and new commitments should be inscribed each time under the Paris Agreement.”

Get daily insight from our experts and business and government leaders on Climate TV, throughout COP21. Follow #ClimateTV on Twitter for the latest news and interviews from on the ground at Paris.



By Clare Saxon Ghauri

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