Tag: Europe

CAN-Europe Side Event EU climate financing: 
NGO analysis and recommendations

CAN-Europe Side Event
EU climate financing: 
NGO analysis and recommendations

 

Has the EU kept its FSF promises?
What did you think of the EU’s presentation of its fast start finance report
yesterday?
Is the EU living up to its commitments? How can it do better?
CAN-Europe warmly invites you to a discussion with high level speakers from the EU and two developing countries, and a presentation of NGO recommendations for further improvement.

Room Monarca, Cancun Messe
Wednesday 2 December
16.45-18.15

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Opening Moves

Cancun should deliver a substantial package of decisions that provides a clear framework for climate action. Such a package will move forward toward a legally binding agreement and put positive pressure on countries to go beyond their current quite inadequate pledg­es and commitments. The Cancun package must progress both the KP and LCA tracks and secure agreements on all building blocks, namely mitigation/MRV, finance, adaptation, REDD, technology, the legal form, the sci­ence review, and a road map for South Africa and beyond.

This means all countries must do their fair share to secure success in Cancun. And so ECO would like to take the liberty of identi­fying some opening moves that key countries should make so that Cancun starts on a con­structive note, open negotiating space for the coming two weeks, and deliver outcomes that will set us on the pathway towards the ambi­tious, global treaty we need.

ECO supports the United States objective of increasing the transparency of mitigation actions by developing countries, but it must be part of a broader framework that includes greater transparency of developed country actions on both mitigation and finance. And so instead of pressurizing others, the US should announce its willingness to increase the transparency of its own actions. The draft decision text being circulated by the EU call­ing for more detailed information in Annex 1 national communications would be a very good way to start. Making it clear that sup­porting enhanced transparency for everybody includes the US itself will make adoption of a balanced package of decisions here in Can­cun much more likely. Just say yes!

ECO expects the European Union to speak out much more clearly in favour of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, so that a constructive dialogue between de­veloped and developing countries leading to a legally binding agreement from both tracks can be achieved. To provide further support for the Kyoto Protocol the EU should also help close the loopholes in its own position on AAU surplus and LULUCF. Those helpful moves on the Kyoto track can be bolstered by the EU championing the establishment of the UNFCCC climate fund.

China should take a more progressive role in the international negotiations instead of just continually reacting to provocations from others. That way, China can building strongly on its domestic momentum for low carbon and clean energy development. For Cancun, this means China should now put forth its own views on the form international consultation and analysis should take, as well as challenge the US to clearly commit itself to proper MRV, along with other developed countries.

Japan must show more flexibility about the second commitment period of the Kyo­to Protocol. Upfront rejection will create an unconstructive atmosphere for the entire negotiations. Kyoto was the product of hard negotiations, not only for the specific targets, but also for a top-down approach so that ag­gregate emission reductions are driven by the science. ECO hopes that Japan still remem­bers the sleepless nights in Kyoto and knows that while the Protocol is not perfect, there is still a lot to be proud of. More openness on Kyoto will signal that it acknowledges that the Kyoto architecture is important to a vast majority of Parties and opens the way forward for securing a stronger global architecture.

India should help broker a solution to the dilemma of international consultation and analysis by tabling its own ICA proposal, un­equivocally stating that it will work towards creating a rule-based system of multilateral governance within the UNFCCC and ensur­ing transparency and accountability. Another constructive move will be to support efforts to identify substantial and innovative sources of public finance for the new global climate fund.

Brazil could come forward as a champion for the creation of a fair climate fund in Can­cun, supported through innovative sources of public funding, which fully funds not only mitigation but equally so adaptation. Brazil also should come forward as a leading coun­try fighting for responsible and transparent LULUCF accounting rules to help reduce and close the Gigatonne Gap.

It’s time for Mexico to play a more crea­tive role in its welcome efforts toward trust-building in the COP 16 presidency. Mexico is well positioned to spur Parties to tackle the issues that could otherwise drive the negotia­tions into deadlock: legal form, the road map on crunch issues post-Cancun, the Gigatonne Gap, the science review and more.

Russia has an AAU surplus of 6 billion tonnes of CO2 that is creating grave uncer­tainty for the negotiations, carbon markets and the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. It’s time for clear statements from Russia that it will not sell its AAU surplus from the 1st commitment period. That kind of good political will can go a long way to ensuring progress can be made in Cancun on dealing with AAU surplus, and give a big boost to closing the Gigatonne Gap.

ECO hopes this list of substantial but manageable first moves will help clarify the middle game on the Cancun chess­board and lead to a solution that makes everyone a winner.

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Oxfam: UN report shows climate funds can be raised without costing the taxpayer

A new report from the UN’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) shows that raising the public money to help poor countries protect themselves from climate change is possible without costing the taxpayer, Oxfam told the UK government today.

“This report clearly shows that money to tackle climate change and help poor communities adapt can be raised without dipping into taxpayers’ pockets. The next step is for political leaders to lay out a clear roadmap for making this funding a reality.” said Tracy Carty, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Advisor.

The AGF was established by the UN Secretary General in February 2010 to advise on how developed countries could deliver on their promise to raise $100bn per year to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate and reduce emissions.

The sources of money identified in the report must now be championed by Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and other members of the AGF group.

“Clear backing from the UK Government will be essential for fair levies on uncapped emissions in international shipping and aviation and a Robin Hood Tax on banks with money earmarked for climate change. But in order to do so the UK must urgently clarify its position on these crucial sources of public finance identified in the AGF report.” said Carty.

