CAN Submission: Pre-2020 Ambition, November 2014


The new agreement to be finalized at COP 21 in Paris will focus on post-2020 action. Governments have already put forward their ambition for the pre-2020 phase by committing to the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as well as putting forward mitigation actions. However, the ambition reflected in these commitments and actions leaves a gigaton gap where actions on climate change fall short of what science deems necessary to close this gap not only in mitigation but also in means of implementation (MOI) including finance, technology, and capacity building resources from developed to developing countries. The following are some steps governments need to take in Lima in order to build a strong foundation for the 2015 agreement.


  • COP 20 should urge all countries to revise their pre 2020 mitigation commitments and actions.
  • COP 20 should mandate ADP to develop a 2-year work plan from 2015-2017 with concrete steps on how the work to close the gap would be undertaken and how discussions would be translated into real actions.
  • COP 20 should enhance the TEMs with a new and increased mandate to focus not just on high potential mitigation actions but also on means of implementation for realizing these actions.
  • COP 20 should capture contributions made, assess the adequacy of existing pledges, and discuss a future target level of annual contributions to the GCF to be reached, for example, by 2020.
  • COP 20 should decide that developed countries, and other countries in a position to do so, should continuously increase annual contributions to the GCF to reach the desired target level.
  • Ministers in Lima should agree to collectively draw up a global climate finance roadmap towards 2020 that will include information on (a) the scaling up of public finance through to 2020, (b) types and instruments of finance to be deployed, and (c) channels, sources and sectoral distribution between adaptation and mitigation, with a view to help ensure predictable and scaled up finance and intermediate milestones.
  • Ministers in Lima should reflect on more sustainable funding sources for the adaptation fund. Developed countries should use Lima to pledge at least $80 million to the adaptation fund.
  • The Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) should discuss the IPCC Synthesis report in light of ‘progress made towards achieving the ultimate objective of the convention’.
  • The Joint Contact Group (JCG) for the 2013-2015 Review should conclude that based on scientific evidence, pre 2020 actions as currently committed by governments are inadequate and should be revised.


CAN Intervention: ADP Technical Expert Meeting on Non-CO2 GHGs at ADP2-6, 23 October, 2014

My name is Natasha Hurley and I'm speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network. 

We welcome the organization of today's Technical Expert Meeting on non-CO2 greenhouse gases, which has certainly been a timely and useful opportunity to take stock of the mulitple initiatives on HFCs and other gases that are already being rolled out in many countries and regions around the world. 

However, we need to be reassured that all the good talk and presentation of real-world evidence will result in a global scaling up of climate action in the very near term. 

We think these Technical Expert Meetings should be seen as a final springboard towards action to plub the growing mitigation gap and that they should make a sustained and lasting impact. In short, these discussions should not just be a one-off talking shop. 

We heard a lot in teh previous session about the host of initiatives aimed at curbing the use of HFCs worldwide, and the growing market in climate-friendly energy-efficient alternatives. This is one example where global action could be taken immediately, in fact as soon as next month at the 26th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Paris. 

So we urge Parties here to take full advantage of today's discussion and use the existing institutional framework under the Montreal Protocol to implement a global phase-down of HFCs. 

From our perspective, this would be convincing proof that the TEMs are able to help deliver wha they were set up to do, which is to provide concrete results in the very near future. 

Thank you Chair. 

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CAN Intervention at the Bonn ADP2-6 Opening Plenary, 20 October 2014

Thank you Co-Chairs,

I am Vositha Wijenayake speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The INDC draft decision text needs to be finalized at this session. CAN believes that INDCs from all major economies need to be submitted by March 2015. It is crucial that INDCs are detailed and come early enough, to support a comprehensive and meaningful review process. This review will ensure that contributions from countries are fair and equitable in relation to each other as well as ambitious and scientifically adequate to put us back on a climate safe trajectory.

Locking in low ambition within the INDCs is a real danger. The INDCs need to have a five-year cycle with the first cycle ending in 2025. The EU is likely to decide on its contribution in the coming days and we urge them to set the bar high enough for others to follow rather than initiate a race to the bottom.

On climate finance: developed countries need to accept that providing finance is part of their fair share in the global effort alongside mitigation efforts. In Paris we will need new collective targets for public finance but also individual quantified commitments. The INDC should include such planned commitments as otherwise it would not be possible to assess if a country does its fair share.

Thank you

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CAN Submission: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), October 2014

Governments at COP19 in Warsaw agreed to “initiate or intensify preparations of their intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC) to meet the ultimate objective of the convention. It was also agreed that governments in ‘a position to do so’ would submit their INDCs by March 2015. At the Climate Summit in New York, the commitment to come forward with INDCs was further reiterated. Even though there is broad agreement on the need to submit INDCs much ahead of COP 21 in Paris, there is still not enough agreement on the shape of these INDCs.

Climate Action Network (CAN) with this submission intends to elaborate its thinking around the INDCs as well as provide solutions towards the continuing disagreements between governments as well as clear the ambiguity around the concept of INDCs. 


