Tag: Gender

Food for “Rights” Thought on Marrakech

Dearest Negotiators,

As you prepare to leave the city on the Rhine, here is some food for thought. Here is your charge for Marrakesh: fully integrate the rights package in the preamble to the Paris Agreement (human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, just transition of the workforce, gender equality, food security, ecosystem integrity and intergenerational equity) into all climate actions at international and national levels.

This might seem like a tall task—but we know you can do it! On a macro level, protecting human rights means staying below 1.5°C, which will require dramatic cuts in emissions. It means ensuring that implementation is balanced and equitable, focusing not just on mitigation, but also on support, adaptation, and loss and damage. It means scaling up ambition (especially from developed countries in terms of mitigation action and support). Protecting human rights also requires ensuring adequate additional financial support with a core focus on public finance provision. Here are some specific actions:

  • Mandate an in-session expert workshop (May 2017) to explore the interactions between human rights and the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient world.
  • Host an in-session technical workshop in Marrakesh on traditional knowledge, the knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems.
  • Establish a platform for indigenous peoples to exchange and share best practices on mitigation and adaptation and recognise an indigenous peoples’ expert group to provide related advice.
  • Feature ‘just transition’ in the response measures forum and work program serving the Paris Agreement, with active involvement of the ILO and trade unions.
  • Apply gender-responsive climate finance and technology transfer for local communities, enabling the scaling-up of gender-just climate solutions from the local to the national level.
  • Ensure a concrete set of activities as part of a new decision to take progress forward under the Lima Work Programme on Gender.
  • Halt deforestation and degradation and promote ecosystem restoration, in line with the SDGs and CBD Aichi Targets through transparent and comprehensive reporting in the land sector.

These practical actions will guide and support the integration of these key principles into implementation of NDCs. Meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals won’t be easy but the burden must not fall upon those who have done the least to create this problem but, are already suffering the impacts of climate change.

Sincerely,

ECO* (with particular support from Trade Union Non-Governmental Organisations, Women & Gender Constituency, Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus, the Geneva Group, and the Human Rights & Climate Change Working Group)

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Who Runs the World?

With two women leading the APA now, Ludwig has heard about continuing progress by increasing the number of women leading national delegations at the COPs. Ludwig does have to wonder if he’ll live long enough to witness gender balance at the head of delegation level though. If Parties’ efforts to promote gender balance continue at the same pace, it will take until COP 46 (in 2040!) before half of the delegations will be led by women. Given that Parties committed to gender balance when they last met in Marrakesh some 15 years ago, Ludwig hopes to see a much stronger commitment to gender equality this November.

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From Lima to Marrakesh: How to create Gender / género / الجنس Responsive Climate Policies 

Here’s some good news: 2015 saw all the big international policy venues—from the Sustainable Development Goals to the Paris Agreement to the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction—commit to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment for more effective, just and inclusive climate and development policies.

The SBI in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy, with a focus on adaptation and capacity building, offers an opportunity to translate these principles into domestic climate actions. It is essential that a wide range of Parties and other stakeholders contribute.

To help set the direction, ECO has a few pointers on what Parties could focus on. To start, it is essential to address the discrimination women face in accessing decision-making processes and financial instruments, as well as improving their access to and control of natural resources.

Good planning and budgeting for climate action must be based on an analysis of gender and power dynamics. Parties must also broaden their understanding of what a gender-responsive approach is. It can contribute to tackling different types of inequalities—not only between women and men—and has the potential to benefit all aspects of society, both in developing and developed countries.

The outcomes from this workshop should inspire Parties to support a new decision that ensures the continuation of the Lima Work Programme on Gender after COP22. But let’s not stop there. Parties could even go further and start outlining potential priorities and activities for the next phase of the work programme, and organising workshops to review the implementation of mandates under various bodies and mechanisms? Another opportunity is creating additional capacity building and technical support on gender responsive initiatives in the design, planning and implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans.

The French and Moroccan Presidencies have both demonstrated their interest in advancing gender equality under the UNFCCC. Now let’s walk the talk.

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CAN Letter to Chancellor Merkel and the G7 re: April Meetings, April 9, 2015

Dear Madam Chancellor,

2015 will be a decisive year for setting the course for climate policy. Germany is addressing the implementation of its Climate Action Program 2020 and the design of the power market while the EU is discussing how to put its emissions trading system on track again. At the international level a new global climate agreement is to be concluded at COP 21 in Paris in December. In view of this we very much welcome that “climate action” has been chosen as a key topic for the G7 agenda. Climate Action Network International, the broadest civil society coalition aiming at overcoming the climate crisis, kindly asks you to consider the following proposals for your G7 presidency.

