Tag: INDCs

Japan on notice, picking up extraordinary Fossil of the Day Award as glacial progress made at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Bonn, Germany - June 4, 2015 - At the Bonn Climate Conference today where countries are pushing forward a new global agreement due to be signed in Paris this December, Climate Action Network (CAN) members took stock of the progress negotiators have made over the past three days and identified the key tasks that lie ahead. Meanwhile, CAN gave a Fossil of the Day award to Japan as the country that has been doing the most to block progress on climate action (see full award statement below).

During this morning’s press conference, CAN members and allies made the following comments:

"The process of bringing down the size of the draft Paris agreement has been slow going so far; the good news is that the tone in the rooms is relatively positive for this stage in the process. Parties appear to be rebuilding some of the trust lost in Lima. But the key point here is this isn’t just about making the text shorter, it’s about making the text stronger. Right now you have almost every option you could want in the text. Parties need to focus on maintaining the elements that would trigger the most ambition. That’s what civil society is looking for in the second week here. Meanwhile, we have an all-star line-up of under-achievers today presenting their current climate action plans in Bonn - Australia, Canada, and Japan. These are three countries are among those that have sat at the table for dinner the longest. They’ve eaten the most and they, therefore, owe the most. But what we’re seeing today is that they’re doing the least.” Lou Leonard, Vice President Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund-US

“At the G7 Summit this weekend, leaders can back a phase out fossil fuel emissions in favour of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Doing so, would give a strong signal to investors, and could build trust in UNFCCC talks underway here in Bonn. But Canada and Japan are blocking efforts to send this signal. President Obama needs to walk the talk now and help Chancellor Merkel to bring Japan and Canada on to the team so that the G7 leaders stand on the right side of history."  Martin Kaiser, Head International Climate Politics, Greenpeace

“Japan must present a more ambitious emission reduction target if it has to responsibly address climate change. A mid term reduction target of 26 percent on 2013 levels by 2030 is too weak and regressive. It is jeopardising Japan’s position in a world order that is increasingly showing better climate ambition. Japan is trailing behind the US and EU on climate action right now. While it continues to be a significant donor of international development aid in the Asian region, it can’t go it alone on climate. Japan can’t self-marginalize itself from the realities of climate change. With the kind of ambitious action required to avert the climate crisis, we cannot afford to have countries saying 'we will cross the bridge when we get there'. We have to get there now, and every step matters."  Yeb Sano, former climate commissioner of the Philippines and now Leader of the People’s Pilgrimage for Our Voices.

Japan Handed Extraordinary Fossil of the Day Awards in Bonn

In an extraordinary move, CAN members voted to hand Japan a Fossil of the Day award during the Bonn Climate Conference. The Fossils are normally handed out daily during the major climate talks of the year, Conference of the Parties but the network felt strongly that Japan’s efforts needed to be acknowledged for the following reasons:

Strike One! Today’s first place fossil goes to Japan for their extremely weak INDC, for using smoke and mirrors (shifting baselines) to fake ambition, and for having the audacity to claim this is in-step with developed country 80% by 2050 targets. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe will present this weak excuse for an INDC - which equates to an 18% cut on 1990 levels - to G7 leaders this weekend, where he will presumably try to pull the wool over their eyes too. This INDC is not ambitious or fair.

Strike Two! The second fossil award goes to Japan for blocking a proposal from G7 countries that would help development aid and banks work in line with efforts to prevent global temperatures rising beyond the 2C degree threshold. Seriously, does Japan want to lead us towards a world with catastrophic levels of warming?

Strike Three! Japan wins the third fossil for funding carbon intensive coal projects in developing countries. Despite growing criticisms from international community - Japan was awarded a fossil in Lima for this dastardly behaviour - it continues to do so. As long as Japan keeps its dirty coal policy, the fossil awards will keep coming. Japan should be funding renewable energy solutions, not dirty coal.

You’re out! Japan get’s THREE fossil awards

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

 
 
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International Media Briefing: Half way on the Road to Paris - where are we and where do we need to be

We are now almost half way through 2015, and climate change politics is heating up.  Ministers and Heads of State are meeting in various fora - from the G7 to the Petersberg Dialogue - to discuss the shape of the Paris agreement, countries are putting forward their national plans outlining how they'll move their economies away from fossil fuels, and people from all walks of life are preparing to take to the streets to show their support for scaling up climate action.  

