First Draft of New Climate Change Agreement Presented to Governments

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

[Dot Earth] In what counts as progress in preparations for Paris negotiations aimed at forging the first new global climate agreement since 1992, the United Nations secretariat managing the process issued a news release today titled, “First Draft of New Climate Change Agreement Presented to Governments.”…

Months of painstaking discussions have greatly whittled things down from negotiating outlines released in February (86 pages) and then July  (76 pages), which were nicely summarized at the time by Carbon Brief.

In U.N. parlance, what has emerged is a non-paper – meaning a draft (technically in this case, a pair of drafts of two documents) with no official status. This is the only way such pre-negotiation negotiations can take place.

The problem? The draft is so riddled with brackets that all John Oliver would have to do to elicit a gale of laughter on “Last Week Tonight” is read it aloud.

Here’s a sample from the section on plans for mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases: 

Parties aim to reach by [X date] [a peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions][zero net greenhouse gas emissions][a[n] X per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions][global low-carbon transformation][global low-emission transformation][carbon neutrality][climate neutrality]. 2. Each Party [shall][should][other] regularly communicate a nationally determined mitigation [contribution][commitment][other] that it [shall][should][other] implement. 3. Each Party’s nationally determined mitigation [contribution][commitment][other] [shall][should][other] reflect a progression beyond its previous efforts, noting that those Parties that have previously communicated economy-wide efforts should continue to do so in a manner that is progressively more ambitious and that all Parties should aim to do so over time. Each mitigation [contribution][commitment][other] [shall][should][other] reflect the Party’s highest possible ambition, in light of its national circumstances, and: (a) [Be quantified or quantifiable;] (b) [Be unconditional, at least in part;] (c) [Other]…

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