CAN Submission: Climate Finance Under the ADP, June 2014

Introduction: the climate finance challenge

The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (IPCC AR5) underlined that limiting global warming to below 2°C is not only possible, it will also not cost much – ambitious action will slow down economic growth by no more than a tiny amount, with substantial benefits from e.g. reduced air pollution or avoided climate damages. Yet, meeting the challenge will require massive efforts to shift existing investments away from fossil fuels towards the expansion of renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency. According to CERES (2014) the world needs to invest an additional $36 trillion in clean energy by 2050, in order to limit global warming to well below 2°C. For the near term, this requires at least doubling investments in clean energy to $500 billion per year by 2020. Over half of these investments need to be made in developing and emerging economies.

On adaptation, the IPCC AR5 has recently highlighted that too little is being invested in adaptation and that in the absence of massive adaptation actions today, the cost of adaptation will increase massively in the future. According to the 2012 CPI report on climate finance, adaptation received only around $10 billion of public finance in 2011. This remains highly inadequate given that developing countries’ adaptation needs are estimated to cost between $60 and 182 billion each year by 2030 according to the UNFCCC. These numbers do not yet account for existing and future economic and non-economic loss and damage that may increase massively over time, especially if adaptation continues to receive much less than needed, meaning that vital actions cannot be taken, eroding entire socio-economic systems over time, leading to the world community failing in eliminating poverty and preserving livelihoods and ecosystems.

Shifting existing investment patterns and mobilising additional investments will require considerable efforts from developed countries as well as from developing countries, with the latter having the additional challenge to pursue sustainable development while at the same time overcome poverty as their first priority. Especially for mitigation, much of the required investments will be made by the private sector that however will need to be mobilised to adequately take on this challenge.

The right policy frameworks can be one tool to mobilise such additionally needed investments, if they are designed to pursue pro-poor sustainable development, respecting social and environmental safeguards and ensuring people affected by such actions are consulted and give their consent.

Another tool will be the provision of public finance to leverage additional investments that would not occur otherwise. For instance, public finance is needed to ensure that interventions that remain unattractive for the private sector, especially in lower income countries and in marginalized communities, receive the required support. Public finance can, for example, help promote micro, small, and medium-scale and off-grid sustainable energy solutions, lower the cost of renewable energy access for the poorest, ensure forest protection, and build capacity in developing countries. Public finance can help ensure private finance investments are not detrimental to and benefit the poorest and most vulnerable - if international best practice social and environmental safeguards (the do no harm principle for example) are applied.

Public finance will remain essential for adaptation e.g. to secure livelihoods systems including food production, health, land rights and political empowerment, water supply or disaster risk reduction, preparedness and management, and increasingly compensation for losses and damages – especially in the most vulnerable countries.

In this context, 2014 will be an important year to revitalize short-term financial support, send strong signals to the investment community, and prepare to give finance a central role in the 2015 agreement for strengthened action in the post-2020 period.



CAN Submission: Equity Under the ADP, June 2014

CAN welcomes this opportunity to make a short, clarifying submission on the demands of equity, which as we all know are fundamental to the success of the new agreement.  Adequacy in general, and the 2°C target in particular, will remain unachievable without equity; this is a hard truth that has major implications for mitigation, and adaptation, and means of implementation.  Thus we are encouraged to note that many key equity and ambition related elements are already contained in the co-chairs’ “landscape” note.  Parties must now move to further discuss and operationalize these elements.

If humanity is to prevent dangerous climate change, an equitable approach to the preparation of the nationally determined contributions will be required, one that mobilizes ambitious contributions from all countries.  Such an approach must dynamically assess their responsibility, their capabilities, and their sustainable development needs.  To that end, we believe that regular equity reviews of Parties' mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building contributions are required, and that – to avoid the lock-in of inadequate contributions – these reviews must be coupled with a process for repeatedly scaling up ambition.  The focus in all this must of course be the upcoming nationally determined contributions, which will properly and inevitably be evaluated in great detail. 

We believe that, if these evaluations are to be productive, the following points must be reflected in the pre-Paris negotiations and in the Paris outcome. 



CAN Submission: Principles for reporting and accounting for emissions and removals from land use under the ADP, May 2014


Climate Action Network welcomes the opportunity to submit its view on the ADP Agreement regarding principles for reporting and accounting for emissions and removals from land use.


