Tag: Mitigation

CAN Submission - Joint Implementation Projects, April 2012

According to Decision 11/CMP.7 paragraph 14 admitted UNFCCC observer organizations are invited to submit views, on the revision of the joint implementation guidelines, taking into account, as appropriate, their experience of implementing the mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol. The above mentioned NGOs welcome the opportunity to submit their views.

First we must put the future of the Joint Implementation mechanism (JI) in context. The window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing. Several studies show that current pledges are not only woefully insufficient to keep warming below 2oC; loopholes, such as the surplus allowances (AAUs) from the first Kyoto commitment period (commonly referred to as ‘hot air’) could negate all current pledges and enable developed countries to meet mitigation targets while continuing with business-as-usual. We are now on an emissions path that could lead to warming of 4oC or more. In addition, impacts associated with 2oC have been revised upwards and are now considered ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’. ...

Maintaining a reasonable likelihood of limiting temperature increases to within 2°C will require commitments in the next few years to considerably higher levels of ambition by all nations.

CAN Submission: Workplan for the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action

CAN welcomes the establishment of the Ad Hoc Working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action.  Now that Parties have agreed to negotiate a legally binding instrumentto be adopted no later than 2015, it is time to negotiate the substance. 

CAN sees two distinct timeframes within the Durban Platform – the work to increase ambition in the short term, as identified in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Durban Platform, must occur in parallel with negotiations for reaching an ambitious comprehensive global climate change agreement by 2015 at the latest.  CAN has detailed the actions necessary to increase ambition before 2020 in an earlier submission.  Evading near term responsibility will undermine the chances of a successful 2015 agreement and have a catastrophic impact on the climate.

Parties must learn from the disaster at Copenhagen and ensure that in 2012 they agree on a clear workplan towards 2015 including a timeline for achieving key issues, marked by clear milestones and deadlines.  Parties must commit to meeting these milestones and deadlines and honour this commitment.  Parties will need to conclude a number of agenda items in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Parties must build into the workplan a balanced package of decisions to be agreed annually.

Equity, including common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC), needs to be at the very heart of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action for it 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 a 1.5ºC global carbon budget.  It should build on, develop and improve the rules already agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and the Convention.

After the disaster of Copenhagen, leaders do not have another ‘trick up their sleeve’.  Countries must deliver this comprehensive deal by 2015 at the latest, putting in place the first steps in the pre 2020 ambition workplan, ensuring that warming stays below 1.5oC, hence preventing catastrophic climate change.  There is no atmospheric nor political space for a second failure.

CAN Submission - Framework for Various Approaches - March 2012

 

Admitted UNFCCC observer organizations are invited to submit views, including experiences, positive and negative, on matters referred to in paragraphs 79 and 80 of the Durban decision of the AWG-LCA which establishes a work program to consider a Framework for Various Approaches (Framework). CAN welcomes the opportunity to submit views.  

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CAN Submission - Views on Options and Ways to Further Increase the Level of Ambition - February 2012

 

Views on Options and Ways to Further Increase the Level of Ambition

28 February 2012

Submission to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action 

Current unconditional pledges and lenient accounting rules are set to result in global emissions of 55 GtCO2e in 2020. According to the Climate Action Tracker current pledges put the world on a pathway towards 3.5°C of warming and several potential global-scale tipping points. These tipping points include possible dieback of the Amazon rainforest, irreversible loss of the Greenland ice sheets, risk of release of methane hydrates in ocean floor sediments and permafrost thawing. The window of opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing.  

An emissions pathway consistent with keeping global temperature increase to below 2°C with likely probability requires global emissions to peak by 2015 in accordance with the most ambitious scenario assessed by the IPCC.  According to UNEP, global emissions in 2020 should be not higher than 44 GtCO2e, compared with 50 GtCO2e today.  After 2020, global GHG emissions would have to steeply decline by at least 80% by 2050 below 1990 levels, and continue to decline thereafter towards net negative emissions to have a likely chance to not exceed 1.5 degree in the long-term. While in theory there may be emission pathways consistent with current pledges (i.e. leading to 55 GtCO2e in 2020) and still keep long-term warming below 2°C, in practice such a scenario would require a rate of global reductions between 2020 and 2050 around 3.8% per year, which is economically and hence politically very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Proposals to not increase ambition for the 2013-2020 timeline beyond current pledges should be treated as what they are: attempts to dodge responsibility. 

