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CAN Intervention in the Bonn Climate Change Conference SBSTA & SBI Closing Plenary, 11 June, 2015

Fanny Petitbon (SBSTA):

Thank you Madam Co-Chair and distinguished delegates.

My name is Fanny Petitbon and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

CAN welcomes the conclusion of the three issues that remained open after the adoption of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+. The focus should now switch to the implementation of all the provisions and guidance produced in the past years ensuring the highest standards of social and environmental integrity.

We encourage Parties to secure the links of REDD+ to the Paris climate agreement to guarantee long-term support and results.

Negotiations on the Framework for Various Approaches fell short of what was needed to assist the ADP negotiations in the avoidance of double-counting and the assurance of common standards for environmental integrity and net benefits in any ADP outcome.        

While it is clear that this technical work will take some time, we urge Parties to leverage their engagement in SBSTA to ensure that the conclusions of the COPs from Durban and Lima are reflected in any ADP recognition of market mechanisms.

Two valuable SBSTA workshops on agriculture showed that some workable solutions exist and are already being implemented to reduce the risks that farmers face.

We expect Parties to use the conversation from the workshop to inform negotiations going forward, and hope next year's workshops will provide for active civil society participation so that we can share our successful experiences with Parties.

Thank you.


Naomi Ages (SBI):

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair and distinguished delegates.

I am Naomi Ages and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

Last week’s Multilateral Assessments provided a valuable opportunity for mutual learning and enhanced transparency between Parties on their mitigation efforts. 

But they also highlighted yet again the collective international ambition gap in keeping global temperature rise limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

The Structured Expert Dialogue that concluded in February confirmed this target as necessary if we are to avoid many of the disastrous impacts of climate change.

Climate Action Network strongly recommends that the SED’s findings inform the Paris outcome and was discouraged to see some Parties in Bonn attempt to skirt this scientific and moral imperative.

We would also like to underline the vital role that civil society plays in the UNFCCC process.

Having closely followed the budgetary discussions that took place during this session, CAN would like to highlight that it is not in favour of cutting funds for observer participation. 

Civil society has played an indispensable and unique role in the UN process since 1946, and the goals of the Convention cannot be achieved without broad and inclusive non-state actor involvement.

We thank you for your understanding.


CAN Position: A Finance Package for Paris, June 2015

~~To secure a strong outcome in Paris that facilitates ambitious climate action on the ground, a key pillar will be a “finance package” that covers both the pre- and the post-2020 period. Developed countries will have to demonstrate how they are meeting past promises (in particular the $100bn target). For the period after 2020, strong provisions on finance in the Paris Agreement are needed to enable developing countries to enhance their ambition beyond what they can do on their own, laying out the mitigation potential that could be unlocked with scaled-up financial resources. Also, developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable countries, will require increasing amounts of financial support to adapt to a changing climate and cope with the impacts. This submission outlines the Climate Action Network’s view on the main elements of this finance package for Paris.


CAN Intervention Informal open-ended consultations on the expectations for the Paris conference

Climate Action Network statement – 9 June 2015
Informal open-ended consultations on the expectations for the Paris conference

Tuesday, 9 June 2015, 13:15-15:00 

Thank you, incoming presidency and distinguished delegates, 

I am Jonas Bistrom, and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The world is looking to Paris, expecting a transformational change. A strong, long-term vision for a world in which fossil fuel emissions are phased out no later than 2050, and 100% renewable energy for all phased in, is essential.

Realising the transformational change necessary requires significantly increased mitigation ambition and finance, with developed countries leading the way.

The needs of the most vulnerable should be at the heart of the 2015 agreement. CAN supports a global adaptation goal that links adaptation requirements to mitigation efforts.

Unfortunately, this is not always sufficient – which is why loss and damage must be anchored in the agreement on an equal footing with adaptation.

Key political issues have to be dealt with soon. We urge you to wrap up what can be concluded early on, and to manage the time that remains efficiently and effectively.

As COP 21 draws closer, the Presidency should welcome broad and globally inclusive civil society involvement to ensure a transparent process receptive to the voices of the people.

Finally, for a legitimate negotiating space, we ask the French Presidency to seriously reconsider COP21’s sponsorship by big polluters and corporations with direct ties to dirty energy. 

Thank you.

Abe Government set to waste lives, money and jobs with poor climate plan

Monday June 8, 2015 - Elmau, Germany: New analysis released at the G7 summit currently taking place in Germany confirms that major economies stand to gain massive benefits as the result of their latest climate action pledges, with laggards Japan and Canada bucking the trend due to their weak plans.

