Tag: COP20

From Rustlers Retreat to Lima - Neoka's first blog

Neoka Naidoo, Leadership Development Fellow from Project 90 by 2030 in South Africa blogs about her experience in the run up to and at COP20. 

In October I attended the South African National Climate Change Response Dialogue (NCCRD), hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs, just weeks before COP20. The NCCRD aimed to inform the participants on the current state of affairs on climate change. This entailed a report back of their initiatives in place to takcle climate change. I think one of the most powerful outcomes during this time was that civil society organisations agreed on an opening statement. This was a key moment as more collaboration is needed within the broader civil society movement in South Africa. 

The following week I attended the Rustlers Valley Youth retreat, held in partnership with Civicus and the Rustlers Valley Trust. It was an inspiring space where youth members involved in social, economic and environmental justice could converse but also share ideas and collaborate with each other on similar projects. I had the privilege of meeting legends in the South African struggle, George Bizos and Dikgang Moseneke. These stalwarts not only shared their story but their passion. 

These two events allowed me to approach COP 20 with an altered mind-set.

This was my first Conference of the Parties as an observer participant on the inside. It was an interesting affair to say the least. During the opening speeches you could feel the excitement and the ambition from both the COP president Peruvian Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and the executive secretary of the UNFCCC Christiana Figueres. They spoke about the importance of the Lima COP in terms of viable outcomes. They specifically spoke about including adaptation in the agreement and efficiency in their work. Various elements were covered during the jammed part two period.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was also high on the agenda, the chairs noting that countries like Peru are developing nations vulnerable to climate change. They impressed the importance that developed nations give financial aid for the great push to alleviate the effects of climate change. However it is important to acknowledge the lack of substantive elements in the text at the end of COP20. The lack of ambition and the stalling tactics are unnecessary and quite astonishing.

We are in this world together and that should not be blurred by political borders and agendas.

Clear rules on national climate commitments need to come from COP20: CAN

 

December 9, 2014, Lima, Peru: On the eve of the largest ever climate march in Latin America, government ministers from around the world are arriving in town to undertake high-level negotiations at the UN climate talks (COP20). 

It is expected that the march, which will feature indigenous groups, teachers, trade unions, and youth coalitions calling for the scaling up of climate action, can result in an acceleration of the negotiations here in Lima. After the release of the new draft texts yesterday, progress has been slow as country’s reconfigure their approaches. Ministers need to solve some crunch issues , like the rules for country pledges and a roadmap on finance, in order to pave the way for a successful climate agreement next year in Paris.

CARE’s climate change advocacy coordinator, Sven Harmeling, says by setting clear, effective guidelines on the scope and format of country pledges (or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) together with deciding on a robust method of assessment, ministers at these negotiations can play a significant role in getting us on the right track. 

“At the moment we run the risk of having to compare apples with oranges - if we don't clearly define what countries must include in their national climate commitments towards the new agreement due in Paris next year, then it will be extremely difficult to understand how much progress is being made to curb climate change,” Harmeling says. “Especially as our collective effort will directly affect the intensity of climate impacts experienced by vulnerable countries, we have to be able to compare pledges in a transparent, official assessment process, which must then trigger further action.”

Ministers participating in the high level finance meeting today also need to remove uncertainty around support for developing countries to take their own climate action hanging over these negotiations. Kelly Dent, head of delegation, Oxfam says: “finance is required for developing countries to get on low carbon development pathways and adapt to the climate impacts they are already experiencing,” says Dent. 

“But the EU and the US are trying to remove all reference to finance removed from pre-2020 roadmap and post-2020 Paris agreement. They are putting a blindfold on developing countries and saying ‘please trust us’. The time has come to stop using finance as a bargaining chip.”

Juan Carlos Soriano, Latin American coordinator, from 350.org says: “the 400,000 marchers in New York this September was just the start, we have sown a seed and the forest is growing - we are seeing more and more engagement on climate change.”

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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

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org,  

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Rich countries wobble over explicit request to scale up climate action at COP20

December 6, 2014, Lima, Peru: As another brutal super typhoon bares down on the Philippines, developed countries at the UN climate negotiations in Lima (COP20) have baulked at specific measures that would have them scale up climate action now.

Tasneem Essop, head of advocacy and strategy for WWF International’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative said negotiators came to Lima riding a wave of optimism and hope.

“ After a few days of false starts, countries have rolled up their sleeves and are getting to work, but unfortunately, the negotiators don’t seem to want to get their hands dirty. They seem to have forgotten that they are here to solve a planetary emergency,” Essop says. 

