Tag: Mitigation

Kyoto's Legacy Up In Smoke As Japan Slashes Climate Action

Photo: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

Today, Japan slashed its 2020 emission reduction target - with the new pledge equating to a 3.1% INCREASE in pollution from 1990 levels. The UNFCCC is about  negotiating to raise the level of climate action, so this must be a bad joke! 

In 2009, Japan announced an emissions reduction of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. We urge all Japanese delegates to read the IPCC report and do their math again and reconsider their commitment to this prehistoric target. The new target is a backwards step compared to Tokyo's pledge in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was -6% from 1990. 

How is Japan expecting to contribute to raising the international level of ambition if the third largest economy says it can only increase their emissions? To add insult to injury, it looks like Japan, who has contributed to the climate crisis  and has the means to contribute to solving it, is trying to hide weak ambition behind strong rhetoric. There are no excuses, we know you can do better. We don’t want nuclear power and don’t want climate change. Please reconsider and come back with target that is really ambitious!

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org 

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks. 


Global Civil Society Responds to Japan’s New 2020 Target

Japan announced its new 2020 emissions reduction target today at the UN climate negotiations in Poland. While parties are negotiating to raise the level of ambition during this year’s meeting, Japan has now abandoned their 25% reduction target from 1990, and proposed 3.1% increase compared to 1990 levels.

Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN International said in a statement, “Japan's new targets are outrageous. This will have a serious and negative impact on the negotiations. Withdrawing from climate action is like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change such as the Philippines.”
Civil society was expecting more from the world’s third largest economic country, but instead they are racing to the bottom.
According to Japanese Climate Action Network spokesperson, Kimiko Hirata “Stopping nuclear power is not a legitimate reason for lowering their target. There are countries putting ambitious targets shifting their energy source from nuclear to renewables.”
To abandon the 25% emission reduction target and put forward a target with increased emissions is a betrayal to the international community. One of the most important issues at this year’s negotiations is to address the gap between the mitigation pledges of Parties and the emission reduction needed to keep the average global surface temperature rise to 2℃ from pre-industrial levels.
Another problematic country at these negotiations has been Australia, which tabled legislation to repeal their price on carbon.

Australian civil society is taking to the streets on Sunday to oppose their government’s announcements.

ON DEMAND WEBCAST of  'COLOURFUL STUNT' DURING PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE:  http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongres...

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




Close the Gap!

The Energy Report: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050, published by WWF
in association with Ecofys, clearly shows how the gigatonne gap can be closed and emissions
reduced for a total carbon budget preserving a strong likelihood of no more than 2° warming

On Wednesday the second Structured Expert Dialogue of the 2013-2015 review began to assess overall progress towards achieving the long-term global goal, including the implementation of commitments under the Convention.
The IPCC authors conclude that there is a 1000 Gt carbon budget for humankind from the starting point of the fossil fuel era. Within that budget there is a 66% likelihood of staying below 2 degrees.

We have already used half of that budget and, taking into account other greenhouse gases, only 270 Gt can still be emitted to remain within the safe lines.  That’s a shockingly small carbon budget to stay with a climate that is relatively safe – and even then substantial impacts will still occur.

Most numbers from the IPCC are associated with uncertainties. From a risk assessment perspective (or common sense, depending on how formal you want to be), higher uncertainty requires a lower carbon budget. So remember, even a 66% likelihood means a one-third chance of going beyond 2 degrees.

Furthermore, action on short-lived forcers like methane cannot replace or ‘buy time’  on long-lived greenhouse gases, especially CO2.  We need substantial reductions of them all.

However, while the Structured Expert Dialogue did not formally draw conclusions, it is clear that the overall progress made so far towards achieving the long-term global goal is small and far less than what is necessary.  

That point was underscored by the side event on the UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2013, which followed shortly after the conclusion of the dialogue. This third update of the now-famed gigatonne gap report shows that the actual trajectory of global emissions is much higher than emissions pathways needed to keep global temperature rise below 1.5/2°.