The NewClimate Institute report released today shows that a Japanese plan in line with a pathway to 100% renewable energy by 2050 would give the country a healthy workforce thanks to cleaner air, new jobs in a booming renewables sector, and huge savings resulting from avoided fossil fuel imports - three things that Japan desperately needs in its current economic malaise. 

But the Abe government's draft offer - also known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) - towards the new global climate agreement due in Paris this December is so insufficient that it will see - by 2030 - Japan waste 67,000 potential jobs, forfeit USD25 billion annually, and fail to save 15,000 lives each year. 

“We are calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take this draft plan back to the drawing board and deliver a vision for the country that taps its renewable energy potential, creates decent jobs and saves the lives of Japanese people at risk from air pollution,” says Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.

"The people want more action, businesses want more action - it's high time the government tries to regain the country’s lost climate leadership.”

Compared to the forecast impact of current policies, by 2030, Japan's paltry offer will create zero additional jobs in the renewable energy sector, reduce the country's fossil fuel import bill by only USD8 billion a year, and save just 1500 lives annually. That's ten times less than the co-benefits resulting from the more ambitious action plan which civil society organizations are calling for. 

As a result of its low ambition, Japan clearly loses out in comparison to its East Asian rival China. Thanks to a groundbreaking bilateral agreement with the US last year, Japan's neighbor unveiled a plan that would - by 2030 - create around 500,000 decent new jobs by 2030 and save around 100,000 lives from deadly air pollution every year. 

The report shows that Japan's G7 peers in Europe and America are - like China - set to secure more benefits from enhanced climate action, as they move faster in the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

The consideration of the multiple benefits of climate action can significantly influence the ambition level of national governments when formulating their national plans as it links directly to the needs of the people,says NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Höhne, author of the study.

Japan's fellow laggard at the table in Elmau, Canada, is also pitching a pathetic climate plan at the G7 this Monday. If the weak Canadian offer had been in line with a 100% renewables pathway by mid-century, it could have secured an enormous 600% increase in lives saved, and 60% more jobs in the renewables sector by 2030, compared to what it is likely to happen under the proposed plan.

“Canada’s failure to take its climate protection responsibilities seriously will hurt Canadians in the long-run, as our economy remains over-reliant on dirty oil, as our air remains more polluted than it needs to be, and because sustainable jobs in the renewable energy sector were not created,” says Louise Comeau, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada.

2015 will be the first time all countries present national climate action commitments. Some of these plans will be stronger than others, but collectively they are a signal of intent to end the fossil fuel age, to embrace the dawning renewable energy era, and to build resilient communities free from poverty and inequality.

The climate action plans by the five major economies assessed in the new report - Japan, Canada, EU, US and China - will collectively save 115,000 lives a year, put USD41 billion back in the coffers annually, and create 1 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2030.

If all these governments had presented plans in line with 100% renewables by 2050, the additional benefits of their collective actions would add up to 1.2 million lives saved per year, more than 2 million jobs created, and USD514 billion saved. 

Notes to Editors 

  • The report, Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions, was written by the NewClimate Institute - which raises ambition for action against climate change and supports sustainable and climate-resilient development through research and analysis. It was commissioned by Climate Action Network (CAN) and the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). 
  • CAN is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 
  • The GCCA is a diverse network of more than 450 nonprofit organizations in more than 70 countries with a shared goal — a world safe from runaway climate change. The GCCA harnesses the strengths of faith, development, science, environment, youth, labor, and other civil society organizations to mobilize citizens and galvanize public opinion in support of urgent climate action. 
  • You can find the full report here, and infographics based on the report here.
  • Japan has released a draft INDC which would see the country reduce its emissions by 26% from 2013 levels by 2030. WRI analysis finds this is not comparable to the efforts of the US and the EU. The analysis recommends that Japan would need to increase its proposed INDC mitigation goal to at least a 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 to achieve an average annual decarbonisation rate similar to that of the EU and U.S. for the 2020-2030 time period. Civil society organizations are calling for a 40% reduction on 2005 levels. 
  • Two WRI infographics reveal that the speed and scale of the emission reductions proposed by Japan and Canada lags behind those of the US and the EU


To be connected with a spokesperson on the report, please contact:

Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, +49 157 3173 5568, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org 

Christian Teriete, GCCA, +49 176 8050 7753, email: christian.teriete@tcktcktck.org

CAN Briefing Paper: Builduing the case for a global science- based Equity Review, October 2014

~The science is clear: to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, global temperature rise must be limited to
below 2°C. The challenge is thus to design a new global agreement in which all countries participate, and contribute
their equitable share of the effort necessary to ensure that the 2°C limit is met. This agreement must facilitate
equitable access to sustainable development, this to assist in eliminating poverty and to provide a decent level of
living and jobs to both developed and developing countries' populations. It must also take into account that
adaptation to future and already committed warming is a priority in developing countries.

