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On the brink…

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A statement from WWF’s Head of Delegation: Tasneem Essop

We’re only a day away from the deadline set by the French COP President for the delivery of the final agreement text. Ministers now have to knuckle down and work to ensure that we have a strong outcome in Paris. We are at a crossroads – we either go down a path to a 3 degree world, or we put in place all the necessary building blocks to put us on a path to a 1.5 degree world.

We must avoid a watered down final agreement that glosses over these key building blocks including finance, emission reduction efforts, and loss and damage. This would be a lost opportunity to make major progress.

In terms of pace, negotiators have been moving very fast, which has been encouraging. But they’re at risk of sacrificing ambition for expediency.

A more critical outcome for Paris is the need for a strong review process starting before 2020 of countries’ emission reduction pledges. This would provide a guarantee that governments are committed to make climate actions stronger and stronger. Currently, those pledges only get us halfway to where the science says we need to be to avoid the worst effects of climate change. A post-2020 review of pledges means that we would lock in the current national actions and we’d see no increase in efforts until 10 to 15 years from now. We need to get an agreement for a review before 2020 so that we can quickly ratchet up ambition before the agreement enters into force in 2020.

Ministers have a clear mandate to come out of a Paris with a strong agreement that sets us on a path to a safer future. They need to heed that call, made by world leaders last week, and from people, businesses, cities, and communities around the world leading into COP21.

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