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G20 Issue Brief: Long-term Strategies

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 Submission on Adaptation Communications

Under the Paris Agreement Article 7, Parties agreed to establish the global goal on adaptation for enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal. Furthermore, Parties stressed that adaptation action should follow a “country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on  and guided by the best  available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions.”

The Paris Agreement and decision 1/CP.21 stipulate that adaptation communications should serve as one of the inputs to the global stocktake and define the overall scope as well as the communication and recording process for adaptation communications. The adaptation communication is referred to in the context of the global stocktake as contributing to enhancing the implementation of adaptation action taking into account the adaptation communication, as a source of input to be identified by the APA for the global stocktake, that includes information on the state of adaptation efforts, support, experiences and priorities from, and also reflecting the submitting Party’s priorities, implementation and support needs, and plans and actions.

Climate Action Network would like to submit our views on elements for adaptation communications, highlighting the following as key aspects network members consider necessary for providing accurate and updated information on climate adaptation, which will contribute effectively to the global stocktake.

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CAN Submission on the Technology Framework - March 2017

CAN thanks the Parties for this opportunity to share our thinking on the Technology Framework. Our submission contains five key components: Strategic Vision; Innovation and RDD; Support for implementation; Enabling Environments and Capacity Building; and Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement.

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G20 Issue Brief: Sustainable Infrastructure

The additional up-front investment required for a sustainable infrastructure pathway by 2030 is estimated at less than 5% above baseline levels, and is very likely to be more than “offset” by the resulting energy and fuel savings from modern clean energy and energy efficiency, with large additional benefits resulting from avoided climate impacts and air pollution related health costs, as well as reduced risk of stranded assets. Present externalities of and subsidies to burning fossil fuels amount to a staggering 6.5% of global GDP.

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G20 Issue Brief: Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies

It is estimated that fossil fuel subsidies contributed up to 36% of global emissions between 1980 and 2010, while also exacerbating health problems, air and water local pollution. Limiting their use is a key step towards reducing inequality and achieving inclusive growth, since fossil fuel subsidies disproportionately benefit the middle and upper classes. Fossil fuel subsidies constitute an inefficient use of scarce public funds, and inhibit the market penetration of price-competitive renewables. While subsidies more broadly can be used as an effective tool to support the poor and promote a particular industry for the benefit of larger good, an industry that is well-established should not be the beneficiary of limited public resources, especially when cost-effective and healthier alternatives are available.

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G20 Issue Brief: Ratification of the Montreal Protocol Amendment on HFCs

In the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol adopted in 2016, parties agreed to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons, the fastest growing climate pollutants. Once implemented, this phase-down could prevent emissions of 80 GtCO2e by 2050, reducing global warming by up to 0.5ºC by the end of the century compared to business as usual.

In addition, the HFC phasedown under the Montreal Protocol will, as has always been the case in the past, provide the opportunity to improve energy efficiency in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, potentially in the range of 30 to 60%. In the room air conditioning sector alone, improving energy efficiency of equipment by 30% while simultaneously transitioning to low-GWP alternatives could save an amount of electricity equivalent to up to 2,500 medium-sized power plants globally by 2050, while providing climate mitigation of nearly 100 Gt CO2-eq by 2050 from this sector.

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G20 Issue Brief: Sustainable Finance

 

 

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 requires some $90trn of investments over the next 15 years. The issue is not availability of capital: our global financial system today is nearly $300trn strong and growing. Rather, the challenge is aligning financial regulation with sustainability objectives to shift financial flows and unleash green finance. Success would result in more than just meeting SDGs. It would create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive global economy, while at the same time adding approximately $12trn a year to global GDP – and possibly more. In their current form, however, financial markets do not price in the externalities of investments at a level strong enough to shift investments decisions; nor do they provide enough public information to market players regarding their exposure to sustainability-related risks and opportunities. More work is also needed to scale up green finance.

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