At successive UNFCCC meetings, Parties have acknowledged the existence of a multi-gigatonnes gap between the current level of ambition to mitigate emissions until 2020 (expressed in QELROs, pledges, targets and NAMAs) for the period until 2020 and what is required in that period to allow the world to stay below the critical 1.5/2°C threshold. According to the Climate Action Tracker, current pre-2020 ambition (expressed by countries in QELROs, pledges and NAMAs) puts the world onto a path of 2.7-4.2°C warming. There is a consensus within the scientific community that we are fast approaching a devastating tipping point. In this context it is alarming that governments have not taken any steps yet to close the gap but allow it to grow. According to UNEP, the estimated emissions gap in 2020 for a “likely” chance of being on track to stay below the 2°C target is 8 to 13 GtCO2e, while it was 6 to 11 GtCO2e in the 2011 report. Global emissions are currently 14 per cent above where they should be to have a likely chance to limit global warming to no more than 2°C.
The UN climate talks failed to deliver increased cuts to carbon pollution, nor did they provide any credible pathway to $100 billion per year in finance by 2020 to help the poorest countries deal with climate change, according to the 700 NGOs who are members of Climate Action Network-International (CAN-I).
Two weeks ago, just prior to the start of these negotiations, numerous credible reports were published by an array of well respected scientists, economists and climate change experts, all with essentially the same conclusion - we are currently on an unsustainable path which virtually guarantees the world will be faced with catastrophic effects from climate change, according to Greenpeace International executive director, Kumi Naidoo.
“Two weeks of negotiations have not altered that path and that politicians need to reflect the consensus around climate change through funds, targets and effective action."
WWF head of delegation, Tasneem Essop, said Doha was supposed to be an important element in setting up for a fair, ambitious and binding deal in 2015 and therefore needed to rebuild trust and instill equity.
“These talks have failed the climate and they have failed developing nations,” Essop said. “The Doha decision has delivered no real cuts in emissions, it has delivered no concrete finance, and it has not delivered on equity.”
Governments have delivered a very vague outcome that might lead to increased ambition but only if the politics shift to working for the people, our future, and not the polluters.
In particular, countries including the US, who have continually blocked progress in the talks, need to fundamentally change their positions in line with their obligation to lead on the solution to this crisis that they created.
Tim Gore, International Climate Change Policy Advisor for Oxfam, said Doha had done nothing to guarantee that public climate finance would go up next year, not down.
“Developing countrieshave come here in good faith and have been forced to accept vague words and no numbers,” Gore said. “It's a betrayal.”
Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-I, said that ministers needed to go back to their capitals and work hard to put concrete proposals on the table for the next talks so that progress could be made towards to secure a fair, ambitious, and binding deal in 2015.
“The path forward is actually quite clear: we have the technology and know-how to reduce dangerous carbon pollution, protect vulnerable communities, and grow sustainable, resilient, economies.”
“But we also need people in all regions of the world to demand leadership from their governments on climate change – just like the new youth movement in the Arab region has done.”
The Doha Decision:
- An extraordinarily weak outcome on climate finance which fails to put any money on the table or to ensure a pathway to the $100 billion a year by 2020 target. The decision asks for submissions from governments on long term finance pathways, calls for public funds for adaptation but does not mention a figure, and encourages developed countries to maintain funding at existing levels dependent on their economies.
- An eight year second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with loopholes that allow carry over, use and trading of hot air
- A call – though not an official ambition ratchet mechanism - for Kyoto Protocol countries to review their emissions reduction target inline with the 25-40% range by 2014 at the latest. While it could have been stronger, the decision reinforces clear moral obligation for countries to increase their emission reduction targets prior to 2020 and provides opportunities for them to do so
- An agreed work program on loss and damage to help victims of climate change will start immediately anda decision “to establish institutional arrangement, such as an international mechanism, at COP19”
- Developed countries failed to agree a way to account for their carbon in a comparable way
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact CAN International Communications Coordinator Ria Voorhaar, email: email@example.com, local mobile: +974 33 38 6907.
This generation has witnessed unforgettable catastrophes of climate change. The most affected are the rural and poorer people of developing countries, Africa in particular. The African continent has contributed the least to the problem and is the one least able to cope with the impacts, because we depend heavily on climate sensitive activities for our survival. Most of the NAPAs from Africa prioritized agriculture, water, health, energy, forestry and wetlands, wildlife and tourism as the most vulnerable sectors.