We are now at annual emissions of 49 Gt CO2e, when we should be at no more than 44 Gt. On current trends, the gigatonne gap could increase from 5 Gt per annum to 12 Gt or more unless the world takes effective action.

But all is not lost. The UNEP report shows which measures should be implemented to close the gap and reap substantial co-benefits at the same time.
Borrowing a famous quotation, ECO’s advice is: Make it so!


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Fossil deja vu as Aussies abandon their neighbors on loss and damage

Photo Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

The First Place Fossil goes to – again - Australia. Withdrawing from climate action and finance for developing countries is already like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change. Simply expressing solidarity with the Philippines, as they did on Wednesday in the loss and damage negotiations, is not sufficient to repair the damage Australia caused.

Even worse, in the same negotiations, Australia gave a gold star performance in obtrusiveness.  Their first point was to attach conditions and list the things Australia would not broach talking about. This included objecting to rehabilitation funds – even though this is an area of work already agreed to last year.  Then Australia objected to provisions of insurance in the Convention process – even though insurance is even mentioned in the Convention. They insisted that the work programme on loss and damage should be ended when institutional arrangements are agreed, although many Parties have highlighted the usefulness of past work programme activities in their submissions, and a substantial discussion on the future activities has yet to happen.

Happily in contrast to Australia – the majority of other countries showed a constructive spirit. However, Japan gets a dishonorable mention for supporting Australia's obstructive and belligerent stance.

                                                       Photo Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator


Warsaw Negotiations Discuss The When, Where and How of Taking Climate Action

[Warsaw – Poland] – November 14, 2013: Countries have just begun negotiating the questions of where, when and how countries make their climate action offers for the 2015 global action plan at the Warsaw talks, according to CAN policy experts.

Jennifer Morgan from WRI said it was imperative a more transparent and systematic approach was taken to lodging offers.

The failure to agree what information to include in offers and the fact that they were lodged very late in the game negatively affected the outcome of the last major climate negotiation session in Copenhagen in 2009.

"We need to be able to measure  overall climate action effort can be measured and countries need to be able to contrast and compare each others' effort," Morgan said.

"This could be one of the key outcomes of this meeting, and though its early stages, these discussions are happening," she said.

Tom Athanasiou from EcoEquity said many countries were also beginning to speak – in general terms – about a way to analyze and review whether pledges were fair.

"But it's time to get far more specific, and to speak of simple things.  We have a science review, but how are we going to do an equity review, which we need just as desperately," Athanasiou said.

"Dealing with fairness needs to go from being a blocker in these negotiations to a solution."
ON DEMAND WEBCAST of PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6901&theme=unfccc
READ WRI's PAPER ON SETTING AND REVIEW PLEDGES:  (http://www.wri.org/publication/pathway-climate-change-agreement-2015-options-setting-and-reviewing-ghg-emission) http://www.wri.org/publication/pathway-climate-change-agreement-2015-options-setting-and-reviewing-ghg-emission

For more information or for one-on-one interviews with 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.
Climate Action Network-International
Rmayl, Nahr Street, Jaara Building, 4th floor
P.O.Box: 14-5472, Beirut, Lebanon
Phone: +961.1.447192

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‘I am an Australian . . .’

I am an Australian. Which is quite an admission in these halls at the moment.

People keep coming up to me and asking what’s going on? Why is my government doing such terrible things on climate policy? Why are they so addicted to coal? Why are they so determined to go backwards? How can they trash their climate policies when the rest of the world is meeting here in Warsaw to try and move forward on climate? And particularly when our neighbouring countries, especially the Philippines, are suffering such devastation.

But the main question they ask me is - do the Australian people support all of this negativity and destruction?

