Tag: Agenda 2030

CAN Intervention: High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), July 2017

Climate change is front and centre in Agenda 2030, with a specific goal, SDG13, and many targets linked to climate change under all 17 goals. Implementing the SDGs needs an integrated approach with the Paris Climate Agreement, and such an approach must prioritise actions that deliver equally on both agreements.

One of the tools to promote an integrated implementation approach is precisely national reporting. We urge member states to do their best to include climate change in their Voluntary National Reviews.

It is also important for governments to consider different climate scenarios and how these impact on the delivery of the SDGs. And to identify how climate change intersects with the pledge to Leave No One Behind, for example by identifying which groups are most vulnerable to climate impacts and how this relates to issues of marginalisation and discrimination. Let us make sure we integrate these groups as part of our solutions too.

CSOs are already involved in SDG implementation processes in many countries as we speak. So, we invite governments to work jointly with us on national planning instruments, including long-term climate strategies and SDG implementation plans and ensure successful integration of both Paris and Agenda 2030.

Finally, we really hope that the climate change linkage is strongly reflected in the Ministerial Declaration after this HLPF. Thank you.

 

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Joint G20 Engagement Groups Statement on the Withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement

We call for responsible leadership and long-term frameworks 

Climate change represents one of the largest risks to sustainable development, gender equality, inclusiveness, equitable economic growth, and financial stability. To curtail climate change, we need fast and ambitious global action. Therefore, we, the Chairs of the Climate and Energy Taskforces of the G20 Engagement Groups Business 20, Civil 20, and Think 20 as well as the Engagement Groups Labor 20, Women 20 and Youth 20 – together with the Foundations 20 –, consider the decision of the U.S. Government to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement as very short-sighted and irresponsible. This decision not only ignores the reality of climate change and the opportunities of an international framework for the necessary transformation but also undermines the standing of the United States as a reliable partner in solving global problems. Ignoring the threat posed by climate change endangers a sustainable future for today’s youth and coming generations. Today’s challenges are global in nature and require coordinated solutions and international cooperation. We need globally agreed upon targets and frameworks – like the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to transform huge challenges into opportunities and to create a perspective for innovation, decent jobs, and a vivid civil society. 

While we welcome constructive suggestions on how to implement the Paris Agreement, the UNFCCC and many countries have made clear that the agreement cannot be renegotiated. We agree with this and strongly encourage the United States to stay in. 

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Forget Forecasting and Back Backcasting

We’re all familiar with forecasts. There’s not much to be done if you’ve planned your Sunday picnic when it’s set to rain. All that’s left is hoping, often in vain, that rain will turn into shine. Let’s flip this idea of looking into the future on its head. Instead of forecasting what is likely to happen, how about backcasting? If we know where we want to be, we can work backwards and plan how to get there!

Tackling climate change and enabling sustainable development dominated global negotiations last year. Successfully addressing these interconnected, mutually dependent challenges is essential, via the development of national long-term strategies for sustainable development and decarbonisation.

So let’s put backcasting into practice: we first need to know where we want to be. In Paris, countries agreed to pursue efforts to limiting global warming to 1.5ºC. To achieve this, a global phasing out of fossil fuels and phasing in of 100% renewable energy will be required by 2050, if not well before. By working back from 2050 to now, we can plan our path to get there individually and collectively, ensuring that we have time to change tracks if needed. The development of national long-term strategies for sustainable development and decarbonisation will provide us essential guidance on the impact of our current policy-making decisions., It is likely to show that achieving our long-term goals will require taking urgent action now. The more we raise our ambition in the short-term, the less steep emissions curbs will need to be in the future. See the logic?

For governments, backcasting through ambitious long-term strategies represents a significant opportunity to assess and plan for how their development needs and priorities fit. Furthermore, the resulting policies are likely to provide several co-benefits, while also contributing to countries’ fulfilment of both the aims of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the 17 SDGs. Long-term planning will avoid locking in high carbon infrastructure and send a strong signal to the private sector, creating a positive policy framework for businesses to make informed decisions for shifting financial flows to climate-friendly investments.  

Recent discussions at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development show that political momentum is building in the recognition of the need to address these challenges synergistically. The Paris Agreement requires long-term strategies to be delivered by 2020, but several countries have indicated they will deliver sooner than this. Between now and the facilitative dialogue at COP24 in 2018, there is a real opportunity to ramp up global ambition on climate change.

 

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CAN Briefing: G20 Key Demands, July 2016

In December 2015, the G20, as part of the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, committed to a historic global agreement to address climate change and pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, so as to mitigate the harmful effects on the world’s people, biodiversity and the global environment.

According to the IPCC, the global carbon budget consistent with a 66% chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5ºC will be used up by 2021 if we carry on under current projections. For any fair likelihood of meeting the Paris temperature targets, our collective mitigation efforts need to be multiplied as soon as possible. Otherwise, our countries and economies will face severe impacts of unstoppable climate change, including social, environmental and economic instability. In recent years, we have seen the G20 countries take more serious notice of the role that climate change plays on its overall objectives, in particular its objective to promote financial stability. G20 leadership on climate change is extremely important since the greenhouse gas emissions of the G20 member countries account for approximately 81% of total global emissions. It is therefore imperative that the G20 countries start collaborating immediately on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, using their influence, to develop a consensus-building approach and focus on financial stability to drive stronger action on climate change.

