Tag: CAN Positions

CAN Position: Implications of 1.5C & Zero-Carbon Goal by 2050 on Public Finance Institutions, June 2017

Key Message and Recommendations

Under the Paris Agreement, 196 countries agreed to align financial flows with a pathway towards low-GHG, climate-resilient development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda aim for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and infrastructure by 2030. This CAN position paper outlines the role of public finance institutions (PFIs) such as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in supporting countries in the zero-carbon, climate-resilient transition. The paper urges that:

  • Public finance must be transformational, catalytic, inclusive and responsive;
  • PFIs must apply precautionary principles in assessing the climate and development impacts of their policies and projects avoiding harm to people, nature and economy;
  • PFIs must provide policy, technical and financial support to help countries transform their energy sectors to sustainable, efficient systems that prioritise energy access;
  • PFIs must cease by 2020 direct, indirect, ancillary infrastructure and policy support for upstream and downstream fossil fuels, GHG-intensive projects, nuclear, large bioenergy and hydropower when more cost-effective and less damaging alternatives exist;All PFI investments must meet strict environmental and social development criteria and be assessed through a pro-poor, inclusive, climate-resilient and gender-responsive lens;
  • All PFIs, beginning with OECD countries in 2017, should report annually on their progress in scaling back support for fossil fuel-related transactions.

This paper identifies a number of opportunities for PFIs:

  • MDB country strategy revision processes provide an opportunity to integrate Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies (LTS) for zero-carbon development under the Paris Agreement;
  • Policy reforms lending can be strategically influential to usher in urgently-required energy and infrastructure sector policy reforms;
  • Strengthening oversight over their financial intermediaries’ compliance with environmental and social frameworks, as well as gender and energy policy provisions would significantly reduce impacts on ecosystems and society by PFIs;
  • The results framework for PFI energy investments could incorporate outcome indicators for alignment with the 1.5°C goal and the 2030 Agenda SDGs;
  • All PFIs should initiate reports to present pathways for their operations to contribute to sustainable energy and development commitments of their stakeholder governments.

CAN calls on all PFIs to produce pathways to 1.5°C and Agenda 2030 for their respective operations by 2020 based on a synthesis of scientific advice and an assessment of social and economic development needs.

Note: This position paper is supported by more detailed analysis in a companion document.

Related Campaign: 
PDF icon companion_document_-_pfis_1.5c.pdf211.08 KB

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. 


CAN Submission: Cancun Building Blocks, October 2010


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 Position:Conflicts-of-interest and polluting industry obstruction of climate policy in the UNFCCC Process

We must urgently address the climate emergency and bring the world in line with a 1.5-degree Celsius pathway through ambitious and just climate action. However, the undue influence of industries who’s profit-making depends on activities that harm the climate, pose a major obstacle in advancing climate ambition. In direct contravention of the mandates of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the fossil fuel, big forestry and agribusiness industries, amongst others, drive the use and expansion of emissions-intensive products.  They use their accreditation and access to the UNFCCC processes to distract from the level of ambition needed and advance proposals that instead of bringing us fully in line with the goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC, protect their profits above all and serve their private interests. They also block progress, fund climate denial, muddy political narratives and question scientific consensus on climate change publicly.

The UNFCCC has yet to address the issue of conflicts of interest in regards to the role of engagement with non-Party stakeholders. It is in the UNFCCC’s interest to ensure that strong policies that address and manage the risk for conflicts of interest and draw on best practice is put in place. Agreeing on a process to address these issues is an essential step towards ratcheting up ambition in line with what is necessary to achieve the Convention’s objectives.

In light of the above, Climate Action Network (CAN) recommends that the UNFCCC should:

  • Adopt an appropriate definition of ‘conflict of interest’, and a rigorous conflict of interest framework that
    • prevents entities with private interests from unduly influencing or undermining national and international climate policy; 
    • strengthens the procedures for admission of observers within the UNFCCC and its instruments; and
    • draws on established international precedent in a manner that is appropriate for the UNFCCC context.
  • In the absence of a process to develop policies to address conflicts of interest and to not undermine the objectives of the UNFCCC any further, the UNFCCC should stop inviting industry trade associations and other entities which represent and/or are beholden to the interests of polluting industries to present their views during the UNFCCC negotiation process, workshops or other events.  

CAN Briefing: Expectations for the 18th Informal Meeting on Further Actions Against Climate Change, February 2020

2020 is a decisive year - it marks the start of a decade of climate ambition and it starts now. We need to focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the closing of the emissions gap. This is what your citizens are asking you to do and assess you against at the end of this year. The 18th Informal Meeting on Further Actions Against Climate Change is a first moment to respond to that unprecedented urgency. and must be used as a moment to send strong and credible signals that countries are committed to delivering enhanced, transformative, just and fair NDCs.

Climate Action Network prepared this briefing outlining expectations for 2020 with the intention of supporting parties at this Meeting and expects countries to discuss and send clear signals for how they will increase their national climate targets by COP26; implement a robust climate agenda in line with the long term goals of the Paris Agreement; and develop a resilience framework responding to the needs of the most vulnerable countries.


CAN Annual Policy Document, Executive Summary: Madrid - Responding to the People and the Science, English, November 2019

Around the world millions of people have taken to the streets — from Hong Kong, the UK, Haiti, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Chile — demanding their right to a better life. These protests are the culmination of increasing public awareness and a lack of government action to address the root causes of the climate emergency and social injustice; the two of which are fundamentally linked.


CAN Annual Policy Document- Executive Summary: Madrid - Responding to the People and the Science, Spanish TranslationNovember 2019

Alrededor del mundo, millones de personas han tomado las calles – desde Hong Kong, el Reino Unido, Haití, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Líbano, Ecuador y Chile – demandando su derecho a vivir mejor. Esas protestas son la culminación de la creciente conciencia ciudadana y la falta de acción gubernamental para abordar las causas esenciales de la emergencia climática y la injusticia social; las cuales están estrechamente vinculadas. ​


CAN Annual Policy Document: Madrid - Responding to the People and the Science, November 2019

Around the world millions of people have taken to the streets — from Hong Kong, the UK, Haiti, Lebanon, Ecuador, and Chile — demanding their right to a better life. These protests are the culmination of increasing public awareness and a lack of government action to address the root causes of the climate emergency and social injustice; the two of which are fundamentally linked.



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