In response to today's United Nations release of new negotiating text ahead of the upcoming climate talks in Paris, World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, vice president, climate change:
“The co-chairs should be commended for their work in clarifying options and setting up decisions for governments to make. That said, this is a draft of our future – and it still looks far from finished. Most importantly, among all of the options on the table, the negotiating text glaringly lacks a clear approach to deal with the gap between the carbon-cutting pledges countries are making and the level of cuts scientists say is needed to avoid runaway climate change.
“True success in Paris rests on policymakers’ ability to create an explicit approach to closing that gap, and to do it quickly.
“As it stands now, the Paris talks will be like friends who go out to dinner, and, when the bill comes, simply toss in a few dollars and walk away, knowing they haven’t covered the tab.
“One of the clearest ways to address the gap is to incentivize developing counties, which have put conditional targets on the table, to trigger those higher targets. There is precious little in the draft text to make this happen. To advance this aspect of the talks, the United States should commit to concrete support to help countries trigger these conditional targets.
“Critically, the draft text only covers the period after 2020. So in Paris leaders will also need to create a new high-level political platform that will take effect immediately to trigger additional action from countries, cities and businesses to help close the ever-widening emissions gap right away.
"Today, the Secretariat also released another document that begins to outline that pre-2020 part of the Paris outcome. It is encouraging to see more political attention to this key issue, but as drafted, this document is too vague and avoids any mention of the gigatonne gap. Supplemental action by non-state actors and governments needs to be laser-focused on closing the gap. Anything else will simply ignore the fate of small island states, coral reefs, and cities from Miami to Mumbai."