Tag: COP

Coal Smoke Obscures Climate Ambition in Warsaw

[Warsaw, PolandNovember 23, 2013] Countries have been exposed at the climate negotiations, in Warsaw, as beholden to vested interests, such as the dirty fossil fuel lobby, after they once again missed an opportunity to put the world on a pathway to securing a comprehensive climate action plan in 2015, according to Climate Action Network.

“At the time when climate impacts are hitting communities around the world, we have seen the true nature of international climate politics: economic interests keen to maintain the status quo have been the hand pulling the puppet strings of governments in these negotiations,” Climate Action Network International Director, Wael Hmaidan, said.

The Warsaw meeting saw some developed countries inject an ominous air into the talks, leading to the evaporation of trust. For example, Japan rolled back its climate commitments and Australia tabled legislation to repeal its price on carbon during the first week of the talks. 

Then, BASIC countries pushed back on efforts to lock all countries into taking climate action as part of the 2015 Paris plan because they feel they have not been supported to take such action in the past, specifically, in regard to the absence of funding from developed countries like the EU and the US.

CAN welcomed the establishment of an international mechanism to provide expertise to help developing nations cope with loss and damage caused by climate impacts, though the mandate and scope of the mechanism will need to be strengthened to meet the needs of the vulnerable. 

Mohamed Adow, from Christian Aid, said: "In agreeing to establish a loss and damage mechanism, countries have accepted the reality that the world is already dealing with the extensive damage caused by climate impacts, and requires a formal process to assess and deal with it, but they seem unwilling to take concrete actions to reduce the severity of these impacts," Adow said.

On finance, a key issue at the Warsaw talks, the picture was mixed. The adaptation fund achieved its $100 million fundraising goal, and more money will flow to countries that can stringently prove they are reducing emissions from deforestation. But, no clear deadline was set to make the first payments into the Green Climate Fund and the road towards the $100 billion a year by 2020 commitment is murky, with no timelines, pathways, and sources outlined. Thus leaving developing countries without a predictable flow of funds to take climate action.

“Furthermore, Warsaw did not provide a clear plan to fairly divide the global effort of responding to climate change and a timeline of when that will happen, which is needed as countries progress towards the 2015 deal,” Adow said.

The intransigence of many countries has led to unprecedented levels of frustration within civil society. Hundreds of members of civil society, from the youth, faith, and environment movement, have fasted for the duration of the negotiations to call for climate action. The fasters are acting in solidarity with the Filipino climate commissioner, Yeb Sano, who called for countries to “stop the climate madness” at the opening of the talks just after his country was devastated by a typhoon. Haiyan was just a taste of the kind of extreme weather we can expect to increase if carbon pollution doesn’t peak in the next few years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“A mass movement has now developed of people from throughout the world who will fast for a day every month until a deal to save the climate is agreed, in Paris, in 2015,” Hmaidan said.  

The movement emerged as many groups, including some CAN members, chose to walk out of the talks on Thursday.

With many countries, cities, and states to hold elections next year, civil society will go forward from Warsaw to issue a clarion call for citizens around the world to demand climate action from their governments. Attention will first turn to the EU, which must, in March, agree a strong carbon pollution reduction target for 2030.  

Next year will see climate change rocket back to the top of the international political agenda. The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has put world leaders on notice to bring bold pledges and action to his Climate Summit, in September. 

Despite countries failing to bring the necessary mandate for change to Warsaw, the negotiations did add to the chorus of voices heralding the end of the age of coal, according to Liz Gallagher from E3G. Just this week, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, reminded the dirty energy lobby that most of the known coal reserves must not be burned, destroying the Polish Government’s attempt to brand the fuel as climate friendly. 

Figueres' comment adds to those of the IEA, OECD and even businesses such as PwC, who are also calling for most fossil fuel reserves to remain untouched and for governments to put a price on carbon. 

“The fact remains the venue for international collaboration on solving this problem which, before long, will affect us all, is the UNFCCC,” Gallagher said. “Countries need to go home and spend some time listening to their people, rather than the dirty energy lobby and come back to the negotiating table next year with a serious approach to solving this problem and securing a climate agreement in Paris, in 2015,” Gallagher said

