Blog Posts

Weight on young shoulders. Introducing Amit, our Leadership Development Fellow in the Pacific

Climate change is a problem deeply affecting the Pacific Island countries. As young professionals we have weighty expectations on our shoulders. We are expected, with the support of our elders, to find ways to make our communities more resilient and enable those younger than us to be free of an unsafe and insecure environment created by climate change. Being a victim of climate change during my own childhood, I am inspired to seek opportunities to enhance my leadership capabilities and competencies in the climate and sustainable development sphere, to create a better living environment for the next generation. 

In order to become a leader I’ve undertaken two opportunities. The first, my masters degree in Australia, has allowed me to understand the decision making process on climate and policy development. This is knowledge that I can share with others. But to compliment my studies, I have also become the CAN Leadership Development Fellow in the Pacific. It has been a fantastic experience so far working with CAN International and PICAN. This programme has enabled me to build my own capacity and build relationships with others in the network. Young people are tagged as agents of change and are required to demonstrate themselves as drivers and thought leaders of the future. However, there are few opportunities in the Pacific for young professionals to enhance their leadership capabilities so this programme offers something new. 

With more new challenges facing the Pacific, I hoping to gain competencies on policy issues and decision making process, develop my skills in building coalitions and networks, most importantly improve my communication skills to transfer my knowledge and lesson learnt from this programme to other young people in the Pacific.

In the time machine - a short history of CAN South East Asia

Whilst working on CANSEA’s new website, Leadership Development Fellow Adrian Yeo got the chance to dig through the archives and realised how CANSEA has had to ‘adapt’ over the years…  

CANSEA was established in 1992 with CAN members from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The first Steering Committee meeting was held the following year. Thailand members joined CANSEA on later years. It was felt that this form of partnership was needed to address the socio-political issues associated with the climate change debate and to exchange information, strengthen communication and coordinate activities at the regional level.

South East Asia is also diverse in history, culture and religions.The diversity in these 4 countries are much celebrated, but that diversity comes with a challenge as they share no common language, making documentation and conversation difficult. Combine this with other challenges, phone calls and air tickets were expensive, skype call was not yet created.  It was amazing to learn that the founding members of CANSEA has the foresight to come together despite such adversity.

My climate change activism started with my involvement in YOUNGO back in 2009. We mobilised over 2,000 youths from around the world towards COP15. English language is widely used, we connected via the internet, information was shared endlessly on emails and google wiki sites. Being in the youth constituency, we worked naively towards a fair, ambitious and binding climate agreement. But how did CANSEA did it back in 1992?

When I attended one of CANSEA meeting recently, it felt more like a close friends gathering rather than a work meeting. The trust that built working over the years was evidently shown in the maturity during negotiation and conflict resolution. Such trust is lacking in today’s UNFCCC processes, from my humble opinion.

When going through the archives, I realised founding documents were produced by a typewriter on the old type of paper. I couldn’t believe that if such documentation were needed during one of the COPs then, it would take a whole truckload of paper instead of our thumb drive or storage in the cloud now. My short involvement with CAN and CANSEA allows me to experience and document the evolution throughout the years. One thing for sure, like climate change, we have to adapt to these changes.

It made me think of the future of CANSEA. My 90’s generation grew up with the popular cartoon “Captain Planet and the Planeteers”, and inspired a whole new generation of environmentalists. Much have changed since.

I wonder what is the green-themed cartoon children watches today, and what that will mean for CANSEA tomorrow?

The ad-hoc what? Reflecting on the Geneva 2015 ADP session

Neoka Naidoo, Leadership Development Fellow from South Africa reflects on her experience of the February 2015 ADP session in Geneva.

Firstly, getting our terms out the way. ADP stands for The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), - what a mouthful! 

On behalf of Project 90 and as a representative of South Africa CAN, I went to Geneva for this bizarrely named session last month. This was my first time being in this space, but I found it interesting and enlightening. There were so many differences to what I experienced in Lima - for example, I noticed there were smaller party delegations with a greater sense of openness to engage with civil society. The conference was held in the old League of Nations building, which is steeped in a history of world changing decisions. I am not sure if it was the environment or the setting itself which was conducive to consensus as opposed to the high-pressure situation in Lima.

