Tag: UNFCCC

CAN SBSTA Closing Intervention, December 2015

Thank you Madam Chair,

I am Elaine See from Climate Action Network.

Responding to the climate crisis requires decisive action across all sectors.

But the SBSTA reports presentations demonstrate that ICAO and IMO are failing to address the significant and growing climate impacts of aviation and shipping.

18 years after Kyoto, these emissions are growing at a rate twice that of all other sectors. The Paris Agreement must send a clear signal that ICAO and IMO must make a fair contribution to limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.

On agriculture, CAN appreciates Parties’ positive engagement here in Paris.

Parties should evaluate methodologies to ensure on-the-ground results while including considerations and safeguards to protect and promote food security, biodiversity, equitable access to resources, the right to food, animal welfare, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and adaptation.

Given the vulnerabilities of the sector, ongoing efforts to ensure sufficient finance for adaptation and for a Global Goal on Adaptation should also be supported.

We look forward to a further exchange of ideas and a dedicated workshop next year, where we request SBSTA to help identify options to enhance food security to protect the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.

Thank you. 

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Saudi Arabia Win Big in Fossil Awards

COP21 Fossil of the Day 5 Winner : Saudi Arabia

Today’s first Fossil of the Day Award goes to...Saudi Arabia! The Saudi delegation here in Paris is doing its best to keep a meaningful mention of the 1.5 degree global warming limit out of the agreement. The Saudi’s are trying to torpedo three years of hard science, commissioned by governments, that clearly shows 2 degrees warming is too much for vulnerable communities around the world. Saudi Arabia is fighting tooth and nail to ensure the Paris agreement basically says, “thanks, but no thanks” to 1.5 degrees warming. A dishonourable mention also goes to India and China who are also trying to sink a safer temperature target, and the Arab Group for standing silently behind Saudi Arabia - despite the fact that people in all these countries stand to suffer as a result of their actions.

Our second Fossil is a joint award that goes to three stooges, Norway, the USA and Saudi Arabia...again. These jokers are threatening the heart and soul of the transition to a renewable energy powered world we want and need. They are trying to water down essential elements of a just transition (by moving them to the preamble in the text): safeguarding human rights, increasing food security, protecting ecosystem integrity, promoting intergenerational integrity, and increasing gender security. Wait...that’s not very funny. It would be great if some of the ambitious nations in the Arab Group - we know you are out there - would step up and tell Saudi Arabia that no-one is laughing.

For our third and final Fossil of the Day award we nominate Saudi Arabia, AGAIN! Their delegation seems to be happy locking us all into a world that will warm by around 3 degrees, way above any levels deemed safe by scientists. They are blocking a review of national climate action plans (known in UN-speak as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) in 2018 or sooner, that would allow all countries to boost their ambition and bend the curve of warming further away from catastrophic levels. In doing so they are a ball and chain on the collective ambition of more than 150 countries who have submitted their INDCs. 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org 

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks. 

 

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Finance and Fairness Remain Crunch Issues As First New Text Released at COP21

Paris, France - Thursday, December 3, 2015: This morning, the ADP co-chairs released a new, shorter draft of the negotiating text. The text is now five pages shorter than the previous version, as options have been condensed and streamlined across different issues. Much hard work on streamlining remains before the text is handed over to ministers, and another draft text is expected from the co-chairs tomorrow. 

The new ADP text has outlined five streamlined options on the long-term goal. Some of the options provide hooks for even stronger language that is not currently on the table, like the call for 100 percent renewables. There has also been progress on measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions reductions where options have been streamlined, as well as on adaptation.  

On the ground in Paris, CAN members made the following comments: 

"We are seeing progress on the long term goal.  There's more understanding that even 1.5 C warming is dangerous. And there are a clear set of options about how to translate the temperature goal into actual global emissions reductions. Some problematic expressions like net emissions are gone, so is the focus on 2100. None of the five options would as such be sufficient for us yet, but there are the hooks we need - on a 2050 timeline, and on achieving zero global greenhouse gas emissions - which can be combined and improved further, as we come to the next stage. We do still hope to see also the 100 percent renewable energy goal, advocated by 43 vulnerable countries, to be brought in as well."
-Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace
“There are many parties who are saying that the current paradigm of differentiation has outlived its use and are asking to replace it with the concept of total symmetry. This is unfair, and it doesn’t acknowledge the many serious differences that remain between nations. Delegates could create an equitable new paradigm on differentiation, but that framework has yet to be constructed. The issue of differentiation links tightly to finance—especially the question of who provides finance in a post-2020 world. Finance would allow countries like India to quickly scale up their commitments and move fast towards renewable energy. For instance, India has pledged to install 300-350GW of renewables by 2030, but might be able do that by 2025 or 2020 if finance was provided. As a result of this accelerated development of renewables, their need to expand coal would drop."
-Raman Mehta, Vasudha Foundation
 
“Climate finance is still a major sticking point in these negotiations, but we know where rich nations could find the cash. The G20 spends $452 billion each year subsidizing fossil fuels, but only spends $121 billion on renewables. The rich countries’ subsidies to fossil fuel producers are locking us into climate catastrophe, but they’re still turning out their pockets and saying that they’re broke when it comes to putting money on the table for the Paris deal. We can shift the hundreds of billions of dollars that countries are spending on fossil fuel subsidies to climate finance—that’s one way to ramp up finance and address the climate crisis.”
-Alex Doukas, Oil Change International 
 
Webcast: The press conference was webcast live and is available on demand here:  http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/bonn_oct_2015/channels/adp211-press-room
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As Negotiators Get to Work, Progress on Key Issues is Mixed

 
Paris, France - Wednesday, December 2, 2015: As negotiators have began the hard work of translating the leaders' statements into action, progress has been mixed. Delegates continue to meet in spin-off groups and informal meetings. Major issues like finance remain unsolved, which has slowed progress on other issues like the long-term goal and a plan to review national commitments periodically. 