“In particular, efforts to cut emissions before 2020 – when science says emissions must peak to avoid the worst consequences of climate change - have completely fallen off the political radar. Negotiators here are fixing the fire alarms while the building burns.”

In negotiations yesterday, the EU, Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia deleted detailed references in the draft text related to a review or a revisit of their existing commitments in the pre-2020 period, with the excuse that it was covered in the Warsaw agreement. 

“What this COP needs is a consistent and explicit reminder of the actions required in now. Any deal that doesn’t address an emissions peak before 2020 is a sure fall into a quicksand of deadly climate impacts. We cannot sacrifice a scientifically and equitably sound deal for a weak political outcome in Paris.”

In a further threat to climate action, China, among others, is pushing back on creating a strong and transparent assessment of national climate contributions toward the new agreement due in Paris at the end of next year. 

With Typhoon Hagupit making landfall in the Philippines, one year after the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the reality of the climate threat - and the need to help vulnerable communities deal with the crisis - could not be easier for all to see. 

Voltaire Alferez, national coordinator, Aksyon Klima Philippines says, “In the face of worsening impacts, like sea level rise, we do not want sympathy or pity, we want solidarity and action for those of us in vulnerable countries. We need this process to deliver.”

Julie-Anne Richards, manager international policy, from the Climate Justice Programme says after the Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines during the Warsaw climate negotiations last year, a new mechanism was established to help communities deal with climate impacts to which they cannot adapt - this is the so-called Warsaw Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

“It’s not possible to adapt to losing your family in a typhoon. It’s not possible to adapt to your island home going under water," Richards says. "It’s not possible to adapt when your farmland becomes a desert. These are examples of loss and damage, and they show why loss and damage is so important for vulnerable countries – who want assurance that they won’t be left to suffer." 

Under the loss and damage mechanism, which many countries want as a stand-alone pillar of the Paris agreement, wealthy countries need to mobilize support for climate vulnerable states. However, there are concerns that countries, led by the US, pushed back on ensuring adequate representation of vulnerable countries  on the committee managing the mechanism.

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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

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org,  

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Climate Action Network Welcomes to the UNSG's High Level Report on SDGs

Climate Action Network has welcomed the launch by UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon of the Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda, titled ‘The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet’.

This report is the culmination of a number of strands of work over the last year, which started with Rio+20 in 2012, and will drive the next nine months of negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will be agreed in September in New York. The Sustainable Development Goals will act as the world’s to-do list to end poverty and will come into effect in January, 2016 and run til 2030.

The report places action on climate change at the heart of a set of principles to achieve sustainable development. The report not only keeps the door open for a standalone goal on climate change and also to ensure that all the SDGS are aligned with climate action. It thereby builds momentum towards both the agreement of strong and effective SDGs and a comprehensive, global agreement on climate change due in Paris in December next year.

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CAN gives a wrap on week one of COP20 as yet another typhoon bears down on the Philippines

What: Climate Action Network members will brief reporters on progress made during the first week of the UN climate negotiations currently being held in Lima.  With ministers arriving on Tuesday, there's a need to push forward on the technical outline of key issues, such as the content and format of the national action commitments and the text of the 2015 agreement, so that top level political negotiations can proceed.

Sadly, the real and urgent need for a comprehensive climate action plan will be made clear again this weekend as the people of the Philippines brace to be hit by yet another typhoon. Speakers will explain that the country still picking up the pieces, after last year's brutal Typhoon Haiyan, a situation which throws into focus the limits to adaptation and the reason many developing countries are calling for a Loss and Damage Mechanism to be taken further at COP20 in Lima. 

When: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 11.30am Lima time  - (16.30GMT - 17.30CET - 8.30PST)

Where: Press conference room 2, Lima Climate Change Conference, Pentagonito, San Borja, Lima, Peru. 

Webcast: You can also watch the press conference live here. (video also available on demand afterwards)

Who

  • Tasneem Essop, Global Climate and Energy Initiative Head of Strategy and Advocay, WWF International 
  • Julie-Anne Richards, Manager International Policy, Climate Justice Programme
  • Voltaire P. Alferez, National Coordinator, Aksyon Klima Philippines
  • David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, Climate Action Network, on : +49 157 3173 5568 or local number +51 963 961 813 or on email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

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Progress in the first week of the UN climate negotiations - Still work to be done before Ministers arrive

 

 

December 5, 2014, Lima, Peru: Technical negotiations during the first week of the climate talks in Lima (COP20) have mostly gone smoothly, but important negotiating-team level discussions on a handful of key issues need to conclude this week so that there is wide agreement on the range of options facing the Ministers as they arrive early next week to pick up the high-level negotiations.

