Tag: CAN Intervention

CAN Intervention: In response to NGO participation and new expenses, 7 June 2014

Delivered by Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network International, 6 June, 2014


On behalf of the constituencies representing business and industry, research groups, indigenous peoples organizations, environmental groups, women and gender, trade unions, local government and municipal authorities and youth, we would like to express our concern regarding the policy on cost recovery announced in the Secretariat’s information note dated June 4.  This policy threatens to undermine the quality of observer participation in the UNFCCC process. 

From its beginning, the UNFCCC has recognized the value of observer participation, most recently during yesterday’s Article 6 dialogue on public participation.  Within the SBI negotiations and workshops, Parties have repeatedly acknowledged the “crucial and integral” role of observers in this process.  Similarly, the Secretariat has recognized the value of our contributions, as stated in the announcement on this policy and in the guidelines on observer participation, which provide that participation “flourishes in an atmosphere of mutual trust which acknowledges respect for others and their opinions.” 

Despite this widespread recognition, the cost-recovery policy would effectively exclude many voices that cannot afford to pay the new costs, and threaten the credibility and legitimacy as well as mutual trust that have been established within this negotiation process.  It will also undermine our ability to share diverse views and to present current research and innovative solutions to this complex problem.  

This policy – which essentially shifts the burden from Parties to observers – would have significant impacts on our ability to engage in and influence the process.  Many observer organizations already face resource and capacity constraints and, as recognized by the Secretariat, have limited opportunities to share their views and perspectives.  The voices of civil society, in particular many organizations from developing countries and regions and from other groups representing those most vulnerable will be further marginalized if the right to speak is premised on the ability to pay. 

As we’ve demonstrated in the past, we are committed to working with the Secretariat and Parties to find solutions together.  We offer to work with the Secretariat to find a real solution that doesn’t link financial contribution to the ability of observers to effectively participate in this process.  In the interim, we urge you to put this policy on hold until other options have been considered through a transparent and participatory process, which is critical to protecting diverse points of view and ensuring legitimate outcomes.

Let us work together to find a solution.


CAN Intervention: Volveremos Civil Society Intervention and Declaration with CAN, CJN and YOUNGO in ADP High-Level Ministerial

We are people who participated in the walk out of the Warsaw Climate Conference and those who supported and united with its call for more serious climate action.  We have come together to reiterate to all ‘leaders’ participating in the UN climate negotiations that they are dangerously off track in addressing the climate emergency.  We call upon them to listen to the demands and solutions of people.

The walk out was an act of protest and indignation over governments’ continued failure to take decisive and swift action against the biggest threat to both people and the planet, and an act of condemnation of continued domination and sabotage of the international climate talks by powerful corporate interests.

In the face of massive destruction, displacement and loss of lives caused by current levels of global warming and the certainty of much worse impacts in the near future, governments continue to choose to act in the interests of a wealthy few, and collude with big business to defend unsustainable consumption and production models ahead of the urgent need for a sustainable, ecological, and just world.

We are more determined than ever to fight for the survival of our families, our communities and our peoples across the world – a survival that rests on nothing less than the fundamental transformation of a system that has generated massive impoverishment, injustices and a climate crisis that threatens all life on earth.  People are waging this fight in various arenas in every corner of the globe, over every dimension of their lives – food, energy, health and security, jobs and livelihoods.

People are mobilizing everywhere and taking to the streets in bigger numbers and increasing intensity to stand up to vested interests and fight for their future and those of the next generations.   People driven solutions, compatible with planetary limits are being created and asserted at local, national and global levels – aimed at meeting the needs of people rather than the relentless pursuit of profits for big business and wealthy elites.

We  are back,  far more strengthened in giving voice to those who are already acting with the urgency needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change -  the huge majority of civil society around the world that you, ministers, represent and can not ignore any longer.

In the coming weeks and months, towards and during the Social COP in Venezuela, the People’s Summit and the COP20 in Peru, and the COP 21 in France, we will be fighting harder than ever for governments to:

  • Commit to a global goal of limiting warming that recognizes the latest IPCC’s warnings on the threats of tipping points, and to the right to food and food sovereignty, recalling that science suggests that 1.5C of warming would be too much for many vulnerable peoples and countries.
  • Deliver a swift global transformation away from the use of dirty fossil fuel and destructive energy systems driving the crisis, towards a carbon-free and renewable energy economy that, primarily amongst others, is decentralized, community controlled, affordable, accessible to all people for their basic needs and well-being;
  • Urgently scale up targets for emissions cuts in the pre-2020 period, and set emission targets comparable to the scale of the emergency for 2020-2025;
  • Ensure equitable and fair sharing of efforts among all countries based on their historical responsibility, their capacities, and the urgency of the crisis
  • Enable people to deal with climate impacts by protecting the rights of peoples and communities, building resilience, addressing loss and damage, and ensuring a just transition to climate resilient, low carbon, equitable and democratic economy and society.
  • Define and commit to concrete targets for the transfer of finance and technology to make global transformation possible
  • Reject the damaging influence of corporate interests on climate policy  and prevent their promotion of false solutions as the global response to the climate crisis

The global climate movement is building its strength and power in every country of the world. We call on those who claim to represent us to either act in our interests or step aside.

