Tag: CAN Positions

CAN Briefing Paper for the Ministerial Pre-COP Meeting, October 2017

The Paris Agreement was adopted with thundering applause worldwide and has entered into force in record time for providing a new architecture and regime for climate action past 2020. Now, we must deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement by accelerating efforts in producing its implementation guidelines and ensuring greater ambition in the pre-2020 period and beyond. 

Negotiations for the Paris implementation guidelines must move forward towards reaching decisions in 2018 in a balanced and transparent manner. We must build on the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018 and use it as an opportunity to raise ambition and strengthen Parties’ NDCs before 2020.

Climate Action Network provides this Briefing outlining its expectations on the outcome of COP 23 to inform Ministers and the Fijian presidency in view of the Ministerial Pre-COP gathering to be held from 17 to 18 October 2017. This Briefing is based on the key issues and guiding questions outlined in the Pre-COP agenda.

 

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CAN Letter to WIM ExCom and UNFCCC Secretariat, October 2017

CAN looks forward to the considerations to be made at ExCom6. The further elaboration of the ExCom’s 5-year workplan will, in our view, be a key issue and key deliverable by the ExCom to COP23. It will shape the direction of travel and ambition of the WIM and will determine whether it will be able to actively respond to the request by COP22 to “enhance action and support” and to the needs that developing countries face in light of growing loss and damage. CAN has been actively engaging in this process and has previously forwarded a submission.

However, we would like to raise our concerns regarding the transparency and inclusiveness of the process around the 5-year workplan. While we appreciated the interactive and inclusive atmosphere at ExCom5 which allowed civil society and other observers to actively engage and contribute to the process, since then observers have been largely closed out from any further discussion.

Many countries and observer organisations have for many years put significant efforts, have worked intensively and have added significant value on the establishment and design of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage. We expect that the ExCom and the UNFCCC Secretariat continue to uphold its mandate to work in an inclusive and transparent manner at this crucial time which is essential for the WIM’s future direction. We look forward in continuing to contribute proactively in enhancing the impact of the WIM for the benefit of those people and countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

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CAN Submission on Recommendations for the WIM ExCom 5-Year Workplan, October 2017

The Executive Committee (ExCom) of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) is due to present its five-year workplan at the upcoming COP23.  Below are the most important elements to enshrine in the five-year workplan, and the elements that should be prioritised in its execution, in CAN’s perspective. This builds on CAN’s previous submission as well as the content and structure of the discussions at the 5th Session of the ExCom held in March 2017. 
 
The first thing that is clear is that the WIM requires more resources.  Much work needs to be done to support the most vulnerable on the frontline of climate impacts - and a voluntary body meeting two to three times a year, with modest support from the UNFCCC Secretariat, whose budget is entirely within the ‘supplementary’ UNFCCC budget is not up to the challenge.  Nor is it in keeping with the importance given to loss and damage in Article 8 of the Paris Agreement.  Parties must recognise this and move to make the WIM fully operational at the upcoming Pacific COP (COP23), including by committing significantly more budget funds - putting it on the same level as other elements of the Paris Agreement.  The WIM ExCom must make this recommendation in their report to the COP and developed countries must step up with more finance for the WIM budget. 
 
The second thing that jumps out is that since the WIM was established in November 2013, miniscule progress has been made on providing finance for loss and damage. Climate risk insurance has seen the most attention, but it applies to only a limited aspect of loss and damage, with other areas of financial needs, such as addressing permanent and irreversible loss and damage, being neglected.  This gap must be addressed urgently.  The ExCom must design their workplan to dedicate as much effort to the area of finance (enhancing action and support) as to the other areas combined. 

In this position, CAN list down suggestions for specific activities that should be included in the 5-Year Workplan. 

