All eyes on Germany as incoming government mulls EU climate targets

Open letter from global civil society calls on German party leaders to harness Energiewende spirit

[Warsaw, PolandNovember 19, 2013] –  Civil society organisations gathered in Warsaw for the United Nations climate conference (COP19) today sent letters to German Chancellor and CDU party leader Angela Merkel, SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer, who are in the middle of negotiations to form a coalition government for Germany.

85 groups and networks, representing citizens from around the world, are concerned that the coalition negotiations will result in weak climate targets. Given Germany’s key role in the EU, this would send a bad signal for the bloc’s impending decisions on 2030 climate and clean energy targets. European Heads of States are scheduled to address the issue in March 2013.

“As representatives of worldwide civil society, we are writing this letter from Warsaw today to urge you to show true leadership on climate policy”, said the letter, applauding Germany’s inspiring example of Energiewende.

Groups are urging the coalition negotiators to support European climate targets that would make a fair and adequate contribution to the global efforts of preventing catastrophic climate change, while putting the EU on track to become a climate friendly economy. 

A domestic EU reduction in carbon pollution of at least 55% by 2030 below 1990 levels is needed. This must be combined with ambitious and binding renewable energy and energy consumption targets. The 40% target, which is currently being floated in the coalition talks, is completely inadequate, and could imply only 33% domestic cuts, due to all the extra emission allowances in the EU emission trading scheme. Even the conservative-led UK government is advocating for a target of 50% by 2030. As for action on national level, the letter calls for a climate change act that uses binding climate and energy targets of the Energiewende as a framework for innovation. 

Ten days ago, the Philippines was hit with one of the world’s worst typhoons in recorded history, killing thousands, injuring many thousands more and displacing 4 million people. It was a grim reminder of the “weather on steroids” that climate change is causing. And it’s not just the Philippines.

Quotes:

“The emission gap is growing and growing while people in Kenya suffer from drought-caused decreasing agricultural yields every year. Please don't wait any longer and agree to the emission cuts necessary”, says ACT Alliance spokesman Votumniko Chinoko, Kenya

“If there are no drastic emission cuts, climate consequences look devastating for Latin America,” says Ariel Chavez from Diaconia Bolivia.

 “The people in Bangladesh are being forced to shoulder huge economic and social costs caused by climate change. To me it is an injustice when mitigation measures are continuously delayed and watered down”, says Mr Shamsuddoha from Center for Participatory Research and Development in Bangladesh.

“We need countries, which inspire the global transformation of our energy systems. Germany could and should do this. The world is watching you,” the letter concludes.

 

Contact:

For more information or for one-on-one interviews with CAN Director Wael Hmaiadn, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries.

 

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COP19 Daily Diary: Tuesday, November 19

 

CAN press conference 
What: Climate policy experts to brief journalists on developments in the negotiations in Warsaw.

• When: 11am CET, Tuesday

• Where: COP19 Venue, National Stadium Warsaw, Press Conference Room 2 located on Level -2/Zone E6, right next to Plenary 2. 

The press conference will also be webcast live here: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=259

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, +49 157 317 355 68.

 

Climate Vulnerable Forum Press Conference 
• What: The Climate Vulnerable Forum release a Major New Action Plan in which 20 governments detail how they will work together to lift climate action ambition through progress in international sectors, such as finance, health, human rights and others.

• When: 11.30am CET, Tuesday

• Where: COP19 Venue, National Stadium Warsaw, Press Conference Room 2 located on Level -2/Zone E6, right next to Plenary 2. 

• Contact:  For further information or for a copy of the embargoed Action Plan, please contact: info@thecvf.org / matthew.mckinnon@undp.org

 

Photo Call: Yeb Sano Delivers 590,000+ person campaign  to UN Climate Talks
When: 1:00pm, Tuesday, November 19th

Where: Inside the COP19 conference center, Level -2 at the Cafe at the end of the plenary hall, on the media room side of the stadium. 

What: Photo-opportunity and chance to interview Yeb Sano as he prepares to deliver his campaign which has been signed by over 590,000 people from around the world, along with petitions from other key organisations, into the plenary session of the climate talks.

Contact: For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

- Iain Keith (in Warsaw): iain@avaaz.org, +48 506 682 718

- Jamie Henn (in Warsaw) Jamie@350.org, +48792183258

 

Photo Call on Finance

COP19 was billed as the finance COP, but so far it seems there is no money in the stadium, let alone on the negotiating table. Ahead of Wednesday's high level ministerial meeting on finance, activists will form a giant human WTF? (Where is The Finance?) 

