Tag: NGO Participation

Missing Persons Bulletin

Parties might be wondering about those empty seats in the recent ADP contact-group meetings and noted the absence of NGO observers.

ECO doesn’t want you to worry, NGOs were there… well, two of them, representing Climate Justice Now! and Climate Action Network. Both have been allotted a grand total of 2 (yes, that’s two) seats for the ADP contact-group meetings, on behalf of more than a thousand member organisations. Two (luckily very committed) note-takers have been there to observe, what will shape the future of everyone, what’s going on inside and reporting back to the rest of the world locked out of negotiations.

In order for you to identify the CAN observer in the room, ECO has this handy photo for you, although, it probably wouldn’t have been hard to spot amongst all of the empty seats anyway…

ECO finds this to be extremely unfortunate, to say the least. Space constraints have been cited as the reason, and civil society participation has been downsized to fit within the designated space. ECO believes it should work the other way round: the space should be sized according to the overall need, which includes civil society participants just as much electricity, bathrooms, the stale sandwiches and over-priced coffee required for talks to function effectively. At least, that’s how civil society participation in the UN system has worked for many decades.

Observers’ suggestions to use CCTV in an overflow room have not been taken up, on grounds of, again, alleged budget and space availability. ECO notes that, for at least yesterday, the plenary hall wasn;t in use during the late afternoon’s ADP contact-group meeting in Room Bonn. ECO has heard rumours that smaller rooms, with little civil society participation, are being seen by some as more conducive to constructive discussions. ECO agrees there may be times when such closed-door meetings can help,but that reasoning mustn’t be used as a pretext to establish a general practice of excluding all but two colleagues of environmental NGOs from regular contact-group meetings.

ECO suggest that Parties look, again, into their purses to ensure that at the next session there are no holes in the budget holes. Come on, you want to be scrutinised. That’s what you’re always telling us!

Related Newsletter : 

CAN Intervention: In response to NGO participation and new expenses, 7 June 2014

Delivered by Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network International, 6 June, 2014

 

On behalf of the constituencies representing business and industry, research groups, indigenous peoples organizations, environmental groups, women and gender, trade unions, local government and municipal authorities and youth, we would like to express our concern regarding the policy on cost recovery announced in the Secretariat’s information note dated June 4.  This policy threatens to undermine the quality of observer participation in the UNFCCC process. 

From its beginning, the UNFCCC has recognized the value of observer participation, most recently during yesterday’s Article 6 dialogue on public participation.  Within the SBI negotiations and workshops, Parties have repeatedly acknowledged the “crucial and integral” role of observers in this process.  Similarly, the Secretariat has recognized the value of our contributions, as stated in the announcement on this policy and in the guidelines on observer participation, which provide that participation “flourishes in an atmosphere of mutual trust which acknowledges respect for others and their opinions.” 

Despite this widespread recognition, the cost-recovery policy would effectively exclude many voices that cannot afford to pay the new costs, and threaten the credibility and legitimacy as well as mutual trust that have been established within this negotiation process.  It will also undermine our ability to share diverse views and to present current research and innovative solutions to this complex problem.  

This policy – which essentially shifts the burden from Parties to observers – would have significant impacts on our ability to engage in and influence the process.  Many observer organizations already face resource and capacity constraints and, as recognized by the Secretariat, have limited opportunities to share their views and perspectives.  The voices of civil society, in particular many organizations from developing countries and regions and from other groups representing those most vulnerable will be further marginalized if the right to speak is premised on the ability to pay. 

As we’ve demonstrated in the past, we are committed to working with the Secretariat and Parties to find solutions together.  We offer to work with the Secretariat to find a real solution that doesn’t link financial contribution to the ability of observers to effectively participate in this process.  In the interim, we urge you to put this policy on hold until other options have been considered through a transparent and participatory process, which is critical to protecting diverse points of view and ensuring legitimate outcomes.

Let us work together to find a solution.

