Tag: Mitigation

Do the math: 0 fossil + 100% renewables = 1 convention-compliant mitigation goal

The final meetings of the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) have begun! There are two life or death questions on the table: 1) “Is below 2°C enough to fulfil the goal of the convention?” and 2) “Is enough progress being made to achieve the goal?” The SED’s message is clear: science says warming of 2ºC will lead to numerous intolerable consequences that could be avoided if warming stays below 1.5ºC.

These consequences do threaten food security, increased extreme weather events, rising sea levels of more than 50cm with serious effects for many coastal zones and endanger the existence of several nations for starters. ECO is sadden by the reality that this list isn’t exhaustive.

Yesterday, AOSIS demonstrated what is required for the survival of many communities in small island states through proposing a “well-below 1.5ºC ” target to be included in the negotiation text for the Paris agreement.

Today, we hope more time is spent on on the second question. Real world evidence shows us: “no, impacts are worsening”, but experts still have an important part to play. When expertise and real world experience come together surely Parties have no choice but boosting their mitigation and adaptation ambition?

To be clear, whatever happens, we will have to phase out emissions to zero to reach any cap in warming, it is only a matter of timing. ECO is here to help with this advice: starting today, with completion by no later than 2050, we must phase out fossil fuels to zero and phase in 100% renewable energy.

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No Backsliding on the Road to Paris

Switzerland was right to remind Parties yesterday afternoon that as countries achieve higher levels of development they should, over time, move towards economy-wide emissions budgets. This will help us stay within the remaining global carbon budget and also make the required infrastructure and other structural changes needed to phase out all fossil fuel emissions as early as possible and no later than 2050.

But there’s more to it than that. Kyoto Protocol Annex B countries in particular should recall that the principle of “no backsliding” means that their INDCs should be in the form of QELROs, which are in essence carbon budgets. It would not do, for example, if the EU simply put forward a 40% target for the year 2030 without mentioning the absolute cumulative emissions target. (Of course, the other glaring problem is that 40% should have been the EU target for 2020 . . .)

Other countries with high responsibility and capability, such as the United States, also need to define the trajectories towards their emission reduction targets for specific years. For the US, this means defining the area under the curve towards the 26-28% reduction target for 2025. Others who have or have had QELROs in the past (that includes you, Canada!) should also present their INDCs as economy-wide emission budgets up to 2025 in the first commitment period of the Paris agreement.

Today, there’s a group of countries not in Annex I of the Convention having high levels of responsibility and/or capability, including some with the highest per capita incomes in the world such as the UAE, Qatar, Singapore, Brunei, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. These countries should also be working towards presenting an INDC in the form of an economy-wide emissions budget.

Anything less than a carbon-budget based target would simply not be equitable.

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Where are the bunkers?

In the final years of negotiations for the new climate agreement, it’s still not clear if it will include the fastest growing emissions sources—international aviation and shipping, also known as bunker fuels.

CO2 emissions from international shipping and aviation were about 950 MT and 705 MT respectively in 2012; combined they account for as much emissions as Germany, the sixth largest emitting country. When indirect effects are taken into account, the impact could already be approaching 10% of global climate forcing. In the almost 2 decades since the ICAO and IMO started discussing greenhouse gases, little concrete action has materialised, and scarily these emissions are on course to double or even treble by 2030. If emissions from these sectors are not addressed effectively by 2050, bunker emissions could swell to account for a quarter of all emissions. Such high emissions from the international transport sector would make it all but impossible to limit aggregate global warming to less than 2ºC as it would place an impossible emission reduction burden on other sectors.

IMO and ICAO discussions have seen limited progress.

Carbon neutral growth from 2020 is the most ambitious goal that the aviation sector has proposed, allowing emissions to grow to 2020 and then offsetting growth beyond that. This is far short of what is required for a 2ºC pathway, and there is little assurance that even these goals would be implemented.

International shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050. The IMO suspended consideration of market-based measures in 2011, and the question of setting a global cap on shipping emissions is not on the IMO agenda. Efficiency regulations agreed for new ships will likely not have a significant impact for several decades, and the shipping industry is now fighting any new measures.

