Cartagena Dialogue to Accelerate Preparations for Post-2020 Targets

marshall island flag4 April 2014: Upon conclusion of the 13th Meeting of the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action, which was hosted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tony A. de Brum, Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, announced that the "alliance of progressive countries has for the first time forged a common purpose around a set of objectives for a new climate agreement, due to be signed in 2015".

Informed by the recent release of Working Group II's contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), de Brum explained that meeting participants had decided to "shift gears," "raise the political tempo" and "accelerate preparations now to bring forward [their] post-2020 emission reduction targets as early as possible next year in time to seal an ambitious new agreement in Paris." The group also committed "to use the [2015] agreement to take vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning to a new level globally."

According to de Brum, the Cartagena Dialogue group of countries will answer UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for ambitious pledges and actions to be announced at his Climate Summit on 23 September 2014. Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak is the first world leader to confirm his intended attendance at the Summit. In his opening remarks at the Cartagena Dialogue, Loeak announced that his administration is starting "a new effort to guarantee that not a single new public building be constructed without climate impacts in mind."

The meeting of the Cartagena Dialogue took place from 1-4 April 2014, in Majuro, the Marshall Islands. Meeting participants included: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Burundi, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, the European Commission, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Samoa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The Marshall Islands' regional invitees included the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati and the US.

The Dialogue is an informal space “open to countries working towards an ambitious, comprehensive, and legally binding regime in the UNFCCC, and committed, domestically, to becoming or remaining low carbon economies.” The Dialogue aims to “discuss openly and constructively the reasoning behind each others' positions, exploring areas of convergence and potential areas of joint action.” It is one of the few groups within the UN climate negotiations that brings together negotiators from the global North and South. [IISD RS Sources]