Who: Civil society will be staging a photo stunt to highlight the lack of climate finance at COP19.

What: Forming the question WTF? with a loud vocal call of "Where is the Finance?"

Where: Action will happen in zone C2 level 0, outside the main food court (Photo shots from C2 level 2)

When: 2.00pm CET, Tuesday

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, +49 157 317 355 68.

Contact:

For more information or for one-on-one interviews with the NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

Climate Help Wanted: Germany

Germany is in the middle of difficult coalition talks following the September elections. Climate policy is one of the areas where there still is no agreement.

The negotiations in Warsaw would really benefit from a bit of leadership from developed countries, and in particular the EU. But EU leadership is hard to mobilize without full engagement of the EU's largest economy. That's why this morning, around 80 NGOs from all over the world are sending an open letter to politicians involved in the coalition negotiations in Berlin, reminding them that Germany must show true climate leadership.

The letter reminds German political leaders of the devastating impacts of Super Typhoon Haiyan and other extreme weather events that should serve as a wake-up call for urgent climate action. It also acknowledges the success of Germany's Energiewende, the country's ambitious plan to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency. But the letter notes that ‘to ensure the Energiewende's continued success and create a new dynamic at the international level’, Germany now needs to ‘set a strong and ambitious framework domestically and at the European Union (EU) level’.

The letter continues: ‘In March of next year, EU heads of state and government will decide on 2030 climate and energy targets. We expect you to support the necessary targets to ensure the EU makes a fair contribution to keeping temperature rise below 2°C while keeping 1.5°C within reach. What is needed is an EU target of at least 55% domestic emissions reductions compared to 1990 levels by 2030 combined with ambitious and binding renewable energy and energy consumption targets. A target of 40% would fall short of EU’s fair share of the global effort, and could in practice mean only 33% actual domestic emission cuts by 2030, due to the amount of surplus allowances in the system. An ambitious 2030 target should be the basis for the needed structural reform of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) and an adjusted climate target for 2020’.

The letter reminds German leaders that we need a strong signal to increase budget expenditures for promised climate change adaptation and mitigation until 2020, and that a binding domestic climate law could provide certainty to investors, enable a smooth transition domestically, and also build trust and credibility internationally.

The letter concludes: "We need countries which inspire the global transformation of our energy systems. Germany could and should do this. The world is watching you." 

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Fossil of the Day-Nov 18

The COP host, Poland, earns today’s First Place Fossil for aggressively promoting coal.

The Polish government is endorsing the International Coal and Climate Summit. The Polish Ministry of Economy and the World Coal Association developed "The Warsaw Communiqué", a statement claiming “there is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change”, contrary to the fact that coal combustion is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

As the UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres said at the summit today, most of the known reserves of coal will have to stay in the ground if we are to secure a safe climate.

Also, today 27 scientists released a joint statement discrediting "high efficiency coal" promoted at the coal summit. The scientists confirm that the unabated burning of coal will make it impossible to secure a safe climate.

Poland could halve its coal demand, boost energy from renewable sources to over 25 per cent and create 100,000 jobs by 2030, but instead, the government plans to increase Poland's emissions even after 2020 . . .

 

Read complete Fossil texts at www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day

Photo: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

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All eyes on Germany as incoming government mulls EU climate targets

Open letter from global civil society calls on German party leaders to harness Energiewende spirit 

Warsaw, Tuesday November 19, 2013: Warsaw, Tuesday November 19, 2013: Civil society organisations gathered in Warsaw for the United Nations climate conference (COP19) today sent letters to German Chancellor and CDU party leader Angela Merkel, SPD party leader Sigmar Gabriel and CSU leader Horst Seehofer, who are in the middle of negotiations to form a coalition government for Germany.

85 groups and networks, representing citizens from around the world, are concerned that the coalition negotiations will result in weak climate targets. Given Germany’s key role in the EU, this would send a bad signal for the bloc’s impending decisions on 2030 climate and clean energy targets. European Heads of States are scheduled to address the issue in March 2013.

“As representatives of worldwide civil society, we are writing this letter from Warsaw today to urge you to show true leadership on climate policy”, said the letter, applauding Germany’s inspiring example of Energiewende.

Groups are urging the coalition negotiators to support European climate targets that would make a fair and adequate contribution to the global efforts of preventing catastrophic climate change, while putting the EU on track to become a climate friendly economy. 