At COP 21, the UNFCCC should mandate the setting of robust and meaningful reduction targets, as well as the adoption of mitigation measures that will ensure these sectors begin to play a fair and equal role in addressing dangerous climate change. ECO welcomes the introduction of text in the ADP yesterday which demands the setting of targets for emissions from these sectors consistent with staying below 2ºC.

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CAN intervention: Joint high level segment of COP and CMP - statement from observer organizations, COP20, Dec 11, 2014

Thank you Honorable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates,

My name is Mariela Rumiche and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

In September, the climate change movement made history, and yesterday in Lima thousands of people told world leaders we need to see real world action now to prevent irreversible climate impacts.

Here in Lima, governments must show clear and tangible progress on an agreement that will be finalized in Paris, which must be fair and equitable and accelerate the ongoing transition away  from dirty fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

That transition must begin now; in order to meet 1.5°C we cannot delay action until 2020.

Adaptation and Loss and Damage are equally important. From the typhoon in the Philippines to impacts in my home country of Peru people are suffering from the impacts of climate change already.

Finance is key to deliver on mitigation and adaptation. 10 billion dollars, although a good start, is clearly inadequate to address the challenges we are facing in the near term. Also here in Lima, we must agree for a roadmap until 2020 to reach the absolute minimum 100 billion dollars in new and additional public finance.

Thank you Honorable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates

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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.

Australia displays willful ignorance on scope for climate action

  

This is getting bizarre. Australia wins the Fossil of the Day Award...again! Is it lack of sleep? Is it the heat? Ministers are arriving and we are supposed to be getting serious but Australia is getting silly. They are making some very telling statements at this COP, statements that slip into the realm of willful ignorance, and that is why they get today’s fossil.

Here in Lima, Australia is saying that they don’t understand the concept of a “long-term temperature limit”. Have they ever put food in the oven with the heat raised to high? Or more seriously, have they bothered to read the World Bank’s Turn Down the Heat report? This outlines very clearly why we need to prevent long-term temperature rise above 1.5C or 2C, which countries have agreed to. 

Continuing their slapstick approach to these negotiations, Australia has also stated it doesn’t really understand the idea of “global solidarity” either. Has anyone on the Australian delegation seen a photograph of the earth from space? If not, then here’s a newsflash for them: we live in a single biosphere and we rely on communities all around the world for our security, food and health - we are all in this together when it comes to climate impacts. 

We all do silly things, but not all the time. Now is the time for Australia to shape up and take these negotiations seriously. Perhaps they should take a short course on the Cancun agreement on the global temperature threshold. Then, after Lima, their delegation and Prime Minister could visit some of the vulnerable islands off the coast of Australia or the drought and wildfire-stricken districts in their very own country - to learn why we need to weed out free-riders and act in global solidarity to tackle climate change.

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Progress in the first week of the UN climate negotiations - Still work to be done before Ministers arrive

 

 

December 5, 2014, Lima, Peru: Technical negotiations during the first week of the climate talks in Lima (COP20) have mostly gone smoothly, but important negotiating-team level discussions on a handful of key issues need to conclude this week so that there is wide agreement on the range of options facing the Ministers as they arrive early next week to pick up the high-level negotiations.

Negotiations are focussing in on critical elements including the nature of country pledges for the upcoming Paris agreement, pledges known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). Countries will need clarity on the rules and format for these pledges as they are due to be delivered in the next 3-6 month. One key issue that Ministers must contend is the time period the pledges will cover.
“The timeframe issue is our key worry” explains Li Shuo from Greenpeace China. “A short commitment period would do a lot of good things but it hasn’t been discussed in an extensive manner. We learnt from the Kyoto Protocol that an 8-year period makes it very difficult to ratchet measures up as changes take place in the real world.

“In China, for example, things are changing fast, coal consumption is down 1-2% this year. The Marshall Islands have sent a very positive signal, arguing for a 5 year commitment period that can capture the most relevant and fresh circumstances in the real world. Countries will submit their INDCs early next year so we need to make progress over a short-term commitment period here in Lima ”

Discussions about what actions need to be taken to tackle climate change before 2020 have been noticeably absent from the negotiations so far. Although the The Paris Agreement is set to be reached in 2015, it won't kick-in until 2020, leaving unaddressed what action countries should take in the six years before then.

