Briner (oecd)durable2015 built to last ccxg gf-march2014


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Built to Last: Introduction and options for flexibility in the structure and metrics of the 2015 agreement

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  • The aim of this paper is to explore what a flexible and durable climate change agreement could look like and propose pragmatic options for the design of such an agreement. While the focus of this paper is on the mitigation part of the 2015 agreement, the concepts and approaches outlined could be relevant to other aspects of the agreement (including adaptation, finance and transparency).
  • Would fulfil the objectives of the Convention both now and in the future
    Keep the below 2 ºC goal within reach
    Not being constantly re-negotiated, long shelf life
    Responsive to changing situations and contexts
    Flexibility – changing contributions later, responding to events, can help increase participation
    Predictability – regarding environmental outcome and 2 degree goal, also minimising uncertainty for investors
    Success needed on both fronts to make agreement durable
    Changes and shocks - impact on the ability of countries to meet their mitigation contributions, positive or negative, long term, short term
  • Science – some risks could be graver than previously thought, link policy to latest scientific findings
    Natural disasters – not just climate change, affect capacity and resources
    Economic [Bank panic on Wall Street in 1907] - positive or negative, rapidly-growing economies, recessions
    Political - changes of government, short-term nature of political cycles, profile of climate change waxes and wanes
    Demographic – population, shifting income distributions, increasing urbanisation and the rise of the middle classes in emerging economies
    Technology [Solar Impulse, flew across the US last year] – innovation, costs changing rapidly, impact on energy mixes positive or negative, cost-effective ways of exploiting unconventional and carbon intensive fossil fuel reserves
    Unknown unknowns - other high-impact low-probability events, possible to design an agreement with characteristics that give it a better chance of coping with, or even benefiting from, unpredictable events - flexibility, transparency, open data, feedback loops, responsiveness
  • Flexibility would depend on how contributions are included in the 2015 agreement
    Could be in annex, like the Kyoto Protocol
    Could be in information documents, like 2020 pledges
    Can be quicker and easier to make adjustments to information documents than amendments to the text of a core agreement
    Montreal Protocol has been adjusted six times and amended four times to date.
  • Could be combined with revisiting and adjustment process
    The extent to which contributions expressed in terms of emissions relative to a BAU baseline are flexible depends on whether the baseline will be updated, and if so, how
  • Briner (oecd)durable2015 built to last ccxg gf-march2014

    1. 1. 1 Climate Change Expert Group Breakout group session outline Part 1 (11:45 – 13:15) What does “durable” mean? Structure of the 2015 agreement Metrics used to express contributions Part 2 (14:30 – 16:00) Process for revisiting and adjusting contributions Part 3 (16:30 – 18:00) Continued discussion and next steps
    2. 2. Climate Change Expert Group Gregory Briner, OECD Based on the draft paper “Built to Last: Designing a Flexible and Durable 2015 Climate Change Agreement” by Gregory Briner, Takayoshi Kato and Takashi Hattori Built to Last: Introduction and options for flexibility in the structure and metrics of the 2015 agreement CCXG Global Forum 18 March 2014
    3. 3. 3 Climate Change Expert Group Built to Last: presentation outline What does “durable” mean? Structure of the 2015 agreement Metrics used to express contributions Questions for discussion Source: John Perivolaris
    4. 4. 4 Climate Change Expert Group What does “durable” mean? “A durable 2015 agreement would be an agreement that is ambitious and fair when it comes into effect from 2020, and continues to be ambitious and fair in response to structural changes and external shocks after 2020…” Flexibility Predictabilit y Flexibility
    5. 5. 5 Climate Change Expert Group Possible changes and external shocks Scientific Source: Wikimedia Commons Natural disasters Source: NASA Goddard Economic Source: Wikimedia Commons Political Source: Wikimedia Commons Demographic Source: Greg Briner Technological Source: Solar Impulse
    6. 6. 6 Climate Change Expert Group Possible structure of the agreement Information document Information document Information document COP decision COP decision COP decisionCOP decision COP decision Core political and/or legal agreement (with annexes)
    7. 7. 7 Climate Change Expert Group Metrics used to express contributions The metrics used to express mitigation contributions could affect how flexible the 2015 agreement is Examples of flexible metrics: emissions intensity, GHG emissions relative to BAU, non-GHG metrics These metrics can increase responsiveness to external shocks, but also increase uncertainty regarding future environmental outcomes Multiple contributions by a country expressed using different metrics could be more durable than a single contribution expressed in GHG terms
    8. 8. 8 Climate Change Expert Group Discussion questions What are possible interpretations of the term “durable” in the context of the 2015 climate change agreement? How could the 2015 agreement be structured in a durable manner? Could the use of metrics such as emissions intensity, GHG emissions relative to BAU and non- GHG metrics by some Parties help to make the agreement more durable?