Tag: Fossil Fuel Subsidies

ECO’S “COMPROMISE” DECISION FOR WARSAW*

 

*By compromise, ECO mean somewhere in between what is scientifically needed and what YOU tell us is currently feasible.

The Conference of the Parties,

Recalling Article 4, paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 5 and 7 of the Convention,

Reaffirming the unwavering commitment of parties to keep global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and the continuum approach between mitigation, adaptation, loss & damage and finance that is required to ensure equity before 2020.

Reaffirming the urgency to address the current imbalance in mitigation and adaptation finance – in light of recent studies showing the adaptation and loss and damage costs in developing countries will very likely be well in excess of US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Reaffirming the need to raise mitigation ambition levels between now and 2020, and achieving emission reductions on the order of 8-13 Gigatonnes of emissions in the pre-2020 period, beyond existing commitments and actions registered under the UNFCCC.

Supporting the authoritative assessments demonstrating that staying well below 2°C will require several hundred billion of incremental finance per year and the shifting of trillions of dollars of existing private sector investments into low carbon technologies and solutions.

Emphasising that the commitment by developing countries to provide $100 billion for developing countries will be delivered in the form of new and additional public finance, through budgetary allocations from developed countries, supplemented by revenues from alternative sources of public finance

Emphasising the shortcomings of the main revenue stream for the Adaptation Fund in relation to the expected low price of CERs under the Clean Development Mechanism and the need for new and additional commitments by developed countries.

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Decides:

1. That developed country Parties shall provide jointly new and additional public finance amounting to an average of US$20 billion annually for the period 2013-2015, for mitigation and adaptation actions, including for REDD, technology and capacity building.

2. That for the periods of 2016-2018 and 2018-2020, developed country parties shall scale up financing in a linear manner from the current levels to reach $100 billion annually in public finance by 2020.

3. That developed countries shall allocate at least 50% of overall public finance to meeting developing country adaptation needs.

4. To establish a formal process to capitalise the GCF with an initial collective pledge of (…)** by COP19.

5. To call on the relevant bodies to design and implement global measures to raise new streams of public climate finance, particularly through:

i) Redirection of at least 100% of Annex 2 fossil fuel subsidies

ii) Carbon pricing mechanisms applied to the international aviation and maritime transport - in accordance with the principal of CBDRRC and existing commitments under the UNFCCC.

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Welcomes

1. The pledges to the Adaptation Fund of (…)** collectively made by Annex 2 Parties for 2013/2014, as contained in Annex C of this decision, and those made by other Parties.

2. The initial pledges to the Green Climate Fund of (…)** collectively made by Annex 2 Parties as contained in Annex D of this decision.

3. The recent declaration by 11 EU Finance Ministers to earmark at least 100% of the revenue raised through their Financial Transaction Tax to the Green Climate Fund.

Disclaimer

** "there is not enough space on this page to specify the number of billions ECO is expecting"

For official CAN positions, please refer to www.climatenetwork.org

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You Can’t Feed Your Addiction and Break It, Too

While delegates will be discussing low emission development opportunities in today’s workshop, many of your countries are still feeding their tragic addiction to fossil fuels. You say you want to keep global warming below 2°C and to keep the door open for 1.5°C, but in fact you are consuming fossil fuels as if 4 degrees was the new 2 degrees.

The International Monetary Fund tells us thzat this addiction is costing your taxpayers USD 1.9 trillion each year in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry (FYI, for comparison, 1.9 trillion seconds is about 60,000 years!). As shown recently by the International Energy Agency, the result of this is a continuous rise of global carbon emissions each year, while we know that emissions should in fact peak well before 2015. 
 
The archaic, continued support for fossil fuels means that they remain artificially profitable and that low carbon alternatives such as renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are emerging much slower than they could. Let’s be honest here: you are not aiming for a 2°C world. No, in fact you are undermining the development of these low carbon opportunities, which could create local jobs and steer innovation. Instead you line the pockets of the fossil fuel dealers and encourage them to invest further in a 4+°C future. 
 
Just last year, the energy industry invested 674 billion dollars for more fossil fuels! However, the Carbon Tracker Initiative has shown that national governments and global markets have created a carbon bubble that will make the real estate bubble look like a blip. If Parties are really serious about avoiding dangerous climate change, nearly 70 percent of known reserves of oil, gas and coal must remain in the ground. Further investments in fossil fuels are locking us in to a carbon-intensive development pathway and making climate action more costly, while diverting investments from existing low cost low carbon solutions.
 
In ECO’s opinion, any new fossil fuel infrastructure puts our planet at risk. ECO therefore suggests that you stop being bipolar and start having a serious conversation here in Bonn about how to phase out fossil fuels subsidies. ECO has pointed out that this phasing out should not increase the vulnerability of people in developing countries and therefore must happen in developed countries first.
 
The ADP could develop ambitious pathways for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries and identify options to shift those subsidies to additional mitigation activities (allowing higher pledges by developed countries). Imagine all that you can do with these savings from phasing out subsidies! You could use this money to support climate actions in developing countries! Or, at the very least, buy ECO some very nice birthday presents (green's our favourite colour).
 
For developing countries, the ADP could support work to carefully switch fossil fuel subsidies into supporting clean energy access and fostering sustainable development. The ADP could also identify and discuss ways for some developing countries to pursue fossil fuel subsidy phase-out as supported NAMAs.
 
Being conflicted over such a serious issue can’t be good for your mental health over the long term. Best resolve it now.
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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.
 

Tarnished: Dirty Oil Smears Canada's Reputation

Canada’s environment minister, Peter Kent, arrived in Doha yesterday under the long shadow of the tar sands. 