Negotiations are focussing in on critical elements including the nature of country pledges for the upcoming Paris agreement, pledges known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). Countries will need clarity on the rules and format for these pledges as they are due to be delivered in the next 3-6 month. One key issue that Ministers must contend is the time period the pledges will cover.
“The timeframe issue is our key worry” explains Li Shuo from Greenpeace China. “A short commitment period would do a lot of good things but it hasn’t been discussed in an extensive manner. We learnt from the Kyoto Protocol that an 8-year period makes it very difficult to ratchet measures up as changes take place in the real world.

“In China, for example, things are changing fast, coal consumption is down 1-2% this year. The Marshall Islands have sent a very positive signal, arguing for a 5 year commitment period that can capture the most relevant and fresh circumstances in the real world. Countries will submit their INDCs early next year so we need to make progress over a short-term commitment period here in Lima ”

Discussions about what actions need to be taken to tackle climate change before 2020 have been noticeably absent from the negotiations so far. Although the The Paris Agreement is set to be reached in 2015, it won't kick-in until 2020, leaving unaddressed what action countries should take in the six years before then.

Shuo explained, “we are already approaching the end of the week and we are worried that we won’t have enough time to discuss this vital element of a draft Paris agreement. We need to ensure that countries are sufficiently prepared to capture the low hanging fruit. This is about securing short-term actions that countries can take that will form the basis for ongoing climate action.”

Negotiators also need to focus on how a Paris agreement would help countries affected by climate change adapt to the challenges that they face. A new UNEP report shows reveals that the cost of this adaptation could reach $150 billion by 2030, underlining how vitally important this aspect is.

“We believe there won’t be agreement in Paris if adaptation is not included in the draft of the agreement - most countries asking for it. Fortunately the talks are going smoothly and we are making progress on this issue”, said Tania Guillén from Centro Humboldt Nicaragua/SUSWATCH.

When ministers arrive for the high level negotiations next week will have to decide whether the current structure of the draft Paris agreement provides those suffering from climate impacts that are “locked-in” with enough support or whether a new mechanism needs to be established to compensate for loss and damage.

Many delegations are seeking for a clear pathway to ramp up financial and technological support. “We think that $10 billion already pledged by rich nations is not enough for vulnerable countries to deal with the impacts of climate change”, said Guillén.

Ministers also need to discuss the option of having an adaptation goal, an idea that really needs fleshing out. “They have to decide whether this will be part of the new agreement and whether it will be part of the INDCs. If adaptation is included within national climate action plans it will help to reinforce this vital pillar of the entire convention”.

With so much to do and, clearly, so much at stake, we are expecting a late night at the UN climate negotiations here in Lima.
 
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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

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

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COP20 boosted by German Climate Action Plan announcement, but negotiations still need to pick up pace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2014, Lima, Peru: The UN climate negotiations in Lima, Peru received a boost today with Germany announcing additional climate action measures to ensure it stays on track to meet its targets for phasing down pollution before the Paris agreement comes into effect.

The German decision particularly to require the coal power industry to cut even more pollution from the sector together with a plan to table a law next year to cap and reduce use of the fuel across the board puts another nail in the coffin for fossil fuels, while at the same time highlighting that climate action is far from an impediment to economic prosperity. 

Speaking at the Climate Action Network press briefing in Lima today, Kellie Caught from WWF Australia explains that decisions like the one made by Germany today can set an example for other countries. “Hopefully this can send a message to other coal countries like Australia that coal can be phased out while sustaining economic prosperity,” Caught says. “The IPCC has shown that phasing out coal is the low hanging fruit countries should be reaching for.”

The drumbeat that is growing for climate action outside the negotiations has caused ripples inside the halls of COP20. With just 12 months to go before the new climate agreement is scheduled to be signed in Paris, it’s clear national interests are becoming more stark. Liz Gallagher, from E3G, says countries are still struggling to absorb the game-changing nature of the recent US and China climate action announcements. 

“If Lima is curtain raiser for Paris it feels like we haven’t yet written the play. Yesterday was lost due to confusion and posturing – with the US suggesting deletion of key elements of finance text. This only goes to embolden countries that don’t want to see progress like Japan," Gallagher says. We need everybody in this process to work together. We need marchers to shout loudly and for those messages to be heard inside the halls. We need ministers to tell negotiators to stop the petty politics.”