Climate Action Network has eight key demands for the G20:

  • Ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible; 
  • Develop and communicate interim National Long-term Strategies for Sustainable Development and Decarbonization by 2018; 
  • Achieve an ambitious outcome on HFC phase-down this year;
  • Introduce mandatory climate-risk disclosure for investments; 
  • Remove fossil-fuel subsidies;
  • Accelerate renewable energy initiatives towards 100% RE; 
  • Ensure that new infrastructure is pro-poor and climate compatible;
  • Support effective ambition for international aviation and shipping.
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The Right Agriculture (Workshop) Inputs

Before the SBSTA agriculture workshops, ECO wants to remind Parties that nearly 800 million people are chronically hungry. With over 75% of the world’s poor people living in rural areas and primarily reliant on agriculture, this issue needs to be higher up in the food chain of importance.

Commitments made under the new Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade on Nutrition, and the Paris Agreement all call for moving beyond the narrow considerations of yield. Producing more food alone will not end hunger in a changing climate: poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation are all drivers of food insecurity and vulnerability. Ensuring future food security requires agricultural strategies encapsulating environmental and socio-economic dimensions – livelihoods, land rights, animal welfare, fair and equal access to resources, decision-making and climate information, culture, and biodiversity protection.

The planned workshops must address the needs and contribution of small-scale food producers,who generate 80% of food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Women play a dominant role, but lack equal access to critical resources, rendering them more vulnerable to climate change impacts. The workshops need to address the UNFCCC’s role in ensuring these populations can access the support they need.

Agroecological approaches not only improves soil health and water carrying capacity, but also empowers food producers, increases access to decision-making, and prioritises local knowledge. The FAO Director-General believes that agroecology is important as it will “help to address the challenge of ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, in the context of the climate change adaptation needed.”

Parties should use this week to identify the UNFCCC’s role in more clearly articulating appropriate approaches and guidelines for effective action, and also identify gaps in knowledge, action, and support.

The workshops must enable meaningful civil society participation, recognising experience and expertise on the ground. Ending hunger and tackling climate change will require action and learning by all, and civil society is a critical partner in these efforts.

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WS2 and Adaptation: The Talk of the Talks

ECO hears rumours that Parties have discussed the possibility of having a Technical Examination Process (TEP) on adaptation, and we’d be delighted if this was true. After all, there are more gaps in these negotiations than even ECO can keep track of, from gigatonnes to dollars. Adaptation appears to be one of the victims of process, and seemingly never has its time to shine. Finance for adaptation remains grossly insufficient, and more action is needed to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

An adaptation TEP might just be the match made in heaven to ensure that there is  both a technical conversation with concrete recommendations and political commitment, which would in turn increase adaptation actions. It’s high time to  kickstart  action on the ground.

However, while Workstream 2 can be a great vehicle to get adaptation off the ground, it needs to be done in earnest. An adaptation TEP has a lot to offer to vulnerable people by engaging experts and catalysing action. But it must not become a topic that slows down the good pace of WS2 that has been evident this past week.  Nor can it become a delaying tactic for the remaining thorny bits, including the many pivotal mitigation elements.

Even with the prospect of happy union between TEP and adaptation on the table, these precious elements should not fall by the wayside. Parties need to stay engaged with the issues at hand: accelerating the implementation of mitigation in the pre-2020 period, appointing high-level champions, and ensuring the necessary support is provided. Only after we’ve locked down these essential elements of WS2 should we export other possibilities.

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Agenda 2030 — Share the Love in Paris

ECO is truly enthusiastic about the global sustainable development agenda: “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which received a standing ovation when adopted last month in New York.

ECO strongly urges negotiators to support the proposal currently captured in preambular paragraph 33 of section III, which references the post-2015 agenda, to ensure alignment of the climate and development processes.

Here is why: Agenda 2030 includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals. One specifically urges action on climate change and its impacts when fighting global poverty, inequality and injustice. But, fret not about your role in the bigger picture, Agenda 2030 also says that the UNFCCC is the primary intergovernmental forum for negotiating a global response to climate change.

Although these two processes have different starting points, they both recognise the need to eradicate poverty. Agenda 2030 is the first UN document of its kind that tells us to look at development and climate together. It reminds us that the choices we make today when tackling hunger, improving energy access or building infrastructure will affect mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Agenda 2030 calls for these goals to be achieved while keeping the global average temperature increase below 1.5°C or 2°C. It asks all UN member states to work collectively through the UNFCCC towards an ambitious legal outcome, applicable to all Parties and following the CBDR principle.

Both processes must deliver in a coordinated and coherent manner. The Paris agreement should welcome Agenda 2030’s mitigation and adaptation targets, and acknowledge the important role that Agenda 2030 will play in climate outcomes. Turkey already supported the idea on Monday; ECO hopes that others will follow suit.

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Let’s leave no one behind

ECO congratulates governments on the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This not only provides positive momentum towards Paris but, also sends a strong message about the necessity of adopting an integrated approach to sustainable development.

The Paris outcomes should build on this momentum and promote the effective integration of human rights and gender equality into climate action. Such integration would provide three crucial benefits.

Firstly, it would ensure that climate policies contribute to the protection of the rights of local communities. Particularly those most vulnerable and do not exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities.

Secondly, it would strengthen the effectiveness of climate action, by ensuring that policies and projects benefit from local and traditional knowledge, by providing broader public support for such action, and by removing legal uncertainties. Empirical evidence demonstrates that rights-based climate policies are more effective, resilient and have a lasting impact.

Thirdly, it would contribute to the implementation of the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

Today’s negotiations on Section C offers Parties the opportunity to ensure that the core Paris legal agreement explicitly emphasises the necessity for climate policies to integrate human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, and to ensure food security, gender equality and a just transition. This would send a very strong signal that governments remain committed to a transition towards low-carbon and resilient communities that leaves no one behind.

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