Ahead of the UN climate negotiations getting underway on June 1, Climate Action Network experts will brief reporters on the state of play in international climate politics and what that means for the Bonn talks.

WhenThursday May 28th, 9am London  - 10am Berlin - 11am Addis Ababa - 1.30pm New Delhi - 4pm Beijing - 8pm Sydney.  You can check your timezone here. (In the Americas? Join the sister call by contacting PKnappenberger@climatenexus.org )

CAN members have also commented today on the outcome of the Petersberg Dialogue: read more here or see the Climate Chancellor in action here

Who: 

- Liz Gallagher, E3G
- Pierre Cannet, WWF France
- Li Shuo, Greenpeace China 

To Join:

You can join the teleconference online: here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested.

From the US or via Skype, dial (+1) 855-534-4477 - no PIN required. 
A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here: https://www.uberconference.com/international 

If your country is not listed, and you cannot join via internet browser, please contact us. 

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

About CAN:
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

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 Study quantifies benefits unlocked by new climate action commitments

Scaling up action scales up benefits

Berlin, Germany. March 31, 2015: More jobs, fewer deaths and money saved from fuel imports. That’s what the climate action commitments laid out by the EU, US and China will deliver to their nations, according to a study by NewClimate Institute, and commissioned by Climate Action Network. 

The new study calculates that as well as helping reduce climate change risk, the steps outlined in the plans for these three economies will mean a total of almost 1 million new jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 113,000 people who will no longer die prematurely thanks to reduced air pollution, and huge savings from avoiding the high costs of imported fossil fuels. 

What’s more, scaling up their commitments to be in line with the transition to economies powered by 100% renewables by mid-century will mean unlocking even more benefits for these nations. More ambitious plans would collectively create around 3 million jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 2 million people who would otherwise fall victim to deadly air pollution, and would save around US$520 billion from avoided fossil fuel imports per year. If all countries took climate actions at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2degC threshold, beyond which scientists predict climate change to spin out of control. Such action would also give us an even chance of staying within 1.5degC - the threshold advocated by many of the most vulnerable nations. 

NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Höhne, author of the study, said: “This new analysis shows that any governments currently formulating climate action plans should consider the significant benefits for their people that could be achieved by setting their ambition levels to maximum.” 

Climate Action Network chair Mohamed Adow said: “Over 100 countries have thrown their support behind a phase out of fossil fuel emissions and it’s not hard to see why - making a just transition to 100% renewable energy is a no brainer as it means healthier economies and healthier people.” 

The report comes as developed countries - and others in a position to do so - were expected to lodge their offers with the UN by today. These offers will form the building blocks of a new climate agreement to be signed in Paris this December. 

The study shows that Europe stands to save around USD$33 billion per year on avoided fossil fuel imports through its climate action plan, but this would jump to around USD$170billion a year if the region scaled up its offer. 

China’s battle with air pollution has been well documented, as has the country’s actions to get it under control. Beijing’s new climate offer will save around 100,000 lives a year, but as they scale up their efforts that figure rises to around 1.2 million people annually. 

The United States is expected to formally lodge an offer with the UN today which will create around 470,000 jobs by 2030 in the country’s burgeoning renewable energy sector, with even more potential in the country’s energy efficiency sector. 

This study once again confirms key findings from last year's Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which informed governments that the only way to build and retain prosperous economies is through both mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

All eyes will now turn to other major - more and more isolated - economies such as Japan, Australia and Canada whose governments appear to have missed today’s deadline for lodging climate action commitments with the UN.

With evidence piling up on the side of scaling up action and the multiple benefits that delivers, their people will increasingly question government decisions that fail to speed up the people-driven transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.  

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The report, Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions, was written by the NewClimate Institute - which raises ambition for action against climate change and supports sustainable and climate-resilient development through research and analysis. 
  2. The report was commissioned by Climate Action Network - 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: 
  3. You can find the full report here, a summary of the findings here, and an infographic here

 

Contact 
To be connected with a spokesperson on the report, please contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org  

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Europe becomes second party to lodge Paris climate action commitment

Climate Action Network released the following statement upon the release of Europe's commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change today. 