Organization: 

CAN Submission: Views on Suggested Changes to the Modalities and Procedures (M&Ps) for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), May 2014

Civil Society Participation in the CDM process (TP Section F2)

Although stakeholder consultation is a key requirement in the CDM registration process, project developers and Designated Operational Entities (DOEs) lack clear criteria or guidance on how to conduct and validate stakeholder consultations. In many cases, peoples and communities that are directly affected are not adequately informed about CDM project activities or programme of activities (PoA) and their potential on-the-ground impacts.

Current CDM stakeholder consultation requirements are insufficient as they are poorly defined, regulated and documented. There are dozens of instances where projects were registered despite insufficient stakeholder participation, strong local opposition and clear evidence that the projects cause harm to the local populations and/or ecosystem.  

As a step to address this shortcoming, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol adopted in Warsaw decision 3/CMP.9 para 20 which requests “the CDM Executive Board, with the support of the secretariat, to collaborate with the Designated National Authorities Forum on collecting and making available, on the UNFCCC clean development mechanism website, information on practices conducted for local stakeholder consultations, and to provide technical assistance to designated national authorities, upon their request, for the development of guidelines for local stakeholder consultation in their countries.”

Despite this decision by the CMP, and earlier decisions to “develop and implement modalities and procedures with a view to enhancing direct communication with stakeholders and project proponents” (Decision 2/CMP.5), the CDM Board has not taken sufficient action to address the shortcomings of the current stakeholder consultation rules. For example, at the 77th CDM Executive Board meeting, the Board decided that the Secretariat shall “inform” DNAs about decision 3/CMP.9 but did not take action to collaborate with DNAs as required per the CMP decision.

This lack of action risks that DNAs may not act upon this important CMP decision. The revised CDM M&Ps should therefore recognize the need for improved guidance and incorporate best practice guidelines for local stakeholder consultation developed by the CDM Board as part of this process in the revised M&Ps.   

In addition to shortcomings in the notice and comment processes, there is no means for stakeholders to raise concerns once a project is registered even if adverse impacts occur during project implementation. The current rules do not provide a formal opportunity to provide comments after the global stakeholder consultation. This means that it is currently impossible to submit comments about a specific project, e.g. if comments submitted during the local or global stakeholder consultation process have not been validated adequately or if concerns appear after the global stakeholder consultation. This is not only relevant for projects during the validation stage but also for projects during their implementation. A formal communications channel for project specific matters would allow reviewing and addressing concerns efficiently and by doing so avoiding escalation of issues. Allowing comments at an early stage in the process, when they can still be taken into account for decisions related to registration or issuance of credits could help avoid potential future appeals. We welcome the proposed change of the technical report section F 2(d) (i), that the CDM modalities and procedures shall introduce a provision allowing the Board and the secretariat to receive information on complaints regarding issues that are not related to the emission reductions or removal enhancements of a registered CDM project activity or PoA. Such a communications channel for project specific comments should be modeled after the already successfully implemented communications channel for policy matters. In addition, a global stakeholder consultation process at the verification stage after the registration period as proposed in the technical paper section F 2(d) (ii)) would be a positive additional improvement as it would allow comments from stakeholder to follow up on earlier comments made through the local and global stakeholder consultations, it would also provide a crucial opportunity for DNAs to receive additional information about the implementation of CDM project or PoA. However, both improvements are necessary because a global stakeholder consultation during the verification period is only a punctual opportunity which does not replace a more flexible communications channel for case specific matters.

It is also worth mentioning that under the current public participation rules for the CDM, no formal channels between local stakeholders and the Designated National Authorities (DNAs) exist. Prior to registration, comments from the local stakeholder consultation are received by the project proponent, and comments through the global stakeholder consultation are received by the Designated Operational Entity (DOE). Given that it is up to the DNA to maintain the approval of CDM projecs and PoAs, and the confirmation that they contribute to sustainable development, comments received through the project specific communications channel should be forwarded to the relevant DNA.