Through this brief, CAN outlines the importance of a science-based Equity Review to ensure all countries feel that
all are doing their equitable share to address the common human challenge of facilitating sustainable development
in both developed and developing countries, in a manner that equalizes levels of development even as it accelerates
the overall drive to low-emissions societies.

CAN also recognizes that an equitable and fair outcome on post-2015 agreement implies increased pre-2020
ambition by developed countries (of at least 40% below 1990) and the provision of the agreed US$100 billion in
financial and technological assistance to developing countries.


Post-2020 contributions -- information needed!

ECO appreciates the efforts made by several countries in their submissions this month to address the issue of the types of information Parties should submit with their initial post-2020 nationally determined mitigation contributions. A paper launched this week by the World Resources Institute outlines how this information could vary for countries whose contributions are in the form of economy-wide GHG mitigation goals, versus for those countries putting forward intensity-based or sectoral contributions, policy-based contributions, or contributions consisting of discrete projects or NAMAs.

Clarity and transparency of contributions is important to:

- Build confidence in the robustness of the economic, technological, and policy assumptions underlying the proposed national contributions;

- Enable comparison with other Parties;

- Improve the assessments of individual country and collective global emissions reductions resulting from the proposed contributions; and

- Foster a constructive dialogue amongst Parties on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and how they translate into the level of ambition and effort undertaken by each Party.

ECO underlines the need for Parties to make substantial progress on this issue at the next Bonn session in June, as many countries are already starting to prepare their national contributions. The earlier that Parties have clarity on what information is going to be expected of them, the better.

ECO also notes that most of the discussion thus far has centred on information requirements for mitigation contributions. To have any chance of meeting the collective level of ambition needed on post-2020 emissions reductions, developing countries will need to take ambitious mitigation actions with enhanced international climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. Developed countries must also put forward their finance contributions to facilitate this ambitious action by developing countries.

If there is not greater clarity and confidence soon about the expected magnitude of such support in the post-2020 period, developing countries will understandably be reluctant to inscribe potential additional emissions reduction actions in the final agreement in Paris.

It’s essential that in June, Parties not only deepen the discussion started here this week but that they also start to intensively engage on the information that they (in particular, developed countries) will need to provide on the finance, technology transfer, and capacity-building elements of their intended national contributions. 

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Kicking coal – one court case at a time

So, an Italian judge, a Beijing provincial official, a London banker and an Australian firefighter walk into a bar… Sounds like the start of a bad joke doesn’t it? It is, and all of these people get that the continued use of coal would be the worst joke of all.

Earlier this week an Italian judge ordered two coal fired units of a power station to be shut down for allegedly exceeding emissions limits. The company is charged with environmental crimes and manslaughter for the premature deaths of over 400 people. Is this judgement a taste of things to come? Research findings have suggested European Union wide impacts of coal combustion amount to more than 18,200 premature deaths; about 8,500 new cases of chronic bronchitis; and over 4 million lost working days each year. The economic costs of the health impacts from coal combustion in Europe are estimated at up to €42.8 billion per year.

The “airpocalypse” gripping many Chinese cities and regions is further evidence of the direct health impacts of coal combustion. It has been estimated that the environmental and social costs of coal added up to more than 7% of China’s GDP in 2007. There can be no doubt that because of these health impacts, societal costs and contribution to the climate crisis, have seen Chinese province after Chinese province announce a cap on coal in recent months. 

Nor have these developments gone unnoticed in the financial sector. Bankers and rating agencies in the financial centres of London and Hong Kong are becoming increasingly aware of the “carbon bubble” and the likelihood of significant stranded assets. Their colleagues in New York, Frankfurt and other financial hubs are soon to follow, or so ECO logically assumes. It is estimated that between 60-80% of fossil fuel reserves of publicly listed companies will need to stay in the ground if the 2 degrees Celsius goal is to be met; with even higher figures for 1.5 degrees Celsius. Nowhere is this more true than for the Australian coal industry which is heavily dependent on exports to China. The same China that is capping coal. 

