The Durban Platform recognizes that in order to fulfill the ultimate objective of the Convention, the multilateral, rules-based regime will need to be strengthened. For this reason, it was agreed that by 2015, the ADP would develop and adopt “a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force”, to take effect from 2020.
However, beyond identifying these three possible outcomes from the ADP, the Durban mandate does not prescribe the final legal architecture of the agreement to be made at COP21. Notably, it does not specify whether the outcome should consist of a single instrument or multiple instruments, and, in case of the latter, what form these instruments should take or how obligations should be distributed within them. Yet the question of the final architecture of the Paris outcome is crucial, as it will help determine how various elements and issues within the climate negotiations are treated, thereby impacting the ambition and effectiveness of the overall outcome. This matter needs to be addressed in the UNFCCC negotiations adequately early to provide the necessary clarity to move forward with the textual negotiations.
This position paper presents CAN-International’s stance on, and expectations for, the composition of the final Paris outcome. It proposes a “package deal”—one that takes into account national circumstances whilst safeguarding ambition, accountability, and equity—as the most appropriate outcome for COP21.