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.

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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. 

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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 International Policy Manual: Sustainable Policy Responses for the Aviation Sector in the COVID Crisis, June 2020

Until the COVID-19 crisis, aviation was a top-ten global emitter. While there is uncertainty regarding air traffic projections over the next year or longer, the sector’s emissions are still expected to rise dramatically by mid-century under a business-as-usual scenario. Aviation alone could consume one-quarter of the remaining global carbon budget. After decades of climate inaction. Now, many airlines are asking for tens of billions of dollars in public bailout money. If state aid is granted, it should primarily serve to protect impacted workers, to avoid major negative effects on the economy, and to continue strategically important services. Rescue operations for airlines and airports which were struggling financially before the crisis are questionable. A recent study by well-known economists Prof. Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern have rated unconditional airline bailouts as particularly poorly across all economic metrics. This briefing outlines key steps for policy makers if they intend to provide public money for airline bailouts.

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CAN Submission: Review of the Doha Work Programme and the Future Work on Action for Climate Empowerment, May 2020

Climate Action Network (CAN) welcomes the opportunity to provide its recommendations for the future work to enhance the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, as well as topics for the workshop to be held during SB52. CAN is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 1300 members in over 120 countries. As its member organizations are involved on a day-to-day basis in activities related to the six thematic areas of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) at the local, national, and international level, CAN reiterates its commitment to support implementation of ACE and to work with state Parties to secure better integration of ACE into climate action.
CAN strongly believes that policy measures covered by Action for Climate Empowerment have the potential to act as catalysts for climate ambition and for a people-centered implementation of the Paris Agreement. CAN urges state Parties to adopt at the COP26 a Work Programme that is fit for purpose so as to foster effectively the implementation of these actions in order to unlock additional ambition and to promote mainstreaming of ACE across other UNFCCC workstreams and constituted bodies.

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CAN Position: Fundamentals for Recovery & Economic Stimulus Packages in response to Covid-19, May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents real and immediate risks to people's health and livelihoods. 

We must not respond to this disaster in a way that could put people’s health at greater risk and worsen other crises, notably climate change. This is a transformational moment. The decisions made today will shape our societies and economies for years or decades to come. This is the same window of time we have left to take the necessary action to stem the climate crisis and limit warming to below 1.5ºC. 

The most vulnerable people already gravely impacted by the climate crisis are at risk of being pushed into further uncertainty and poverty. To minimize the harm of COVID-19, protect people, and ensure long term resilience and prosperity, governments’ reactions must be swift, people-centered and in the spirit of solidarity.

That means focusing on helping workers in all affected industries, but avoiding subsidies or bailouts that would keep or increase heavily polluting activities or infrastructure investments that lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. And it means understanding and addressing the underlying inequalities that make people especially vulnerable to both climate change and COVID-19.

 

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CAN Briefing: Petersberg Dialogue, April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents real and immediate risks to people's health and livelihoods. What is evident from the Covid-19 crisis, and similar to the climate crisis, is the importance of listening to and acting early on scientific evidence. In emerging from this challenge and hardship, going back to business as usual is not an option. Ministershavetheopportunity and duty to increase resilience and build back better: Governments must respond to this disaster in a way that protects people’s health and makes our societies more resilient towards other crises, notably the climate emergency. Ministers must use the                         Petersberg Dialogue to send a clear message to the world: Climate action remains a                             non-negotiable global priority. 
 

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CAN Submission: Inputs to inform the dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation related matters, March 2020

Following decision 1/CP.25, paragraphs 32 and 33, the Climate Action Network welcomes the request to the SBSTA to convene at its 52nd session a dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation-related matters and the invitation to submit inputs to inform the dialogue.
This document consists of two main parts: Part One outlines recommendations for “Modalities and Procedures” with the purpose of shaping the dialogue’s work to be effective, rigorous and relevant; Part Two incorporates a list of themes to be incorporated in the dialogue, building on CAN members’ knowledge and expertise on technical issues related to land and climate change adaptation, leading to actions that seek to maximize its potential to address the crisis.

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CAN Submission:Inputs to inform the dialogue on the ocean and climate change, March 2020

Following decision 1/CP.25, paragraphs 31 and 33, the Climate Action Network welcomes the request to the SBSTA to convene at its 52nd session a dialogue on the relationship between oceans and climate change and the invitation to submit inputs to inform the dialogue.
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet and the most important carbon sink1. Its waters provide food and livelihoods for a significant percentage of the world's population, making it a key factor in enabling millions if not billions to adapt to climate change. The findings of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) clearly highlight how the climate crisis is impacting the ocean and reducing its ability to mitigate climate impacts and to provide the ecosystem services required for humans to successfully adapt to climate change. But despite the ocean's importance in solving the climate crisis, the ocean has largely been ignored during climate discussions. The upcoming dialogue has the potential to reverse this trend and for the importance of oceans in climate action to be fully recognised.

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CAN Position:Conflicts-of-interest and polluting industry obstruction of climate policy in the UNFCCC Process, April 2020

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.  
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