Since Durban, his government has been working hard to dismantle Canada’s environmental protection laws to speed up resource extraction, an initiative that government has been promoting under the Orwellian slogan of “responsible resource development.”
 
ECO has warned over and over again about the creeping influence of Canada’s massive deposit of carbon intensive “unconventional oil”. Larger in geographic extent than the entire nation of Qatar, and generating more emissions than all of New Zealand, the tar sands have been called the planet’s largest “carbon bomb”. 
 
Projections from Minister Kent’s own department show that the growth in tar sands emissions by 2020 (73 Mt) will virtually cancel out all other emission reductions in Canada’s economy (75 Mt). And yet Ottawa has done nothing to curb the sector’s exploding GHG pollution.
 
Quite the opposite -- government documents suggest that Canada has taken international climate policies to some of the largest tar sands corporations in Canada for vetting. 
 
Great news for Canada’s Fossil trophy case: the CEOs love what they called Canada’s “elegant” approach.  So now, a new report by the Canadian Youth Delegation, Commitment Issues, digs into the tar sands’ expansion blueprint, documenting the sector’s plans to blow past the production levels outlined in the IEA’s 450 scenario.  Looking at how Canadian government is attached to its dirty oil, it's no surprise that current subsidies to the fossil fuel industry surpass those for climate finance by a ratio of 7 to 1.
 
Right now, Canada’s “drill baby drill” approach for tar sands is smearing the country’s reputation, keeping its climate policy hostage in the process. He supposedly wants to show the world that climate change does matter to his government.  To do so, Environment Minister Peter Kent needs to start by unveiling some real “tough on tar” policies this week in Doha.
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Time to #endfossilfuelsubsidies

Roaming in the halls of the QNCC, it’s not hard to hear the frustration from poorer countries lamenting the lack of climate finance.  The only thing louder is the excuses from the richer ones, saying the money is nowhere to be found.

Well, ECO has a solution!  A new analysis from Oil Change International shows that rich countries are spending more than 5 times as much on subsidizing fossil fuel companies than their climate finance pledges.
 
Just a quick perusal of the figures provides some shocking details.  Australia, for instance, has subsidized fossil fuels at a rate of 40 times more than their climate finance pledge.  The United States?  Their climate finance pledge is mere 20% of what they spend subsidizing the richest corporations in the world. That favorite Fossil country, Canada, spends nearly eight times as much subsidizing their beloved fossil fuel industry than they do supporting the most vulnerable.
 
So, when you hear that there’s no money to be found, now you, dear ECO reader, know exactly where to look!  Time to stop subsidizing the industry that is fueling the climate crisis and put that money to use fueling a safe future!  (And one place to start would be including fossil fuel subsidy phase out in the pre-2020 mitigation work programme…)
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Ending the subsidy silence

Earlier this year, ECO was delighted to read submission upon submission referencing the potential for removing fossil fuel subsidies to contribute substantially to pre-2020 mitigation ambition. In fact, it was so exciting that we counted the countries represented by these submissions. Turns out, over 110 countries supported submissions calling on fossil fuel subsidy reform to be included as an option for raising mitigation ambition.

Well, Thursday morning it seemed as though many parties had forgotten about these submissions, only a few months after they were sent in. Despite hours of discussion, fossil fuel subsidies seemed to not have made it into the morning’s ADP workstream 2 discussions.
 
Fortunately, not all countries have fully forgotten this issue, though, and yesterday afternoon’s ADP session provided some hope. ECO would like to thank the Philippines, Costa Rica and Switzerland for recognizing this important opportunity for additional pollution reductions.  (ECO would also note rumours that the US and Mexico referred to fossil fuel subsidy reform in other sessions in recent days as well).
 
The IEA has told us that removing fossil fuel subsidies could close the mitigation gap by nearly one half between existing pledges and what’s needed by 2020 to put us on a path to limit global warming to 2 degrees.  
 
Of course, ending fossil fuel subsidies is not going to be easy, but the first step is to recognize the potential and begin the work. Rich countries should end their subsidies to producers first, and as quickly as possible. Developing countries should be supported in developing plans to remove their subsidies for fossil fuels in such a way that ensures protections for the poor as well as  improvements in access to energy.
 
It’s been over 3 years since the G20 and APEC countries agreed to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and the Rio conference on sustainable development earlier this year also pointed to fossil fuel subsidy reform.  The ADP can help push these efforts further by acknowledging fossil fuel subsidy reform as a means to achieve greater pre-2020 mitigation ambition.
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CAN Intervention in the COP18 SBSTA Opening Plenary, 26 November

 

SBSTA Opening Plenary Intervention

26 November, 2012

 

Mr. Chair, Distinguished Delegates, 

My name is Adriana Gonzalez from Puerto Rico and I am representing Climate Action Network.  

Parties must ensure that climate policies encompassing agriculture include considerations and safeguards that protect and promote food security, biodiversity, equitable access to resources, the right to food, animal welfare, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation. 

Towards this end, SBSTA should facilitate the exchange of views among Parties on, among numerous other things: 

· Assessing existing adaptation policies to ensure they are designed to avoid aggravating existing inequalities and to support the most vulnerable. 

SBSTA’s recommendations to COP18 for REDD+ on Monitoring and on Measuring, Reporting and Verification must ensure sustainability and permanence of emissions reductions. Building further consensus on reference levels, safeguards information systems and how to address drivers of deforestation is critical for ensuring that REDD delivers benefits for the climate, forests and peoples. 

Finally, countries continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidizing fossil fuels each year. SBSTA should ensure its reporting guidelines for biennial reports include guidance to report on the existence of and efforts to remove these subsidies, to facilitate the removal of these harmful subsidies. 

Thank you. 

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