Many countries have already started transformational processes at the national level, including increasingly basing their economic development on renewables and improved energy efficiency instead of fossil energy sources. Since renewable energies have undergone significant price declines in recent years, they have become competitive in many regions of the world thereby creating new development opportunities and expanding access to energy. These developments have to be strengthened and expanded by providing favorable political framework conditions.

In this context, the international climate negotiations play an important role. Decisions made within the context of the UNFCCC attract worldwide attention. They provide long term orientation and can give clear signals to investors that low carbon development is not only inevitable but also a real economic opportunity. During your last G8 presidency you were instrumental in defining the “2°C limit”. This has been a groundbreaking first step. We call on you to consolidate the achievements of the past during your current G7 presidency:

  1. Based on the L’Aquila declaration from 2009, and taking into account the G7’s particular responsibility, the G7 should make the next step and commit to a more specific and actionable long-term goal. In accordance with the high probability scenario of IPCC to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius or even 1.5 degrees Celsius it is necessary to phase out fossil fuel use and to phase in 100% renewable energies by 2050, providing sustainable energy access for all people.
  2. This long-term goal should be backed up with a substantial increase in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both in the run up to 2020 as in the post-2020 period for which countries are currently making pledges that seem insufficient to avoid dangerous climate change. For example, G7 countries should commit to deadlines for phasing-out domestic use of coal. 
  3. The G7 should confirm its commitment to the goal of mobilizing $ 100 billion in climate finance by 2020, as enshrined in the Copenhagen Accord. This should be backed with a corresponding pathway including increasing annual public contributions until 2020.
  4. G7 should commit to a global goal of ensuring climate resilience to all people by developing, implementing and financing developing country National Climate Adaptation Plans and respective robust and effective national and international frameworks to reduce and manage climate risks and losses that go beyond adaptation capacities. We welcome that Germany plans to enhance the G7 commitment to strengthen climate risk management in vulnerable developing countries. We ask you to ensure a strong focus on the needs of particularly vulnerable people and communities, espeically women. 

However, in CAN’s opinion, initiatives taken by G7 states should not only be limited to the UNFCCC process. While the above steps could in particular support progress in the UNFCCC process, the G7 should take complementary initiatives aiming at fostering trust building between developed and developing countries by launching projects and initiatives to facilitate the transformation process towards a low carbon and climate resilient future. Therefore, we call for your support to:

  1. Terminate the international financing of coal and lignite fired power plants including related infrastructure through the G7's development banks, other public banks and export credit agencies.
  2. Initiate new or significantly strengthen existing initiatives and financing instruments to promote capacity building, technology transfer and investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency in developing countries with ambitious climate and energy strategies.
  3. Mobilize new and innovative sources of climate finance including a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
  4. Accelerate efforts to end subsidies for fossil fuels by 2015 in the G7 countries, which have all signed the respective G20 agreement in 2009.

​Madame Chancellor, we are looking forward to further exchange views on these issues and remain at your disposal.

Kind regards, 

Wael Hmaidan

 

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In Defence of an objectives section

Let’s start with the big questions: Why are we here? Is it the beautiful mountain panorama overlooking a magnificent lake, the long working days or the joy of spending more money, than average, for just about everything? No, ECO doesn’t think so either. We’re here to save civilisation, secure our children’s future, keep global warming below 1.5 C; and to pave the path to get there.

The agreement needs to send a signal to the rest of the world that we’re heading in the right direction towards a transition to a carbon-free future. It’s not rocket science that putting the common objectives section at the beginning of the document sends a signal that this is exactly what we will do.

Clarity at the start of the document will give structure to the text and establish the overall goal supported by all of the subsequent elements of the agreement. Ergo, ECO will defend Section C until it runs out of ink to voice our never-ending support. It’s Section C that will provide a clear direction knitting together all the pieces, outline the drivers and our shared aspirations.

Section C on objectives must:

  • Set the direction towards a resilient world in which we phase-out fossil fuel emissions and phase-in renewable energies, as soon as possible, and no later than 2050.
  • Reflect requirements for finance, technology and capacity building for creating that resilient world and outline the MOI for developing countries; to help them peak their emissions before subsequently reducing them, ensure human rights, indigenous rights, gender equality and a just transition to decent work opportunities for all.
  • Make clear that Parties understand the need for adaptation and preparedness will depend on on how fast emissions may be reduced.