The answer to that question is they categorically do not. The majority of Australian people do not support repealing the carbon price, trashing renewable energy support, dismantling the Climate Change Authority and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and winding back support for a long-term target of reducing carbon pollution by 80% by 2050.

If you want evidence of that look no further than the story of Australia’s Climate Commission. One of the first things the new government did was shut down this publicly funded body. But within only one week, over 20,000 Australians donated to get this vital organization back on its feet.

Ordinary Australians are keen for action on climate change because we’ve lived through its beginnings. We’ve seen “one in a hundred year floods” happen in Queensland twice in a period of just twelve months. And in the same period Queensland copped it with Cyclone Yasi – the worst cyclone in nearly 100 years. We’ve had the worst drought ever within the last decade – and parts of the country are in drought again. In Sydney, where I live, we just had devastating bushfires, in October – mid Spring! But of course none of this comes close to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.

Recent polling showed that the majority of Australians want a higher target (15% or 25%), as our country’s independent Climate Change Authority recommended. And 65% of people said they wanted stronger action on climate change.

The Coalition that Prime Minister Abbott leads have a long-standing policy of supporting this target range, set back in 2009, along with the conditions for moving up the range. We need immediate clarification from our the government on where they now stand.

Most Australians know it’s in our national interest to get serious about climate change. Not only because we along with so many of our neighbours are so vulnerable to climate change, but also because unless we increase our target and take more action, we’re in danger of falling behind the rest of the world.

So listen up, Prime Minister Abbott. We’re expecting you to come to the Ban Ki-moon Summit in September 2014. We’re expecting you to put a real target for 2020 on the table, along with long term goals for mitigation and climate finance that reflect Australia’s fair share. And we Australians will be pushing every day to make sure you do this. Starting this Sunday – where Australians in every corner of the country will be at a National Day of Action (www.theheat.org.au).

(This is an edited version of a statement by Julie-Anne Richards at yesterday’s CAN press conference.)  


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Farewell to Fossil Fuels


It’s not enough to cap emissions or reduce their growth.

To prevent warming of 2°C or more, net emissions need to be brought to zero. This was a key message from the IPCC presentations in yesterday’s expert dialogue on the 2013-2015 review.

The IPCC concentration pathway that keeps below 2°C implies that fossil fuel emissions  must peak before 2020 and get to zero by 2070 (see IPCC WG1 Figure TS.19).  And it would have to be much faster if we don’t want to rely on negative emissions after 2070, or peak and decline doesn’t happen early enough, or we take into account “surprise factors” and feedbacks not included in the models.

On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency released their latest World Energy Outlook, again repeating their message that meeting the 2°C target (with about 50% likelihood) means that two thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. Furthermore, three quarters of the world’s proven but not yet in production oil reserves will have to remain untapped – leaving no space for Arctic oil.

ECO wonders when countries will truly accept this reality – that we simply need to get rid of fossil fuel altogether, and leave vast majority of the oil, coal and gas we’ve found in the ground.


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Please Don't Split Up

ECO found this letter in the waste bin next to Plenary 1. Can we help make this relationship work . . . ?

My dearest,

Since our winter holiday in Copenhagen, where you proposed our marriage, I feel that you have never stopped breaking your promises. All we do is talk, talk and talk some more – and yet, you still don't get it.  

You have to stop spending all your money on expensive cars and fancy jets, and start helping me and the family. This is the last straw.  I need reassurance that we have a future, that we will grow old together.

I need action rather than words. Tell me what the future will bring – you and I need a global roadmap to the 100 billion so I know you really mean what you promised. Don’t try to cheat on me; don’t make some private company fulfill your promises. It really should be all public money. Don't forget your promise to send an immediate check for our children's Adaptation Fund, and make sure you order that transfer to our GCF saving account by 2014. And finally, I really need you to commit at least 50% of our savings to be spent for adaptation.  

Look, darling, we really need to sort this out. If you do not get your act together now, I really don't think I can marry you in 2015.

Nona N. Nexone

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