European environment ministers have today agreed on the EU’s first climate action commitment towards the Paris agreement. The pledge translates its previously announced target to reduce carbon pollution by at least 40% by 2030. After Switzerland, the EU will be the second party in the world to lodge its plan to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy with the UN. Commitments from other major countries including the United States and Mexico are expected later this month. Together, these pledges will signal the start of what will be the world’s first collective step on climate action. 

Europe has in many ways been spearheading the global transition, and it has only last week presented a domestic energy strategy that makes clear that Europe’s move towards a decarbonized economy is well underway. That’s why some observers want Europe’s first offer to go further in harnessing progress towards a fossil fuel phase out and Europe’s vision to be the world leader in renewable energy. For example, Denmark has already committed to make 100% of their electricity supply renewable and party leaders in the UK have committed to phase out coal. Accelerating this transition makes sense because it can deliver more and better jobs, improved public health and more robust economies.

Today’s announcement leaves open the tricky question of how to deal with forests when counting emission reductions. If not handled well, accounting rules could dilute the EU’s commitment. Progressive Member States are working to reach a decision that ensures environmental integrity and retains ambition. Furthermore, despite calling for countries to renew their pledges under the Paris agreement every five years, the EU does not outline a 2025 target in its offer.

The EU’s plan stayed silent on the amount of additional support they'd provide to developing countries who are expected to take their own climate action under the Paris agreement. Scaling up support will be vital if we're to secure a comprehensive global climate agreement in Paris in December that builds resilient communities and helps vulnerable people cope with unavoidable climate impacts. In a bid to shore up Europe’s leadership on climate, European foreign ministers can step up and explicitly outline their offer to help communities adopt renewable energy and adapt to climate change.

Undoubtedly, this offer will not be the final word from Europe on climate action towards the Paris agreement. Indeed, the EU’s pledge document says it looks forward to working with other countries to find “ways to collectively increase ambition further”. And European NGOs will continue to push member states to do more to unlock the “at least” part of their 2030 commitment.  The European Commission has already outlined plans to hold a conference in November to review collective commitments, providing the impetus for all countries to consider what more they can do to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. To give that agreement a smoother landing, Europe can reassert itself as a leader on climate diplomacy giving countries confidence in the collective steps we’re taking on climate action.

Contact: Ria Voorhaar
Head - International Communications Coordination 
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568

 
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China and the US offer momentum to climate action ahead of COP20

Wednesday, November 12, 2014: The tabling of national climate action commitments by the world's two major polluters, the US and China, adds welcome momentum to what will amount to our first steps in unison down a low carbon development pathway that brings us closer to a phase out fossil fuel pollution in favour of 100% renewable energy.  

Other countries should see these "game-changing" announcements by the US and China as a strong signal of commitment to the collective international effort to act on climate change as they prepare their own national plans. 

The US and China's announcement comes hot on the heels of the EU's 2030 climate target which means that countries representing more than half the world's GDP have outlined their first offers which will form the foundation of a comprehensive, global agreement to limit climate change due in Paris in December 2015. 

Of course, to take advantage of all the benefits that climate action can deliver, such as better public health, more jobs and stronger economies, China and the US can both do more. To more quickly speed up the on-going transition to renewable energy,  China can, for example, work to peak its coal consumption by 2020, while the US can put money on the table at the Green Climate Fund pledging conference next week, allowing developing countries to boost their own action. Such steps will further build confidence in national capitals as they build their own climate action plans. 

In addition, with the international community still working out the parameters of the Paris agreement, the US and China - along with all countries -  need to factor in the need to review the collective pledges once they are in order that they can be assessed for fairness and scaled up to meet the agreed threshold beyond which the climate will spin out of control. 

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, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

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Assessing the assessment phase discussion: part II

ECO thinks that the ADP has a pretty simple job in designing the next phases of the INDCs process. After completing the information requirements, we simply need an  INDCs assessment phase, as pointed out by AILAC and Palau. The first step of the assessment phase is - you guessed it- all parties submitting INDCs by March 2015. This could not be simpler, really.

