Tag: Mitigation

CAN Intervention in the COP19 Workshop under the SBI work programme to further the understanding of the diversity of NAMAs, by Anja Kollmuss, 11 November, 2013

I am Anja Kollmuss speaking as a member of the Climate Action Network.

The recent IPCC report highlights that the remaining global carbon budget is very small and shrinking fast.

Impacts of climate change are worsening rapidly. The need to reduce emissions immediately has never been more vital and urgent.

At the outset CAN stresses that developed countries must lead efforts and raise their mitigation and finance commitments dramatically.

Given the severe carbon budget restraints we are facing, developing countries too must contribute to global mitigation efforts.

17 developing countries have taken on economy-wide targets or committed to NAMAs with specific quantified GHG reduction targets.

We call on other developing countries to follow suit.

34 countries have not yet come forth with any pledges or NAMAs.

32 countries have NAMAs that are not yet specific enough to allow for the quantification of GHG impacts or their implementation.

Together these 66 countries make up a fifth of global CO2 emissions.

We are calling on all developing countries to, inter alia, clearly identify assumptions, and agree to common rules for establishing business as usual baselines and for MRV of mitigation actions.  Developing countries should also articulate how much their mitigation effort could increase with financial and technological support.

The sum of national actions must match the ambition needed, both in the short and in the long‐term.


CAN Intervention in the COP 19 CMP 9 Opening Plenary, 11 November, 2013

My name is Vositha Wijenayake and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The latest Emissions Gap Report from UNEP, like the others before it, shows that current mitigation pledges fall short of what is needed resulting in a large mitigation gap between what science requires and what countries have pledged. Not closing this gap now and urgently, will mean more costly action later and probably closing the door on the ability to limit warming to 1.5 C. 

This is a clear signal for all parties to increase their 2020 emission reductions efforts as soon as possible. For developed countries, this means targets must absolutely be increased no later than the 2014 Bonn Ministerial. Increasing ambition now will instill confidence in other countries and build trust that will allow governments to come to the Ban Ki Moon Summit with ambitious mitigation commitments.  CAN therefore urges Annex 1 parties to increase 2020 commitments so that their collective effort moves towards more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020. The lack of political will and irresponsibly low 2020 targets put forward by most countries is unacceptable and insufficient to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change on the poor and vulnerable people across the world.

Parties must also not weaken the positive steps taken in Doha to remove Hot Air from the Kyoto System through questionable interpretations of Article 3.7. Increased emission reduction targets by parties and strong rules will avoid putting the world on an irreversible pathway to climate catastrophe.

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The Topsy-Turvy Land Downunder

You may have heard that things have gone a little awry in the climate downunder.

Not only has Sydney just had the worst bushfires ever in October (mid-spring!), this year saw national temperature records broken month after month after month. After the hottest day ever across Australia in January, the Bureau of Metereology had to include a new colour for much hotter levels of hot. And perhaps this is no surprise -- now the heat seems to have gone into the heads of the politicians.

Despite the fact that the majority of Australians want action on climate change (as made clear by extensive exit polling at the recent election), the new government sacked the independent Climate Change Authority (which provided independent scientific advice on climate policy), and is in the process of repealing Australia's carbon price and limit on pollution as well as its legislated commitment to 80% reductions by 2050.
Say again? With more than 40 countries, states and provinces around the globe implementing a carbon price, the new government is falling backwards, scrapping Australia’s pricing scheme and moving to an inefficient government funded scheme that – wait for this! -- pays polluters to pollute.

But unfortunately, there’s even more. What about Australia’s ability to meet the middle or upper end of their 5% to 25% 2020 target range? Seems to be gone in a flash. Other countries should sound alarm bells and question Australia’s intentions to contribute its fair share to cut global pollution and limit warming.

The new Australian government is hardly inclined to take climate change seriously -- but they must.


