Ahead of the Facilitative Dialogue on pre-2020 ambition at COP22, youth delegates are putting political pressure on their governments to reduce the emissions gap. They have recreated the scene from the London underground, calling negotiators to “Mind the (Emissions) Gap” before embarking on the Facilitative Dialogue train. This interactive action calls upon negotiators to urgently ratchet up their climate ambition in order to meet what is promised in the Paris Agreement.

Last week, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) released their annual Emissions Gap report quantifying the aggregate contribution of submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). NDCs are pledges made by UNFCCC Parties to deliver their part of the Paris Agreement. The report showed that the sum of conditional and unconditional NDCs bring us down to a 3°C and 3.2°C trajectory, respectively. The Parties committed to maintain global temperature rise to 2°C compared to 1990s level, with 1.5°C as an aim.

Pip Roddis, a youth delegate from the UK Youth Climate Coalition, said: “World leaders only have 5 years left to peak global emissions to have a 66% chance of achieving the 1.5°C temperature target. A temperature rise higher than 1.5°C would have disastrous consequences on the most vulnerable nations. For example, it could lead to the disappearance of small island states due to sea level rise, and increased agricultural crop failures in tropical and subtropical regions.”

Youth delegates are thus calling on their political representatives to take action now. The Paris Agreement entered into force on the 4th of November – a move hailed by many as a showcase of the current political momentum behind addressing climate change. Yet, this early ratification stands stark against the 4 years that separates us from 2020, when the NDCs enshrined in the Paris Agreement are scheduled to begin. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol – institutionalised through the Doha Amendments – was established to close this potential gap in government action. Yet, most countries have not ratified the Doha Amendments, bringing up questions about their real commitment to avert the climate crisis.

Jeanne Martin, a youth delegate from the UK Youth Climate Coalition, said: “Today, youth delegates are calling their governments to correct their cognitive dissonance – patting themselves on the back for the record speed entry into force of the Paris Agreement, but failing to take action when it is actually needed.”

In the light of the Facilitative Dialogue taking place at 3pm today, youth delegates are asking UNFCCC Parties to do the following:

  • Ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol
  • Accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement
  • Implement national targets or strategies to enhance pre-2020 ambition
  • Ratchet up the ambition of their NDCs which will begin in 2020.

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Notes to Editors

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