Recommendations for Paris
Actions taken to maintain or enhance ecosystem integrity and resilience will help countries to achieve their mitigation and adaptation objectives and to avoid ill-conceived climate responses that perversely undermine progress towards these objectives. Similarly, respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling rights are fundamental to long-term success of climate actions; mitigation and adaptation actions must be based on – and will benefit from – full and effective participation of those directly affected, including vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Focusing solely on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions may lead to disastrous unintended consequences for ecosystems and people, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Mitigation or adaptation actions that do not adequately consider ecosystems may be maladaptive, delivering minimal emission reductions – or in the worst case increasing emissions – and exacerbating the vulnerability of people and ecosystems to the impacts of climate change.
In consequence, this paper identifies the following:
- Key considerations that must be included in the Paris Agreement to maximize the effectiveness of climate change actions, ensuring they do not result in negative consequences by adopting a multi-objective approach that takes into account the connections between ecosystem integrity and a rights-based approach.
- Recommendations on provisions in the most recent iteration of the negotiating text that promote a multi-objective approach, calling on Parties to support them.
- It further explains the necessity behind ensuring ecosystem integrity and resilience.
Attacking climate change with a holistic approach is in the best interest of all our objectives. Not only will we avoid possible ruinous mitigation consequences, ensuring ecosystem integrity as part of a rights-based approach will also greatly aid our adaptation efforts. The Paris Agreement must be proactive and prevent such challenges from occurring by including overarching provisions on human rights and the integrity and resilience of natural ecosystems that apply to all mitigation and adaptation actions.