Some 700 Peruvian children form a large image of a tree at Lima’s Miraflores beach to send a message to the World about the climate change on the sidelines of the UN COP20 and CMP10 conferences on December 4, 2014. The UN 20th session of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are being held from December 1st to 12th in Lima. AFP PHOTO/Eitan Abramovich

What BirdLife wants from Climate Change negotiations in Lima ?

The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima provides an opportunity for governments to work together to address this global challenge, and to respond to the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who took to the streets in September, marching for climate action.

COP20 is an important milestone in climate negotiations. Next year in Paris, governments should adopt a global agreement on climate change (the successor to the Kyoto Protocol) to come in to force in 2020. The primary aim of this agreement is to deliver on the objective of the UNFCCC – slow climate change to a level that is not dangerous (generally agreed to be a 2 degree Celsius warming from pre-industrial levels ). The agreement could take various forms – a protocol, another legal instrument or “an agreed outcome with legal force” – and will be applicable to all Parties.  COP20 is one of the last opportunities governments have to lay the foundations for this global agreement.

BirdLife International’s Asks for Lima
Agreement on the key elements of the 2015 global agreement to come into force in 2020 (ADP workstream 1): To have any chance of a successful agreement in Paris in 2015, workstream 1 of the ADP must make considerable progress in Lima. BirdLife International asks all Parties to work together constructively to agree on the parameters of the agreement. In particular, we would like to see inclusion of the following objectives:
– A long term goal to transition to a 100% renewable energy future by 2050, and interim milestones to avoid delayed action and to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of progress. It is critical that this is accompanied by the adoption of robust safeguards and sustainability standards to ensure that renewable energy deployment is in harmony with the natural environment.
– SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) targets to improve energy efficiency, so as to cut global energy demand. This will be fundamental to achieving climate targets whilst operating safely within environmental limits.
– Accounting principles for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), including full and comprehensive accounting of emissions and removals from these sectors and consideration of biodiversity conservation and human rights goals.
– Comprehensive integration of adaptation and loss and damage – including recognition of the role and needs of ecosystems – that builds on and enhances the Cancun Adaptation Framework, the Nairobi Work Programme and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.
– A financial package to deliver adequate, predictable and sustainable finance, which is critical for promoting investment in renewable energies, energy efficiency and other mitigation actions, and supporting adaptation, particularly in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
– Core social and environmental principles (e.g. human rights-based and ecosystem approaches) to govern all climate action.
Agreement on the scope of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and a process to assess adequacy and equity before Paris 2015 (ADP workstream 1): At COP 19 in Warsaw last year, Parties agreed ‘to invite all Parties to initiate or intensify domestic preparations for their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), and to communicate them well in advance of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so)’. The INDCs appear to be forming an important part of the 2015 agreement, and indicate a move away from a top-down approach with legally-binding emissions targets to a bottom-up, pledgeand- review approach. However, there is still considerable uncertainty about the scope of INDCs – whether they are to contain only mitigation contributions or also adaptation, capacity building, and finance – and what the process and timeframe will be for communicating and reviewing INDCs before Paris.
One of the major challenges is to ensure that the INDCs are equitable and that the aggregate level of emissions “contributions” is sufficient to keep us below a 2 degree world. BirdLife International believes it is imperative that there is an opportunity to assess the adequacy and equity of countries’ submitted INDCs prior to Paris 2015 and to ratchet them up where necessary to avoid locking in low and inequitable mitigation ambition. Furthermore, BirdLife would like Parties to agree, in Paris next year, to review, assess and, where necessary, ratchet up contributions on a five year basis according to both historic and evolving responsibilities and capabilities, and in light of progress towards the global goal.
Increased role for the forestry and land use sectors in mitigation both pre and post-2020 (ADP workstreams 1 and 2): Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) contribute about a quarter (24%) of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Mitigation commitments and action in these sectors can therefore play and important role addressing the gigatonne gap pre-2020 (ADP workstream 2) and as a core element of the 2015 agreement to come in to force in 2020 (ADP workstream 1). If they are designed and implemented appropriately, mitigation activities in these sectors can also deliver a number of “non-carbon benefits” to people and biodiversity. To harness the mitigation potential of REDD+, developed countries need to commit to defining a strategy for scaling up REDD+ finance, providing clarity on the timing, scale and means (both market and non-market) of payments for REDD+. This will give the signal necessary for developing countries to confidently invest their efforts in REDD+ and transition to a low carbon economy.
Scaling up of mitigation commitments and action pre-2020 (ADP workstream 2): We cannot wait until 2020 to take action. To keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, global emissions must peak before 2020. According to the UNEP Emissions Gap Report (2013), the emissions gap – the difference between the emission levels in 2020 consistent with the 2 degree target and the emissions expected given the existing commitments by countries – will be 8-12 GtCO2e per year, the gigatonne gap. BirdLife International calls developed countries to commit to mitigation reduction targets sufficiently ambitious to close the gigatonne gap and ensure greenhouse gas emissions peak before 2020. Developing countries with sufficient capacity are also encouraged to pledge additional mitigation action.
Financial commitments and a clear path for mobilising and scaling up finance and other support pre-2020 (ADP workstream 2): Finance remains a major obstacle to efforts to shift to a low carbon, climate resilient economy. It is not only the lack of climate finance that is the issue; it’s also the lack of predictability of climate finance flows, which undermines confidence in taking early and transformative action on climate change. In Lima, BirdLife International would like to see three key outcomes on finance: i) financial commitments from developed countries for at least the next two years; ii) pledges of over USD 80 million per year in 2014 and 2015 to ensure the continued operation of the Adaptation Fund; iii) a clear path for mobilizing and scaling up finance to 2020.
Additional guidance for REDD+ Safeguards Information System and summaries of information (SBSTA4): Countries implementing REDD+ must adhere to the Cancun safeguards to ensure that REDD-plus is implemented in an inclusive, transparent manner, with respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and that it is consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity. Parties have agreed that REDD+ countries shall develop Safeguards Information System (SIS) providing information on “how the safeguards are being addressed and respected”. To receive results-based payments, REDD+ countries must share their latest “summary of information” to demonstrate how the safeguards are being addressed and respected. However, it is really unclear as to how countries should set up their SIS, what sort of information they are to collect and provide, and when. In Lima, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) will discuss the need for further guidance. BirdLife International calls governments to agree on additional guidance to ensure countries’ SIS are transparent, consistent, effective and comprehensive, as well as guidance on the information that countries should provide to demonstrate they have addressed and respected the safeguards.

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