The first of the two CSO Debriefs on COP 21 organized by the Organization “Project 90 by 2030” was convened on the 8th of March in Cape Town. The participants were representatives of a great deal of non-governmental organizations and observers of climate negotiations. The purposes of this workshop, like its corresponding follow up in Johannesburg scheduled on the 11th of March, are numerous:
- Exchange Knowledge and viewpoints on COP 21 outcomes and implications for South Africa;
- Review of civil societies red lines for COP 21 and identify key messages for year ahead;
- Identify civil society events and actions around international and national climate change policy in 2016;
- Develop a joint press release: what a coalition of civil society is expecting from South Africa in light of the Paris agreement;
- Revision of South African Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): These can be improved upon so that South Africa takes the lead in the fight against climate change, by setting and pursuing more ambitious targets;
- Civil Society Organization (CSO) strengthening: public participation in climate-related matters is to be improved, particularly by studying strategic alliances with enterprises. The proposal was raised to set up frequent climate change meetings on a regular basis;
- Stronger engagement in CODESA, a forum in which a great variety of South African stakeholders gather in order to deeply discuss climate issues.
- Avoid double counting: the Paris Agreement bans double counting on several occasions in the final draft. However, there are the gaps and the weaknesses in the enforcement of this rule, as to date no mechanism has been put in place yet. As a result – also due to the complexity of the topic – there are still many ways by which countries may circumvent this obstacle and few are the institutional mechanisms to denounce and stop such unlawful practices. Possible ways forward include the institution of a national register grouping together every single mitigation project and/or the parallel standardization of accounting rules;
- Signature of the Agreement: South Africa is encouraged to take this step before the deadline of April 2017.
Brief by Luchino Ferraris – International Fellow at Natural Justice.