And what about the Australian firefighter? Well, it just so happens that the coal plant that’s been ordered to shut down in Italy is partially owned by the same company which owns the open-cut coal mine that’s been burning for weeks in Australia’s Latrobe Valley. The extreme heatwave the region was suffering made it far easier for a fire to take hold. Such dire heatwaves as well as droughts and fires are becoming all too common in Australia as the impacts of climate change intensify. Climate change caused in large part by – you guessed it, that bad joke of a power source, coal. 

So whether they get together in a bar, a court, the stock market, a coal mine fire, or in a parliament – the judge, government official, banker and firefighter would all agree that coal must be on its way out. Now we just need 

UNFCCC negotiators to get the joke as well – they can help to achieve a just transition to a better future through raising ambition in the near-term and as part of their post-2020 commitment preparations, including support for those countries that would need it. Because clearly what a South African judge, French urbanite, Indian banker and Peruvian firefighter must have in common is a renewable energy future. 

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2015 Agreement lost and damaged without adaptation?

ECO has noted with pleasure that this week many Parties provided their initial views on the role of adaptation and loss and damage in the 2015 agreement. There’s no doubt whatsoever that these two elements are integral to the 2015 agreement. The agreement simply cannot ignore the growing evidence of how increasingly severe climate change impacts are eroding hard-won development gains due to the massive mitigation and adaptation gaps.

However, ECO is concerned about some Parties’ views that characterise adaptation as a national responsibility. How can it be acceptable to shift the burden of dealing with the impacts of irresponsible consumption and production in some countries to the most vulnerable without offering any support?

For ECO, climate change 101 is pretty simple:

  • 1 x lack of mitigation = required support for adaptation.
  • 2 x lack of mitigation = 2 x required support for adaptation +  loss and damage.

The links between mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage are as obvious as basic math. And here is another more frightening equation:

∑ All current mitigation efforts = >4℃ warming.

Or for those not mathematically inclined, the total sum of all current mitigation efforts will still lead to more than 4℃ of warming.

These equations, like mathematical proofs, are universally applicable. Vulnerable developing countries are not the only ones who will need to adapt, and that will suffer loss and damage. That’s why ECO believes that we need a Global Adaptation Goal which could help the Convention recognise the connection between mitigation and adaptation. Additionally, many countries are understandably calling for an important space for loss and damage in the 2015 agreement.

It’s clear for us here at ECO that the months ahead require fleshing out how the 2015 agreement can ensure that adaptation action is scaled-up massively, including through adequate finance and technology transfer to developing countries to reduce loss and damage. The Adaptation Committee, the Adaptation Fund, the Warsaw Mechanism and the Nairobi Work Programme have all laid a good foundation for further work and Parties should ask these bodies to  provide guidance on how to scale up adaptation in the near- and long-term.

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ECO: An open letter from ECO


Dear developed countries, and other Parties,

With all this talk of reviews and ratcheting during Bonn, ECO would like to strongly remind developed country Parties that the first opportunity to in fact test these mechanisms would be during the forthcoming session in June. With the KP and ADP Ministerial’s looming large, ECO wants to send a take-home message to all developed countries: now is your moment to demonstrate that developed countries are going to show leadership through presenting more ambitious pledges, both emission reductions and finance. This does not only apply to KP parties; ECO strongly urges the US, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and Canada to step up to the plate and start walking the talk by presenting comparable ambitious commitments as well.

If developed countries fail to capture this important political moment, there could be serious implications for a new agreement in 2015. There is no logic to developed countries demanding more from developing countries when they have thus far been unwilling to fulfil their own responsibilities. The ambition gap is large. It needs to be filled. The best way for this to happen is through the ratcheting up of existing emission reduction and financial commitments from developed countries.

ECO supports the efforts to look at other concrete actions, such as scaled up renewable energy and energy efficiency actions, that can help close the gigatonne gap. That said, we are also weary of these being used as a means to circumvent the basic responsibility for developed countries to lead. Coming back to Bonn in June with revised pledges will send the signal that this process so sorely needs - that developed country governments are serious about climate change and that they are willing to take their fair share of effort in dealing with the crisis. It will also send an important signal to developing countries that so desperately want to see concrete signs of good faith in these negotiations.

To the US, EU, Canada, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan - come to June with Ambition or take the responsibility for placing at risk a future global agreement.

Yours truly,


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