There was some progress on loss and damage on a high level following a bilateral between the US and the Alliance of Small Island States. Negotiators have been working on bridging proposals, but have been seemingly reticent to get them on the table. Many developed countries, including the EU, are being looked to by observers for provide more leadership in bringing negotiators together and out of their established public preferences. 

On the ground in Paris, CAN members made the following comments: 

"With leaders having left Paris, negotiators are buckling down to the final stage of their work on the text of the Paris agreement.  Progress is mixed, and it's clear that several key issues will be left to ministers to resolve next week. Finance issues continue to be the most difficult, with little movement forward as negotiators continue to hold their chips close to their chest. Scaled up and predictable climate finance remains the linchpin to progress on other key issues, including mitigation ambition and adaptation.  The atmospherics around loss and damage seem to have improved, on the heels of a productive meeting yesterday between President Obama and leaders of small island states.  But negotiators have yet to reach agreement on compromise text on the loss and damage issue, and it's unclear whether they will do so before the ADP wraps up its work by this Saturday."  
-Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists
"EU member nations often express positions in line with those of vulnerable countries, but solidarity is more than just words. It needs to be measured by whether the EU stands for a strong deal here in Paris. On finance, the EU can make a difference by supporting strong anchors for finance in the agreement, particularly for adaptation, as well as moving on the financial transaction tax, which will be voted on next week. The EU’s carbon market could also raise revenue for developing countries to deal with the costs of climate change. They should keep these options ready to provide predictable finance, speak out on a strong long-term goal, and stand up for the inclusion of loss and damage."  
-Lies Craeynest, Oxfam
 
"While India is the third-largest emitter, it also has massive energy needs, with hundreds of millions of Indians lacking access to electricity. It also experiences serious climate impacts—as we speak, India is battling unprecedented floods. India has a very different starting point from many nations, but finance and technology transfer will be the accelerator to get us to the common finish line of a strong long-term goal. Let’s sequence these talks in Paris to start with finance and technology assistance from the developed countries. That’s how negotiators can address the issue of responsibility and help India solve the puzzle of cutting emissions."
-Harjeet Singh, ActionAid 
 
Webcast: The press conference was webcast live and is available on demand here:  http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/bonn_oct_2015/channels/adp211-press-room

CAN will be holding a press briefing tomorrow, Thursday December 3, at 11:00 CEST. For a one-to-one interview with our spokespeople, please contact Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org 

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CAN ADP 2-12 Opening Intervention, November 2015

CAN ADP 2-12 Opening Intervention

Thank you for the opportunity to make a written statement in advance of ADP 2-12.

23 years after Rio, we are abysmally far from where we need to be to prevent dangerous climate change.  

COP 21 must be a turning point; its outcome a springboard for the global transformation the climate crisis commands.  
 

The Paris Agreement must create a robust mechanism to accelerate ambition that synchronises, assesses, and enhances commitments in 5-year cycles. It should match conditional INDCs with finance.   

This “Paris Ambition Mechanism” should be directed by short-term urgency and long-term vision. Countries must commit to full global decarbonisation and a complete transition to renewable energy by 2050.

The post-2020 regime needs to ensure adequate support. The Paris Agreement should stipulate that collective targets for the provision of financial support should be set and updated in 5-year cycles, with separate targets for supporting mitigation and adaptation.      
 

To meet the growing needs of vulnerable people, the Agreement must also ensure strong institutional and support arrangements for adaptation and loss and damage. These separate and distinct issues must be dealt with as such. 
 

Distinguished delegates, we are at a critical juncture. COP 21 should leave no doubt that the world needs to transform, and we expect you to accelerate this transformation.

Dead Heat in First Fossil of the Day Awards of the Paris Climate Summit

As world leaders up the ante on the opening day of the Paris Climate Summit, the first place Fossil of the Day award is a double-act. New Zealand claim a top spot for rather hilariously, or not, urging countries to phase out fossil fuel subsidies while shelling out big bucks to prop up fossil fuel production to the tune of $80 million.

Prime Minister John Key showed a degree of hypocrisy by claiming, at a Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform event, that New Zealand is a leader on fossil fuel subsidy abolition - despite the country’s fossil fuel production subsidies have increasing seven-fold since his election in 2008. His phoney grandstanding came just a week after claiming that New Zealand ‘doesn't need to be and shouldn't be a leader in climate change’. Are you getting mixed signals too? Or is it just us?

Joining New Zealand on the winners podium (drum roll please) for a first placed Fossil Award is Belgium! With environmental leadership as murky as a tall glass of weisse beer it's four governments from four different parties are still bickering over how to implement the existing EU climate and energy package from 2009, ensuring they were too busy to even consider doing the work necessary to prepare for the Paris Climate Summit.

Today Belgium is one of the few EU countries lagging behind on their carbon pollution reduction and renewable energy targets. There is such a severe state of gridlock in the Belgian environment office it's as if the minister ate 5 boxes of Guylian Chocolates in one sitting. Because of this blockage on a Belgian climate agreement the country also lags behind in providing sufficient and durable climate finance.

For Belgium... the train has left the station for COP21 - literally. This weekend the Environment Minister missed the train to Paris. Why? Because the government was negotiating the restarting of old nuclear power plants that were canned over a year ago. Way to go Belgium…backwards.

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