COP21 and Agenda 2030: The challenges of complementarity

26-11-2015

The interaction of climate change and development has found full recognition in the Agenda 2030 programme adopted in September 2015. The new universal policy framework integrates the global environmental and development concerns in a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The Paris agreement due to be adopted in early December is expected to complete this integration, addressing both key global environmental threats – climate change – and their development related concerns. Tensions between north and south have long been the main fault-line preventing progress in this matter. Although positions have been converging, in particular towards inclusion of strong adaptation support for developing countries and the legally binding character of the agreement, divergences remain on issues such as contribution to mitigation and adaptation finance for emerging economies and the mitigation effort of developing countries. At the heart of the problem is the perception of the relative responsibility of developing countries in climate change and their right to development, which mitigation efforts may undermine. Whether the Paris climate summit succeeds in reaching a legally binding agreement on emission reduction targets or not, supported in particular by the EU, the summit will be an opportunity to catalyse global action on inevitable climate adaptation. It will provide a platform for financial solidarity between rich countries, source of the lion's share of historical emissions responsible for climate change, and poor countries which suffer its worst immediate consequences.

The interaction of climate change and development has found full recognition in the Agenda 2030 programme adopted in September 2015. The new universal policy framework integrates the global environmental and development concerns in a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) The Paris agreement due to be adopted in early December is expected to complete this integration, addressing both key global environmental threats – climate change – and their development related concerns. Tensions between north and south have long been the main fault-line preventing progress in this matter. Although positions have been converging, in particular towards inclusion of strong adaptation support for developing countries and the legally binding character of the agreement, divergences remain on issues such as contribution to mitigation and adaptation finance for emerging economies and the mitigation effort of developing countries. At the heart of the problem is the perception of the relative responsibility of developing countries in climate change and their right to development, which mitigation efforts may undermine. Whether the Paris climate summit succeeds in reaching a legally binding agreement on emission reduction targets or not, supported in particular by the EU, the summit will be an opportunity to catalyse global action on inevitable climate adaptation. It will provide a platform for financial solidarity between rich countries, source of the lion's share of historical emissions responsible for climate change, and poor countries which suffer its worst immediate consequences.