Tag: ADP 2

Greenpeace's Martin Kaiser on European climate action

We Must Phase Out Coal - Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace

Greenpeace's Martin Kaiser on what the EU 2030 climate action targets mean for the UN climate talks as it moves towards a comprehensive international agreement to limit climate change.

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Governments at Bonn climate talks apparently lose memo on people’s support for climate action

Bonn, Germany  - Saturday, October 25, 2014: Growing momentum for climate action has not been transferred from the streets of New York, where last month 400,000 people marched together, to the halls of the UN climate negotiations this week, according to Climate Action Network’s members.   

Christian Aid’s Mohamed Adow said: “The scientists have spoken - the climate is changing, it’s caused by us, and we have the solutions. Economists have confirmed the transition to a low carbon economy has multiple benefits.” 

“The people have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers to  support accelerated climate action, but governments in Bonn have not taken these cues,” Adow said. 

Governments - who gathered for the final session before the major talks of the year in Lima get under way on December 1 - missed an opportunity to shift gears in negotiations towards the global Paris agreement on climate change due at the end of next year.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists said: “"we're leaving Bonn with not much more clarity than when we arrived on how we will get the key decisions needed in Lima to confront the threat of climate change."  

“From floods and droughts to hurricanes, typhoons, and heat waves, the world is already suffering from the consequences of our past inaction.  Countries must bring more to the table in Lima than the least common denominator, if they are to build the climate-friendly future that their citizens deserve, and are increasingly demanding," Meyer said. 

The mood of the meeting was affected by the release of the European Union’s new climate action targets for 2030 on Friday. According to Greenpeace’s Head of Delegation, Martin Kaiser, unless national legislation and regulation is put in place, the continent will effectively forgo the opportunity to phase out coal use by 2030. 

“This decision is not in line with a scaling up of the transition towards 100% renewable energy which scientists have said is vital if we are to secure a safe climate. For ordinary Europeans, this decision will mean that many will remain unnecessarily dependent on dirty sources of power with all the security, health and cost implications that this brings.”

In Lima, countries have to decide what they should include as part of their climate action commitments towards the Paris agreement which they need to put on the table early next year. They have to work out a meaningful way the UN process can contribute to countries scaling up climate action before the Paris agreement comes into effect in 2020. 

Tasneem Essop, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC says,  “There has to be a sense of urgency and we need parties to move from talk shop mode to negotiation mode, and we can only do this if we can start negotiations on the first day of the Lima COP. To coin a phrase from the People’s Climate March in New York last month – to change everything, we need everyone. The time is now, the place is Lima and we are the people and leaders who must act once and for all to curb runaway climate change. This is a moment that will go down in history. We must be on the right side of history.”

Governments can show they mean business before arriving in Lima by putting money on the table for developing countries to take their own climate action, at the Green Climate Fund’s pledging conference in Berlin next month. 

With 2014 on track to be the hottest year in history, it’s time for negotiations to feel the heat. Scientists will bring compelling evidence of the need to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy to governments’ attention in Copenhagen next week as they sign off on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s synthesis of its Fifth Assessment Report. 

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, Climate Action Network, on: +49 157 3173 5568, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

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Time For a Timetable

The scope, structure, and design of the 2015 agreement must keep the global temperature increase below 1.5ºC. It must contain national, legally binding targets and actions on mitigation, adaptation and finance to achieve this goal within an overall framework of ambition, accountability and equity. 

There has been a lot of discussion here in Bonn on the process and timetable for developing such an agreement by COP21 in 2015. ECO suggests the following:


 

First, countries should agree at COP19 that mitigation action and finance will be evaluated in light of both the collective level of ambition needed to achieve the temperature limitation goal, and on the basis of a set of equity principles that helps assure the overall fairness of country efforts in relation to each other. 

The Science Review starting at the next Bonn session will help guide the first part of this evaluation. At COP 19 in Warsaw, Parties need to launch a parallel process to develop an equity reference framework. See the box on page 2 for the details. The key is that equity must become an enabler of increased trust and ambition. It is also critical that, when Parties pledge their targets, they should be aware that their pledges will be reviewed both against the science as well as equity criteria.
 
Ban Ki-moon’s Leaders Summit offers a timely opportunity for countries’ mitigation and finance action to be placed on the table in accordance with the requirements of ambition and equity. Submitting actions at this point will allow adequate time for a full review and subsequent submission of revised proposals before COP21 in Paris. Such a full review should evaluate the collective adequacy of these proposals in satisfying the agreed global temperature goal. Each individual proposal should also be evaluated in terms of its adequacy with regard to ambition and equity.
 
Turning to the other ADP Workstream, ECO fears that short-term ambition is in danger of becoming the poor cousin of the 2015 agreement – when in fact it is an essential precursor. Sufficient political will to reach a 2015 agreement cannot be built without clear evidence that countries have made progress on the short-term ambition front. If it’s apparent that developed countries are not meeting their obligations to increase their ambition, then there won’t be appetite amongst their developing country partners for a 2015 agreement with an updated interpretation of equity.
  
So what needs to happen in Workstream two?  First and foremost, developed countries must increase their current, weak targets.  Despite a constant flow of new evidence of increasing climate change impacts on vulnerable countries and people, not a single developed country has shown any intention to actually increase its target. The KP review process in 2014 is the opportunity to change that, as long as a parallel process for non-KP developed Parties is established, and ministers bring ample quantities of political will with them to the negotiating table.
  
Some developing countries can increase their ambition too.  The wealthy countries of the Persian Gulf, and other advanced developing countries that currently have no pledges, should be prepared to announce them in Warsaw.
  
We also suggest that Parties engage in discussion about how to create an upward spiral of increasing ambition in developing countries, facilitated by increasing means of implementation. Parties could explore practical ideas about how this could work, e.g. through a dedicated workshop and submissions by Parties. Perhaps the registry could play a role in this process.
 
Finally, ECO welcomes the proposal tabled yesterday by AOSIS calling for an accelerated ADP process to provide incentives for, and address barriers and disincentives to, more rapid deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. This should culminate in a ministerial roundtable and COP decision in Warsaw.
  
So there you have it – a road map to success in both Workstreams, at no charge from your friends at ECO. But let’s be clear about what’s really needed. The main barrier to adequately addressing the climate crisis isn’t lack of knowledge about the problem, nor is it the lack of cost-effective solutions. It’s the lack of political will to confront the special interests that have worked long and hard to block the path to a sustainable, low-carbon future. In this regard, the sustained engagement of national leaders in providing strong political guidance is critical to achieving a successful outcome in Paris. And as we all learned in Copenhagen, this engagement cannot wait until the final moments of these negotiations.
 
 
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