CAN's Priorities for Bangkok Discussions

The Climate Action Network (CAN) - a global network of over 700 NGOs from more than 90 countries working to promote action to limit climate change to ecologically sustainable levels - is attending the UNFCCC Intersessional Meeting being held in Bangkok from 30 August to 5 September 2012.

CAN believes the following three priority areas need to be discussed in Bangkok:

-       Set expectations for concrete outcomes at COP18 in Doha, especially in terms of agreeing a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol

-       Establishing a workplan with key milestones for the Durban Platform negotiation track, especially in relation to increasing level of short-term mitigation ambition

-       Identify elements that need to be finalized or moved under the long-term cooperation action (LCA) track so that it would close in Doha

Media are advised that non-governmental organisations who are members of CAN are available for interviews and on and off the record briefings, backgrounds and updates on the following climate change issues discussed in the negotiations:

Shared vision and overall political picture
Mitigation and low-carbon development
Equitable effort sharing
Adaptation to the impacts of climate change
Financial support
Technological support
Legal structure
REDD and forests
Aviation and Maritime fuels
Public participation

The CAN team in Bangkok also includes experts from the following regions:

Arab region, Australia, Canada, Central Asia, China, Europe, India, Japan, Latin America, South Africa, South East Asia, United States, West and East Africa.

To be put in touch with the relevant person, please contact CAN Director:

Wael Hmaidan
local phone: +66 (0) 8 9210 4796

Tackling the Intellectual Property Elements of an Enabling Environment for Technology Transfer







Executive Summary

Climate Action Network International (CAN) concurs with the apparent consensus at the third Technology Executive Committee (TEC) meeting (held on the 28th and 29th of May in Bonn) that intellectual property rights (IPR) is an issue in the transfer of climate technologies that could be an incentive, a barrier, neither or both. Furthermore, the determination of which role it plays can only be made at the national/sectoral level on a case-by-case basis. There are cases where IPR has been and can be a barrier and some parties are concerned that it will be a barrier to the transfer of key climate technologies to help mitigate their emissions and enhance their adaptive capacities. On the other hand, technology developers are concerned with the intellectual property enforcement risk in developing economies and potential negative impacts on innovation. In the absence of some guidance on key issues related to IPR from the Technology Mechanism (TM), countries and providers would be left to deal with each IPR issue that arises from scratch, stalling and even derailing much-needed technology deployment. 

But the UNFCCC can play a critical role here to ensure that countries have the tools they need to find resolution in a case where IPR issues threaten to pose a barrier to the transfer of a key climate technology while ensuring that appropriate incentives for technology innovation are maintained.  By providing appropriate guidelines on the use of existing tools and a platform to facilitate various forms of information sharing on IPR solutions among other initiatives, the UNFCCC has the opportunity to proactively prevent IPR from becoming a widespread barrier while building confidence in the TM among both demanders and suppliers of climate technologies.  

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Where is the energy in Rio?

After being energised by the magnificent rhythms and colours of Brazilian samba, ECO realised that there was something strangely missing from the official negotiation agenda: energy. Right now there are no public meetings on the energy paragraphs, and nothing is scheduled for the remainder of the conference. How can this be?

Intelligent and ambitious approaches to energy are crucial to ensure sustainable energy for all and a world free from climate chaos and dirty and risky energy. The energy section deals with a number of critical issues that mustn’t be lost, namely: sustainable energy for all, renewable energy deployment, energy access, energy efficiency, and the critical issue of fossil fuel subsidies.
Unless country delegates take the energy paragraphs seriously and make bold commitments, there is little 
hope in achieving many other goals in the Outcome Document. According to the International Renewable 
Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable technologies are now the most economic solution for off-grid electrification and grid extension in most areas, as well as for centralised grid supply in locations with good resources.
Making progress in phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could free up much needed funding from problems to putting the money into funding solutions. If even a small amount of the hundreds of billions of dollars handed out to the fossil fuel industry were redirected to renewable energy and sustainable development, Rio+20 would represent a helpful and hopeful step forward. But all of that is currently at risk of being ignored, much less realised.
ECO urges negotiators to make sure that energy issues don not disappear into the shadows at Rio+20 and instead are given the priority attention they deserve.


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Climate change and Sustainable Development: Clarifying linkages

Achieving sustainable development entails making progress on the three integrated strands of the social, the environmental and the economic. Climate change and its impacts touch on all the three strands – causing environmental damage and degradation; increasing social vulnerability, and exacerbating economic instability.

