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G20 Issue Brief: Long-term Strategies, February 2017

The Paris Agreement calls for countries to formulate long-term low-GHG emission development strategies, in line with pursuing efforts to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5ºC. With the 2016 adoption of Agenda 2030, countries are also beginning to implement policies to fulfil the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Long-term strategies create a framework within which the implications of short-to-medium-term decisions that impact both greenhouse gas emission trajectories and development pathways can be coherently planned and adjusted where necessary. Developing and implementing these strategies ensures alignment with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, in a way that fosters increased prosperity for citizens, reduces the risk of locking-in unsustainable and high-emission infrastructure, and will help to avoid stranded high-carbon assets.

Careful long-term planning also provides an opportunity to maximize socio-economic benefits, such as cleaner air and water, improved security for jobs and energy access, and better health. If well done, these strategies can identify such opportunities, as well as challenges, open a space for democratic consultation on these implications, and secure a just transition for workers and communities which depend today on a fossil-based economy. 

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Civil society warns UN Security Council climate change a driver of conflict, hunger and poverty

 

[New York – United States] – February 15, 2013 – Climate Action Network-International (CAN-International) today warned a special event for United Nations Security Council members at the UN headquarters in New York that climate change was a critical driver of poverty, inequality, instability, and conflict which would ultimately affect us all.
 
Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-International, told the meeting, convened by Pakistan and the United Kingdom, that the situation demanded an unprecedented commitment to collective action to drastically reduce these climate-driven risks which were already being experienced, first and foremost, by the poorest and most vulnerable within our societies.
 
“We are gravely concerned by the prospects for mass displacement of people within States and across borders driven directly by climate impacts like sea level rise, droughts, desertification, biodiversity loss and indirectly by its impacts on food and natural resources,” Hmaidan said.
 
“We recognise that the decision to leave one's home and community is often the result of multiple factors, but that climate change impacts are often a critical driver, he said.
 
For example, the thousands of people who were displaced from Somalia into neighbouring countries in 2011 were not primarily fleeing conflict, but in search of food in the wake of drought.
 
Tim Gore, from Oxfam International, also present at the event, said that nowhere can this climate risk be more clearly seen than in the global food system.
 
“Droughts or floods can wipe out entire harvests, as we have seen in recent years in Pakistan, in the Horn of Africa and across the Sahel. And when extreme weather hits major world food producers – like last year’s droughts in the US and Russia – world food prices rocket. This presents a major risk to net food importing countries, such as Yemen, which ships in 90% of its wheat,” Gore said.
 
“The food riots and social unrest seen in the wake of the 2008 food price spikes were not a one-off phenomenon, but a sign of the risks we face through our failure to feed a warming world. With major producers either suffering or barely recovering from extreme heat and drought, combined with world cereal stocks falling again, world food security remains on a knife-edge.
 
Hmaidan said governments need to dramatically scale up public investments to help communities and countries adapt to the changing climate as well while at the same time ramp ing up international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent much greater harm.
 
“Adequate preparation for permanent loss and damage inflicted by climate change, including the establishment of a new international mechanism under discussion at the UNFCCC and the recognition of new rights for climate-forced migrants is required,” Hmaidan said.
 
Contacts
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
 
For more information, please contact Climate Action Network-International communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 157 3173 5568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org
 
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CAN Submission: Cancun Building Blocks, October 2010

THE POST-COPENHAGEN ROAD

A fair, ambitious and binding deal is needed more urgently than ever. Climate science is more compelling by the day. Impacts are coming harder and faster. Disastrous flooding in Pakistan, heat waves and forest fires in Russia and hottest recorded temperatures around the globe, amongst other devastating climate-related events, all point to the need for urgent action. Levels of warming once thought to be safe, may well not be, 1.5˚C is the new 2˚C. 

Negotiations Post-Copenhagen
Copenhagen was a watershed moment for public interest and support for climate action – and people have not lost interest. More people in more countries than ever have put their governments on notice that they expect a fair,
ambitious and binding global deal to be agreed urgently. Trust-building is essential after the disappointment of Copenhagen. Developed country leadership must be at the core of trust building efforts. Countries must show
their commitment to the UNFCCC process by driving it forward with political will and flexible positions, rather than endless rounds of repetitive negotiations. Many countries are troublingly pessimistic for Cancun, and are working to lower expectations. While others, including countries most vulnerable to climate change, maintain high expectations.

