No Time for ‘Petty Squabbles’ in Push for Paris Implementation
The international cooperation embodied in the Paris Agreement will mean nothing if follow-up negotiations in Bonn this week and next end in “petty squabbles”—and that means this is the moment when the Paris process is at its most vulnerable, warns Mohamed Adow, senior climate change advisor to Christian Aid.
“After the exhilarating heights of a big ‘moment’, we often end up falling into a slump, wrangling about process and losing momentum rather than building on what we’ve just achieved,” Adow wrote last week in a preview post on the Bonn meetings. “Such was the energy and effort needed to secure a positive outcome in Paris there has been a lot of old faces moving on and new faces coming in,” and while the process could benefit from the infusion of new ideas and energy, “there is a danger that it worsens the Bonn speed bump just at a time we need to kick on.”
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
Adow lists five essentials that will determine the success of the Bonn meetings: early ratification of the Paris accord, increased ambition from national governments by the time they resubmit their voluntary climate targets in 2018, continuing links between the Paris process and real-world efforts like the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Solar Alliance, rapid development of the rulebook to guide Paris implementation, and freer participation in the process for civil society groups.
“It will be tempting to spend our time in Bonn slapping ourselves on the back and take our foot off the gas, thinking we’ve done the hard work,” Adow writes. But “the cooperation shown in Paris will mean nothing if we descend into petty squabbles now that it feels like the immediate pressure is off.” And the pressure really hasn’t abated because, “in reality, the clock is ticking and the people on the front line of climate change need us to keep the momentum going.”