About one quarter of all human induced emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU), mainly from land use change, fertilizer use, livestock and peatland degradation. The potential for both sequestration and emissions reductions in the AFOLU sector is thus large, but it must be ensured that AFOLU mitigation does not compromise adaptation, food security or other social and environmental safeguards. Reducing emissions (for example, by reducing deforestation) and enhancing removals (for example, by afforestation or reforestation) are already important components of some countries’ emission reduction pledges and will no doubt continue to be so in the agreement concluded under the ADP.

It is therefore vital that all countries both report on and account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in a comparable and transparent way, especially those countries which intend to include emission reductions or increased removals from the sector as part of their emission reduction target. Special allowance should continue to be made for countries with the least capacity, notably, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The IPCC’s tiered approach allows countries to begin reporting at a simple level and move to more complex and accurate methods over time.

A number of basic principles and guidelines should be applied to all reporting and accounting for AFOLU and these are listed below. Many are based upon Decision 24/CP.19.



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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See you in Bonn, with your homework done!

ECO hopes that the climate gets what it needs in 2014, a year of ambition as we delivered a good draft text for Paris. After this year’s first UNFCCC meeting, it’s clear that much more effort will be needed for 2014 to be a success. Below a few things ECO hopes delegates will focus on as they return home from Bonn and prepare for the next session back here in June.

In Workstream 2, you have identified the significant potential of renewables and energy efficiency to help close the gigatonne gap. ECO suggests you now turn to concrete additional actions you can take to realise that potential and present them at the next session. You should also think about which decisions you can take at the end of the year to ensure that existing UNFCCC institutions, such as the Climate Technology Centre and Network and, the Green Climate Fund support those efforts.

Another piece of homework is to accelerate the preparation of your nationally determined contributions and to prepare concrete proposals on the information requirements for such proposals.

After all the frustration expressed over the slow progress towards the 2015 outcome, ECO is confident that negotiations under the shiny new Contact Group will get off to a flying start at the June session. We need to ensure that clarity on the shape of the 2015 deal emerges from Lima, which requires countries to focus on developing the specific elements through elaboration of a tight and manageable negotiating text. More importantly, we need to be getting ambitious commitments and other contributions on the table. Ones that will actually shift the world to a below  1.5℃ pathway.

ECO recognises that Parties will want to see their initial positions reflected, no matter how far apart and incompatible they are. However, Parties also have a responsibility to create the conditions for a draft elements text that will allow structured negotiations to begin the resolution of these issues systematically.

Our co-Chairs will need to play a strong and proactive role in helping to bridge differences and shaping successive versions of the text based on party input. ECO, and our Fossil of the Day friends, will have little patience for procedural shenanigans this June. The process is full of skilled and able negotiators. They need to use their abilities for good, and not for delay, obstruction and protecting narrowly defined and outdated national interests and polluting industries.

So, ECO hopes all Parties are eager to get back to their capitals to begin the work that needs to be done over the next 12 weeks on closing the gap, preparing post-2020 commitments and elaborating elements of a draft text.

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Domestic preparations for dirty oil prevention

Domestic preparations for intended nationally determined contributions may, at first glance, seem an unpromising subject for an article. The issue couldn’t be more important, though. The contributions that countries plan to submit, ahead of Paris, and the terms by which they’ll do so, remains firmly at the forefront of ECO’s mind. We’re quite sure that the same is true for many negotiators.

ECO could spend many pages outlining details of what countries should submit, but for a change of pace, let’s talk about something that one particular country shouldn’t submit.

That’s right, we’re talking about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

As the US considers its plans to increase ambition, and as it moves (we hope) towards emissions reductions in line with the science, the only proper role for the Keystone XL pipeline is rejection.

But don’t just take ECO’s word for it. A new study by the financial analysts at the Carbon Tracker Initiative suggests that building the pipeline would incentivise growth in the Canadian tar sands production equivalent to the emissions from building some 46 new coal-fired power plants. Besides undermining American climate action, a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline would also mean substantial emission increases in Canada, moving the Maple Leaf even further away from the targets committed in Copenhagen.

International luminaries such as Desmond Tutu recently signed a letter stating, “The verdict on whether to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline could, in just one stroke, confirm or condemn America’s prospects for climate leadership.”

As we walk the road towards Paris, it’s imperative that all Parties take steps to build trust and show commitment to achieving the most ambitious outcome possible. One key step on the road must certainly be the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, don’t you think?

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