Climate Change Convention - WFEO and the COP21 Agreement

WFEO serves society and is recognized as a respectable and valuable source of advice and guidance on the policies, interests and concerns that relate to engineering and technology.


You can find in this page the report “WFEO and the COP21 Agreement” by Jorge Spitalnik, WFEO President and Delegation Member to COP21.

This report shows opportunities for WFEO to contribute in implementing measures foreseen in the Paris Agreement (the text of the Agreement is available for download at the bottom of this page).

 


1. Introduction

Analysis of the results achieved at the UNFCCC COP21 meeting shows opportunities for WFEO to contribute in implementing measures related to Science and Technology and Capacity-building issues.

The basic view brought forth in this meeting states the concern of the Parties that the estimated aggregate of greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030, resulting from intended national emission reduction contributions, do not fall within least-cost 2°C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030, noting that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes, in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The Agreement establishes a series of steps and measures to reach such objective.

The Agreement shown in Annex I shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017.

The Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

2. Role of NGOs

The text of the Agreement recognizes the role of NGOs (like WFEO) to contribute towards the success of this endeavor. It is explicitly stated that the Parties:

  • agree to uphold and promote regional and international cooperation in order to mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party stakeholders, including civil society;

  • resolve to strengthen, in the period 2016–2020, the existing technical examination process on mitigation taking into account the latest scientific knowledge by encouraging Parties, Convention bodies and international organizations to engage in this process, including, as appropriate, in cooperation with relevant non-Party stakeholders and to cooperate in facilitating the implementation of policies, practices and actions identified during this process;

  • welcome the efforts of all non-Party stakeholders to address and respond to climate change, including those of civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and other sub-national authorities;

  • admit according to the rules of procedure as an observer, any body or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by this Agreement and which has informed the secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties;

  • enhance understanding, action and support, including comprehensive risk assessment and management, through collaboration with existing bodies and expert groups under the Agreement, as well as relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Agreement by the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts;

  • request the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism to establish a task force to complement, draw upon the work of and involve, as appropriate, existing bodies and expert groups under the Convention including the Adaptation Committee and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group, as well as relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Convention, to develop recommendations for integrated approaches to avert, minimize and address displacement related to the adverse impacts of climate change.

3. Science, Engineering and Technology

WFEO possible contributions in Science, Engineering and Technology issues are clearly outlined in the following prescribed actions of the Agreement:

  • the information to be provided by Parties communicating their nationally determined contributions, in order to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding, may include quantifiable information on the reference point (including, as appropriate, a base year), time frames and/or periods for implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches including those for estimating and accounting for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and, as appropriate, removals;

  • the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement shall ensure that Parties account for anthropogenic emissions and removals, in accordance with methodologies and common metrics assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as provide an explanation of why any categories of anthropogenic emissions or removals are excluded;

  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation shall recommend work programme and functions of the Forum on the Impact of the Implementation of response measures by enhancing cooperation amongst Parties on understanding the impacts of mitigation actions under the Agreement and the exchange of information, experiences, and best practices amongst Parties to raise their resilience to these impacts;

  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice shall develop and recommend the guidance to ensure that double counting is avoided on the basis of a corresponding adjustment by Parties for both anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks covered by their nationally determined contributions;

  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice shall develop and recommend rules, modalities and procedures to undertake a work programme under the framework for non-market approaches to sustainable development, with the objective of considering how to enhance linkages and create synergy between, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, and how to facilitate the implementation and coordination of non-market approaches;

  • the importance of positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, as well as alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests is recognized while reaffirming the importance of non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches;

  • the Technology Mechanism is to be strengthened, requesting the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network to undertake further work relating to: (a) technology research, development and demonstration; (b) the development and enhancement of endogenous capacities and technologies;

  • the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice shall initiate the elaboration of the technology framework taking into consideration: (a) the need of assessments for undertaking and updating of technology, as well as the enhanced implementation of their results, particularly technology action plans and project ideas, through the preparation of bankable projects; (b) the need of assessments for the provision of enhanced financial and technical support for the implementation of the results of the technology; (c) the assessment of technologies that are ready for transfer; (d) the development and transfer of socially and environmentally sound technologies;

  • a periodic assessment of the effectiveness of and the adequacy of the support provided to the Technology Mechanism in supporting the implementation of the Agreement on matters relating to technology development and transfer has to be undertaken;

