European Capacity Building Initiative

Petersberg Climate Dialogue XII

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue XII was held virtually on 6-7 May 2021. It was co-chaired by Federal Minister for the Environment of Germany, Svenja Schulze (Germany), and COP26 President Designate, Alok Sharma (UK). The Dialogue was probably the first high-level event featuring common time frames as key agenda item. In her Opening Statement, Schulze asked "How can we bring negotiations on the Paris rulebook to a successful conclusion? To me, that means how can we succeed in Glasgow in:
o completing the transparency framework
o specifying common time frames for our NDCs
o and finalising the provisions on the cooperation mechanisms of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement?"

ecbi Director Benito Müller made the following short introductory remarks: "Ambition under the Paris Agreement is nationally determined. But no-one can achieve the Paris goals on their own. This is why the five-yearly Global Stocktakes are crucial to inform the world whether we are collectively on track to reach these goals. This can only be done with a common timeframe to ensure that reporting happens on comparable timelines. Also, an agreed common timeframe is key to enable ambition coordination. It enables countries to go further together. This is why I strongly believe a suitable common time frame must be adopted in Glasgow."

The Glasgow Ambition Cycle, developed under the aegis of the ecbi, got a crucial vote of confidence in the intervention by John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, USA. "Having a target every five years – as opposed to ten years or some other time frame – will enable Parties to be more ambitious. … This being the year of raising ambition and COP26 being the COP of raising ambition – and recognising that almost all Parties now have 2030 targets in place – let’s agree to urge each other to submit 2035 targets in 2025, 2040 targets in 2030, and so forth every five years thereafter."

In their summary, the Co-Chairs noted that "Most ministers agreed on the need to agree on the issue of common time frames for NDCs at COP26, and well-ahead of the next NDC cycle in 2025. Ministers highlighted a range of options for the length of common time frames and expressed different preferences according to the risks and opportunities associated with each of them. On the role that ministers can play in supporting efforts to converge and resolve common time frames for NDCs, many noted the political nature of this issue and called for further political engagement, with some specifically calling on the Presidencies to consider ministerial consultations ahead of and at COP 26, and for increased engagement between Parties on this issue above the technical level. Some ministers provided a clear mandate to technical negotiators that progress needs to be made at the upcoming June session by consolidating the options for consideration. Many ministers highlighted the benefits of a single time frame alongside many also calling for a solution that caters to national considerations. Ministers highlighted the importance of ensuring the outcome enables greater ambition by being compatible with the ‘ambition cycle’ of the Paris Agreement and the Global Stocktake, with some mentioning the need to respond to the latest science and technological advances."

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