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Dhaka Tribune

The need for more ambition at COP21

Update : 09 Dec 2015, 08:04 PM

As the Paris climate conference nears its finale, one thing is clear: ambition is needed on all fronts in order to reach an effective agreement.

Ambition starts with money. According to International Energy Agency data, more than $18 trillion of investment is needed in the energy sector to achieve the target of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

“The best possible outcome from Paris would create a positive framework for investment in the emerging countries where new energy infrastructure is needed,” Simone Mori of Enel Group, an Italy-based multinational manufacturer and distributor of electricity and gas, says.

Italian Minister of Environment Gian Luca Galetti adds: “We have to increase our ambitions and in order to do so we have to leverage market mechanisms.”

Over 50% of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted by 186 countries say they seek access to an international market mechanism to achieve emissions reduction targets.

Jeff Swartz, director of international policy for the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), said: “We need a policy structure in Paris that allows us to compare INDCs and move towards ratcheting up ambitions.”

In this context, a rules based system for businesses is required that states what needs to be reported on and when, and to whom the reports must be made.

“When businesses cooperate with each other under a rules based system, they are enabling themselves to go even further for emissions reductions …” Swartz adds.

Raising ambition means establishing linkages between national and sub-national policies.

Robert N Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, says linkages lead to cost savings, reduce price volatility and provide a means to achieve common but differentiated responsibilities without sacrificing cost effectiveness, thus enabling greater ambition.

INDCs must enable ambition by making it possible to incorporate the latest technology.

Mori adds: “It is very important to be able to adapt and update the pledges according to the updates of technology.”

All of the parties at COP21 must step up and put their ambitious offers on the table to secure a dynamic agreement. Countries must go above and beyond their commitments to safeguard the future of the planet. 

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