Challenges ahead of Cancun
There are many challenges to getting a full fair, ambitious and binding deal at Cancun, including:

  • Lack of a shared vision for the ultimate objective of the agreement, and the equitable allocation of the remaining carbon budget and emissions reduction/limitation commitments;
  • Sharp divisions on the legal form of an eventual outcome;
  • Failure of the US Senate to pass comprehensive legislation this year; and
  • Current economic difficulties facing many countries, which make it difficult to mobilize the substantial commitments to long-term climate finance needed as part of any ambitious agreement. 

Positive moves afoot
However, more and more countries, both developing and developed, are stepping up their efforts to pursue low-carbon development and adaptation, despite the absence of an international agreement. This can be seen in a variety of ways:

  • Investments in renewable energies have continued their exponential growth, increasing to 19% of global energy consumed;
  • Progressive countries are working to move the negotiations forward;
  • There is a growing perception that low-carbon and climate-resilient development is the only option to sustainably ensure the right to development and progress in poverty reduction. 

So, what does a pathway forward look like?

Firstly we must learn the lessons of Copenhagen. The “nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed” dynamic from Copenhagen could mean that nothing would be agreed in Cancun. An agreement in Cancun should instead be a balanced and significant step toward reaching a full fair, ambitious & binding deal at COP 17 in South Africa. This will require parties to work together in good faith to create sufficient gains at Cancun, and a clear roadmap to South Africa. This paper outlines how that could be achieved. 

CAN Intervention APA 1-3 Closing

Thank you Co-Chairs. My name is Catherine Abreu speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network International.

COP 23 will be the first Pacific Island COP. Few places on earth are more vulnerable to the devastating impacts of climate change, yet Fiji forges ahead with uncompromising ambition to stop the global expansion of fossil fuels and build a 100% renewable future.

We encourage Parties to take inspiration from our incoming President’s example: acknowledge the losses and damages facing low-lying and other vulnerable nations, and make substantive progress to guarantee that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is able to deliver on the ambition it embodies.

Constructive negotiations on the Paris rulebook need to be technical, and avoid getting bogged down in procedural wrangling, to ensure we finalise details by 2018.

CAN rejects the systematic exclusion of all observers from upcoming roundtables. Shutting out non-governmental experts undermines our ability to support the drafting of a robust rulebook, and we regret that this session concludes with a decision that runs counter to the spirit of Fijian talanoa in excluding actors rather than bringing them together.

Thank you.

CAN Letter to G20 Sherpas, May 2017

As the Sherpas meet to prepare for the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 7-8 July, Climate Action Network calls on the G20 to deliver a strong commitment to the swift implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Global economic and financial governance must be coherent with Agenda 2030’s sustainable development goals and the requirements of the Paris Agreement to safeguard development against climate risks and to provide a safe future for all citizens of the world.

We expect the G20 to signal their unfaltering commitment to the Paris Agreement. But reaffirming the Paris Agreement is not enough: The G20 must also deliver comprehensive measures for its implementation, including:

  • A strong and comprehensive G20 Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth, capitalizing on the impressive work of the Sustainability Working Group, the Green Finance Study Group and the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosure.
  • Concrete steps towards zero-emission and climate-resilient economies as soon as possible, including through initial long-term low-carbon development strategies with concrete sectoral targets by 2018.
  • Aligning financial flows and markets with the goals of Paris Agreement, shifting investments away from fossil fuels towards renewable, clean energy provision for all. A key element of this is a commitment to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and phasing in an effective price on carbon.

Civil society is not alone in this: Businesses (B20), think tanks (T20) and civil society (C20) issued a joint statement for a sustainable energy transition, calling for the G20 to take the lead on implementing the Paris Agreement. Last week, 217 investors, representing more than USD 15 trillion in assets, called on the G20 to put in place measures to implement their NDCs with “the utmost urgency.” 93 of the world’s largest companies and the 48 nations most vulnerable to climate change have committed to 100% renewable energy. The world is moving in one direction.

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