Shuo explained, “we are already approaching the end of the week and we are worried that we won’t have enough time to discuss this vital element of a draft Paris agreement. We need to ensure that countries are sufficiently prepared to capture the low hanging fruit. This is about securing short-term actions that countries can take that will form the basis for ongoing climate action.”

Negotiators also need to focus on how a Paris agreement would help countries affected by climate change adapt to the challenges that they face. A new UNEP report shows reveals that the cost of this adaptation could reach $150 billion by 2030, underlining how vitally important this aspect is.

“We believe there won’t be agreement in Paris if adaptation is not included in the draft of the agreement - most countries asking for it. Fortunately the talks are going smoothly and we are making progress on this issue”, said Tania Guillén from Centro Humboldt Nicaragua/SUSWATCH.

When ministers arrive for the high level negotiations next week will have to decide whether the current structure of the draft Paris agreement provides those suffering from climate impacts that are “locked-in” with enough support or whether a new mechanism needs to be established to compensate for loss and damage.

Many delegations are seeking for a clear pathway to ramp up financial and technological support. “We think that $10 billion already pledged by rich nations is not enough for vulnerable countries to deal with the impacts of climate change”, said Guillén.

Ministers also need to discuss the option of having an adaptation goal, an idea that really needs fleshing out. “They have to decide whether this will be part of the new agreement and whether it will be part of the INDCs. If adaptation is included within national climate action plans it will help to reinforce this vital pillar of the entire convention”.

With so much to do and, clearly, so much at stake, we are expecting a late night at the UN climate negotiations here in Lima.
 
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Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

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CAN Intervention in the COP20 CMP Plenary on Agenda Item 8, 3 December, 2014

 

Thank you Mr. President,

I am Juliane Voight speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

The Kyoto Protocol has many elements that we find important precedents for the 2015 Agreement.

  • Its framework allows long term viability, having commitments that can be updated at the same time in every commitment period
  • It has a robust MRV and common accounting system allowing for comparability of effort and clarity of commitment and effort
  • It defines common accounting rules and the basket of gases and common global warming potentials for them, that are counted towards the economy-wide reduction commitment, increasing comparability and ensuring ‘difficult’ emissions are not excluded
  • It has a compliance system
  • It has economy-wide, quantified absolute emissions reduction commitments for developed countries

The KP set the benchmark on these types of commitments for developed countries. And there should be more ambition, and no backsliding, in the 2015 Agreement.

The KP established market mechanisms, which have left lots of challenges in their wake. These mechanisms need to be reformed to go beyond offsetting to provide net mitigation at the global level, IF any use of market-based mechanisms is assumed at all in the post-2020 regime.

We call upon all Parties that have not yet done so, to ratify the amendments for the second commitment of the Kyoto Protocol.

Thank you Mr. President.

CAN Intervention in the COP20 ADP Opening Plenary, 2 December 2014

Thank you Co-Chairs,

My name is Aissatou Diouf and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The work to be done here in Lima is the most important platform to ensuring an ambitious outcome in Paris on all levels. 

In workstream 2 Parties must ensure the TEM mandate is reformed to address the mitigation gap as well as focus on means of implementation, to move away from discussion mode to actions.

Decision text on INDCs must include a process to assess the adequacy and equitability of proposed INDCs in an ex-ante ambition assessment and equity review prior to COP 21, which should involve civil society participation.  The INDCs should not just be based on mitigation, but should include provisions on finance and voluntary provisions on adaptation.  CAN calls for a much greater role for civil society, local civil society and other stakeholders to be encouraged and empowered to assist in the development of a nations’ INDC.

Within the 2015 agreement, CAN calls for long term global goals of phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and to phase in a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all, as early as possible, but not later than 2050. In order to achieve this there needs to be adequate scaling up of finance through a global public finance goal. 

Thank you. 

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