The Warsaw Outcome

  • A missed opportunity to put the world on a pathway towards a comprehensive climate action plan in 2015 that would keep the climate safe 
  • The establishment of an international mechanism to provide expertise to help developing nations cope with loss and damage caused by climate impacts was welcomed, though the mandate and scope of the mechanism will need to be strengthened to meet the needs of the vulnerable.
  • No progress was made on clear plan to fairly divide the global effort of responding to climate change and a timeline of when that will happen
  • On finance, a key issue at the Warsaw talks, the picture was mixed. Some European developed countries, including Germany and Switzerland, send a signal of trust by helping the Adaptation Fund reach its  USD100 million fundraising goal. While this can now be used to fund concrete adaptation projects in vulnerable developing countries, it is still only a drop in the ocean given the huge adaptation costs.
  • More money will flow to countries that can stringently prove they are reducing emissions from deforestation. A process for ensuring governance, and protecting indigenous people and biodiversity was established.
  •  But, no clear deadline was set to make the first payments into the Green Climate Fund and the road towards the $100 billion a year by 2020 commitment is murky, with no timelines, pathways, and sources outlined. Developing countries  have been left without a predictable flow of funds to take climate action.
  • Some simple accounting rules were agreed in regard to the information countries put forward on their climate action commitments

Contact:

For more information or for one-on-one interviews with NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

 

Climate Action Network (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 850 members in over 100 countries. 

 

CAN Intervention in the COP18 COP/CMP Closing Plenary, 8 December, 2012

 

Closing COP/CMP Intervention by CAN

-Delivered by Simon Tapp from New Zealand

 

Thank you Chair,

Honorable Ministers, Distinguished Delegates,

My name is Simon Tapp from the Climate Action Network.

We would like to express our sympathy for those vulnerable countries affected most by climate change, including those currently experiencing the effects and aftermath of Typhoon Bopha.

We have had enough.

In Doha, we have seen no mitigation ambition nor money on the table to help the poorest countries deal with climate change. We have seen no detailed workplan on equity.

We will not achieve what is desperately needed unless Parties find political will. In particular, countries including the US and friends, along with Poland and Russia, who continually block the process, need to start leading to end this global crisis.

Your behavior and attitude must change if we are to secure a fair, ambitious and binding deal by 2015. Hard work by governments for the people not the polluters is urgently needed.

Thank you.

CAN Intervention in the COP18 Contact Group on Finance, 7 December, 2012

Intervention in COP Contact Group on Finance, 7 December 

Delivered by Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim 

My name is Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim from Chad and I will be speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.
Developing countries like mine have come to Doha facing a climate finance cliff. We have reached the end of the Fast Start Finance period with no clarity on what levels of public finance to expect in 2013 and through to 2020.
There is nothing being put forward by this group that guarantees public finance will go up not down from next year.

We call for a 2013-2015 package that includes AT LEAST $60 billion in PUBLIC finance, as part of a clear trajectory to the 100 billion per year in 2020. This package must include commitment to capitalize and operationalize the Green Climate Fund in 2013.

Finance matters to developing countries and their vulnerable communities like mine living around Lake Chad. How do you expect them to adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change without substantial and predictable levels of public financing in 2013 and beyond? How do you expect developing countries to take on more ambitious mitigation efforts if you do not scale up support?

Providing this finance is a legal obligation that requires clear collective commitments here in Doha and no later. We demand nothing less.

Topics: 

CAN Intervention in the COP18 COP Opening Plenary, 26 November, 2012

COP18 Opening Plenary Intervention

26 November, 2012

 

We have been given 30 seconds to express the views of CAN representing over 700 NGOs all around the world. It is impossible to say anything substantive about the most important challenge facing humanity in 30 seconds, so we are forced to limit ourselves in this intervention to place on record our protest about this exclusion of civil society voices in this vital process.

 

       

CAN position - HFC-23 abatement projects - Jun 2011

Following the request by the Conference of the Parties (COP)1 the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), will discuss options to address the implications of the establishment of new HCFC-22 facilities seeking to obtain Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) for the destruction of HFC-23. CAN strongly urges delegates to adopt option 1) Making new HCFC-22 facilities ineligible under the CDM.

Region: 

Global Climate Fund_Briefing Paper _Oxfam - Oct 2010

Climate change is already negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of poor men and women. Yet it is estimated that less than a tenth of climate funds to date have been spent on helping people in vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. The poor are losing out twice: they are hardest hit by climate change they didn’t cause, and they are being neglected by funds that should be helping them. Climate finance can and must be made to work from the bottom up, particularly for women smallholder farmers.  

Starting with the formal establishment of a new Global Climate Fund, decisions on climate finance governance need to set a new direction for a post-2012 era.  This paper presents a vision for a new Fund and broader finance system that is effective in meeting the scale of developing country financing needs, and is widely considered – by governments and civil societies – to be legitimate in its decision-making.  
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