Negotiating Mitigation, Equity and Ambition

By Vositha Wijeynayake

#ADP moved into its 4th day of negotiations tabling equity and ambition. All Parties agreed that equity is an important element in the process, while developing countries expressed that they will need support for their #Mitigation and adaptation actions, with Bangladesh and China both highlighting support for developing countries shift to a #LowCarbonDevelopment path.


#Tuvalu intervened with the statement that all developed country parties should have economy-wide commitments while developing countries could have a variety of contributions. The country expressed the need for a common metric and accounting system to see how they would amount to. The country further added that the intended nationally determined contributions were part of the analytical process leading to the 2015 agreement which should focus on mitigation.


Korea’s intervention on the 4th day of the negotiations expressed that the Parties need to be flexible to the legal formality to anchor actions in the framework. The negotiator further added that too much legal rigidity will limit participation. Domestic certainty could allow for such arrangements to fit into the 2020 climate regime to allow broad participation.


Negotiator for China stated that “Some colleagues view the 2015 agreement only from a natural science aspect, but the driver of climate change is anthropogenic,” and stressed that there is something wrong with our social-economic system.

“That is why we need to concentrate on how we must reform our socio-economic system. The discussion on equity must make sense from this perspective,” he added.


Brazil in highlighted that it is important not to rewrite the Convention and added that differentiation was a key aspect of the #ParisAgreement . The country stressed on the need for Annex 1 countries to take the lead with ambitious quantitative economy wide contributions.


Iran quoted the Doha, Warsaw and Durban documents which emphasise the commitment of developed countries and actions of developing countries.

“Article 4.7 emphasises that developing country action is dependent on the support rendered from developed countries. Contributions should be nationally appropriate and should refer to all elements,’ stated Iran.

 Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea in its intervention pointed out  mitigation to be fundamental to the new agreement. They further added that developing countries cannot be discussed without all six elements in the Durban decisions, also that latest science has to be taken into account. Intervention highlighted the issue of REDD+.

The Co-Chair expressed that Parties have emphasised that the principles of the convention must apply in 2015: Equity, #CBDRRC . He added that there are different interpretations of how these principles should be interpreted.


EU speaking at the session on equity stated that upfront information need to be identified before Lima which should be a contextual explanation of the context for countries contributions (domestic economic indicators). They also added that maximum participation of Parties need to be ensured.

“In order to ensure ambition mitigation commitments is applicable to all parties, differentiation should be in the type of commitments, and commitments should take into account past, present and future responsibility,” said the EU.

Tuvalu speaking on behalf of the LDCs reaffirmed support to the principles of the UNFCCC, while adding that equity and CBDRRC are fundamental principles. The LDC group added that the 2015 agreement should ensure comparability of effort, particularly among developed countries.


India in its intervention stated that the convention captures all essential elements on which equity in the 2015 Agreement can be based.

“It is only rational that developed countries take the lead in the 2015 Agreement,” expressed the negotiator for India. He further added that developing countries must be given space for development.

“India is taking steps to combat CC but our priority is poverty alleviation and development,” he added.

China on the interpretation of equity stated, that there are very diverse interpretations of equity. He added that hunger, food security, energy access should be taken into account in our discussions.

“Equity is about opportunity to get access to sustainable development. We need to answer questions about access to sustainable development and how the 2015 Agreement can facilitate this. When we talk about equity we are very keen to protect the climate, “added China.

The negotiations of ADP 2.4 will resume its last day of negotiations tomorrow (March 14) with hopes of an outcome which would help progress in developing an Agreement which could be tabled to the Parties.

[Photo credits IISD]

About the Author:

Vositha Wijenayake is the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator of CANSA and, Regional Facilitator for Asia for the Southern Voices Programme. She is a lawyer by profession and has an LLM from University College London. She specialises in International Environmental Law and Human Rights Law. She has been tracking the UNFCCC negotiations since 2009 with a legal and gender focus.

#ADP  #CBDRRC  #LowCarbonDevelopment  #Mitigation  #ParisAgreement  #Tuvalu