  • the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement will verify: (a) that Parties report information on adaptation action and planning, enhancing delivery of support for both adaptation and mitigation, taking into account issues considered by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice; (b) the state of adaptation efforts, support, experiences and priorities;

  • in the period 2016–2020, the existing technical examination process on mitigation will be strengthened taking into account the latest scientific knowledge;

  • the importance of fully realizing technology development and transfer in order to improve resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a long-term vision of the Parties;

  • the secretariat shall organize the technical examination process on mitigation by updating, on an annual basis a technical paper on the mitigation benefits and co-benefits of policies, practices and actions for enhancing mitigation ambition;

  • two high-level champions shall be appointed to act on behalf of the President of the Conference of the Parties to provide guidance to the secretariat on the organization of technical expert meetings;

  • Parties should aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, and take action to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases;

  • adaptation action should be based on and guided by the best available science; institutional arrangements are to be strengthened to support the synthesis of relevant information and knowledge, the provision of technical support and guidance to Parties, and to assist in identifying effective adaptation practices, adaptation needs and priorities;

  • areas of cooperation and facilitation to enhance understanding, action and support may include comprehensive risk assessment and management;

  • information submitted by each Party shall undergo a technical expert review.

4. Capacity-building

The need for Capacity-building received great relevance in the Agreement text as shown as follows. It was decided to:

  • request the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice to develop and recommend rules, modalities and procedures to undertake a work programme to enhance linkages and create synergy between mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity-building;

  • request the Technology Executive Committee and the Climate Technology Centre and Network to undertake further work relating to the development and enhancement of endogenous capacities and technologies;

  • establish the Paris Committee on Capacity-building to launch a work plan to address gaps and needs through collaborating with institutions under and outside the Convention, promote the development and dissemination of tools and methodologies for the implementation of capacity-building, identify and collect good practices, challenges, experiences, and lessons learned from work on capacity-building; focus on enhanced technical exchange on capacity-building, with the purpose of maintaining up-to-date knowledge, and focus on enhanced technical exchange on capacity-building, with the purpose of maintaining up-to-date knowledge;

  • establish a Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency;

  • guide Capacity-building by lessons learned and facilitate, through Capacity-building, technology development, dissemination and deployment, and access to climate finance as well as to relevant aspects of education and training.

5. Finance

Regarding financial issues, the Parties of the Agreement expressed their concurrence in:

  • reiterating their call to developed country Parties, the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism and any other organizations in a position to do so to provide support;

  • requesting the Green Climate Fund to expedite support for the least developed countries and other developing country Parties for the formulation of national adaptation plans;

  • deciding that, in the implementation of the Agreement, financial resources provided to developing countries should enhance the implementation of their policies, strategies, regulations and action plans and their climate change actions with respect to both mitigation and adaptation;

  • setting, prior to 2025 the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries;

  • resolving to enhance the provision of urgent and adequate finance, technology and capacity-building support by developed country Parties to achieve the goal of jointly providing USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation and identify relevant opportunities to enhance the provision of financial resources, including for technology development and transfer and capacity-building support;

  • recognizing the important role of providing incentives for emission reduction activities, including tools such as domestic policies and carbon pricing;

  • achieving a balance between adaptation and mitigation by the provision of scaled-up financial resources;

  • strengthening cooperative action on technology development and transfer supported by the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, for collaborative approaches to research and development, and facilitating access to technology, in particular for early stages of the technology cycle.

  • 6. Agreement Organizations

    A List of Organizations and Authorities with responsibilities in carrying out the Agreement decisions is shown in Annex II. Functions of these Organizations and Authorities are described either in the text of the Agreement or in the proceedings of previous COP meetings that can be found in the UNFCCC webpage

    7. Conclusions

    Recognizing the role of NGOs in contributing to the implementation of many decisions taken by the Parties of the Paris Agreement, new areas of cooperation with UN bodies and International Organizations emerge for WFEO.

    WFEO, through its Standing Technical Committees, could take the opportunity to reach a relevant status in undertaking, with UNFCCC and the different Organizations set up by this Agreement, joint projects related to climate change mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and capacity-building.


    Jorge Spitalnik

    WFEO President, Member Delegation to COP21

    21 December 2015


      Annex I: the COP-21 Agreement text

      Annex II: the list of the Organizations and Authorities of the COP21 Paris Agreement

      WFEO and COP21 Agreement full document with Annexes

      Paris Statement: WFEO COP-21 Engineers Climate Change Summit 2015

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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