A domestic EU reduction in carbon pollution of at least 55% by 2030 below 1990 levels is needed. This must be combined with ambitious and binding renewable energy and energy consumption targets. The 40% target, which is currently being floated in the coalition talks, is completely inadequate, and could imply only 33% domestic cuts, due to all the extra emission allowances in the EU emission trading scheme. By comparison, the conservative-led UK government is advocating for a target of 50% by 2030. As for action on national level, the letter calls for a climate change act that uses binding climate and energy targets of the Energiewende as a framework for innovation. 

Ten days ago, the Philippines was hit with one of the world’s worst typhoons in recorded history, killing thousands, injuring many thousands more and displacing 4 million people. It was a grim reminder of the “weather on steroids” that climate change is causing. And it’s not just the Philippines.

QUOTES:
“The emission gap is growing and growing while people in Kenya suffer from drought-caused decreasing agricultural yields every year. Please don't wait any longer and agree to the emission cuts necessary”, says ACT Alliance spokesman Votumniko Chinoko, Kenya

“If there are no drastic emission cuts, climate consequences look devastating for Latin America,” says Ariel Chavez from Diaconia Bolivia.

 “The people in Bangladesh are being forced to shoulder huge economic and social costs caused by climate change. To me it is an injustice when mitigation measures are continuously delayed and watered down”, says Mr Shamsuddoha from Center for Participatory Research and Development in Bangladesh.

“We need countries, which inspire the global transformation of our energy systems. Germany could and should do this. The world is watching you,” the letter concludes.
ENDS

Contact:

Please contact Ria Voorhaar, Climate Action Network International communications coordinator at rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, or +49 157 317 355 68 for more information or interviews with Climate Action Network – International director Wael Hmaidan.

For the full list of signatories, see the letter, attached.

 

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germany_letter_v3_merkel.pdf62.63 KB

POLAND’s BLIND ADDICTION TO COAL EARNS THEM A FOSSIL

The COP host, Poland, earns today’s Fossil for undermining our chances to stay below a two degree global temperature increase by aggressively promoting coal. Coal is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and the main cause of the current climate crisis.

In a cynical attempt to extend the social license of coal, the Polish government is endorsing an International Coal and Climate Summit, "the coal industry’s most important event of the year". As a part of this initiative the Polish Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with World Coal Association, developed "The Warsaw Communiqué", a statement claiming “there is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change”, contrary to the fact that coal combustion is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere (the manifesto will be presented at the Coal Summit). 

As the UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres said at the summit today, most of the known reserves of coal will have to stay in the ground if we are to secure a safe climate.

Also, today 27 scientists released a joint statement discrediting "high efficiency coal" promoted at the coal summit. The scientists confirm that the unabated burning of coal will make it impossible to secure a safe climate. According to the International Energy Agency, two-thirds of proven fossil-fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we want to have any chance to stay below two degrees threshold.

Despite that Polish Prime Minister confirms that Poland "just as it was based on coal in the past, will be based on coal" in the future. Despite 80% of Poles thinking that climate change is a serious problem and the Polish government should do more to prevent it, the government is forecasting opening one of the world's biggest lignite reserves near Legnica, which would require 20,000 people to be relocated. A monster mine!

Poland could halve its coal demand, boost energy from renewable sources to over 25 per cent and create 100,000 jobs by 2030, but instead, the government plans to increase Poland's emission's even after 2020. 

In September, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that his task is not to think about the future. He successfully turns his words into action destroying our future. All of this earns Poland today’s Fossil of the Day Award.

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar
Communications Coordinator
Climate Action Network-International
rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568

Polish Government's Coal Addition Has a High Cost for People's Health and the Climate

Warsaw, Poland - November 18, 2013: At the half way point of the major climate change negotiations of the year, attention turns to the Polish Government's overt attempt to use this meeting to push its own agenda on coal. 

Polish coal activist Kuba Gogolewski will reveal why the the Polish Government is addicted to coal despite  the fact it needs to import much of its supply and burning it costs its people their health. In a recent study by the European Environmental Agency, Poland's second city, Krakow,  has the third worst air quality in the world.

The Polish Government backed International Coal and Climate Summit, being put on by the World Coal Association and which opens today, will attempt to secure a future for coal. But 27 scientists will release a joint statement on how we cannot continue to burn coal and secure a safe climate. Dr Bert Metz will detail how the most of the world's coal reserves must stay in the ground, if we are to stay within the 2C threshold. 

Despite the Polish Government's attempts to hijack this meeting with its pro-coal agenda, the negotiations at the stadium roll on. Ministers will arrive on Tuesday, where the attention will turn to finance and the extra efforts countries need to be making to reduce carbon pollution in the short term. Ruth Davis, from Greenpeace, will reflect on the first week of the negotiations and look forward to the final five days.

