Tag: Capacity Building

CAN’s Leadership Development Programme and Its relevance to the South


Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network-Tanzania

Yes, it is true that CAN is the largest and most vibrant network in the world working on climate change. Members of the Network work closely to address the causes and harmful impacts of climate change. About 850 NGOs invigolate CAN’s coordination in more than 90 countries of the earth with varying levels of development and diffuse geographical locations.

CAN uses multi-dimensional approaches to address the catastrophe of climate change in different parts of the world. No doubt, different regions of the world are affected  differently and the level of impacts differ much from one region to another. Hence, “no one size fits all.” To respond to and fill the knowledge gap in the South, CAN has been undertaking both short and long term training to its members especially from the global south.

In 2012, CAN initiated the Leadership Development Programme. 8 Fellows were selected from 8 countries of the world. From Tanzania I was selected to join other fellows.

The usefulness of the programme to the South
The main challenge of the south is the knowledge  gap on what is going on at the global level in terms of science, UNFCCC discussions, decisions and their implications to the south. This programme comes with unique opportunity to bridge that gap as it involves training of the Fellows on the UNFCCC processes, its decissions and their implications to a given region or country. This also gives Fellows confidence to communicate relevant decisions made to the local media and community of the participant’s region or country.

The programme has helped to create a sense of awareness as to what the science says and its meaning at local levels. LDP Fellows are given unique opportunity to interact with recent scientific reports and scientists who are normally available at UNFCCC workshops to dissermination their findings. These kinds of information  and interactions are important to the south as they give confidence to the Fellows and the Fellows can then inform the public and recommend appropriate action.

The project also builds capacity to engage delegates and undertake meetings with country delegations during the UNFCCC discussions and decisions. This provides good opportunities for representing public concerns. It might be hard to believe but it is true that most of the UNFCCC delegates from the south have limited understanding of what is happening at the ground. The reason is that some of the delegates are living in towns and are fully engaged in other activities at their offices.

It is undoubtedly true that the programme is costlly. However, the harmful impacts of climate change are already beyond the means for mitigation and adapatation in the south. Furthermore, when aid is given through one window, it seems as if half of it is always taken back via another.  So thanks to CAN for investing in bridging the knowledge gap between leadership capacity, UNFCCC discussions, decisisions, climate science and the best ways to communicate them at local levels for informed actions.

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Putting the “2 (degrees)” back in Workstream 2

It is well-trodden ground that there is a huge gap between what Parties say they want (staying below 2°C and keeping the door open to 1.5°C) and what Parties have pledged to contribute between now and 2020 to achieve that planetary necessity.  

In theory, Workstream 2 has already identified how to bridge the gap through: 1) improving developed countries’ woefully inadequate 2020 emission reduction targets; 2) identifying ways to enable and support developing countries in upping their own pre-2020 ambition; and 3) joint complementary action in addition to the first two areas on everything from phasing out HFCs to fossil fuel subsidies.  The task now is to JUST DO IT.  
ECO thought “doing it” would require no explanation, but some recent happenings in many developed countries are getting their positions all wrong.  
First and foremost – and we really thought this was obvious – the thing that needs to go up is the target, not the temperature.  For the EU this means moving to 30% - a move which really shouldn’t be that difficult considering that it has already achieved its 20% target almost 8 years ahead of schedule and will actually achieve more than that (around 25-27%) by 2020.  How can the EU host 2 COPs over the next 3 years and ask the rest of the world to do more while it decides to take a break? In addition, the EU’s incompetence at repairing its own emissions trading scheme is pretty mournful. A modest measure to temporarily limit the surplus of allowances in the EU carbon market was recently rejected by some within the European Parliament. 
The rest of the developed world is no better, and many are far, far worse.  There are rumours that Japan is planning to lower its ambition from its current 2020 pledge. Australia is not likely to do anything about its tiny 5% pledge and, depending of the outcome of the upcoming national elections, things could hit rock bottom, even though the Australian public is strongly in favour of climate action. The US pledge could be labelled ambitious, if the ambition was to overshoot 4°C, while the country is barely on the path to achieve its very weak 2020 target. And Canada – well, their only ambition is to withdraw from as many international treaties as possible (if you hadn’t heard, they’ve also withdrawn from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification). 
This drooping ambition level needs to stop. By 2014 ALL Parties (Kyoto Parties and free-riders alike) will have to increase the ambition of their 2020 pledges. Without this, you won’t get a global agreement in 2015, and – worse – you will not prevent dangerous climate change from destroying entire civilisations and threatening the future of your children.
There is also a role for developing countries in increasing near-term ambition. It is worth assessing what additional ambition more advanced developing countries can muster as well as what precise support will enable all to do even more. Jointly, developing and developed countries should use Workstream 2 to create an upward spiral of increasing support (finance, technology and capacity building) and ambition triggered and enabled by such support. This could also help avoid that, due to, for example low levels of climate finance, developing countries may find themselves in situations where they lock-in low ambition because of inadequately supported actions.
Finally, there are the complementary actions. The COP in Warsaw would ideally invite other bodies (Montreal Protocol, ICAO and IMO, G20 and so forth) to foster actions in their spheres of expertise and influence to result in additional emission reductions. Those actions would need to come in addition to what Parties have committed to do based on their 2020 targets, pledges and NAMAs, rather than as means to achieve them. This is why ECO and some Parties have used the expression “complementary”, a word whose proximity to the somewhat less ambitious “complimentary” should not create the false impression that avoiding catastrophic climate change is an issue of voluntary action – it is not. It is an obligation Parties have towards the millions of people suffering climate change already today, and towards the hundreds of millions if not billions who will be suffering tomorrow, whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by inaction, complacency and pretension currently at display at these negotiations.
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CAN Submission: For ADP Chairs on Workstream 1: Post-2020 Ambition, March 2013