The SD Tool enables changes to be made to the sustainable development co-benefit (SDC) report throughout project implementation including after registration. Stakeholder comments are a key source of information to know about potential negative impacts of CDM projects as reflected in the draft voluntary tool for highlighting the co-benefits of CDM projects at EB68, Annex 22. To strengthen civil society participation in the CDM process local stakeholders should have a formal communication channel to DNAs. DNAs may request project proponents to update the SDC report at any time during project implementation, should the SD benefits or negative impacts have changed since registration of the project.  

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Stop Climate Madness!

COP 19 - Stop climate madness!

Watch as civil society demands climate action at the UN climate talks. We were heard in the plenary and "welcomed" the COP president with our chanting just as he arrived: perfect timing!

Civil society in COP 19 stadium stands in solidarity with the Philippines and those holding vigils across the world.

Climate Action COP19

We also stand in solidarity with our colleagues who walked out of what has, so far, been an ugly round of UN climate talks with a lot of backtracking by some of the biggest emitters - at a time when typhoon Haiyan tells us more clearly than ever that we need to do more, rather than less.  

From here we must go back to our capitals, mobilize political power, and demand action to stop this climate madness. 

It’s our voice, our future, our power. We know very well who is blocking this process, and we have had enough. And now we send a very vocal and loud message, from the people to our governments.

Dear Japan:

Hello and welcome, Mr. Japanese Minister!

We would like to introduce ourselves, as we did not have a chance to meet you here in Warsaw.

We have met the Japanese ministers at every Conference of the Parties since COP 2, held in 1996. We are wondering why the honorable Minister of Japan did not have the time to meet us in civil society this time around, and explain Japan's new ‘ambitious’ emissions target of 3.1% above 1990 levels by 2020 .

We are looking forward to meeting you in Lima, and hoping by then you can present a truly ambitious target of which you could be proud!

Related Newsletter : 

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.

CAN’s Leadership Development Programme and Its relevance to the South

 

Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network-Tanzania

Yes, it is true that CAN is the largest and most vibrant network in the world working on climate change. Members of the Network work closely to address the causes and harmful impacts of climate change. About 850 NGOs invigolate CAN’s coordination in more than 90 countries of the earth with varying levels of development and diffuse geographical locations.

CAN uses multi-dimensional approaches to address the catastrophe of climate change in different parts of the world. No doubt, different regions of the world are affected  differently and the level of impacts differ much from one region to another. Hence, “no one size fits all.” To respond to and fill the knowledge gap in the South, CAN has been undertaking both short and long term training to its members especially from the global south.

In 2012, CAN initiated the Leadership Development Programme. 8 Fellows were selected from 8 countries of the world. From Tanzania I was selected to join other fellows.

The usefulness of the programme to the South
The main challenge of the south is the knowledge  gap on what is going on at the global level in terms of science, UNFCCC discussions, decisions and their implications to the south. This programme comes with unique opportunity to bridge that gap as it involves training of the Fellows on the UNFCCC processes, its decissions and their implications to a given region or country. This also gives Fellows confidence to communicate relevant decisions made to the local media and community of the participant’s region or country.

The programme has helped to create a sense of awareness as to what the science says and its meaning at local levels. LDP Fellows are given unique opportunity to interact with recent scientific reports and scientists who are normally available at UNFCCC workshops to dissermination their findings. These kinds of information  and interactions are important to the south as they give confidence to the Fellows and the Fellows can then inform the public and recommend appropriate action.

The project also builds capacity to engage delegates and undertake meetings with country delegations during the UNFCCC discussions and decisions. This provides good opportunities for representing public concerns. It might be hard to believe but it is true that most of the UNFCCC delegates from the south have limited understanding of what is happening at the ground. The reason is that some of the delegates are living in towns and are fully engaged in other activities at their offices.

It is undoubtedly true that the programme is costlly. However, the harmful impacts of climate change are already beyond the means for mitigation and adapatation in the south. Furthermore, when aid is given through one window, it seems as if half of it is always taken back via another.  So thanks to CAN for investing in bridging the knowledge gap between leadership capacity, UNFCCC discussions, decisisions, climate science and the best ways to communicate them at local levels for informed actions.

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