By Daphne Davies, Dec 9, 2015, Paris,France.
In a surprise move developed countries at the Paris Summit, starting with Australia, Canada, France and Germany are starting to come round to the idea of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5C. While welcoming this understanding of the need to keep temperatures down if the poorest, most vulnerable countries are to survive, LDC Watch compared this to a ‘Trojan Horse’: the promise to save the poorest is also a means to protect the richest.
There are a number of reasons why this is an empty promise.
- Even if all countries stick to their voluntary pledges or Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions the world is likely to warm by 30C, with devastating effects.
- The current INDCs represent half of the reductions in emissions needed by 2030, if temperatures are not going to rise to catastrophic levels for LDCs.
Equity and Fair Shares
- The total reductions agreed by developed countries fall far below the total needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. These INDCs also fail the test of historical responsibility and equity, if, as agreed in the 1992 Climate Convention, countries are to make their ‘fair share’ of global efforts to tackle climate change.
- A recent report Fair Shares: A civil society equity review of INDCs (http://civilsocietyreview.org), endorsed by LDC Watch, analysed the amount of carbon that the 146 countries, which made INDCs, had released since the beginning of industrialisation. Matching this to their INDCs, the report finds that of the major polluting countries:
- United States’ INDCs represent about 1/5 of what its fair share should be;
- The EU’s INDCs represent just over 1/5 of what its fair share should be.
In addition, as any Agreement made in Paris must include a framework to ensure that a country’s domestic commitments and global targets are set in accordance with science and equity (according to the Climate Convention) many rich countries’ fair shares are too large to be fulfilled exclusively within their own borders even with ambitious domestic targets, so the report says they must contribute finance and technical know-how to developing countries to adapt to climate change.
Azeb Girmai, Climate lead, LDC Watch said “It is vital that the negotiations end with developed countries taking their fair share of the work required to keep temperatures below 1.5C, by both delivering deep cuts in emissions, which do not involve false solutions, and making financial commitments”.
LDC News Service