(a) Application of Principles of Convention

Equity, including a dynamic approach to common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC), must be at the very heart of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action Workstream 1 if it is to be able to deliver adequately for the climate. The internationally legally binding protocol now under negotiation must include common and accurate accounting, MRV, strong compliance and enforcement, all respecting the principles of equity, including CBDRRC. It must have fair targets and actions that are consistent with the strong likelihood of meeting a 2°C global carbon budget, and thus keeping 1.5°C budget within reach. It should build on, develop and improve the rules already agreed under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol.
The failure to consider equity principles for a global effort sharing agreement – an equitable approach to sharing the costs of mitigation and adaptation amongst countries – has been a stumbling block to agreeing sufficient ambition. Adaptation must be treated with the same importance as mitigation. 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 efforts. A common understanding of fair shares can help overcome this trust barrier and lead to higher levels of ambition from all. Countries must urgently start their work to increase understanding of, and further agreement on, ways and options for the allocation of fair shares of the global effort.

No oasis for climate in Doha desert


The UN climate talks failed to deliver increased cuts to carbon pollution, nor did they provide any credible pathway to $100 billion per year in finance by 2020 to help the poorest countries deal with climate change, according to the 700 NGOs who are members of Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I).

Two weeks ago, just prior to the start of these negotiations, numerous credible reports were published by an array of well respected scientists, economists and climate change experts, all with essentially the same conclusion - we are currently on an unsustainable path which virtually guarantees the world will be faced with catastrophic effects from climate change, according to Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo.

“Two weeks of negotiations have not altered that path and that politicians need to reflect the consensus around climate change through funds, targets and effective action."

WWF head of delegation, Tasneem Essop, said Doha was supposed to be an important element in setting up for a fair, ambitious and binding deal in 2015 and therefore needed to rebuild trust and instill equity.

“These talks have failed the climate and they have failed developing nations,” Essop said. “The Doha decision has delivered no real cuts in emissions, it has delivered no concrete finance, and it has not delivered on equity.”

Governments have delivered a very vague outcome that might lead to increased ambition but only if the politics shift to working for the people, our future, and not the polluters.

In particular, countries including the US, who have continually blocked progress in the talks, need to fundamentally change their positions in line with their obligation to lead on the solution to this crisis that they created.

Tim Gore, International Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam, said Doha had done nothing to guarantee that public climate finance would go up next year, not down.

“Developing countrieshave come here in good faith and have been forced to accept vague words and no numbers,” Gore said. “It's a betrayal.”

Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-I, said that ministers needed to go back to their capitals and work hard to put concrete proposals on the table for the next talks so that progress could be made towards to secure a fair, ambitious, and binding deal in 2015.

“The path forward is actually quite clear: we have the technology and know-how to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, protect vulnerable communities, and grow sustainable, resilient, economies.”

“But we also need people in all regions of the world to demand leadership from their governments on climate change – just like the new youth movement in the Arab region has done.”

The Doha Decision:

  • An extraordinarily weak outcome on climate finance which fails to put any money on the table or to ensure a pathway to the $100 billion a year by 2020 target. The decision asks for submissions from governments on long term finance pathways, calls for public funds for adaptation but does not mention a figure, and encourages developed countries to maintain funding at existing levels dependent on their economies.  
  • An eight year second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with loopholes that allow carry over, use and trading of hot air
  • A call – though not an official ambition ratchet mechanism - for Kyoto Protocol countries to review their emissions reduction target inline with the 25-40% range by 2014 at the latest. While it could have been stronger, the decision reinforces clear moral obligation for countries to increase their emission reduction targets prior to 2020 and provides opportunities for them to do so
  • An agreed work program on loss and damage to help victims of climate change will start immediately anda decision “to establish institutional arrangement, such as an international mechanism, at COP19”
  • Developed countries failed to agree a way to account for their carbon in a comparable way

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact CAN International Communications Coordinator Ria Voorhaar, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, local mobile: +974 33 38 6907.


