What was the 2013-2015 Review? - FAQs

In 2010  at COP 16, Parties 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, and to periodically review the goal. The COP will periodically review the adequacy of this long-term global goal in the light of the ultimate objective of the Convention and overall progress toward achieving the long-term global goal, including a consideration of the implementation of the commitments under the Convention. The first periodic review, known as the 2013-2015 review,  considered strengthening the long-term global goal, including in relation to a temperature rise of 1.5°C. It led to the decision (10/CP.21) on the new long-term global goal that was agreed in 2015, and 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.                                              

Here are frequently asked questions about the 2013-2015 review.

What did the 2013-2015 review assess?

In 2012 (COP18), the COP decided the scope of the Review. In a narrow sense, the review assesses the following two primary questions:

Question 1: Is the long-term global goal adequate in the light of the ultimate objective of the Convention?
Question 2: Is the overall progress towards achieving the long-term global goal, adequate?

At COP21 (2015), the outcome of the review was a contributing factor to Parties aiming to hold "..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..".

The review could be seen as a mechanism to translate scientific knowledge into policy, and thus, its process could be as important as its outcome.

Who conducted the 2013-2015 review?

The review was conducted by the COP , with the assistance of the SBSTA and the SBI. The SBSTA and the SBI established a joint contact group, supported by the structured expert dialogue. The SBSTA and SBI and the structured expert dialogue periodically reported to the COP, through SBSTA and SBI.

What is the structured expert dialogue (SED)?

The structured expert dialogue was established at COP18 to ensure the scientific integrity of the review. In the context of the 2013-2015 review, it considered the inputs of the review through scientific workshops and expert meetings. To ensure transparency, the workshops were open-ended to all stakeholders.

The structured expert dialogue provided a framework for open and substantive discussions between Parties on the scientific knowledge and evidence based climate policy formulation. It played a stronger role in the review phases of information gathering and compilation and technical assessment.

This dialogue was facilitated by two co-facilitators: one from Annex I and the other from non-Annex I. The co-facilitators reported on work done under the structured expert dialogue to COP19 and COP20, through the SBSTA and SBI.

What is the time schedule of the Review?

The first periodic review started in 2013 and was concluded by 2015, when the COP considered appropriate action based on the outcome of the review, by strengthening the long-term global goal, including in relation to temperature rise of 1.5°C.

In the first phase, the review focused on information gathering and compilation and technical assessments. In the later phase, it began preparing a synthesis report as outcomes of the review.

Subsequent reviews will take place following the adoption of an assessment report of the IPCC or at least every seven years.

How did the review contribute to the ADP process?

The COP decided that the ADP process was to be informed by the outcomes of the 2013-2015 review, as well as the IPCC AR5 and the work of the SBs. The SB Chairs and the structured expert dialogue co-facilitators informed the ADP on the work undertaken in the context of the 2013-2015 review throughout the first review period (2013-2015), as appropriate. The timely output of the review for ADP in 2015 supported the work on the new agreement.