CAN Intervention: SBSTA Opening Plenary SB40s, 6 June, 2014

Thank you chair. I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

CAN looks forward to the constructive discussion on agriculture and progress on the Nairobi Work Programme in SBSTA.

For the Nairobi Work Programme, COP19 highlighted ecosystems; human settlements; water resources; and health as priority areas. All these are of crucial importance to the needs of the people and countries particularly vulnerable to climate change. SBSTA should discuss how to pick up key findings of the expert meeting on tools for the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation, needs of local and indigenous communities, and the application of gender-sensitive approaches and tools for adaptation.

For agriculture, the world’s people depends on it for their very sustenance, and, especially in developing countries, for their livelihoods. Climate change puts all of this at risk. Among other things, the UNFCCC should:

·       Promote biodiverse climate-resilient small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles;

·       Include safeguards which protect biodiversity, equitable access to resources by rural peoples, food security, the right to food, the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, the integration of gender-sensitive approaches, as well as the welfare of farm animals, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation.

CAN is happy to work further with delegates on the appropriate recommendations.




Building Blocks For Paris Emerge, But Ministers Miss Opportunity Take An Easier Road

Bonn - Germany, Friday June 6: Politicians at the UN climate negotiations in Bonn have today sent positive signals in relation to releasing early next year their climate action contributions towards the global agreement due to be signed in Paris in 2015. 

The US said heads of state should reaffirm at the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit in September that they "commit to submit" their contributions by March 31, 2015.

Mohamed Adow, from Christian Aid, said up for negotiation tomorrow is the kinds of information those contributions should contain based on suggestions from the co-chairs of the session.  

"Countries need to realize that forming the Paris agreement was like building a house for the people of the world in which the co-chairs are the foremen, they are the builders and the contributions are the bricks," he said. "Like a good house the Paris agreement needs to protect us and not fall down."

Alix Mazounie of RAC France said finance played a vital role in ensuring all countries could form their own climate action plan. 

"Developing countries desperately need reassurance that public finance will be part of the 2015 agreement or there might be no deal," she said.

But Greenpeace's Martin Kaiser said politicians had missed an opportunity to make new climate action commitments for the period until the Paris agreement comes into affect in 2020.

"By not picking the low hanging fruit now, governments are making their job that much harder and more expensive later,"  he said. "Governments need to reject the influence of the fossil fuel lobby and act in the interests of their people."


CAN Intervention: KP Ministerial Dialogues at SB40s, 6 June, 2014

Thank you President Korolec and Minister Pulgar-Vidal, 

I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

Distinguished Ministers, 

This Ministerial meeting is a result of your previous agreement that developed countries' targets for 2020 needed to be more ambitious. This promise was the precondition of the Durban agreement to start the negotiations for the 2015 agreement. Even more importantly, increasing your near-term targets is essential if we are to keep the window to keeping warming below 1.5 degrees C open. This need to revise the 2020 targets applies to all developed country Parties, both inside and outside of the Kyoto Protocol. 

We are disappointed to see that very few ministers have bothered to come here. Is this because Ministers have not been briefed about what is necessary to avoid even more devastating climate impacts than the world is already experiencing? Or is it because Ministers know this all too well, but did not dare to come here to admit that they are going to do nothing in the face of the undeniable scientific evidence of what a failure to act now will mean? 

While some Parties are making more progress in cutting emissions than others, what unsettles us the most is that not a single developed country has indicated their intention to increase their targets for 2020, neither those countries that remain under the Kyoto Protocol or, even worse, from those who have stepped outside (or were never in).  What we have heard today is nothing less than a spectrum of non-commitments. 

Thank you.



CAN Intervention: Nairobi Work Programme in the SBSTA Contact Group, 5 June 2014

CAN intervention on NWP, 5 June 2014

SBSTA also needs to make progress on the future activities of the Nairobi Work Programme. COP19 highlighted ecosystems; human settlements; water resources; and health as priority areas. All these are of crucial importance to the needs of the people and countries particularly vulnerable to climate change.

On ecosystems and water resources, the reports from previous expert meetings under the NWP in 2013 and 2012 provide important starting points for what to do next.

