Tag: equity

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

Side Event: Civil Society, Equity, and the Preparation and Assessment of National Contributions

Civil Society, Equity, and the Preparation and Assessment of National Contributions

Mainstreaming Equity in the Preparation and Assessment of National Contributions


Thursday, 05 Jun 2014 – 16:45-18:15

Room: Solar

The UNFCCC has, to this point, been unable to agree to any sort of meaningful equity review process. Thus, many voices within civil society are now talking about informal science and equity reviews designed to point the way. Such reviews must be built upon the Convention’s core equity principles, and upon indicators that express those principles.

In this side event, three presenters from different parts of the global civil society movement will give their views on the way forward, and do with a particular focus on extremely ambitious mitigation pathways. The side event intends to establish a much-needed conversation and thus, key negotiators will respond.

Civil Society Panel

  • Tom Athanasiou, CAN International Equity Working Group – equity reference modeling as a civil society tool
  • Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN Europe – reaffirming ambition, and equity as a precondition for it
  • Lidy Nacpil, Jubilee South – social movement demands on the UN equity process

Party Respondents

  • South Africa, Mr. Xolisa Ngwadla (confirmed)
  • Brazil, Mr. Everton Lucero (confirmed)
  • The Philippines, Mr. Naderev “Yeb” Saño (confirmed)
  • Sweden, H.E. Ms. Lena Ek (requested)

Moderator: Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid

Background Information: CAN’s Equity Indicators Paper 

This side event is organized by the Equity Working Group of Climate Action Network International


The HOW of Equity

At the ADP opening yesterday, ECO waited in vain for bold and innovative ideas to ensure each Party proposes its equitable share of the global effort.  We are all agreed that equity matters (the WHY) – so let's figure out the HOW.

The COP and ADP opened with clarion calls for ambition – and the key to ambition is equity. Your mission this week, dear Parties, is to move beyond vague statements about fairness and map the all-important Convention principles onto a common list of equity indicators.

We hope you’ve been busy since Bonn doing your homework on this, but just to help out, here is some know-HOW.

ECO believes there are five indicators that really matter: Adequacy, Responsibility, Capacity, Development Need, and Adaptation Need. These are the minimum indicators required to operationalize the core equity principles enshrined in the Convention.
For a fair 2015 outcome, Warsaw must deliver a consensus on the indicators that should guide Parties in formulating their pledges, and against which their pledges will be reviewed and strengthened as necessary. And there is no time to lose!


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Climate talks open as NGOS urge nations to make every moment count between now and 2015

Climate Action Network (CAN) urged countries to continue to make progress outlining the elements of a comprehensive, global agreement that puts us on the path to fair, sustainable development at the UN climate negotiations opening in Bonn, Germany, today.
“Every moment counts,” said Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis from Climate Action Network Latin America. “Especially given that atmospheric carbon pollution concentration just pushed through the 400 parts per million landmark and that there is likely to be as few as five negotiating sessions between now and when the global agreement is supposed to be signed in 2015.” 
Key elements that need to be taken forward to the major talks in Warsaw in November include a way to fairly measure national climate action and financial support which takes into account differing circumstances as well as defining the structure and principles of the agreed international mechanism to deal with communities and cultures which are irretrievably lost as a result of climate change. 
Sivan Kartha, from the Stockholm Environmental Institute, said agreeing a way to measure fairness of climate action could be the key to unlocking progress towards the 2015 agreement. 
At the same time, Jason Anderson from WWF said countries need to commit to concrete steps to reduce carbon pollution before 2020. 
“CAN - the world’s biggest network of NGOs working on climate change - is urging countries to put their support behind a plan for leaders to increase their  2020 carbon pollution reduction commitments next year at a summit being held by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon,” Anderson said. 
“This is vital if we are going to rectify the fact we are not doing nearly enough to deliver a safe climate," Maurtua 
Konstantinidis said.
The year was not even half way over and we had already seen devastating floods in Argentina and the melting of Arctic sea ice being linked to not only Australia's harshest ever summer, where they needed new colors to define hot on the map but also a frozen spring in Europe and North America.
For more information or for one-on-one interviews with the 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 a global network of over 800 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels



The Equity Review

Today, it is widely understood that without a Science Review there would be no real possibility of achieving the ambition required by science. An Equity Review is imminently needed to muster sufficient political will for that needed ambition.