Who:

• Ruth Davis, Greenpeace

• Kuba Gogolewski, CEE Bankwatch

• Dr Bert Metz, former IPCC Scientist and European Climate Foundation fellow

What: A CAN policy expert gives media a briefing on updates in the climate negotiations in Warsaw, while others speakers detail to costs of continuing to burn coal. 

When: 12.30pm CET, today Monday November 18th.

Where: COP19 Venue, National Stadium Warsaw, Press Conference Room 2 located on Level -2/Zone E6, right next to Plenary 2. The press conference will also be webcast live here: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/adp02/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=241

 

Note:  As you arrive at the COP venue today, please look out for this stunt being staged by Friends of the Earth, Oxfam, ActionAid, WWF, Greenpeace and Christian Aid 

Venue: at the entrance of the COP conference at the Warsaw National Stadium (just before the security)

Time: 8:30-9:30am  

Date: Monday 18th November

Background

The UN climate negotiations are taking place in Warsaw against a wave of scientific evidence for the central role that fossil fuels now have as the main source of climate pollution. This is in particular true for coal. Yet the Polish government has been persistent in pushing its pro-coal agenda, including supporting the staging of a provocative Coal and Climate Summit at the same time of the COP19.

 

Stunt Description

There will be two carpets, one red and one green. The carpets will be unveiled by two activists wearing traditional Polish folk clothes (representing the Polish Government). Delegates will be asked to walk on the green carpet (representing clean energy) while the activists will walk the red carpet, wearing masks in the shape of coal power plant tower. The red carpet will symbolise the warm welcome the Polish government has extended to the fossil fuel industry at this COP. Supports will line the sides with one big banner.

For further information, please contact:
Katja Ferbezar (Greenpeace) at +386 40 235 949    katja.ferbezar@greenpeace.si
George Smeeton (WWF) GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk, mobile: +44 (0)7917 052 948

 

Contact:

For more information or for one-on-one interviews with the NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries. 

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Our mailing address is:

Climate Action Network-International

Rmayl, Nahr Street, Jaara Building, 4th floor

P.O.Box: 14-5472, Beirut, Lebanon

Phone: +961.1.447192

Fax: +961.1.448649

 


Piotr Siergiej, the Polish Climate Coalition (cc)

 

Qué tal, Costa Rica?

ECO is quite disappointed with Costa Rica. While the country holds an international reputation of being environmentally sound, peaceful and actively engaged in the protection of nature, the current government began developing a huge petrol megarefinery some time ago.

We appreciate that Costa Rica always pushes for good outcomes in these negotiations and says that it leads by example.  For example, look at the confirmation for funding (US $10.7 million) for a NAMA with regard to coffee beans. That is great news, especially for those of us who like our morning cup.  But while NAMAs promote low carbon development, the minister of environment is actively promoting the creation of dirty fossil fuel industries in a country that set up a target of carbon neutrality by 2021.

Concerns by the citzens and several academic and independent groups focus on the impacts of construction of the refinery and the lock-in to the fossil fuel economy this initiative promotes over the longer term.

So why insist on a refinery when the country's national goal is carbon neutrality? Is a refinery really a necessary 'necessary evil'? 

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CAN Intervention on CDM and JI in the COP19 SBI Closing Plenary by Juliane Voigt, 16 November, 2013

Thank you Chair, 

I am Juliane Voigt speaking as a member of the Climate Action Network.

When discussing matters relating to the Kyoto Mechanisms, delegates must remember that the recent IPCC report highlights that the remaining global carbon budget is very small and shrinking fast.

The need to reduce emissions immediately and permanently has never been more vital and urgent. This imperative is in stark contrast with the performance of the CDM and JI to date.

Over two billion offsets have been issued by these Kyoto mechanisms to date. This is a lot. But research shows than only half or fewer of the offsets have resulted in actual emissions reductions. This means that global emissions may have increased by 1 billion tons or more due to these mechanisms.

Given the severe carbon budget restraints we are facing, this is deeply worrying. Both mechanisms need to be fundamentally reformed. We urgently call you to:

·         Reform additionality requirements, including shorten the length of crediting periods and

·         Require net atmospheric benefit in both mechanisms

·         Improve transparency and governance, especially under JI.

·         Last but not least, there should be no issuance of JI offsets during the interim period given that it is still unclear if the second Kyoto commitment period will be ratified by Parties.

Thank you. 

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