At the same time CAN urges Parties to see a transition to emissions pathways consistent with 2°C/1.5°C as offering opportunities including early-mover advantages for new markets and clean technologies, driving innovation, investments, employment and economic – low emission – growth. Additionally, tapping into the abundant potentials for domestic renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and shifts towards more sustainable lifestyles support national energy security, lowering dependencies on energy imports, as well as increased health benefits through reduced air pollution. 

New Zealand Earns First Place Fossil, United States and Canada Share “Colossal Fossil”

Durban, South Africa –  At the final day of the United Nations climate negotiations for 2011, countries received their biggest shaming yet for blocking greater progress in the talks. With the final outcome of negotiations not yet decided, it was at least clear enough which nations had done their worst in the last day and the entire two weeks. New Zealand took the infamous 1st prize for its strongest statement yet against continuing Kyoto. But Canada earned yet another Colossal Fossil for scoring the most dirty points at these negotiations, though they earned isolation and a minute of silence more than another fossilized award. Instead, the United States of America took the Colossal Fossil, too, for coming in second place in overall Fossil points and showing serious lack of action for such a major polluter. The Fossils as presented read:

“New Zealand wins the 1st place Fossil. The New Zealand government got a Fossil this week for severely mixed messages about its Kyoto Protocol 2nd Commitment Period stance. This time, it made it clear, describing Kyoto as 'actually an insult to New Zealand'. The only insult is to the citizens of New Zealand and the rest of the world, who will have to suffer the costs of climate change.”

“Canada wins a Colossal Fossil by mathematical majority. The Canadian government has made headlines and earned criticism from the international community in Durban for refusing to sign onto a second Kyoto commitment period, calling critical climate financing 'guilt payments', and bullying least developed countries into leaving the Kyoto Protocol. And over the two week negotiation period, Canada has won a staggering total of 6 Fossil of the Day awards. Mathematically, they are the undisputed winner of the 2011 Colossal Fossil award.

But when environment minister Peter Kent announced Canada’s third fossil of COP 17 on the floor of the House of Commons, members of his Conservative government cheered and applauded. The minister brought that reckless arrogance with him to Durban, where he’s maintained a hard line and refused to budge on a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and fought hard to put polluters before people.

Canada remains the only country in the world to have weakened its emissions targets after returning from COP 15 in Copenhagen and the only country to have signed and ratified the Kyoto protocol and then say that it has no intention of meeting its targets. The Government killed the only major federal renewable energy program in the country while plowing over 1 billion dollars a year of subsidies into the oil sector.

The Government’s lack of ambition or action to combat climate change is no laughing matter. Climate change is one of the most serious issues that humanity has ever faced, and it is already affecting millions of people – including vulnerable communities in Canada.

(minute of silence)

While a colossal fossil might be a fitting reward for such egregious behaviour, we’d prefer to confer that title on a country whose actions are still having an effect on the negotiations taking place, and not a laggard who’s been pushed to the sidelines of this debate. Until Canada is prepared to become a real leader on climate change, it’s time to turn our backs on the government’s policies and move on with a coalition of the willing built from people, cities and provinces that understand the urgent need for action.”

“And so, the United States of America wins a Colossal Fossil for sheer (un)ambition. For a country that in 2009 claimed to come back to the negotiations full of hope and change, it has mostly just brought more of the same – no commitments, no Kyoto, plenty of rhetoric, and minimal money. Whether because of a conservative Congress or an administration that hid behind it when its President and negotiators could have done more, we can only 'hope' that the U.S.A. 'changes' its stance and doesn't spend the next 4 years earning Colossal Fossils like Canada spent the last 4. This is not the kind of international cooperation CAN had in mind.”

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