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CAN Intervention: ADP Closing Plenary SB40s, not delivered, 15 June, 2014


This written intervention is submitted by the Climate Action Network to the final plenary of ADP2.5.

This session began on a high note with positive signals coming out of two major emitters.  During the session, we heard over 60 countries expressed support for the idea of a phase out of greenhouse gas emissions.  These are encouraging developments, however, as the now inevitable ultimate collapse of sections of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet remind us, all countries need to be going further, faster.  We expect - and we need - more positive signals and firm new commitments coming out of September’s Ban Ki-Moon Summit, COP20, and through to the March 2015 deadline for post-2020 contributions. 

In Lima, Parties will need to agree on the upfront information required for their post-2020 contributions as well as the process by which those contributions should be assessed.  We are concerned that some Parties do not think such an assessment is necessary.  CAN believes warming should be limited to 1.5°C.  The commitments made in Paris must be consistent with such a temperature goal.  We will conduct a civil society review to ensure that proposed contributions - both mitigation and financial - are adequate and equitable.  At a minimum, an official space within the ADP should be created for civil society and research organisation to present the outcomes of their assessments in June 2015; in addition to the question and answer sessions we expect Parties to hold regarding their contributions.  Parties will also need to agree on a deadline for resubmitting contributions prior to COP21 should these prove inadequate.

To enable such an assessment, proposed contributions must be quantifiable, comprehensible, comparable and reproducible and this should be reflected in upfront information requirements.  For developed countries, there must be no backsliding from the Kyoto approach with multi-year carbon budgets based on common metrics.  This type of commitment should be expanded to a broader group of countries, including all in the OECD.  Finance is also a core element of the upfront information requirements.  It is an integral part of fair share for developed countries and, in the post-2020 context, for those with comparable levels of responsibility and capability.  The upfront information requirements should also include an agreed list of equity indicators which Parties should use to explain why their proposed contributions represent an ambitious and adequate contribution to the glob­al climate challenge.  To avoid locking in low levels of ambition, all contributions must have a common end date of 2025, while Parties should also indicate their emissions pathways over the longer term in 2030, 2040 and an ultimate phase out of fossil fuel emissions in 2050.

In Paris, Parties have to commit to phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future for all by mid-century.  In order to achieve these goals, we need to act now.  Lima must capture progress under workstream two and Parties must agree to concrete measures to reduce emissions.  The technical expert meetings should continue beyond 2014 until we have closed the gap.

We look forward to a productive session in October.  Much remains to be done to ensure ambitious outcomes in Lima, Paris and beyond.

Thank you Co-Chairs.



CAN Position: Long Term Global Goals for 2050, June 2014

Climate Action Network calls for phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all, as early as possible, but not later than 2050.

Climate change is here, now, and is a matter of survival. The recently released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes the impacts of climate change on the planet, people and nature in much more detail and with even more robust science.  Some present and projected future impacts, such as those on food security, sea level rise or ocean acidification, are occurring with more intensity than previously anticipated. These impacts will be disruptive for all countries; especially for the global poor and vulnerable peoples.

The agreement to be reached at COP 21 in Paris must signal the end of the fossil fuel era and an accelerated transition to a 100% renewable energy future for all by 2050.  The cornerstone of this legally binding agreement must be ambitious mitigation commitments and actions from all countries, the nature and stringency of which will vary depending on their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC).

In order to achieve deep emission reductions, action needs to start now with peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2015. This is extremely critical for long-term climate stability. Any delay in peaking will make achieving the lowest levels of warming even more challenging, will substantially increase costs of mitigation and adaptation efforts, and may necessitate the need for environmentally and socially questionable technologies to be deployed in order to reduce emissions. While near-term emission reductions are necessary to keep the door open to limiting warming below 1.5°C, long-term emission pathways are critical to its achievement.   Therefore, in addition to ambitious near-term action, Paris must also outline a vision for a carbon emissions-free future in the form of a binding long-term goal. 




The ADP: a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth?

ECO noted a range of opinions in Thursday’s ADP stocktaking plenary - particularly on the question of how negotiations should go forward with which texts. Some Parties supported working with text based on a synthesis of Party contributions. This would mean that the co-chairs would be sent into the kitchen to cook up a text based on ingredients selected by Parties. Other countries want Parties to prepare the main dish, with negotiations held directly on Party submissions compiled to a single document. The fear is that this could run to a hundred-plus page cookbook.

A few countries seemed to want to try both approaches. This interesting proposal works with both approaches and raises the question of whether Parties could work with two documents at the same time and achieve a compromise. In this spirit of conciliation, ECO proposes that Parties look for inspiration from the Post-2015 negotiations on SDGs. This process uses a dual text approach to ensure the soufflé rises.  

In utilising the Post-2015 dual-text model, ADP co-chairs could call for conference room papers (CRPs) that they compile into an INF document featuring all Party submissions, with attribution. The co-chairs would prepare a companion document, a synthesis text developed from the CRPs, other submissions, and Party statements at this session. The synthesis text would identify areas of convergence and divergence and serve as the basis for formal negotiations.    