Such a review must be based upon the equity principles that are embodied in the Convention, most notably the principles of ambition, responsibility, capacity and developmental need.  
The challenge now is to develop a set of indicators that properly express these principles, and to build them into an Equity Reference Framework. Such a Framework could help Parties to negotiate a set of pledges that are robust and fair enough to yield the breakthrough that we need in Paris.
This is not about a “formula”.  Rather, an Equity Reference Framework would be a tool that the Parties – perhaps with a bit of assistance from their friends in civil society – can use to review and improve each other’s proposals in the later part of the political negotiations. 
Procedurally, the key is that, when developing their pledges at the national level, Parties would be fully aware of the fact that these pledges will be evaluated against the science as well as the Convention’s equity principles.  
Of course, after this evaluation, Parties will want to scale up their pledges, until they finally have a set that fairly distributes the effort of holding  warming to a manageable 1.5°C. 
Thus, we are calling for a process that allows a COP decision to launch the Equity Review at Warsaw. This decision should include the following:
  • Parties and Observers should be called upon to make submissions to the ADP co-chairs with their views on relevant equity principles and indicators. These submissions should be made by May 27, 2013. 
  • The co-chairs should organize a Roundtable on equity principles and the Equity Review during the June Bonn session. 
  • A decision text should be drafted during the autumn session. 
  • A decision to launch the Equity Review should be made at COP19 in Warsaw.
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On Equity: Part 1

ECO was positively surprised, during yesterday's ADP2 opening and the following workshop, hearing Parties expressing the fact that equity can't be neglected in the negotiations – a viewpoint that ECO shared long ago. Now that ECO and Parties have this common understanding on the importance of equity for the 2015 deal, let us suggest a way ahead: Parties should consider the equity spectrum approach. 

Firstly, the core equity principles should be identified, such as the adequacy principle, CBDR+RC, the right to sustainable development and the precautionary principle. In the equity spectrum approach, the “equity index” would then be composed of a basket of more specific equity indicators. This basket would have to contain well-designed indicators that, taken together, measure both responsibility and capacity.  It could include indicators for, inter alia, per capita income and standard of living, per capita emissions and historical responsibility, and domestic income inequality.  
Once this basket of indicators is agreed, countries' mitigation pledges could be measured against this set. This would create the basis for assessing pledges in terms of their adequacy for staying below 2°C and keeping 1.5°C in reach, and in terms of a fair and equitable sharing of the mitigation burden and atmospheric space. In order to get this review done quickly, Parties should put their targets on the table by the meeting suggested by Ban Ki Moon in September 2014.
Such an approach would not preclude country groupings (like today’s annexes). In fact, it would make such groupings more coherent. For example, the set of countries that is high in capacity and responsibility would change over time – an important fact, given that such countries are candidates for ambitious, legally-binding, economy-wide quantified emissions reduction targets.     
Of course many other kinds of commitments are also possible, and desirable. Obvious examples include renewable energy and/or energy efficiency targets and sectoral targets, all of which could have various kinds and degrees of bindingness. Also, it should be noted that some kinds of actions for certain countries can be explicitly contingent on financial and technical support. 
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On Equity: Part 2

The following are excerpts from a particularly incisive intervention in the ADP workshop yesterday afternoon. In case you missed it, ECO suggests you take a look. And if you didn't miss it, ECO suggests you take a look anyway, since it's a subject Parties need to work much more on:

“What is needed is a process that would allow for a proper equity review of the pledges, to be conducted in parallel with the equally-critical science review.  To that end, the Parties should launch an open, expert process to develop an equity reference framework that is suitable to the evaluation of national pledges.  This framework would have to be designed to maximize both ambition and participation.  Parties, when making pledges, would be guided by the knowledge that these would be evaluated within both the science and equity reviews.
How to think about such an equity review?  The first point is that the demands of equity have already been agreed.  This is true at the level of the Convention’s keystone text on CBDR & RC, and it’s true of the four fundamental equity principles – ambition, responsibility, capacity, and development need – that underlie the principle of CBDR & RC and, of course, our shared vision of 'equitable access to sustainable development' as well.
None of this is going to change.  Nor should it.  Climate, after all, is a global commons problem.  The cooperation needed to solve it can only exist if the regime – as it actually unfolds in actions on the ground – is widely seen as being not only 'fair enough,' but an actual positive driver of developmental justice around the world.
What is needed is dynamic equity spectrum approach.  This is our key point.  And here I must note that a dynamic equity spectrum approach would be entirely consistent with the principles of the Convention, and in particular with the principle of CBDR & RC.
One final point.  We do not have to agree to 'a formula' to have a way forward.  Reasonable men and women can disagree about the indicators appropriate to, say, capacity.  And if we approach the problem in good faith, we may yet find that all plausible, dynamic approaches to CBDR & RC yield approximately the same, or at least strongly overlapping results.  Which might just be good enough, at least in the short term.
To sum up, we need a solid science review, we all know it.  But we need an equity review as well, and on this front it will take some time to work out the details.  But we already know the key thing – will not succeed without a deal that’s at least, as the Australians say, 'fair enough.'  And the equity spectrum approach may just be the best way to get one.”
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Searching for Equity


