Tag: Mitigation

Climate Action Network International Submission to ADP Chairs on Workstream 2: Pre-­2020 Ambition

At successive UNFCCC meetings, Parties have acknowledged the existence of a multi-gigatonnes gap between the current level of ambition to mitigate emissions until 2020 (expressed in QELROs, pledges, targets and NAMAs) for the period until 2020 and what is required in that period to allow the world to stay below the critical 1.5/2°C threshold. According to the Climate Action Tracker, current pre-2020 ambition (expressed by countries in QELROs, pledges and NAMAs) puts the world onto a path of 2.7-4.2°C warming. There is a consensus within the scientific community that we are fast approaching a devastating tipping point. In this context it is alarming that governments have not taken any steps yet to close the gap but allow it to grow. According to UNEP, the estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of being on track to stay below the 2°C target is 8 to 13 GtCO2e, while it was 6 to 11 GtCO2e in the 2011 report. Global emissions are currently 14 per cent above where they should be to have a likely chance to limit global warming to no more than 2°C.

Some Parties seem to hope to get away with misinterpreting “enhancing ambition” to mean to continue to mitigate after 2020, and to leave the current pre-2020 ambition gap untouched – at least as far as own action is concerned. This is a highly irresponsible assumption. Raising the ambition level of action before 2020 is a prerequisite to stay below the 1.5/2°C threshold.  
With sufficient political will, that is lacking for instance in the US, China, EU, Canada, Japan, Australia and Russia, emissions can be brought to a level by 2020 consistent with staying below the critical 1.5/2°C threshold. UNEP's “Bridging the Emissions Gap 2012” report asserts that this is possible and economically feasible, using existing, mature technologies. In fact it should be common knowledge by now that if nothing more is done to increase the current unconditional pledges, costs would be much higher to reach deeper reductions in later years and/or the adaptation needs would be far greater.


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.


The Doha Decisions

Today is the day to press the reset button. The planet is shouting warning signs at us but the Conference is sleepwalking off the cliff of climate disaster. A political deal was struck in Durban and all need to stand by it.
Ministers, while you bemoan theimpending doom in high sounding high-level speeches and promise to do everything within your power to stop it, your negotiators dig in ever deeper in the back rooms of the QNCC.
The Doha deal ECO believes is still within reach would take immediate steps to improve the short-term ambition we urgently need. Your political ambitions need to be matched by targets and pledges more ambitious than the ones currently on offer.

Speaking of pledges: whatever hap-pened to the ambition of the Gulf countries to become climate leaders? What or who is holding them back? Was this the cause of the commotion at the Qatar Airways desk yesterday?
Clearly, much hard work lies ahead to close the growing gigatonne gap. This must start right away with an ambition ‘ratchet’ mechanism (KP) and plan of work with specific milestones (ADP). 

Which brings us to the most uncooperative track of all, the LCA. With 53 (!) outstanding issues, this feels like the playroom after a toddler’s birthday party. Is that what you mean by Party-driven process? Where is the leadership, who can take the reins? Surely, with good will, the spirit of compromise and some elbow grease the real crunch issues can be dealt with by ministers. And the outstanding ones can be moved forward to a suitable home before the sun sets here at Doha.

Now – no more delays, no more excuses – you must adopt strong amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that strengthen its environmental integrity by limiting hot air. To those that abandon Kyoto in search of a warmer climate: shame on you.

There are some encouraging signals that progress was made on the workplan needed to keep us on track for a fair, ambitious and binding Paris Agreement in 2015. We must of course learn from past mistakes (pssst, Copenhagen)! This workplan needs clear deadlines and milestones. We strongly recommend delivering a consolidation text by the end of next year and negotiating text at COP 20 at the latest.
Also essential to a Doha deal are concrete inclusive steps to be agreed on implementing the 'fairness' principles of the Convention in our new 2015 deal.  We need clarity on what 'equity' means for you and what it means for me?  If even the U.S. can learn to talk about it, so can we all. But talk is cheap and these ‘discussions’ need to informnegotiations starting in 2013. 

Announcements on finance are awaited from those countries that have yet to make theirs. But in order fordeveloping countries to have confidence that the $100 billion per year commitment will be kept by 2020, the LCA must close with a clear collective commitment that public finance will increase above Fast Start levels in 2013, and amount to at least $60 billion in new and additional public finance by 2015. To do otherwise is to leave the poorest communities without any assurance that they will be supported to cope with climate impacts.

Looking back in 2015 we might find the real story of the Doha climate talks was not that yet another compromise deal was struck -- a tiny step forward when step change was needed. The Doha deal must start to pave the way for the most vulnerable, the victims of climate change whose faces we saw on Al Jazeera, who are facing loss and damage this very day in their communities and cultures. You must agree today to set up and pilot an international loss and damage mechanism.

Doha may still be remembered as the place where you rediscovered your will to cooperate. Just maybe. Much like you did to save the banking sector in 2009. The planetary crisis looming over us dwarfs that finance crisis.
Ministers, delegates, today we are in your hands. You are playing for the whole planet.

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Latin Heat – Dominican Republic Takes it Seriously

To tell the truth, the last couple of days have not seen a lot of Progress, much less Ambition.  But along comes something that makes you think there is hope and good will somewhere.

