In the Cancun Agreements in 2010, it was established that the increase in the global average
temperature should remain below
2 °C. At that time, more than 90 Parties made conditional and unconditional pledges to reduce emissions by 2020. These pledges
represent approximately 80 per cent of global total emissions but, while significant, will
not be sufficient to meet the 2 °C goal.
The UNEP Emissions Gap Report (2013) found that there is a need for additional reductions
between 8 and 12 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020. The report also found
that there is much untapped potential to reduce emissions at a relatively low cost. Given
rising emissions, it is urgent that ways are explored as to how this potential can be tapped.
The findings of the recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlight the need for urgent action
to close the gap by tapping into this potential.
Parties to the convention are very aware of this and have emphasized the need for a
game-changing and increased effort that aligns with both climate and development goals and
taps into the existing potential to reduce emissions. But the road to increased emission
reductions through, for example technologies such as renewable energy, is often still
littered with barriers and lacks adequate support. Addressing these barriers through
effective scalable policies, practices and actions can take time but is urgently needed. In
response to this, Parties have moved to the technical examination of opportunities. This
technical process aims to examine effective emission reduction policies, barriers to their
implementation and the scaling-up, incentives and feasible options for support.
The technical examination process consists of regular in-session thematic technical expert
meetings and focused in-depth inter-sessional work to be conducted by Parties, international
organizations and partnerships throughout the year.
At the March session of the ADP, policy options and opportunities to scale up renewable
energy deployment and energy efficiency improvements were explored during two technical
expert meetings. Specific follow up actions were identified as summarized in the technical
summaries from the meetings and in the updated
technical paper and its
addendum on mitigation benefits of actions, initiatives and options to enhance mitigation
ambition presented to the ADP in June.
During the June 2014 session of the ADP, the two technical examination meetings
looked at the opportunities in Land Use and
Urban Environments, and were complemented
by a Forum on Cities and Sub-National
Authorities. At the October session (ADP 2-6), technical expert meetings focused on
opportunities for action on non-CO2 greenhouse
gases and carbon capture, use and storage.
Ultimately, a successful outcome of this process would be a policy menu and options for
overcoming barriers and the lack of support so that more transformational action can be taken
on the ground in the period before 2020.