The recent US-China announcements have left other major climate polluters out in the cold. Brazil, for instance, is exposed and left with few excuses not to make significant climate commitments in its national plan which is due early next year, according to Ricardo Baitelo from Greenpeace Brazil. 

“Brazil remains in the top six emitters. We need to choose the clean path. We have both potential for wind and solar - enough to create as much as 10 times what the country needs - with jobs and better public health to go with it,” Baitelo says. 

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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

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org,  

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Side Event: Equity and Differentiation in the Context of INDCs – The State of the Debate

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 – 13:15-14:45

Room: Paracas

The importance of Equity and Differentiation within the 2015 agreement is accepted by many Parties and observers. However, the terms of an equitable agreement applicable to all are both unclear and controversial. Disagreement exists on operationalization and scope of equity, and on approaches for assessment of iNDCs. In this context, CAN has made a detailed proposal for a dynamic Equity Reference Framework that is explicitly rooted in the Convention’s core equity principles.

We believe that such an approach can break the deadlock in the negotiations. This side event will further articulate CAN’s Equity Reference Framework and will provide an opportunity for discussions on how to bring this Framework into the negotiations.

Civil Society Presentation

·    Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid

·    Tom Athanasiou, CAN International Equity Working Group

·    Siddharth Pathak, CAN International

Party Respondents

·    ​Brazil, South Africa (confirmed)

·    Bolivia, China, Colombia, India (requested)

Moderator: Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid

Background Information:

CAN’s Equity Indicators Paper: http://is.gd/equity_indicators
CAN’s Equity submission for ADP2.5: http://is.gd/adp2_5_Submission
CAN discussion paper – “The Case for an Equity Review”: http://is.gd/CANReview

Time for countries to roll up their sleeves at the UN climate negotiations

December 1, 2014, Lima, Peru: On the opening day of the UN climate negotiations in Lima, Climate Action Network has called for countries to build on recent momentum in climate politics and flesh out the international climate action plan due to be signed 12 months from now which will be the world’s first collective step away from fossil fuels and towards 100% renewable energy .

With initial climate action commitments having been tabled by the US, China and the EU in recent months, all eyes have turned other major emitters who need to put forward their own commitments early next year.  In Lima, countries need to agree the format and content of those commitments which will form the building blocks of the Paris agreement.

Martin Kaiser, head of the Greenpeace delegation, said the Paris Protocol must send a clear and convincing signal to citizens, companies and investors that the world is moving away from fossil fuels.

“ In Lima, the countries must agree on the long-term goal of phasing out fossil fuel emissions to zero by mid-century while moving towards 100% renewable energy for all in a fair transition period. Subsidies for fossil fuel industries must be shifted towards renewable energy deployment and climate adaptation for vulnerable countries. In countries like the US, China, and the EU, the phase-out of coal must be accelerated.”

Tasneem Essop, WWF International’s head of delegation to the UNFCCC, said the UN climate negotiations start off the back of political momentum starkly different from last year in Warsaw. But there is still much to do, she says.

“We expect negotiators to roll up their sleeves and get to work, translating the momentum into real action. Countries must begin preparing climate action commitments and agree to measure these for fairness. They must also be willing to scale up if it does not match the demands of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. In Lima, countries should also agree to address the emissions gap by 2020 using already affordable and available technology in the form of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, international policy adviser for Climate Action Network Latin America said that Latin American region was extremely vulnerable to climate impacts.

“Some countries in this region know that Lima for example could be the first city in the world to run out of water, so they are taking action. Costa Rica will get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2016. But some countries are still under the sway of the fossil fuel industry. We’ll be looking at them during these negotiations to act in line with the peoples’ demands and pursue development in a sustainable way. We must leave fossil fuels in the ground and not repeat the steps of the developed countries that brought us to this point.”

 

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On opening day of COP20, Climate Action Network Shares Expectations

What: Experts from Climate Action Network will outline their expectations for the major UN climate negotiations of the year which get underway in Lima, Peru on December 1. The negotiations in Lima are a vital stepping stone before a comprehensive, global climate action agreement is due to be delivered in Paris this time next year. 

When: Monday, December 1, 2014, 11.30am Lima time  - (16.30GMT - 17.30CET - 8.30PST)

Where: Press conference room 2, Lima Climate Change Conference, Pentagonito, San Borja, Lima, Peru. 

Webcast: You can also watch the press conference live here. (video also available on demand afterwards)
 

Who
    •    Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, CAN Latin America
    •    Tasneem Essop, WWF International
    •    Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, Climate Action Network, on : +49 157 3173 5568 or local number +51 963 961 813

 

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