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The Periodic Review

The long term global goal 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.

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. The "scope of the next periodic review of the long-term goal under the Convention and of overall progress towards achieving it" was considered in May 2016, at SBSTA 44 and SBI 44. An pdf-icon informal background note (202 kB) was produced prior to SB 46 by the Chairs of the SBSTA and the SBI on this matter.

The matter was then further considered at SBSTA 46 and SBI 46 (See document FCCC/SBSTA/2017/4  page 12-13 and document FCCC/SBI/2017/7 page 19-20), where Parties recalled, inter alia, that relevant work is being undertaken on the global stocktake under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA), the 2018 facilitative dialogue,  and  the  technical  examination  processes. There was also reference to the work programme in decision  1/CMA.1, paragraphs  5–7, the outcomes of which will be forwarded to COP 24 (December 2018); and the upcoming IPCC Special Report "Global Warming of 1.5 ºC" (due September 2018). They also noted that  the  2013–2015  review,  including  its  successes and shortcomings, can provide lessons for the next periodic review. In order to ensure  that  the  next  periodic  review  is non-duplicative and efficient, the SBs agreed to recommend a draft decision to the COP (see below).

Outlook for the next session (SB 50)

COP 23 requested the SBs to resume their consideration of this matter at SB 50 in June 2019, with a view to forwarding a recommendation to COP 25 (November 2019). The text that was agreed can be found the draft decisions contained in FCCC/SBSTA/2017/4/Add.1 (page 2) and FCCC/SBI/2017/7/Add.1 (page 2). The agreed decision 18/CP.23 will be included in the COP 23 report, and will be available soon.


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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