We all know climate change is a systemic challenge. An agreement that does not start with a frame to enable a systemic response simply wouldn’t work. We need to get this right from the start.

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CAN Intervention: CAN, CJN, Gender, YOUNGO, TUNGO joint intervention in ADP Ministerial, COP20, Dec 10, 2014

I am Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, and from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice. As a Filipina, the fight against the climate crisis is a fight for the survival of our people not in the future but now.  The only solace we can get from the annual visits of super typhoons exactly at the time of the Summit of the Conference of Parties is the hope that our tragedies will somehow move governments into more ambitious, more just and fairly shared global actions to confront the climate crisis.

The fight against the climate crisis is a struggle for the rights of peoples across the globe. And it is the people those who stand up for their rights --the rights of workers, the rights of women, the rights of youth, the rights of the poor, the rights of communities, the rights of indigenous peoples –--  they are the people who are targeted, harassed, and killed for standing up,  speaking out, and resisting the system that drives the climate crisis  

Ministers, you must recognize this fundamental fact -- that to avert climate catastrophe, you will need all voices and all hands and that you must do more, here at the UNFCCC but also at home - to protect, respect, fulfill the human rights of all to fully and effectively participate in all levels of decision making

One of the outcomes of the ADP negotiations must be much greater commitments by governments to protect rights-defenders. And we expect the Paris agreement to include clear and direct reference to the need for responses to climate change to advance gender equality and respect, promote and fulfill human rights.

Any agreement that will protect future generations must contain commitments to immediate action with a long term perspective. It must recognize that our planet is held in trust for future generations thus Intergenerational equity is a key principle in tandem with equity between people today.

Intergenerational equity and this obligation to the future means that we must have a long term goal of limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5C.  We demand that the world begin to immediately phase out fossil fuel and other dirty and harmful energy projects.  We demand a just transition to 100% renewable energy systems as quickly as possible, that are community owned and deliver energy to the 3 billion women and men without access to enough energy for lives of dignity.

We urge parties to make INDCs in accordance with a cost-benefit analysis of climate change that does not discount our future, while addressing gender equality and human rights.

It is because of the rights of women and men that we demand that the Lima decision addresses all aspects of the climate crisis - not just emission cuts. We expect a decision that mandates all countries to make “intended contributions” on adaptation, finance, technology, and capacity building that are gender responsive and include social and environmental safeguards. It’s only through focusing on these issues at the highest level that the needs of impacted women and men will be addressed.

Mitigation commitments of developing countries but be discussed together with finance and technology transfers without which we cannot possibly hope to see the scale of transformation the world needs. Without adequate, gender responsive, safe finance and technology transfers we cannot ensure a swift complete transition and neither a just transition - one that provides decent, lasting, safe and well-paid jobs, one that does not leave the workers out in the cold.

The conference is not over – there is still time to show this commitment, to show that you listen to your people,  to show that you do hear the almost twenty thousand people marching in central Lima today. You can still take a decision here to see climate change as more than just emission cuts but also about  the rights of women and men. You can still take the decision to include adaptation, finance and technology as mandatory elements of your contributions to the future agreement.

We also urge you to put the issue of pre-2020 actions at the top of your agenda in Lima.  Targets in 2025 will be too late if we continue with the weak proposals for the next six years - you face a political and physical imperative to drastically change direction on immediate climate action.  We must move away from a talk shop format and transform the pre-2020 process into solutions-based collaborative forums that look to the needs of women and men for greener jobs, energy access, clean and healthy communities, and control over their own energy systems. All these are possible if there is commitment at the highest level to seeing real outcomes on pre-2020 action, and ensuring transfer of finance and technology.

We also demand a commitment to revisit and revise ways to scale-up your 2020 targets until you bring them into line with what science and justice requires. We demand an agreement on a finance roadmap that shows when, how, and how much finance will be available to tackle climate change in the South. And we expect discussions on clear and concrete proposals to start a global energy transformation away from the fossil fuel era, and into renewable energy. All of these issues are on the table, and actions on these issues are being called for - by the science, back in your capitals, out there in the streets, and in here.

The climate crisis is about real people -- women and men, girls and boys – across the globe.  Their rights, their survival, their future should guide your decisions in Lima.

