European Capacity Building Initiative

From Contribution Framework to Ambition Mechanism

This ecbi Policy Brief by Benito Müller, based on OCP/ecbi Discussion Note with contributions by Harro van Asselt, Cristina Carreiras, and Kaveh Guilanpour, looks at how to enhance mitigation ambition under the Paris Agreement.

At the heart of the Paris Outcome is a framework of five-year cycles for communicating, reviewing and updating Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – here collectively referred to as the “Paris Contribution Framework” – involves processes of:

-Communicating/updating of NDCs,
-Synthesis Reports of communicated or updated NDCs, and
-Global Stocktakes.

The Brief analyses these processes and how they relate to each other. The communication and updating components of the Framework are divided into a five-year time frame and a ten-year time frame track with a wide range of implementing options. The Brief focusses on a small number of such implementing options which could serve a 'ambition mechanism' in the sense that they envisage updating any NDC after it has been initially communicated. These options are compared with one-another and with the Dynamic Contribution Cycle (see ‘Maillot Jaune’ for the Dynamic Contribution Cycle ).

The Brief concludes that while the Paris Contribution Framework contains all the relevant key ambition features of the Dynamic Contribution Cycle, their potential is not fully realized because of the way in which they are divided between the two tracks. It recommends that the “ratcheting-up” potential of the Contribution Framework be enhanced by harmonising the two tracks. In practice, this could be achieved by requesting all Parties in 2025 to communicate a 2035 NDC and update their 2030 NDC, and to do so every five years thereafter.

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