 

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CAN Submission on the Design of the Modalities for the Global Stocktake, September 2017

CAN welcomes the opportunity to share its views on the design of the modalities of the global stocktake of the Paris Agreement in advance of the pre-sessional round table on Agenda Item 6 of the APA and COP 23. Article 14 of the Paris Agreement mandates the periodic assessment of collective progress toward meeting the purpose and long-term goals of the Agreement to be done in a comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science. The outcome of this stocktake shall inform Parties in updating and enhancing their actions and support as well as enhancing international cooperation for climate action.

Summary

In CAN’s view, there are four major purposes of the Global Stocktake (GST). The first is to produce collective assessments that help individual Parties identify next steps. The second is to identify implementation gaps at global, regional and national levels. The third is to create space for Parties to exchange views about future collaboration and cooperative action and the fourth is to send a strong signal to governments to increase ambition.  

In addition, there are key overarching issues that Parties need to consider carefully. One of them is the issue of scope. The narrow or broad interpretation of the scope of the Global Stocktake has implications for various aspects of the design of the global stocktake such as phases, workstreams, inputs, etc. The second overarching issue is phases and workstreams. Phases are necessary so that different types of analysis or discussion can take place over a period of time. CAN believes that having multiple phases is important and that there should be, at a minimum, a distinct technical or preparatory phase and a political or culminating phase. In the meantime, workstreams could be organized around the long-term goals or thematic pillars identified in Article 14. Neither would capture all the issues that should be discussed in the global stocktake, so additional work streams might need to be considered. The third overarching issue is participation. Civil society participation has been proven to result in better policy making, effective and sustainable implementation as well as robust accountability.

For specific themes, CAN believes both financial flows and means of implementation (MoI) must be considered within the GST. However, CAN would also like to stress that having a standalone workstream on the means of implementation and financial flows assessment does not mean that the topic cannot be discussed in other workstreams. On the contrary, means of implementation and financial flows needs to be addressed in the context of mitigation and adaptation as well. On equity, it is CAN’s understanding that “equity” refers to equity and differentiation between countries. As an overarching principle, equity considerations must guide the work in all global stocktake workstreams. By looking into what Parties actually proposed in their NDCs in terms of equity, a common Equity Reference Framework would emerge from parties’ own submissions, which parties could then utilize and apply in their national determination processes. Overall, considering equity in the global stocktake based on submissions must result in outcomes that allow Parties, civil society and other stakeholders to assess whether contributions are of comparable effort to other Parties. The purpose is to turn the global stocktake into a robust ambition ratchet where parties can determine whether they are doing enough relative to their peers based on equity criteria, across mitigation, adaptation and provision of means of implementation and support. Lastly on loss and damage, in the absence of a specific mandate, this issue could be considered in the global stocktake based on a number of existing generic provisions of the Paris Agreement. CAN believes that an assessment of progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement necessitates space for discussion and the provision of inputs on loss and damage to be done in a constructive manner.

 

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CAN Submission: Input to Zero Draft of the Ministerial Outcome Document of the 2017 UN Environment Asssembly "Towards a Pollution-Free Planet", August 2017

Climate Action Network (CAN) welcomes the opportunity to offer comments and recommendations to the zero draft of the Ministerial Outcome Document of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet” and compliments the President of the United Nations Environment Assembly and Minister of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Costa Rica for designing an open and transparent process in developing the Declaration.

While we recognize that the Declaration has several useful elements to identify the most pressing issues related to pollution, we consider that the Ministerial Declaration still falls short in identifying concrete steps towards the goal of ending pollution in all its forms.

With air pollution being the single largest, deadly and detrimental pollution impact that prematurely kills almost 8 million people annually, mostly in developing countries, CAN is fully supportive of the recommendations of the recent scientific report of UN Environment “Towards a Pollution Free Planet”. In line with Climate Action Network expertise, we would like to offer some concrete suggestions on how to strengthen the declaration considerably by committing to concrete measures towards ending air pollution globally.

