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 Briefing: Second Periodical Review, November 2020

If it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Second Periodical Review (SPR) would be conducted in 2020 as decided in 5/CP.25 at COP 25. While a physical meeting would have been negotiations and decision drafting, a virtual meeting, such as the UNFCCC Climate Change Dialogues should be used as a meaningful starting point for these discussions. In 5/CP.25 it was decided that there would be three meetings of the structured expert dialogue (SED) at sessions of the subsidiary bodies, starting at their fifty-third sessions (November 2020) and being completed at their fifty-fifth sessions (November 2021).
This means that we need to see progress on SPR (and SED) during the Climate Dialogues to not lose in its entirety more than a third of the time allotted to this process before the mandate runs out. For the first (virtual) meeting of the SED in November/December 2020 – there is enough new scientific intelligence e.g. in the different Special Reports of IPCC recently adopted.
In this briefing, Climate Action Network lays out key considerations for the Virtual Structured Expert Dialogue.​


CAN Briefing: UNFCCC Climate Dialogues, November 2020

This year, we have witnessed the multiple and devastating effects of the COVID-19 health, economic and social crisis, environmental destruction, climate impacts, and an economic crisis. COVID-19 has revealed how incapable the systems in place are to protect the health of people, safeguard our rights, provide basic services, and ensure that we can prevent future pandemics. This is a crisis on multiple scales and tackling it from its roots is the only way forward.  Recent climate impacts like the cyclones in South Asia & the Pacific and the floods in east Africa have forced people to huddle in shelters abandoning all physical distancing rules- a cruel choice between catching a deadly virus or perishing in floods. Billions of people are on the frontlines of both COVID-19 and climate change.

CAN expects the Climate Change Dialogues under the leadership of the SB Chairs to keep momentum on global climate action as countries and communities continue to respond to the impacts of this pandemic. CAN looks forward to exchanging on those crucial items that need to be completed by the end of next year most inclusively and transparently. CAN reminds parties and SB Chairs that these dialogues cannot replace formal negotiations to take place next year. This briefing outlines expectations of CAN towards key events and topics of the UNFCCC Climate Change Dialogues.


CAN Briefing: Oil and gas phase out as part of a just economic revitalization, October 2020

The health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have revealed vulnerabilities of our societies and the necessity of economic resilience. Policymakers must ensure their responses to COVID do not put people’s health at greater risk and worsen other crises, notably climate change.
To revitalize the economy, governments should be prioritising clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, and related infrastructure needs like electrification, energy storage, and smart grid infrastructure. This would provide an important boost for employment; – models from the US indicate that for $1m invested in renewables generates 7.49 full-time jobs, and 7.72 in energy efficiency. In comparison, the same investment only provides 2.65 jobs in fossil fuels.

This policy manual outlines how, under pressure, the oil and gas industry slows down the needed economic revitalization, exploits the COVID crisis financially, and undermines the broader energy transition. It presents key recommendations for how the recovery period can be a launch point for a phase-out of the fossil fuel sector in line with the critical climate limit, and simultaneously support a just and sustainable reboot to a low carbon economy.


CAN Position: High-level principles and recommendations for transformative pathways towards "real zero" emissions, September 2020

There is hardly any carbon budget left, which means there can be no delay in action. Emissions must decrease as fast as conceivably possible in rich countries, followed by likewise unprecedented rapid reduction rates also in poor countries – enabled by significantly enhanced support from richer countries for climate mitigation, resilience building, adaptation and Loss and Damage provisions.

The IPCC 2018 special report on 1.5°C estimates the remaining carbon budget for a 67% chance of keeping below 1.5°C global average heating to 420 Gt from 2018 onwards. This only corresponds to 8,5 years at current global emissions levels. The UNEP Emissions Gap report concludes that there will need to be 7.6% yearly reductions globally to have a decent chance (67% probability) to keep below 1.5°C by 2100 while still allowing for higher temperatures (overshooting) before that. With no overshooting and less risk acceptance, global reduction rates must be much higher.

For countries with higher capacity and historical responsibility for having caused emissions, the rate of yearly GHG reductions would clearly need to be significantly higher than this global average rate (likely somewhere between 10 and 20% per year), and including scaled-up contributions of climate finance toward mitigation in poorer countries.

The climate crisis is all about what we do now – immediate behavioural and lifestyle changes to reduce consumption, particularly by the rich and powerful; immediate regulations, bans of dirty infrastructure  like coal power stations, standards and policies; immediate planning and investments in renewables, and energy and resource efficiency solutions in all sectors in order to have them play out over coming years and decades to move to 100% renewables, ideally well before 2050. There is no scope for delay.


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.


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.


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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