Engaging civil society will help ensure transparent and credible review of climate pledges — Valerie J. Karplus and Michael Davidson

MIT Sloan Professor Valerie Karplus

MIT Sloan Professor Valerie Karplus

MIT Ph.D. Candidate Michael Davidson

MIT Ph.D. Candidate Michael Davidson

From The Conversation

After two weeks of negotiations, the Paris climate talks that ended on December 12 delivered the foundations of a post-2020 climate regime.

To advance climate change mitigation efforts, the new agreement incorporates national targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2025/2030, a new five-year cycle to establish subsequent targets, a reporting and review placeholder, and official stocktaking two years prior to those submissions to compare global progress against long-term goals.

In Paris, 189 of 195 participating countries pledged action in the form of intended nationally determined contributions, or INDCs. These pledges will be assessed in 2018 to encourage countries, where possible, to increase the level of ambition.

The review mechanism agreed on in Paris is a crucial first step. The new climate regime has also been lauded for its transparency provisions, which will be essential to establishing trust in the review process.

Implementing the pledge review process laid out in Paris will not be easy, but it is necessary to have a chance of ratcheting up efforts over time to meet the agreement’s ultimate goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

It is here that research universities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) will have an important role to play.

Read the full post at The Conversation.

Valerie J. Karplus is the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor and an Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Tsinghua-MIT China Energy and Climate Project (CECP) in the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Michael Davidson is a PhD Candidate in engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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