 

Concrete recommendations for reducing air pollution globally

In line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals Ministers should commit to the following:

  • Phasing out coal by 2030 in developed nations and by 2040 in developing countries, given that coal is the single largest source of carbon and air pollution;
  • Phase out Diesel fuels in the next two decades in all transport and other usages as a main source for deadly particulate emissions and NOx that are particularly impacting large and densely populated cities;
  • Rapidly develop national legislative and implementation plans to overcome, by 2030 at the latest, the high dependence of a large portion of developing countries’ poor households to locally sourced and very inefficiently combusted biomass like animal dung and firewood and promote, fund and support much less polluting and clean cooking practices such as efficient woodstoves, biogas digesters and sustainable agroforesty schemes for producing fuel wood;
  • Adopt the World Health Organization air quality guidelines, including those for indoor air quality, as a minimum for national standards and invest in strong air quality monitoring systems;
  • Meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines through the reduction of emissions from major industrial sources including particulate matter, sulphates, nitrogen oxides, persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals;
  • Reduce global vehicle emissions by at least 90 per cent through the introduction of advanced vehicle emissions standards (e.g. at least Euro 4 level) in 5 years, and a move to only electric vehicles being added to fleets by 2030;
  • Offer effective and affordable public transport and non-motorized transport infrastructure in all cities above 500,000 inhabitants by 2030;
  • Increase the share of non-polluting renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and tidal to 36 per cent by 2030, while addressing related production and waste stages of such (notably, batteries);
  • Increase access of households to clean cooking fuels and technologies;
  • Protect and restore ecosystems to avoid air pollution in drylands, rangelands and other areas prone to erosion, fire, desiccation and other forms of degradation;
  • Expand green spaces in urban areas to improve ambient air quality in cities;
  • Commit to working with every possible stakeholder to rapidly explore and implement every possible solution to end the pollution of our air, soil, freshwater and oceans, and to protect ecosystems and the climate;
  • Strengthen reference to the role that public access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to judicial remedies can play in empowering communities to address the sources of pollution and their impacts. These references must be distinct and complementary to references to the importance of science-based decision-making and the role of research;
  • Set-up an interministerial working group that functions as a coordination body, with specific sub-groups on various kinds of pollution, under the auspices of UNEP in early 2018 with an intention to review a global action plan in 2019 and identify concrete measures and targets and timetables to significantly reduce and eventually abolish all forms of pollution by well before 2050. The interministerial and working groups should not be limited to governmental experts but informed by civil society, scientists, and businesses working on clean technologies; and
  • Finally, we would encourage Ministers to act on the basis of the precautionary principle when dealing with risks from pollution, the design of global policy and the instigation of research.

 

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CAN Letter to G20 Sherpas, July 2017

In the final days before the G20 Leaders’ Summit, we urge G20 countries to demonstrate their commitment towards the strong implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The United States Administration has now made its position on the Paris Agreement known, but this should by no means be a signal for other G20 countries to weaken their commitment. Indeed, a huge number of cities, businesses and other non-state actors within the US have committed “to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing emissions.”

While market forces continue to push the global clean economy transition forward, ongoing political leadership is required to enable the transition to happen fast enough to avoid atmospheric tipping points that would lead to irreversible change. There is no time to lose.

At the Hamburg Summit on 7-8 July, we expect the G20 to signal their unfaltering commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and to deliver comprehensive measures for its implementation, including:

  • A strong and comprehensive G20 Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth, capitalizing on the impressive work of the G20 Sustainability Working Group, the Green Finance Study Group and the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).
  • Concrete steps towards zero-emission and climate-resilient economies as soon as possible, including through communicating initial long-term low-carbon development strategies with concrete sectoral targets by mid-2018.
  • Measures to align financial flows and markets with the goals of Paris Agreement, including shifting investments away from fossil fuels and their subsidisation towards renewable, clean energy provision for all.

We welcome the final recommendations of the industry-led TCFD to integrate climate-risk into financial decision-making, supported by more than 100 firms, responsible for assets of more than $24 trillion.