March 2015 is only around the corner. Parties need to start preparing their INDCs from the moment they get home. While they make their preparations, Parties should remember that mitigation contributions alone will not pass the assessment test. Both mitigation and finance contributions are necessary to shape an acceptable INDC for a wealthy country. ECO welcomes Mexico's clear statement in this regard and reminds developed countries about their responsibility to play a leading role on finance.

Scaling up INDCs during the assessment phase may be a frightening idea for some Parties. ECO has just the thing to cure that phobia: produce ambitious INDCs in the first place and, if these still fall short of the level of action required, complement increased emission reduction targets with other types of contributions. For example, in the assessment phase, an absolute emissions reduction target as an initial NDC can be strengthened by additional efforts to scale up renewable energy and/or energy efficiency. ECO believes that such an approach would allow the assessment phase to lead to scaled-up NDCs through an approach based on environmental integrity and ambitious climate action, while allowing for the necessary flexibility.

ECO reminds Parties that this first assessment phase before Paris is just the initial step. It needs to be followed by a second ratcheting phase during which an agreed mechanism will be used to further scale up ambition based on science driven adequacy and an equity outcome oriented review.

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Assessing the Assessment-Phase Discussion

We all agree that we need an ambitious agreement in Paris that can avert the worst of climate change. But how will we know that we’ve got an ambitious agreement when we march through the Arc de Triomphe with the final text in hand? How will we know that the INDCs put forward by Parties will collectively be sufficient to rise to the challenge and that each Party’s INDC will individually represent its fair share? 

Easy - we assess them! And worry not, assess them we will!

ECO believes that, by Lima, Parties should agree both on the information to be included in the INDCs as well as on the assessment process before finalising them for the Paris deal.

In this light, ECO is surprised and confused to hear that the Like-Minded Group yesterday insist that Parties shouldn’t agree on anything more than the elements of information for INDCs in Lima. In other words, that there would be no agreement on assessing or reviewing of the targets.

ECO is also equally surprised by Russia, who said there is no need for assessing the contributions, Australia who had already voiced the same sentiment during Sunday’s ADP session, as well as Brazil who sees an assessment of targets before Paris as counter-productive. South Africa, who are still arguing for an efficient equity review (ECO thinks that this is great!), surprisingly advocated that the assessment should only start after Paris.

ECO strongly believes that these assessment of national contributions assessments should take place before Paris to increase ambition and avoid any lock-in of inadequate contributions.

In Lima, Parties must agree on a process to assess the adequacy and equitability of the contributions (hint: an ex-ante equity assessment maybe?). In that context, Parties will need to decide how and when to formally review and assess INDCs within the UNFCCC process, what to do in cases where contributions fall short, and how, where, and when to provide a space for civil society, think tanks, international organisations and other Parties to present their own equity reviews (hint: an in-session workshop at the June 2015 Bonn session maybe?).

And since all good things come in sets of three, here’s another hint for your discussions on the information needed: Parties must use them to communicate why they believe their INDCs represent an ambitious and adequate contribution to the global climate challenge and explain, informed by an agreed list of equity indicators, why this contribution is fair.

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Report: Co-Benefits of Climate Action

More jobs, fewer deaths and money saved from fuel imports. That’s what the climate action commitments laid out by the EU, US and China will deliver to their nations, according to a study by NewClimate Institute, and commissioned by Climate Action Network. 

The new study calculates that as well as helping reduce climate change risk, the steps outlined in the plans for these three economies will mean a total of almost 1 million new jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 113,000 people who will no longer die prematurely thanks to reduced air pollution, and huge savings from avoiding the high costs of imported fossil fuels. 

What’s more, scaling up their commitments to be in line with the transition to economies powered by 100% renewables by mid-century will mean unlocking even more benefits for these nations. More ambitious plans would collectively create around 3 million jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 2 million people who would otherwise fall victim to deadly air pollution, and would save around US$520 billion from avoided fossil fuel imports per year. If all countries took climate actions at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2degC threshold, beyond which scientists predict climate change to spin out of control.

Read the full report for more or contact Ria Voorhaar at rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org 

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