Slowly but surely, the first climate pledges for the 2015 agreement – or, in UN-speak, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – have started to trickle in.
Mexico and Norway were the latest countries to formally announce their pledges, with the United States and Russia also expected to submit their offers this week. Under the 2015 agreement, the hope is that INDCs will prove to be crucial instruments in preventing dangerous climate change. Yet a key element is still missing.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima last December, countries were unable to agree on any meaningful process to review the INDCs before the Paris summit and ensure that they are sufficient to keep warming under 2C, the agreed goal.
From a practical perspective, this may make sense; after all, some INDCs are only expected later this year, leaving very limited time to assess them (notwithstanding laudable efforts by, e.g., UNEP and Climate Action Tracker). But if countries fail to provide for future assessment and review in the Paris agreement, this would significantly reduce its effectiveness.
Source: RTCC, UK