The ADP session finished on time with agreement of a 86 page text that included all options. This was somewhat of a disadvantage as the semantics take away from the strength of the elements. I wonder if every option is negotiable and the options are on a varying scale of ambition, will an agreement at COP 21 in Paris just unravel?

The Intended National Determined Contributions were hot on the off record agenda as there were murmurs through the halls of the release dates. In my opinion it is definitely necessary that a full assessment is completed on the all UNFCCC measures that address average global temperature increase and the measures to adapt to a world we are already ‘cooked’ into.

 

Same-same but different? South East Asia's INDCs

Leadership Development Fellow Adrian Yeo, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, gives us his take on how civil society is influencing the region's climate commitments. 

The UNFCCC has decided that each country must produce an ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ (INDC), which will form the foundation for climate action post-2020. They should include specific measures or projects countries will expect to do in order to keep average global temperature rise below 2˚C – the internationally-agreed limit aimed at preventing irreversible climate change.

South East Asia, the region I live in, has been making headway on this process.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to help organise and attend “A-FAB/CAN Workshop for Fair and Ambitious INDCs in Southeast Asia” in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was a collaboration between A-FAB (ASEAN  for a Fair, Ambitious & Binding Global Climate Deal) a regional policy lobby group network and CAN. The workshop aimed to identify each ASEAN country’s position on their INDC and strategise on how to make them more ambitious.

The workshop was always going to be challenging - are the participants ready to strategise just after Lima? Are the technical aspects of the INDC formalised? Do we have the right experts on the subject to lead the discussion?

However the conference opened promisingly. We watched various speakers share their country’s position on climate change and their current thinking on their INDC. It was interesting to hear about the different approaches from a developing country viewpoint and also recognise the risks.

The following day, we delved deeper into strategising strong INDCs in ASEAN’s context. The workshop invited Mr Apichai Sunchindah, former ASEAN Secretariat and Mr Jerald Joseph from ASEAN People Forum (APF) to share great insights on how ASEAN works and our advantages in lobbying INDC in this regional block.

A statement put out by ASEAN last November however does provide us with some hope. This statement contains strong commitments and should be used to remind ASEAN policy makers that it stands as a basis for future INDC’s commitments.

On the final day, I moderated a sharing session, where I tried to supply participants with  practical tools and action items from the previous days of discussion so the ideas could be implemented in their home country. There was also a press briefing conducted for the media on the INDCs and their importance in the run up to Paris COP21. 

The experience of working with regional networks and fellow colleagues enriched my understanding of Southeast Asia. It is a small region which shares many similarities but also has very diverse climate and environmental issues. Like the local Malaysian saying “same-same but different”.

From Rustlers Retreat to Lima - Neoka's first blog

Neoka Naidoo, Leadership Development Fellow from Project 90 by 2030 in South Africa blogs about her experience in the run up to and at COP20. 

In October I attended the South African National Climate Change Response Dialogue (NCCRD), hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs, just weeks before COP20. The NCCRD aimed to inform the participants on the current state of affairs on climate change. This entailed a report back of their initiatives in place to takcle climate change. I think one of the most powerful outcomes during this time was that civil society organisations agreed on an opening statement. This was a key moment as more collaboration is needed within the broader civil society movement in South Africa. 

The following week I attended the Rustlers Valley Youth retreat, held in partnership with Civicus and the Rustlers Valley Trust. It was an inspiring space where youth members involved in social, economic and environmental justice could converse but also share ideas and collaborate with each other on similar projects. I had the privilege of meeting legends in the South African struggle, George Bizos and Dikgang Moseneke. These stalwarts not only shared their story but their passion. 

These two events allowed me to approach COP 20 with an altered mind-set.

This was my first Conference of the Parties as an observer participant on the inside. It was an interesting affair to say the least. During the opening speeches you could feel the excitement and the ambition from both the COP president Peruvian Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and the executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres. They spoke about the importance of the Lima COP in terms of viable outcomes. They specifically spoke about including adaptation in the agreement and efficiency in their work. Various elements were covered during the jammed part two period.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was also high on the agenda, the chairs noting that countries like Peru are developing nations vulnerable to climate change. They impressed the importance that developed nations give financial aid for the great push to alleviate the effects of climate change. However it is important to acknowledge the lack of substantive elements in the text at the end of COP20. The lack of ambition and the stalling tactics are unnecessary and quite astonishing.