This dual approach addresses Party calls for transparency and attribution, as well as addressing the need to move as fast as possible to narrow the differences amongst Parties. In this moment, the key to convergence might be found in combining approaches instead of choosing between them.

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CAN Intervention: ADP Technical Expert Meeting on Land Use at SB40s, 11 June, 2014


Technical Expert Meeting on Opportunities for Action on Land Use, 11 June 2014

Work stream 2 provides an opportunity to quickly ramp-up reducing emissions from high carbon landscapes like forests, peatlands, mangroves, and other wetlands. Once these ecosystems are destroyed, or severely degraded, most of their emissions reductions potential has been lost. Polices and measures to conserve these ecosystems promote biodiversity, secure the livelihoods of local communities, and maintain resilience. One of the ways to achieve this is to prioritize REDD+ as an immediate action to fund before 2020.

The inclusion of agriculture in discussions about mitigation has its own challenges that are additional to those of forests. There must be careful consideration of food security needs and impacts on land rights, particularly for developing countries. Furthermore, sequestration of carbon in mineral soils is easily subject to reversals

Under ADP discussions on land use, permanent emission reductions could, however, focus on cuts in greenhouse gases such as methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from synthetic fertilisers, in countries where emissions are highest.

Land use under both work streams of the ADP should follow a rights-based approach.

Finally, we urge you to read the CAN submission on principles for accounting under the ADP.


Saudi: “We are the 1%!”

ECO thinks that we might have witnessed the potential beginnings of a copyright infringement dispute yesterday in the ADP when Saudi Arabia appeared to be freely utilising the current Canadian government’s talking points on climate change. The Saudi delegate insisted that being responsible for only 1% of global emissions is an excuse for inaction on mitigation; a line of reasoning with which Canada’s Prime Minister Harper and his ministers have long tried to justify how their expansion of dirty tar sands isn't reckless nor is Canada’s general failure to deliver on Kyoto or Copenhagen commitments: Canada isn’t excused from acting on climate change just because its fraction of the global emissions total is small.

In case you, Dear Reader, missed it, Saudi Arabia suggested that its “minuscule” contribution of a mere 1% to global GHG emissions justifies that it can limit its INDC to adaptation action while only the top 20 of the world’s emitters should focus on mitigation. To suggest that countries with “only” 1% of global emissions should get a free pass on mitigation doesn’t make sense on two fronts. It doesn’t fit with a long term need to completely phase-out fossil fuel emissions by 2050 and phase-in renewable energy access for all, and it also contradicts the very purpose of the ADP, tasked with “ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties”.

If Parties would follow Saudi Arabia’s reasoning, 83% of Annex I countries would also not have to contribute to mitigation, since countries like the Netherlands (0.5%) or France (1.1%) contribute the same amount or less than Saudi Arabia (1.2%) to the global GHG total. Following a similar logic, only about 70% of global emissions would be covered by mitigation action as the 172 countries with emissions equally “minuscule” as Saudi Arabia’s or lower emit about 30% of the total (calculated by ECO using 2011 GHG Data from the CAIT 2.0 database).

Saudi Arabia, climate change requires “the widest possible cooperation by all countries”, and such ambitious action is only possible if everybody is pulling their weight. A country that has both the high capacity to act (like yours) and, as a fossil fuel extractor, a high level of responsibility for the climate problem (like yours) will need to contribute its fair share to mitigation. While there might be a degree of disagreement on how high exactly your fair contribution to mitigation would be, ECO is quite certain it’s more than nothing. Just saying. 

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Taking Stock: Over 60 countries in favour of phasing out emissions!

Today, the ADP will meet to take stock of the progress made so far. When this session started, ECO announced its vision: in Paris countries have to commit to phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future for all by mid-century.  In addition to really ambitious mitigation and financial commitments for the 2020-2025 period, of course! 

ECO has been listening closely to Ministerial statements and interventions in the ADP.  By ECO’s count, over 60 countries have expressed support for the idea of a phase out. These include the LDCs (all 48 of them), AILAC (another 6 Parties), Marshall Islands, Grenada, Switzerland, Mexico, Norway, Germany as well as other European countries. 

For example, Denmark spoke of their commitment to completely decarbonise by 2050, while Bhutan reiterated its commitment to remain carbon neutral. Nicaragua will already have reached 90% renewable energy use in power by 2020. South Africa supported the phase out of emissions for developed countries by 2050.

Now there may be some differences in terminology, (what with decarbonisation, carbon neutrality, net zero and phase out), as well as in the timeline (mid- or latter part of the century) and scope. But the message is undeniable: support for phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future for all is growing rapidly. It goes without saying that this should be reflected in any Chairs’ summary of the session or revised landscape document.

ECO looks forward to hearing from other Parties during the rest of this session, at the Petersburg meeting next month and, of course, the Climate Summit in September. ECO won’t rest until all 196 Parties to the Convention are on board.


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