CAN generally thinks that the activities should be designed in a way that they can serve different purposes where scientific and technological advice is required, with a strong view of facilitating implementation of concrete action. A key step toward this is to ensure the NWP engages leading experts and practitioners on each theme. SBSTA should engage the AC and NWP partners (including many CAN members) to assist in identifying and reaching out to these leaders. 

NWP activities should aim to increasingly include knowledge and  experience from very locally grounded activities, such as from community-led adaptation. Activities under all themes also could contribute to important cross-cutting discussions, including:

  • The implications of the IPCC AR5 and different levels of projected warming
  • Approaches for multi-level adaptation planning (inl. NAPs, but also for sub-national and local planning)
  • Climate change impacts on, and needs of, particularly vulnerable segments of societies
  • Ways to better assess financial costs of adaptation options
  • Needs and opportunities for regional cooperation
  • Vehicles for effective south-south adaptation learning

Furthermore we think that the SBSTA should also identify ways to lift up some of the key findings of the expert meeting on available tools for the use of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices for adaptation, needs of local and indigenous communities and the application of gender-sensitive approaches and tools for adaptation. This work may result in a specific COP20 decision. Key recommendations we would like to highlight include

  • To fully appreciate indigenous and traditional knowledge in a manner commensurate with modern science at all levels relevant to adaptation, including through COP guidance for the performance of finance institutions such as the GCF.
  • The strong need to enable the recognition, participation and engagement of local communities and holders of local, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices in the adaptation process, including in national adaptation planning processes from the outset
  • Building on previous COP decisions, strengthen the integration of gender-sensitive approaches in all aspects of adaptation planning and practice to promote gender equality
  • To organize follow-up activities to ensure that the workshop is not a “one-off” activity on this topic. Specifically, the SBSTA should explore opportunities to create stronger linkages between NWP activities and related implementation activities, ensuring a continuous feedback mechanism.

This workshop, notably, was an example of a positive collaboration between the Adaptation Committee and the NWP. The precedent set by this workshop paves the way for continued collaboration among Convention bodies to coordinate and synchronize efforts on adaptation. The NWP should continue to directly link to long-term work within the Convention through the AC, the LEG, adaptation funding mechanisms, and especially, the NAP process.

CAN is happy to work further with delegates on the appropriate recommendations.



CAN Intervention: ADP Opening Plenary SB40s, 4 June, 2014

Thank you Co-Chairs, 

I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

As if the findings of the AR5 were not enough of a call to action, melting of a major section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet now appears inevitable and we may have already committed ourselves to 3 or more meters of sea-level rise from this ice sheet alone.  This is yet another reminder of the extent of climate impacts to which society is already committed and that critical tipping points are now being crossed.  At the up-coming Ministerials, emissions cuts must be elevated to a new level.  Workstream 2 must adopt concrete measures in Lima to accelerate the transition to a 100% renewable energy future. 

As governments will soon start announcing their post-2020 mitigation and financial commitments, it will be critical that Workstream 1 agree, at THIS session, on the information to be included and equity indicators to be used when tabling such commitments.  Luckily part of this task is essentially complete as there must be NO backsliding of Kyoto-style commitments for developed countries. Workstream 1 must also make progress on elaborating of elements of a draft text, including addressing critical issues like loss and damage and compliance.

Thank you, Co-Chairs.


CAN Intervention: SBI Opening Plenary SB40s, 4 June, 2014

Thank you Co Chairs.

I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

CAN welcomes the progress made on guidelines for IAR and ICA. The adoption of guidelines for national communications and biennial reports as well as revision of reporting guidelines on annual inventories for Annex 1 parties is progress. However, there are some provisions in the agreed guidelines that suggest the need for revision.

A robust verification process facilitates increased transparency for commitments and actions countries are taking to respond to climate change and allows Parties to build capacity, strengthen trust, foster cooperation, and provide more effective support.

CAN would like to highlight that MRV regime created within the UNFCCC should not be limited to mitigation alone but should also address means of implementation especially finance. A common reporting format to facilitate the assessment of actions and finance disbursed and received would help to create a transparent MRV regime for means of implementation.

Given enhanced reporting requirements some developing countries will need the requisite technical capacity building to meet these reporting requirements. The need for permanent institutional capacity and human resources to carry out various tasks in relation to national communications as well as Biennial Update reports within developing countries will also require enhanced financial support.

Thank you. 


CAN and Beyond2015 Intervention during the OWG-11 on SDGs, 8 May, 2014

Dear Mr. Chair,

I am Lina Dabbagh and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network and Beyond 2015.