The whistle for negotiations in Doha has been blown and negotiators are running from one room to another to ensure as much ground is covered as possible within one week. However, most of the outcomes of these discussions are not in favour of the interests of the developing countries, including Africa, leaving most of the negotiators dejected and frustrated.
However, there is still hope to be salvaged Doha-Qatar negotiations and asking negotiators from Annex 1 countries must be friends in need so that we become friends indeed by focusing on the scientific imperative. They must reflect on the dangers that climate change already felt by vulnerable regions of Africa and other developing countries. This will be easily seen by finalizing and adopting a meaningful and effective second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, addressing the outstanding issues under the convention track in accordance with the 2007 Bali mandate and setting the negotiations under the Durban Platform for enhanced action on firm footing to adopting a legally binding agreement by 2015.
Africa is looking for an agreement that will assure to undertake mitigation and adaptation through effective finance mechanism and technology transfer.
From the 26th of November to 7th of December 2012, the 18th Conference of Parties (COP-18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th Conference of the Parties serving as Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held in Doha, Qatar. This crucial time attracted the attention of thousands of people whose shared interest can be described simply as: AMBITION.
Climate and Development Network, which brings together over 70 Francophone civil society organizations, was present and reminded us this conference is an important milestone and a chance for humanity to decide not to follow the critical path to 3.5 and 6 °C.
"We will work to remind negotiators Africans and others from around the world that we need clarity, fairness and ambition!" says Ange David Baimey, Project Coordinator of Climate and Development Network.
Thousands of participants and observers have low expectations from their respective countries as far as a commitment to amending the 2nd period of the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in a few days. Instead, there were only revised reduction targets that have actually increased.
Also, the Durban platform, launched at South Africa's COP 17, takes us into a new negotiating framework requiring a particular focus on loss and damage, as well as enabling African communities to adapt to the consequences of climate change. There has been an increasing number of floods and droughts in these regions, causing negative impacts to crops. It is necessary that adequate resources are made available to these areas.
"Communities continue to suffer, we cannot emphasize this enough! COP 18 needs to clarify the financial issues with early funding periods ending without fulfilling its proposed outcomes. We need specifics as to what will be done next year and each subsequent year leading up to 2020," says Aissatou Diouf, Communications Officer at Energy Enda Senegal.
Doha should lead to an ambitious agreement that commits all parties, especially developed nations, on issues such as agriculture, energy and technology transfer, in the spirit of integrity and justice.
CAN, YOUNGO and CJN! SBI Opening Plenary Intervention at COP18
Delivered by, David Gawith of YOUNGO, 27 November 2012
Thank you Chair, my name is David and I will be 60 years old in in 2050
Your task this week is a challenging one. The SBI is expected to complete its entire business this session by Saturday. We stand ready to assist you in this task. Science is telling us that full and sustained implementation of the Convention's fundamental objective is slipping further and further from our grasp. This has disastrous implications for humanity and for its future, our future.
Hurricane Sandy’s impacts in Haiti, Cuba, and the United States have reminded us that loss and damage is a reality. It’s happening now. Current low mitigation ambition is breaching the ultimate objective of the Convention. Opportunities for avoiding loss and damage are being wasted because of insufficient funding. We need to start thinking beyond adaptation. Based on the decision from Durban, we expect you to set up a comprehensive mechanism to address compensation and rehabilitation issues. Further, we expect you to develop the next phase of the work programme to detail the modalities of the mechanism. Almost 100 vulnerable developing countries have outlined the needs and potential elements of an international mechanism. Doha must not end without clear progress on addressing loss and damage.
On technology, for the Technology Mechanism to be considered "fully operational" at COP18 there must be a committed source of interim and long term funding for the Technology Executive Committee, the Climate Technology Centre and its Advisory Board. The architecture of the Technology Mechanism must also be highly responsive to developing Party clients in order to promote transparency and ensure equitable access to adaptation and mitigation technologies. Finally there must be robust engagement with stakeholders and civil society.
On Capacity Building, Parties should concentrate their work on paragraph 6 of 13/CP-17. By agreeing on an intensive 2 year work programme that creates an enhanced structure for effective capacity building in developing countries, by the end of 2014, the ground lost on capacity building could be regained here in Doha.
We hold you accountable for these outcomes.
Yesterday the halls of COP 18 in Doha were abuzz because of an announcement by the UAE during the meeting of the ADP. The Gulf state announced concrete actions it would be taking in order to do its part in reducing climate change.