Closing the Loose Ends for Adaptation

As COP 18 welcomes Ministers from around the world, ECO would like to focus their attention on significant matters related to adaptation. May we have your attention, Ministers: adaptation needs are closing in fast!

National Adaptation Plans. These are intended to address medium and long term adaptation needs.
Let’s keep this short and sweet:
First, guidance to the Global Environment Facility is needed now. LDCs are committed, the technical guidelines are out, and there is clear willingness among other developing country Parties. So really, there’s no excuse for delays. 
Second, use those funding bodies. The LDCF and SCCF are ready, willing and able to be capitalized.  There’s no denying that more funding is needed and this must be additional to that of NAPAs. Otherwise, all the good and benevolent intentions of NAPs are completely without effect.
Loss and Damage.  
Political opportunity cannot be lost here:
As negotiators are running out of steam from all their work on the L&D text, ECO will pitch in to make sure that this reaches success.
These points should steer you in the right direction:
• Loss and damage needs to be given the political space that it deserves; negotiators must keep the political will to keep loss and damage high on the agenda.
• The work programme on loss and damage must be approved and continued, with assurance that discussions on an international mechanism will be a focal point.
• The text cannot shy away from rehabilitation and compensation – these are key to the loss and damage debate and so outcomes should provide guidance on how to address these aspects further.
Ministers need to admit that loss and damage is the unfortunate consequence of the failure to mitigate and the limited international support for adaptation. Now, instead of dwelling on the cause, we must act on the solutions and not let this text fall through the cracks.
Some parting words to Ministers on adaptation in the ADP and LCA:
ADP: Don’t forget the Cancun Adaptation Framework! ECO wants you to make sure that it’s regularly reviewed in the ADP in light of mitigation ambition and the needs of -- and support to -- developing countries.
LCA: Finance is key – this goes without saying. Instead of re-emphasizing the importance of finance for adaptation, ECO expects Ministers to guarantee its delivery without any further delay. There’s ample evidence to prove the existence of sufficient funds so make the commitment!
And so the strenuous effort to address loss and damage has a well defined path to success. Let us not fail to achieve it!
Related Newsletter : 

Little Brother’s Lessons For the Future

Joint Implementation (JI) is the much neglected little brother of the CDM. Yet JI needs careful watching, not just because hundreds of millions of credits have been issued under JI that basically launder hot air and have zero environmental integrity. But also, because JI shows us what we could face with new market mechanisms, if we do not insist on stringent international rules and oversight.

Here in Doha, Parties are discussing how to reform the JI to make it fit for post 2012. ECO welcomes the suggestion of eliminating Track 1, under which host countries can unilaterally approve projects and issue credits without any international oversight. 95% of all JI credits have been issued under track 1, many of them with blatantly no environmental integrity. 
Let’s look at Ukraine, the biggest supplier of JI credits with 69 projects registered under track 1. Sixty of these projects were audited by one single auditing company, paid for by the project developer. Normally such an audit takes many months, but some of the projects were miraculously audited in as little as 7 days. That hardly inspires confidence… Many of these projects requested registration only in the last couple of years but receive so called “early credits,” for emission reductions achieved before the Kyoto Protocol started, some receiving credits going as far back as 2002. These projects hardly needed application to JI rules, since they were implemented long before the mechanism started functioning.
This is not to single out Ukraine. It is just to point out what happens when countries can unilaterally issue credits which can then be used for compliance under a global regime. Short-term self-interest trumps long- term climate security. Dear Delegates, please remember this before you enthusiastically endorse an anarchy of approaches and standards under the LCA’s Framework for Various Approaches. The UNFCCC needs to lay out common rules for mechanisms to ensure integrity. We now know from the JI that approval at national level without UNFCCC oversight simply doesn’t deliver.
Unfortunately, the suggested new rules for one unified JI track are insufficient to ensure JI’s climate integrity. Environmental integrity criteria have to be strengthened (i.e. additionality and baseline rules). Non-additional JI projects undermine mitigation goals, especially when they are implemented in countries with a large AAU surplus. Therefore it is vital that only countries that have an ambitious reduction commitment should be able to host JI projects. 
The window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing. We cannot afford any distracting market mechanisms that do not deliver new and additional emission reductions.
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