Analysis of COP21 by SLoCaT


Source: slocat

“While hopes are high, the burden of expectation is higher” (representative from South Africa in the COP21 closing session).

Shortly after the end of the COP21, the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon transport (SLoCaT) has published an initial assessment of the Paris Agreement and the associated COP21 decision.

First of all, even though SLoCaT especially welcomes the increase in transparency and MRVs for all parties, it is alarming that there is no guidance on international aviation and shipping. In general, SLoCaT is highly optimistic on the topic of post-2020 ambition, based on the overall spirit of the Agreement and the overall structure of mechanisms being put into place to ensure that ambition has the potential to be scaled upward as a new 2020 starting line is getting closer.

Nevertheless, the treatments of pre-2020 actions within the scope of the Paris Agreement are insufficient. Urgent national mitigation commitments have to materialize and need to be matched with sufficient financing and technology transfer resources in this period to provide relief from climate impacts. On this topic the South African delegation noted the following: ”The closing of pre-2020 ambition gap is essential, and the work of COP in this regard must remain our focus”. Moreover, the COP21 agreement does not foresee substantive review and strengthening of INDC ambition levels for 2020-2025, even though there is brought consensus that the continuation of the ambition level will lead to a warming of 2.7 degree Celsius and not the aspired 1.5 degree Celsius. Therefore, SLoCaT is warning, if inadequate measures are taken during 2020-2025, the transport sector will be unable to react promtly and the climate goals for 2030 and 2050 are moving beyond reach.

Also it is important to move determinedly to a more sector specific discussion as this will ultimately lead to economy wide reductions. During this process the funding should be addressed and other funding sectors, including public and private sector sources should be discussed.

Altogether SLoCaT concludes that the COP21 offers not only opportunities but also responsibilities for the transport sector. For a successful outcome transport experts, advocates, financing institutions, national ministries and international bodies have to make great efforts and should soon be working on concrete steps in order to reach the 1.5 degree scenario.

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