We are in this world together and that should not be blurred by political borders and agendas.

Increase your AMBITION, not your EMISSION

Henriette Imelda
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

As COP 19 ended, I have to admit that it does not deliver the things that I would expect it to. Some say I probably have more expectations than the others. I have so much faith on the ADP track, as since it was first launched in Durban, I see quite some progress on the process. But then again, the result of the ADP in COP 19 does not really fulfill my expectations, where I’m expecting more clarity on a pathway to increase the ambition in pre-2020 period. The fact is, there is nothing promising in the text; at least not to increase the ambition, but rather it opens more opportunity to increase emission.

The most interesting part is as ADP open-ended consultations were (supposedly) always open for the observers, the fact was all the meetings became partially closed. Partially closed means that the open-ended meetings suddenly closed to observers because of the room capacity. I have never in my life been attending a COP where observers have to stand in line, waiting for their turn to be in an open-ended consultation. Where’s the room for NGO participation then? Probably some Parties just don’t want to be awarded fossil.

Although the results were not as I expected, I still have belief in this multilateral process; that it would finally come up with ambitious and concrete activities that could safeguard the world from the destructions caused by climate change. The current available multilateral process such as the UNFCCC is the only media for the whole countries in the world, to together sit and reflect, to achieve one goal; the ultimate goal of the Convention.

Now that Parties have gone back to their own countries, the battle would be in the domestic work. For developed countries, how to convince the domestic government to put more pledges in terms of finance and emission reductions, despite of the economic crisis or domestic politics that seem not in favor of such ambitious actions (at least this was their greatest worry and excuse of not putting any pledge). But, having concrete actions today, would result in a lower cost of actions for tomorrow, rather than to do that in the next years. Increasing the use of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency measures domestically will be one good and feasible choice to be done by developed countries at this point. Or reforming the existing production side of fossil fuel subsidies, will be a great example. Not only that the money can be used for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy activities to be conducted, but by reforming the fossil fuel subsidies will give more favor to energy efficiency measures as well as the renewable energy activities. Having said that, this will cause emission reductions.

For developing countries, there are so many things that need to be done domestically. Ensuring that there are healthy environment which enables all climate change related activities to be conducted, will be the most important one. Getting the domestic policies to be mainstreamed with the issue of climate change will be one big homework for developing countries.

COP 19 may be over; but the real homework lies in each individual countries. Winning the heart of parliament at home for instance, to get a positive political mandate from the government in the international fora, is definitely the greatest battle of all. But that’s where the ambition should start from; from the political will to achieve the ultimate goal of the Convention, with developed countries as the leading Parties just like what the Convention states.

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Like being in a bandit’s nest!

Ange David Baimey 
Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement Cote d'Ivoire

One wouldn’t be able to deny it anymore, common sense in the international climate negotiations is like kindness in a bandit’s nest. Or how else is it possible to understand that, at a time when Somalia suffered from extreme events and when the Philippines continued to count their many losses, the developed countries and some countries in transitions continued to ignore the never-ending calls from people in danger?

Bad faith is growing within the climate negotiations!

The strategic and economic interests prevail over the lives of people from Nepal, Nigeria or Tanzania, and the desire to not change anything becomes the norm as COPs come and go.

Some (and I’m not one of them) saw the COP in Warsaw just as a step without anything major at stake. A “transition COP” as some said! A warm-up before the big game!

A moment of test, a moment where the developed countries would make a bitter face to dissuade developing countries to raise the bar of their demands and voice stronger recriminations. A step where, from the very first moments, developing countries had to be rebuked in their demands for equity that were seen as a one-way street, and thus as a threat for already meager finances, depleted by economic crises and recessions.

A negotiation strategy that proved to be successful for big emitters, a masterstroke that event left many actors at the end of the Warsaw COP with a feeling of success, when it really was a big failure that opens the door to further failures in Lima and in Le Bourget in 2015.

In fact, this is simple to read and already the picture is getting clearer because, if all the fundaments and principles of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are questioned, and if the IPCC’s message continues to fall on deaf ears, what else should we expect other than a bis repetita!

All these “déjà vus” continue to endanger the life of over 1 million Africans, to widen already huge gaps and to increase inequalities and social injustice. This lack of will, this this lack of lucidity, this bad faith unfortunately continue to be a shared perspective within the negotiations!