ECO is quietly cheering the rumours of developing countries putting pledges on the table. Today at the High Level Segment, the Dominican Republic pledged an unconditional 25% emission reduction below 2010 levels by 2030 in absolute terms, to be accomplished with domestic funds plus international community solidarity. This is in a national law and therefore mandatory for the government to deliver.

Congratulations to the Dominican Republic for taking serious action on climate change and recall that many other countries are also doing their job. This is the kind of attitude we need in these negotiations to move things forward.

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NGO experts updating on the progress of the negotiations

Photo Credit: Issam Abdallah


UPDATE on today's press briefing at 11.30am

With political energy leaching out into the desert air, CAN International will hold a press conference calling for the Qatari Presidency to show leadership at this vital point in talks, in order to produce a good outcome here in Doha. CAN will also comment on how US is blocking climate finance negotiations, a key element at COP18.

WHAT: NGO experts updating on the progress of the negotiations

WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2012, 11.30am local Doha time.

WHERE: Press Conference Room 2, Qatar National Convention Centre, Doha, Qatar.

WEBCAST LIVE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kon...

WHO: Speaking will be Liz Gallagher from E3G, finance expert Steve Herz from the Sierra Club and Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network - International. 




The First Place Fossil goes to the US. The world's poorest and most vulnerable people, and many fragile and precious ecosystems, are already being hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. These poor countries and communities who are least responsible for the global climate crisis are the most vulnerable to it. Because of present and historic inaction by developed countries, we are currently heading towards the biggest social injustice of our time. Low mitigation ambition and low support for adaptation means high loss and damage in developing countries.

Establishing an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage here in Doha is vital to ensuring that the impacts of climate change, both extreme weather events and slow onset events, are dealt with. However, the US in particular, with support by Australia and Canada, is killing the issue by pushing for loss and damage to be dealt with under the Nairobi Work Program and Adaptation Committee.

All the parties here in Doha – including the US - must support the proposal by the G77, China, AOSIS, Africa Group and the LDC Group to establish an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and continue the work program so other elements can progress.

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Japan for no pledge, no urgency, no money. Japan has failed to reconfirm its pledge to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels in the opening speech at the Minister's roundtable. In fact, the Minister did not mention any target at all! No Pledge.

Japan has completely ignored the core discussion here in Doha, which is how to raise the level of ambition to keep the temperature below 2 degrees. No Urgency.

Moreover, Japan has not brought any funding promises for climate finance over the next few years, which is desperately needed here. No Money. 

No pledge, no urgency and no money earns Japan the 2nd place Fossil, as they have seriously undermined the momentum of the negotiation by saying “No, No, No.”   



NGOs respond to expected new emission reduction pledges


Media Advisory – Webcast Notice


[Doha – Qatar] – December 4, 2012 – Experts from NGOs who are members of Climate Action Network will be available to respond to the expected announcement by Qatar in the morning that it will pledge to reduce emissions.

Available to comment after the announcement are:

Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-International, with expertise on the Middle East and Gulf region.
Contact: Ria Voorhaar - +974 33 38 6907, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Tim Gore, 
Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam International, with expertise on climate finance.
Contact: Sunita Bose - +974 5504 6084, sunita.bose@oxfaminternational.org

Ruth Davis, chief policy adviser, Greenpeace, with an expertise on climate negotiations.
Contact: Tina Loeffelbein - +974 6618 6317, tina.loeffelbein@greenpeace.de.

Key NGO experts attending UN climate talks in Doha, Qatar, including Tim Gore and Ruth Davis, will also host a media briefing, webcast live, on Wednesday, December 5 at 15.30 on the Qatar pledge and the current state of the negotiations.

·      What: Review of current national pledges and update on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Doha

·      Where: Press Conference Room 2, QNCC, Doha, Qatar

·      Webcast Live at:  http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=231

·      When: 15.30 local Doha time, Wednesday, December 5, 2012

·      Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations


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.


Ministerial Manners

Most developed countries came to Doha eager to move on to a new track of negotiations, even while several critical issues from recent years of the talks are left unresolved. It is vital these issues are addressed before the talks move on. 

Like all good mothers, ECO wants to tell developed country ministers they can’t have their dessert before they have finished their mains, including all their vegetables. They need to eat up fast, because we won’t solve the climate crisis until everyone in these talks has finished their meal.
Developed countries have responsibilities under both the Kyoto Protocol and the LCA track that must be fulfilled in Doha. Chief among these are a second commitment period of the KP – and one that is worth the paper it is written on – raising their mitigation ambition, and showing how they are going to deliver their $100 billion per year climate finance commitment. Unless these things are delivered, the new Durban Platform (ADP) track will lack the solid foundation it needs to ensure a step change in climate action in the years ahead.
But with the resolution of these issues and this foundation laid, the ADP can and must kick start a new era of climate negotiations in a spirit of trust, solidarity and collective action. This must include actions taken with the upmost urgency under the ADP work track on raising pre-2020 mitigation ambition. No Party in these talks can afford to allow any delay in this endeavor. 
ECO expects that developed countries have come to Doha with every intention of showing their best table manners. There will be nowhere to hide for countries that attempt to avoid their past commitments by shifting focus only to future plans. Success in Doha requires both of these things: that’s what makes for a balanced meal of ambitious and co-operative global climate action. 
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