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The Periodic Review

The long term global is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

This long-term global goal was agreed by the COP in December 2015 (see paragraph 4 of Decision 10/CP.21 on the 2013-2015 review). It is also reflected in Article 2.1(a) of the Paris Agreement (see Decision 1/CP.21 and its annex). The outcome of the 2013-2015 review was a contributing factor to Parties' strengthening of the long-term global goal.

The periodic review

In 2010, Parties had agreed on a long-term global goal to reduce GHG emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The COP also decided to periodically review: (1) the adequacy of the long-term global goal in the light of the ultimate objective of the Convention, and (2) overall progress toward achieving the long-term global goal, including a consideration of the implementation of the commitments under the Convention. See decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 138-140 for more information. One year later, the COP decided to establish a structured expert dialogue (SED) to support the review and to ensure scientific integrity through a focused exchange of views, information and ideas. The final report on the SED is contained in FCCC/SB/2015/INF.1. The first periodic review was the 2013-2015 review (see "What was the 2013-2015 review" below for more information). It led to the decision (10/CP.21) on the new long-term global goal that was agreed in 2015.

Current status of discussions

In 2015, COP  21 requested the SBSTA and the SBI to consider the scope of the next periodic review with a view to forwarding a recommendation for consideration by the COP by no later than 2018, as appropriate. It agreed  that  the  next periodic review should be conducted in an effective and efficient manner, avoid duplication of work and take into account the results of relevant work conducted under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol and the subsidiary bodies.

In May 2016, at their forty-fourth sessions, the SBSTA and the SBI considered the scope of the next periodic review, as mandated at COP 21. They noted  the  relevant  work  on  the  global  stocktake  under  the  APA,  the  facilitative  dialogue, which will take place in 2018, and the technical examination processes.  The conclusions can be found in the respective reports: SBSTA and SBI.

Outlook for the next session

In May 2016, the SBSTA (page 14) and SBI (page 26) agreed to further consider the scope of the next periodic review at their forty-sixth sessions (May 2017) and to refine it, taking into account relevant experiences with the 2013–2015 review.  The SBSTA and the SBI noted that an in-session workshop on the scope of the next periodic review could be useful and that they may consider the matter further at their forty-sixth sessions. An pdf-icon informal background note (202 kB) has been produced by the Chairs of the SBSTA and the SBI to inform further consideration, at SB 46, on the scope of the next periodic review of the long-term global goal under the Convention and of progress towards achieving it.


Questions and answers clarifying the procedures involved in the 2013–2015 review
The 2013–2015 review considered various materials, including the IPCC assessment reports
Invitation for the submission of information and views from Parties addressing the 2013–2015 review




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