“When will this cycle of endless speeches and discussions end?” I was asked by a woman in a rural community when I came back from Warsaw. My silence was perceived as a wordless expression of my helplessness.

When indeed will the battle for economics, geopolitics and security interests end? When will 195 parties be able to find an agreement that goes beyond their differences in interests?

A Togolese friend told me during the Warsaw COP that according to a say in his village, when one puts calabashes on a stream, they end up touching each other, and then colliding with each other. This means that if 2 entities have to co-exist in a defined space, they will necessarily encounter clashes or conflicts in the course of that co-existence. But the most important thing is to make sure that this co-existence does not lead them to destruction.

This is the great story of multilateralism that we need to save at any cost to not allow all sorts of abuses to prosper and to threaten a peaceful coexistence.

 

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In the search for positiveness

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera
Climate Action Network Latin America (CANLA)

While the final COP plenary was moving ahead with weak outcomes, many parties were leaving the room, and only counterproductive voices were making echo in the room.

Some Latin American countries, those with proactive intentions, those who see a future where everyone takes responsibility within their respective capabilities, were almost silent compared to those who tried to undermine the result of the last part of ADP and later the COP plenary itself.

It is sad to see countries not moving forward, throwing the towel (like we say in my home country). Delegates were definitely tired, we understand that. But CAN has always supported positive actions. We support action for a climate resilient world and that happens only if the ones who care about solid solutions are vocal.

Those Latin American countries who are taking responsibility must use that "moral" right to speak up. Leading by example, leading initiatives, no matter how small the economy is, how small the country itself is. It can always set the tone of conversations.

We keep listening about how weak the ambition is, how low the targets are. And I personally like to ask the innocent question, just like a kid would do: What is there to lose? Why don't you just speak up?

The final plenary had some important moments, some encouraging and some discouraging. That final plenary which started with chants encouraging delegates to give the last effort to the end to win the match of global deals.

There is nothing to lose in the match for a safer future, if others do not join, countries can do it domestically and in the end once we get international agreements, the ones that have done their homework would be ahead in the race to the future, in the race to the better, sustainable  world that we all want. 

Warsaw Wrap-up!

Vositha Wijenayake

Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA)

 

COP19 came to an end, and most of us were home-bound when it did reach its end. This article is an attempt to sum-up the key elements of what was decided (or not decided) in Warsaw.

 

There were several key decisions taken at the COP in order to facilitate the implementation of the Convention.

 

  1. Mitigation Actions in the Forest Sector[1]

 

A decision was taken in order to provide for coordination of support for the implementation of activities in relation to mitigation actions in the forest sector by developing countries, and this also included institutional arrangements.

 

In this respect, interested Parties were called upon to designate a national entity or focal point to serve as a liaison with the secretariat and the relevant bodies under the Convention, in order to coordinate support for the full implementation of activities and elements referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraphs 70, 71 and 73. This also included adopting different policy approaches, and required the secretariat to be informed accordingly. In doing so, the interested Parties were to take into account national circumstances and the principles of sovereignty and noted that these national entities or focal points of the developing country parties could nominate their entities to obtain and receive results-based payments in order to provide them with support for full implementation of the activities.

 

These national entities or focal points, Parties and the relevant entities financing the activities referred to in the decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70, were encouraged to meeting on a voluntary basis, in conjunction with the first and second sessional period meetings of the subsidiary bodies. In doing so, the participants are allowed to seek input from the relevant bodies established under the Convention, international and regional organizations, the private sector, indigenous peoples and civil society and can invite representatives of these entities to participate as observers in these meetings.

 

Thereafter, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation, at its forty-seventh sessions (November-December 2017) was requested to review the outcomes of these meetings, to consider the existing institutional arrangements or the need for potential governance alternatives for the coordination of support for the implementation of the activities referred to in the decision, and make recommendations on these matters to the COP at its twenty third session (November – December 2017).

 

A decision was also taken to implement a work programme on results based finance in order to progress the full implementation of the activities referred to in decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 70. [2]

 

  1. Response Measures

 

In order to deal with climate change, it is necessary to adopt adequate response measures. However, in developing countries, their priorities are social and economic development and poverty eradication, and the fact is that response measures could have negative environmental, social and economic consequences.