CAN Intervention: CAN with CJN, Gender YOUNGO and TUNGO in High Level Ministerial Dialogue on Finance, COP20, December 9, 2014

Hello, my name is Blessing Mutiti and I am speaking on behalf of the youth, ENGO, gender and trade union constituencies.

We want to stress the importance of climate finance for all our constituencies and the people we represent. Many of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are least responsible for causing it. So providing climate finance is a legal and moral obligation of developed countries - those countries who have the greatest responsibility and capacity.

Without adequate, new and predictable finance, developing countries will not be able to contribute towards mitigation, nor will they be able to adapt. Finance is crucial for supporting those countries and their communities in proactive adaptation to climate impacts, and for ensuring that the transition we are asking all countries to make is a just one.

The recent UNEP adaptation gap report gives an indication of both the scale of finance that we need for adaptation in Africa alone and how quickly that scale increases if we fail to mitigate adequately. Strong commitments to climate finance from developed countries are necessary for progress in these negotiations, but also – just as importantly – for the impacts this finance has on the ground, for real people.

Like some of you have mentioned, we also welcome the recent pledges to the Green Climate Fund, an important institution that has the potential to be groundbreaking in its operations. The GCF, if it lives up to its principles of country ownership, direct access, gender sensitivity, stakeholder engagement, and supporting transformational rather than incremental change, is precisely the institution we need to face up to the climate crisis.

However, these pledges to the GCF are only a starting point of what needs to be a long-term financial commitment for developing countries beyond the initial resource mobilization period. $10 billion is a good step, but it is nowhere near the actual needs in developing countries. If spread over the four years of the GCF’s initial phase, this is only $2.5 billion per year, compared with the $100 billion a year expected by 2020, much less the hundreds of billions of actual needs. So we need something more here in Lima – namely, a finance roadmap leading up to 2020 and the promised $100 billion per year.

Developing countries need predictability. To make concrete national mitigation and adaptation plans, these countries must know what level of support will be available. Furthermore, they - and we! - need political assurance that the money will actually flow. A lack of clarity in climate finance since the end of Fast Start Finance has eroded trust and slowed progress in these negotiations. The same thing could happen if the GCF pledges are not followed up with specific, quantified indications of what finance will flow in addition to the GCF money, as well as after the GCF’s initial period.

A finance roadmap, in which countries give concrete, quantitative indications about how much finance will be available each year until 2020, would go a long way towards reassuring us all that finance will be available to address the climate crisis with the decisiveness it requires, for both mitigation and adaptation, with additional financing needs for implementing a loss & damage mechanism. This roadmap should include targets for the aggregate public finance that will be available for developing countries each year, scaling up to the $100 billion goal for 2020.

Leveraging of private sector finance should not be counted toward fulfilling that goal. We question the increasing trend of prioritizing public-private partnerships and the ‘transformative’ role of the private sector in combating climate change without equally challenging the fact that private companies are not obligated to invest in social needs and global public good, nor accounting for the ways in which the private sector, especially large transnational corporations, have contributed to establishing the unsustainable development model which drives catastrophic climate change. We affirm that regulation, and accountability and transparency of non-state actors, particularly transnational corporations and public-private partnerships, are critical for achieving sustainable development. Therefore, we urge caution to avoid the casual promotion of public-private partnerships to catalyze action on climate. We call for transparency, accountability and rigorous adherence to the numerous normative rights frameworks and legally binding agreements in the field of sustainable development, which provide the foundation for the work of the United Nations.

In addition to the fact that finance needs to flow, it also needs to flow to the right things. We stand firm that fossil fuels and high-risk technologies that create irreversible damage to our health and the planet must be kept out of a 2015 agreement, and must not be supported by climate finance. If dirty and harmful energy is financed by the GCF or other climate finance channels, the very legitimacy of those institutions will be called into serious question - an outcome none of us want. All climate finance must be provided in the context of the strongest possible social and environmental safeguards and respect for human rights.

We urge you to deliver for the communities, youth, women, workers, and everyone else we represent. Without adequate and predictable finance, there is no 2015 agreement in Paris. Without adequate and predictable finance, there can be no safe, clean energy revolution. Without adequate and predictable finance, there is no just transition to a sustainable future. It is your responsibility to ensure the finance is available for all these things that we all want - and we are committed to holding you accountable to that responsibility.

Thank you.

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