Countries meeting at the UN climate change talks in Cancun later this month must now establish a global climate fund to manage this money and agree a process for deciding how they will finance it by the next climate summit in South Africa in 2011. By using these innovative sources, governments can raise enough money from public sources without siphoning from existing development aid money. As some members of the UN panel recognized, private finance cannot meet the needs of developing countries for adaptation.

Carty said: “The $100bn committed to in the Copenhagen Accord must come from public sources of funding rather than private to ensure it reaches communities desperately in need of money to help them adapt to climate change and develop in a low carbon way.”

Oxfam warned that the report’s inclusion of the World Bank as a potential finance source should not be used to undermine international negotiations on the establishment of a new, independent global climate fund that is fair and accessible. For the fund to be effective poor countries must have a say in decisions on how the money is managed and at least half of the funding should address climate change impacts on the most vulnerable.

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CAN Submission: Los cimientos de Cancún - sumario, November 2010

La COP 16 en Cancún debe ser un paso significativo hacia un acuerdo justo, ambicioso y vinculante a ser alcanzado en la COP 17 en Sudáfrica. La COP 16 debe adoptar progresos en importantes áreas de política, establecer una visión clara para Sudáfrica y acordar un proceso para alcanzar un acuerdo justo, ambicioso y vinculante, incluyendo los puntos fundamentales señalados en los Los cimientos de Cancún

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CAN Submission: Cancun building blocks- Summary, October 2010

Cancun Building Blocks: Essential steps on the road to a fair, ambitious & binding deal outlines the balanced package of outcomes from Cancun, and the benchmark by which CAN’s 500 member organisations, and their millions of supporters, will judge the Cancun negotiations.

These building blocks were chosen not only because they provide a pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change but also because they pave a road which can be travelled, even taking into account political constraints. 

Success in Cancun will require meaningful progress in each area, agree­ment to work toward a legally binding deal in both tracks, including an indication that the Kyoto Protocol will continue, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations.

Cancun Building Blocks include:

  • Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties.
  • Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to se­cure sufficient scale and sources of finance.
  • Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and princi­ples and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.
  • Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.
  • Agree to stop deforestation and degrada­tion of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.
  • Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.
  • Acknowledge the gigatonne gap be­tween current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.
  • Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reduc­tions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).
  • Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17.
  • Commission at COP 16 a technical pa­per to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5°C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.
  • Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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The EU Chooses

Next Thursday, European environment ministers will discuss whether the EU should upgrade its 2020 target to 30% unilaterally. ECO says yes! And while you are at it, make sure to meet it domestically, so that any offsetting comes on top of 30%.
While several environment ministers have already indicated their support, others are holding back. But let’s face it, almost everybody expects the EU is going to move to 30% anyway. The more time they waste discussing the matter, the more time they lose reaping the economic advantages.
For two years now, the EU has not budged from its conditional pledge to increase to 30% if comparable efforts are made by other major economies. But this position has diminishing relevance.
Several studies, including from the European Commission, clearly show that EU has good reason to increase ambition right now. The most obvious is that they have
already nearly reached the 20% target, a full 10 years before 2020!
According to the European Environment Agency, the EU’s 2009 emissions stood at approximately 17.3% below 1990 levels. Although the economic crisis is part of the reason, there is no doubt that most of the effort has already happened.
Second, consider the low-carbon race. China became the biggest wind market in the world last year. If EU leaders want their green industry to remain at the forefront, they need to give their economies clear direction.
Third, a more ambitious emissions target would generate billions of euros of additional income for governments, as the majority of industries will have to buy emissions permits under the emissions trading scheme. Funneling this money to climate measures will accelerate EU’s low-carbon development and trigger much needed long-term financing for developing countries. And independent research shows that more ambitious climate policies won’t result in mass relocation of industries outside of the EU.
With smart policies, increasing the EU’s target will be cost neutral and reduce its foreign fuel dependence, cut energy bills in the longer run and reduce public health costs. So, all in all, the perfect moment for going to 30% is now!
 

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Tianjin 2010 ECO 6

In this issue

  1. No time to Lose
  2. The EU Chooses
  3. LULUCF: The second agenda
  4. Fossil of the Day: New Zealand
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Denmark Lays the ZCAP Groundwork

Copenhagen brings back many memories. Long, freezing queues outside the Bella Centre, a COP president oblivious to basic UN procedures, and most importantly, no FAB (fair, ambitious, binding) deal.

Who would think that Denmark, less than a year later, would be the place making
ambitious progress in the fight against climate change!

Only a fool would hesitate to invest today in a rapid and complete transition to a fossil fuel free economy. This was pretty much the message from the Danish Climate Commission to the government when asked about the possibilities of phasing out fossil fuels in Denmark by 2050.

The commission’s report concluded that the long term additional costs of becoming fossil fuel independent would be ‘in the order of 0.5% of Denmark’s GDP in 2050’.  However, they went on, the conversion must start now in order to ensure cost efficiency.

The commission adopted 40 concrete recommendations, including expansion of offshore wind capacity by 200 MW annually on average in 2015-2025.  Neither CCS nor nuclear power is included in the vision, primarily because both were deemed to be cost-prohibitive.

So far, the Prime Minister’s response is that Denmark should increase the use of wind power, biomass and electric vehicles, although a concrete follow-up plan -- a Zero Carbon Action Plan (ZCAP) -- has yet to be presented.  But further, the Prime Minister now also supports the demand to raise the level of ambition in the EU, moving from a 20% to a 30% reduction target on 1990 levels by 2020.

The Danish opposition and NGOs are now pushing for the government to produce an ambitious and concrete ZCAP as a response to the recommendations from the commission. Whether that will be delivered is yet to be seen, but chances are that the Danish government is waking up and discovering that the race to the green future has already begun.

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