 

In this respect, the decision taken at the 17th Session of COP to establish a forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures to implement the work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures was reiterated.  This forum had proved useful by providing opportunities to engage in in-forum workshops, an expert meeting and valuable initial discussions by Parties to order to improve the understanding the impact of the implementation of response measures. Therefore, a decision was taken to continue the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures until 2015. Parties were invited to continue to participate in the forum and in the future, focus is to be placed on the impact of the implementation of response measures on expert input and the provision of concrete examples, case studies and practices so as to assist developing country Parties to deal with the impacts of the implementation of response measures.  The forum is to be convened by the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies to implement the updated work programme on the impact of the implementation of response measures. The updated work programme is to consist of an assessment and analysis of the impacts or response measures and an overview of the progress made at various levels in conducting activities to address the adverse economic and social consequences of response measures on developing countries. In addition to this, the work programme is to also include an opportunity to exchange experience and discuss opportunities for economic diversification and transformation, and to provide a dialogue on what Parties report on actions and impacts related to the implementation of response measures, as well as to share views on the impact of response measures on gender and health. [3]

 

  1. International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with climate change impacts[4]

 

The Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage was adopted under the Cancun Adaptation Framework, in order to address the loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events, in particularly vulnerable developing countries.

 

In this respect, an executive committee was established and this committee is to report annually to the COP through the Subsidiary Body of Scientific Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation and make recommendations as appropriate.

 

The Warsaw International Mechanism’s duties include among others, promoting the implementation of approaches to address loss and damage associated with adverse effects of climate change, and in doing so, will facilitate support of actions to address loss and damage, improve coordination of the relevant work of existing bodies under the Convention, convene necessary meetings and provide technical guidance and support.

 

  1. Climate Finance

 

In order to deal with the need to finance action in respect of climate change, especially in order to address the needs of developing countries in the context of mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, action was taken in order to develop a work programme on long term finance. In this respect, a decision was taken to continue deliberations on long term finance and organize in-session workshops on strategies and approaches to scale up climate finance, cooperation on enhanced enabling environments and on the need to support developing countries. Further, it was also decided to convene a biennial high level ministerial dialogue on climate finance starting in 2014 and ending in 2020. [5]

 

Further decisions in respect of climate finance were taken in respect of the report of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) submitted to the COP and guidance given to the GCF.[6] In terms of the guidance given to the GCF, this Fund was requested to balance the allocation of resources between adaptation and mitigation and ensure appropriate allocation of resources for other activities, to pursue a country-driven approach, and to take into account the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, when allocating resources for adaption.

 

In addition to this, a decision was also taken in respect of arrangements between the COP and the GCF  in order to set out a working relationship between COP and the GCF, to ensure that the GCF is accountable to and functions under the guidance of the COP to support projects, programmers, policies and other activities in developing country Parties. [7]

 

The Global Environment Facility also submitted a report to the COP and guidance was given to this Facility.[8] This report is submitted annually, and in this report, it included information on mitigation impacts. The duties of the Global Environment Facility was further clarified, in order to ensure that there was a clearer approach to co-financing, to ensure that there is adequate and predictable funding and facilitate funding for small island developing States and the least developed countries in order to enable them to address their urgent needs and to comply with their obligations under the Convention.

 

  1. Reporting Information on Activities under the Kyoto Protocol[9]

 

A common reporting format was adopted for the purpose of submitting information on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks from land use, land-use change and forestry activities under Article 3, paragraphs 3 and 4. In addition to this, in providing information in respect of these categories, Parties are to apply the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, as well as IPCC 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol. Further, in providing information on wetland drainage and rewetting elected activity under Article 3, paragraph 4 of the Kyoto Protocol, the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands is to be applied.

Further, in the annual greenhouse gas inventory report due by 15 April 2015, a specific method was adopted to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions.

 

  1. Clean Development Mechanism[10]

 

The Clean Development Mechanism adopted under the Kyoto Protocol, has been responsible for 7,300 project activities being registered in over 90 countries, with over 1,500 component project activities being included in over 230 programmes of activities registered in over 60 countries.