We are united on the need to keep a dedicated climate change goal in a Post-2015 development framework. During the past days we have come here together in New York to try and frame a future for universal sustainable development that eradicates poverty. At this point, we have heard about poverty eradication, on how to promote sustainable agriculture, food security, health and economic growth, but as the OWG have heard from previous contributors in this process, all our efforts to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication in the long term are nothing without addressing climate change.

CAN and Beyond 2015 welcome the “Working Document for OWG-11” , it is positive to see that climate change retains the level of visibility required and that several focus areas include targets contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, including food and agriculture, cities, and energy. We cannot imagine a sustainable development framework guiding the international community for the coming 15 years that does not explicitly highlight climate change as a defining existential development issue and the threat multiplier of our time.  Without a strong focus on climate change, any future development framework will not be sustainable.

Addressing climate change is a prerequisite to ending poverty and its urgency and importance is best reflected by having a goal and integration throughout.  

Also having a dedicated goal on climate change in the new development agenda sends a positive political signal that climate change is a major development issue affecting poverty eradication and underpins the imperative for a positive level of ambition shown at the Conference of the Parties in Paris.

In the general assembly report “The future we want”, Countries acknowledged the centrality of climate change, to the development agenda reaffirming ‘that climate change is a cross-cutting and persistent crisis’ and ‘the scale and gravity of the negative impacts of climate change affect all countries and undermine the ability of all countries, in particular, developing countries, to achieve sustainable development [...] and threaten the viability and survival of nations’.

Member States need to address this centrality by including a dedicated climate change goal, as well as mainstreaming climate action across all other relevant goals. This applies in particular to goals related to economic growth or industrialization. Inclusive and sustainable growth must ensure shared prosperity for all while remaining within the safe ecological limits of our planet.

CAN and Beyond 2015 further believe that the post‐2015 development process and the UNFCCC process are complementary to each other and should  capitalize on their potential mutual benefits in order to ensure the two processes strengthen each other.

Developing a coherent set of goals that reduce emissions and enable adaptation will support the scale of ambition needed to achieve the aims of both processes, namely preventing dangerous anthropogenic climate change, eradicating extreme poverty and achieving sustainable development.

Mr. Chair - not adequately addressing climate change will make it very hard for many civil society constituencies to indorse the post-2015 Sustainable Development Framework.

Thank you Mr. Chair






CAN Intervention at the Abu Dhabi Ascent Prep Meeting for the SG's Climate Summit

CAN Intervention at the Abu Dhabi Ascent Prep Meeting for the SG's Climate Summit

Delivered by Wael, Hmaidan, Director of CAN International 

Thank you moderator,

First, let me thank the government of the United Arab Emirates and the Secretary General and his team for organizing this event in preparation for the Climate Summit in New York, and for providing us with the space to engage. We assure the Secretary General and governments the full support of civil society to ensure the success of the Summit, as it is the only opportunity for Heads of State  to come together and commit to take action on climate change between now and the Paris COP at the end of next year.  We all know that the main obstacle in solving the climate change problem is not technical or economical; in addition to the climate crisis, we have a political crisis.

Coming out of the Summit in September, it needs to be clear that climate change is back on top of the political agenda and that leaders agree that it must be addressed urgently.  As others have made clear here in Abu Dhabi over the last two days, the window of opportunity to meet the goal of keeping the increase in global temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius is rapidly closing.   There is no more time to waste.

There should be a clear recognition coming out of the Summit of the scientific urgency of rapidly reducing and eventually eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change, as well as a demonstrated willingness to break away from the current fossil fuel based dependency of the global economy, and transitioning towards a just renewable energy and climate resilient future for all.  Also, there should be a clear commitment by world leaders to provide the ongoing political guidance to ministers and negotiators needed to reach an ambitious, fair and effective global agreement on climate change in Paris.

Key stakeholders, especially governments and business, must explicitly acknowledge the risks associated with failure to deal with the climate crisis, the economic benefits of urgent action on climate change, and the need for climate stability as an essential element towards achieving the goal of poverty eradication.

Civil society also has a key role to play, not just by helping design and implement solutions to climate change, but by making sure that public pressure for action by both governments and the private sector continues to mount.  Secretary General, we accept your challenge. Civil society is united on the political importance of the Summit, and in September there will be unprecedented civil society mobilization, both in New York and globally, in support of greater action.

Already just yesterday Arab civil society issued a statement welcoming the Ascent and urging their governments to bring ambitious actions to New York.

NGOs here in Abu Dhabi join the Secretary General in challenging all governments and stakeholders to not miss this opportunity, to up their game now, sharpen their vision, and bring concrete new ambitious action to the Summit.

Thank you.



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