ECO wants to remind the Parties thatembedding equity in the climate regime is fundamental to any fair and ambitious outcome. While Parties have expressed their views on how to move toward operationalising equity, this aspect is reaching the vanishing point in the texts.  
ECO thinks it would be pretty easy to measure, report and verify the disappearance of political will when Parties enter the negotiating rooms in the QNCC. That’s the real problem in these negotiations, as reflected in the weak language on equity in the latest texts from both the LCA and the ADP chairs. And that sends a very negative message to areas around the world struggling every day to survive against the adversities of climate impacts.
And yet, innovative and even transformative concepts are readily available.  
Recently, Belgium and Sweden convened a rich and interactive meeting of experts and stakeholders in Brussels. Indeed, the ideas discussed in the Brussels workshop are immediately relevant and can be transformed into workable forms in the negotiations. Once again, the message from workshop participants was loud and clear: what we are facing is not a dearth of ideas or resources but instead a pervasive vacuum of political will. 
One aspect of reviving momentum is to try out creative approaches. In Brussels, forexample, the open exchange of views under Chatham House rules provided a tool for creating trust and opening up space for dialogue. 
Before leaving Doha, negotiators must ensure that a safe space for equity discussions is created in a work programme on equity. That is crucial for ensuring a fair, ambitious and binding outcome in 2015. 
ECO has consistently expressed the need for taking up the equity issue with a view to unpacking and eventually operationalizing equity in the various elements. Let usremember COP 17, where India championed the issue of equity and took a central role in tying together the Durban Package. 
But now, the progress made in the ADP roundtables in Bangkok has been set aside in the discussions to date here in Doha.  To be clear, equity principles need to be discussed in order to move them forward in terms of populating the ADP with contentissues of operationalisation. Otherwise, equity will not move and we will yet again fall short of ambition. To say it clearly: there will be no ambition without equity – and no equity without ambition.
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CAN Intervention on Equity in the COP18 ADP Special Event, 1 December, 2012

CAN Intervention in the ADP Special Event on Equity, 1 December 2012

Delivered by Mohamed Adow

We heard the loud and clear call for urgent and ambitious international agreement. But the question is – what can enable the parties to agree to such an agreement?
CAN believes that an agreement on effort sharing – an equitable approach to sharing the costs of mitigation and adaptation amongst countries – would enable parties to agree such an agreement, with sufficient mitigation and finance to support the developing countries.
Countries are concerned that they will be asked to do more than is their fair share, and conversely that other countries will ‘free ride’ off their effort.  

CAN believes that we are in a rather unique position in the negotiations at the moment, and we think this is the moment to pull together a strategic approach that can lead to an effective and ambitious outcome in 2015 under the ADP.

One that will protect the climate system; share the effort to address climate change fairly; and share the means of implementation equitably

To deliver the ADP vision under Work Stream 1, Parties must work to interactively exchange their views and positions on equity and start a work programme  and make clear progress towards ways and options for the allocation of fair shares of the global effort.

CAN believes that it is helpful to cluster the various equity principles into three groups:
* Precautionary or adequacy principles – because a climate catastrophe would be the ultimate injustice,
* CBDR+RC, which remains key, but must be interpreted and operationalized dynamically,  
* Equitable Access to Sustainable Development – because just and sustainable development is human rights that must be both protected and promoted by the climate regime.  
Parties should not use equity to avoid action and share failure, but as the convention says “protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind

To achieve this, the ADP WS 1 goal must be to cooperatively limit climate disruption, while supporting the developing countries with the means to keep within the remaining constrained carbon budget, and to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. 

No Ambition without Equity - no Equity without Ambition

In both ADP workstreams, Parties have begun taking positions on the future of CBDR. Some see a global spectrum approach as the way forward. Others advocate a system in which the annexes are nuanced and differentiated. Whatever happens, ECO sees the need for a dynamic system that differentiates on the basis of equity principles. 

ECO believes that it is helpful to cluster the various equity principles into three groups:
* Precautionary or adequacy principles – because  climate catastrophe would be the ultimate injustice
* CBDR+RC, which remains key, but must be interpreted and operationalised dynamically
* Equitable Access to Sustainable Development – because just and sustainable development are human rights that must be both protected and promoted by the climate regime.  
Why wouldn't Parties want to discuss these principles within a separate, one-year work programme, with the intention of operationalising them? Such a work programme must inform the ADP streams on near-term and post-2020 ambition. ECO calls for a COP decision on this equity work programme to be taken at Doha. The Shared Vision contact groups should prepare this decision.
One way or another, Parties have got to find the space to build greater understanding of one another’s positions if they are to identify areas of convergence. As they do so, the renewed trust that will be fostered could trigger higher ambition from all sides, especially in the near-term ambition track of the ADP. There is no time to waste. 
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