However, it was noted that participants in the clean development mechanism were facing a difficult market situation and there was a loss of institutional capacity, which threatens the value of the clean development mechanism. In this respect, a decision was adopted to provide guidance in respect of the Clean Development Mechanism. In this respect, measures were adopted to deal with the governance mechanisms and baseline and monitoring methodologies. Further, the guidance also included measures in respect of registration of clean development mechanism project activities and issuance of certified emission reductions, as well as measures to extend the capacity of the scheme to regional and sub regional areas.

 

In addition to this, a decision was also taken to review the modalities and procedures for the clean development mechanism[11]. In doing so, a technical paper is to be prepared by 19th March 2014, on specified issues relating to possible changes to the modalities and procedures for the clean development mechanisms, including their implications, for consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation at its fortieth session (June 2014).

 

  1. Adaption Fund[12]

 

The Adaption Fund was established in order to finance adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The first commitment period was funded mainly through the share of proceeds from Clean Development Mechanisms project activities, and thereafter, in Doha, in 2012, it was decided that the second commitment period, international emissions trading and joint implementation would also provide 2 percent share of proceeds.

 

The Report of the Adaption Fund Board was submitted and decisions were taken in this respect. The terms and conditions of services to be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) as trustee for the Adaptation Fund were adopted. It was also decided that an account held in the clean development mechanism registry for the Adaptation Fund will be the recipient of the 2 per cent of proceeds levied in accordance with decision 1/CMP.8, paragraph 21.

 

  1. Implementation of  Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol[13]

 

Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, provides for the Parties to the protocol to ensure that their aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of listed greenhouse gases do not exceed their assigned amounts. In order to implement this, Article 6 provides that any specified Party could transfer to, acquire from, any other such Party emission reduction units resulting from projects aimed at reducing anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancing anthropogenic removals by sinks of greenhouse gases, subject to certain conditions.

 

In this respect, a decision was taken to provide guidance on the implementation of Article 6 of the Protocol.  In this decision, it stressed the need to improve the joint implementation in contributing to the achievement of the objective of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol. Further, it requested the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee to submit elaborated recommendations on the accreditation system for joint implementation aligned with that of the clean development mechanism.

 

(References:  Summary on Warsaw, COP19 by Vidya Nathaniel for Sri Lankan Youth Climate Action Network (SLYCAN))

 
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Global Climate Politics: less instead of more climate protection

Sixbert Simon Mwanga

Climate Action Network - Tanzania

The UN climate change meeting (COP19) was concluded in the city of Warsaw in Poland on 23rd November 2013. Initially the meeting was planned to wind up on 22nd November 2013. Like in many other UN climate change negotiations, COP19 witnessed developed countries acting as last minute brokers to most decisions. This left many delegates from developing countries who had high expectations from this COP for a roadmap to Paris frustrated and angry.

Some even left the national stadium and hotels before final decisions to most important issues.

NGOs and civil society walked out of the meeting hall in protest of the lack of progress in Warsaw. This was followed by shouting “Stop Climate Madness” by activists and civil society who remained into plenary meetings. As said earlier delibarately delaying until the last minute is not new in the UNFCCC talks and no one cares except representatives of the vulnerable countries.

This ever growing culture in the UN’s structure leaves many questions to delegates and civil societies representing already affected communities by climate change. These questions include: why delegates from developed countries push most of decions at the last minute of the negotiations even where there is a possibility to reach consensus earlier? Are they enjoying to make climate decisions alone as they are the main causative? Is this another form of climate change in the UNFCCC negotiations? Is it possible for these countries to show real leadership to address climate change impacts by providing climate finance with 50% on adaptation as well as meeting their emissions reduction commitments? What is the role of the UNFCCC secretariat  in these negotiations, how can it be utilized by whom and when? There is no easy way COP19 can easily forget countries like Australia, India, China, Poland and Japan which are responsible for the weak outcome of the conference.Some even came to decrease their mitigation ambitions while the Polish government welcomed COP delegates in a cynical environment because at the same time a coal conference was held in Warsaw.

Future of Climate Action

Regardless of the discouragements, relatively slow pace and hard time; a successful fight to climate change impacts needs a global partnership. The effective use of the Bonn sessions, Ban Ki-moon summit and COP20 in Lima will help us reach our goal of a strong, equitable international agreement by 2015 in Paris.

 

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