Pré-COP : 62 Ministers in Paris

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Key information on the Pré-Cop (8 - 10 November), the last meeting prior to COP21:

The Pre-Cop saw a considerable mobilization by ministers from different countries

More than 60 ministers travelled to Paris at the invitation of Mr Laurent Fabius, incoming President of COP21, for three days of work. The aim of this last meeting ahead of the Climate Conference was to explore possible compromises, generate political momentum in this final straight and to prepare the resumption of negotiations as soon as COP21 is opened.

The pre-COP follows on from the informal ministerial consultations held in July and September by Mr Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Peruvian Minister of the Environment and President of COP20, Mr Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.

All the major greenhouse gas-emitters will be represented, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the EU and several of its Member States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as Bangladesh, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Niger, are also invited. In total, 70 countries were represented in Paris.

Before the opening of the pre-COP, a visit to the COP21 site preparation work in Le Bourget was organized.

Four themes on the agenda

- ambition: the aim is to persuade all countries to accept the principle of a “ratcheting-up” mechanism for national contributions, with a stated frequency.

- fairness: developing countries would like past responsibilities and the abilities of each country to be taken into account. While the principle is agreed, the terms of implementation require further discussion.

- post-2020 financing: consideration of possible post-2020 financing, such as contributions by developing countries or increasing the budget of $100 billion per year?

- pre-2020: the aim is to identify what can be done prior to 2020, when the new agreement will take effect.

The ministers spend three days working in groups with, for each group, two ministers playing the role of facilitating the discussions.

“A major step forward”

To begin the closing press conference of the pre-COP on Tuesday, 10 November, Laurent Fabius chose to recall the news to emphasize the urgency of taking action: the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)’s announcement of a record concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in 2014, and that by the World Bank of the risk of 100 million people falling into extreme poverty by 2030 if efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change are not taken. “Faced with the seriousness of these threats, which shake geopolitical, economic and social balances and threaten populations, we have an obligation to succeed”, said Fabius, alongside Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and Christiana Figueres. “By holding the pre-COP, we have made an important step forward ahead of the Paris Conference, but we remain more mobilized than ever.”

For her part, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) highlighted that this pre-COP was the most important ever organized in the history of the Conference of the Parties, as well as being the most productive.

Conclusions of the pre-COP:

- ambition:

  • confirmation of a common determination to reach a universal agreement in Paris this December; there is a large consensus for a periodic review of the national contributions.
  • the principle of regular presentation of new contributions by all countries.
  • a consensus on a “no backtracking” clause: each new objective must be more ambitious than the previous.

- fairness:
increasingly wide-ranging support for the idea of a single system, with flexibilities depending on capabilities.

- on post-2020 financing:
positive signals for new financial announcements during the Paris Climate Conference, to achieve the goal of $100 billion. And the idea that, alongside developed countries, the developing countries capable of doing so are encouraged to contribute to climate financing is increasingly accepted.

- on actions to carry out ahead of 2020:
we discussed several points, such as the idea to take stock in 2017 or 2018 concerning the implementation of all pre-2020 commitments. Strong support for the continuation of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, an initiative instigated by France and Peru to involve non-governmental actors which now contains more than 6000 individual and collective commitments. “World civil society is on the move”, emphasized Laurent Fabius. The 5 December action day was a high point.

New national contributions

Three national contributions were published during the pre-COP: Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Egypt. Saudi Arabia’s national contribution, one of the ten largest CO2 emitters, marks an additional commitment for all countries towards an agreement in Paris. In total, 159 countries have submitted their roadmap for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Further information about the UNFCC’s report on the contributions : here

publié le 11/11/2015

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