We stand with the G20 engagement groups of businesses, civil society, labour, think tanks, youth, women and foundations, which have jointly called for strong climate action and a clear signal from the remaining G20 members.

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CAN input to Draft Outline for the UNEA Ministerial Declaration "Towards a Pollution Free Planet", June 2017

Climate Action Network (CAN) welcomes the opportunity to offer comments and recommendations to the draft outline that has been prepared by the President of the UN Environment Assembly for a Ministerial Declaration in Nairobi, Kenya, from 4-6 December 2017 under the overarching theme of pollution.

CAN strongly supports UNEA’s vision of a pollution-free planet. However, this vision must be strengthened with an aspirational goal outlining when this should be achieved, dependent on  the type of pollution.

According to the World Health Organization and the International Energy Agency, indoor and outdoor air pollution combined is the deadliest pollution worldwide and unhealthy environments contribute to the deaths of one in four children under five years. Air pollution kills as many as eight million people prematurely across the globe annually but mostly in developing countries. Four million premature deaths are attributable to outdoor air pollution, caused mostly by burning fossil fuels, primarily oil products and coal, which are the same products causing climate change.  

Therefore, in order to not exceed the suggested maximum air pollution concentration recommended by the WHO (WHO air quality standards), Ministers must take the following transformative steps and solutions:

(a)   Take steps to phase out coal, both in the power and industry sector, and replace it with with clean renewables while also increasing energy efficiency. Coal is responsible for at least 50% of sulfur dioxide emissions and is a major contributor to nitrous oxide and Particulate Matter (PM2.5) emissions which are three major toxic air pollutants;

(b)   Reduce oil consumption particularly in the transport sector and adopt electrification based on renewables and expand public transport. Oil, particularly diesel, is a major source of black carbon and also of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions;

(c)   Prohibit the use of conventional/traditional biomass in inefficient wood stoves in developing countries and instead move to highly-efficient biomass woodstoves and biogas digesters, and other renewable energy sources.

(d)   Monitor ambient air quality and make air quality data publicly available in order to provide a benchmark for air pollution reduction goals and enable individuals to protect themselves during air pollution events.

(e)   Take steps to address other sources of short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and hydrofluorocarbons, some of which contribute to air pollution.

 

The declaration should also guarantee procedural rights of peoples and communities, in particular access to environmental information, public participation in decision making and access to judicial remedies, in order to enable citizens and communities to play an active role in protecting their health and environment from air pollution.

Please see our concrete textural suggestions to the current outline of the declaration in red below.

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Facilitative Dialogue 2018: A Springboard for Climate Action

~~~This memo was prepared by the Friends of FD2018, a group of civil society organisations including the World Resources Institute, WWF, Climate Action Network, Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, IDDRI, Stockholm Environment Institute, E3G, Blavatnik School of Government Oxford University, International Institute for Environment and Development, German Watch, Center for International Environmental Law, Track O, Climate Reality, Climate Equity Reference Project and C40.

2018 Facilitative Dialogue: A Springboard for Climate Action
Memo to support consultations on the design of the FD2018 during the Bonn Climate Change Conference, May 2017

The collective ambition of current nationally determined contributions (NDCs) will result in emissions levels in 2025 and 2030 higher than those consistent with a likely chance of limiting warming to well below 2°C or 1.5°C. The next few years are therefore absolutely crucial to closing the gap between where we are currently heading (an increase of 2.7-3.7°C) and where we need to be to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
By 2020, Parties are invited to either communicate a new NDC,or re-communicate or update their existing NDC. The facilitative dialogue in 2018 (FD2018)5 provides a vital opportunity to provide the information, conditions and political signals necessary to empower Parties to enhance their ambition by 2020. It is a key process for identifying and putting in motion the many opportunities for climate action that will also deliver on a broad set of objectives for sustainable development and prosperity.

 

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