The 1.5°C limit itself dates back to the times of the Copenhagen Accord, where the countries organized in the Climate Vulnerable Forum demanded that target, and at a minimum managed to include a review clause in the Copenhagen Accord that the possibility of strengthening the 2°C goal would be investigated.
This happened through the so-called Structured Expert Dialogue under the UNFCCC, taking place between 2013 and 2015, which increasingly brought attention to scientific findings that a 2°C limit would still result in significant climate change impacts and thereby impose major risks on vulnerable people, communities and countries.
However, even in 2014, there was hardly any political attention given to the 1.5°C limit with regard to negotiating the Paris Agreement. Even many NGO experts in the climate community did not pay attention. Climate Vulnerable Forum and CARE increasingly saw the need to increase public pressure, in particular inside the UNFCCC process, for making the case for the 1.5°C limit and its inclusion, in some form, in the Paris Agreement.
We undertook activities towards 1.5°C targeted actions, the first time at a UNFCCC session in Bonn in October 2014.
Climate Vulnerable Forum and CARE, then also joint by CAN International, set up a website which served as an information hub on the 1.5°C limit, showcasing how many countries were formerly supporting 1.5°C (LDCs, AOSIS, and others); gathering scientific information on 1.5°C; collecting NGO positions in favor of 1.5°C; and from that spreading the word and reaching out to other countries and stakeholders to support the 1.5°C limit. We also invented the hashtag #1o5c.
This continued up to Paris COP21. An important milestone was also the Climate Vulnerable Forum Manila Communique, which put the 1.5°C limit at the focus, and was echoed widely by civil society, partially based on the preparatory sensitization work I outlined.
At Paris, various actions took place around the 1.5°C limit which CARE, CAN and Climate Vulnerable Forum were pushing and engaging in. After Paris, further work continued.