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Perplexing Poland

Has the Polish Government been taken over by the Yes Men? (That would be the somewhat erratic outfit with a penchant for highlighting the superficial and often self-serving follies of leading institutions and firms).  ECO asks this only rhetorically, of course -- at times the back and forth made our eyes cross.  But let us explain.

There was that somewhat mad posting a few weeks ago on the official COP19 website about the economic opportunities that the Arctic ice melt would bring while chasing pirates, ecologists and terrorists off the seas.  
The Yes Men stepped up to claim credit, sort of.  The whole thing left everyone quite perplexes, including the Polish government.

But then the story got better (or really, worse). Check out the official COP iPhone application. It actually greets you with this opening message: ‘Climate changes are natural phenomena, which occurred already many times on earth’. So why worry, huh?! ECO has been wondering whether an accompanying ringtone is coming, maybe “Que sera, sera”…

Inviting 12 fossil industry firms to sponsor the COP, including only the anti-climate lobby Business Europe in the pre-COP and – to top the madness, actually organizing a global coal summit in Warsaw alongside the COP, complete with a “Warsaw Communiqué ”?
All this would push the envelope even for the Yes Men.

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Which Way for Warsaw?

And so here we are once again -- with a hop (Doha), skip (Bonn) and a jump (Bonn the sequel) we’ve landed back in Poland for another COP.  

Indeed, it’s been a busy few months with the IPCC AR5 report from Working Group I out (and shutting down the deniers), both China and the US taking explicit action to curb coal, and some movement from the Montreal Protocol negotiations and even the ICAO.  We are excited to see whether this momentum plays out in Warsaw, but you can tell we’re also a bit worried.

ECO welcomes our readers to Poland!  [despite the inappropriate scheduling of coal conferences]  So what’s in store over the next two weeks?  

In the coming days, we can see some wild cards on the table.  How will the Russian et al. objections be reconciled? How many lawyers will the US bring out of the woodwork to ensure no mention of ‘compensation’ crops up?  

But there are also some positives.  With the completion of the Kyoto Protocol and Bali negotiating tracks, negotiators will feel less of a burden from those complicated flow charts that tried to keep up with seven negotiating tracks at once.

And the simplified schedule should also concentrate minds on the key issues that urgently need to be addressed.  Progress here in Warsaw on finance, loss and damage and pre-2020 ambition is essential to build trust and to lay the foundations for an ambitious and effective 2015 agreement in Paris.

We must also see much greater clarity at the end of these two weeks on the process and timeline for countries putting forward their proposed post-2020 mitigation pledges -- and for developed countries, their indicative post-2020 financial pledges -- as well as a clear process for a full and meaningful review of those pledges well in advance of Paris. That review must assess both the collective adequacy of the pledges against the global temperature limitation goal, and their individual fairness against a set of equity criteria and indicators.

Parties need to go home from COP 19 fully aware of their homework assignments to build up their post-2020 pledges in order to put them forward in 2014. They also must focus on ways to close by 2020 the substantial Gigatonne Gap (with a third UNEP update on hand just last week).  And the homework assignment there is quite clear: raise the ambition of existing pledges and enhance cooperation on deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, phase-out of HFCs and other key efforts.

ECO hopes our COP hosts will move the process along smoothly, despite being preoccupied by hosting their other summit with the World Coal Association.

ECO would like to remind the government of Poland that along with aspiring to be an emerging international player comes more responsibility.  

The World Coal Summit reinforces the structural bias of the global economy towards fossil fuels (which quite frankly, dear readers, need no helping hand!).  But it is also distinctly dismissive towards those countries facing an existential threat from climate change.  

So, fully noting our bewilderment at the COP host's strategy, ECO hopes that the new, slimmer version of these talks results in a make-over as to how Parties engage.  
They must roll up their sleeves, put aside their well-known talking points (the ones we can all recite now without looking at our notes from previous sessions), and make real progress on finance, loss and damage, pre-2020 ambition, and the way forward to deliver the ambitious and fair post-2020 agreement the world demands in Paris.  

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