The Rio+20 Conference gives us a chance to address two key issues – reinventing our economy and strengthening our international institutions to support and ensure sustainable development. Our ability to build a truly green economy depends on preventing climate disruptions, and dealing with unavoidable impacts of climate in building social, environmental and economic resilience, robustness and integrity. Both adaptation to and mitigation of the impacts of climate change form an integral part of building green economies across the globe so that it actually does become a means to achieving sustainable development.

There are significant concerns that a narrow focus on a green economy will result in the loss of one of the main qualities of the Rio process - an integrated approach to sustainable development and its focus on the three strands of the economic, social and environmental development. There are also fears that focus on a green economy is the next step in a global march to further commercialise and commoditise natural resources and human relations to the detriment of those who are already most vulnerable. Ignoring the climate change agenda and not treating it as an integral part of the sustainable development will only reinforce this concern and further exacerbate the challenges faced.

Within the national context, the long years of treating sustainable development as a separate strain of development, removed from the mainstream economy, requires a serious reorientation and an urgent rethink. As part of this rethink nation states need to reassess the challenges and vulnerabilities their economies face - affecting them environmentally, socially and economically. The devastations of the impacts of climate change – current and future – will need to be counted in the core list of these challenges that we face while we plan and build a green economy.

The window to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid catastrophic and irreversible runaway climate change is also rapidly closing. Shrinking access of communities to diminishing natural resources, over-utilization of natural resources, unsustainable consumption patterns, and the increasingly fragile and unstable global financial systems are together increasing the vulnerabilities of a large portion of the world's population, exposing them to worsening economic, social, environmental, and climatic impacts. These issues lie at the core of the sustainability agenda that Rio must address. These are reflected in the various issues and themes the Rio process seeks to negotiate.

Globally - and as the consequences of climate change become more visible - freshwater scarcity, access, and sanitation are increasingly issues of concern. Clearly, protecting and restoring water resources are crucial for environmental stability and sustainable development, including poverty eradication, health, agriculture, food security, rural development and hydropower.

Increasing energy access and security within an equitable Green Economy is not only necessary but also entirely doable. The urgency comes from the climate crisis and the current scale of energy deprivation, while the opportunity presents itself in the existing and the prospect of new technologies with the potential to facilitate the necessary energy transformation.

The green economy will not be green if it is built on nuclear and fossil fuel-dependent energy infrastructure. Subsidising the oil, gas and coal industries worldwide demonstrates that nations and the world are not currently financing deployment of sustainable, green and renewable energy. The establishment of an equitable green economy must be accompanied by the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, and other subsidies that harm the environment, distort markets and create barriers to sustainable development.

Technology development and deployment within an equitable green economy would require technology development policy with focus on climate adaptation and dissemination of green technologies that incorporate goals for sustainable development and principles aimed at identifying the range of diverse technologies required for a green gconomy, and facilitation of the maintenance and promotion of environmentally-sound indigenous technologies.

Rio was the birthplace of the UNFCCC. It has now come home to Rio again to seek further ambition and direction in order to build consistency, momentum and comprehensiveness across the multi-lateral framework.

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First Place Fossils go to the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and China.

The first 1st place Fossil goes to the USA, for its continuing attempts to block negotiations on sources of financing, and refusing to discuss how it will continue to scale up financing in 2013 and onwards, towards the agreed goal of US$100 billion by 2020. We know that the USA faces some deep denial issues internally, as well as avoidance issues in the negotiations around issues like equity, capacity building and an international mechanism on loss and damage. Until the US is willing to have a frank and honest discussion leading to substantive decisions, it will be an impediment to this process.

An additional 1st place fossil goes to Canada for – can you guess???? – reneging on their commitments to fight climate change by withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol. While many of you enjoyed your first full night of sleep after Durban overtime, the Canadians had no such luck. Barely off the plane, Canada’s Environment Minister wasted no time in confirming the COP’s worst kept secret that Canada was officially pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol. Many delegates probably had already given up on Canada at that point, but those of us that live within that vast, beautiful, hockey-loving country have had to continue to bear witness to whatcan only be called the government of polluters’ puppets. While Canada’s actions are clearly in a world of its own when it comes to bad behavior in the Kyoto Protocol, there are others that are behaving in fossil worthy manner. Here, we’re looking at Japan and Russia for refusing to participate in the second commitment period and Australia and New Zealand for missing the critical May 1 deadline to submit their QELROS. Australia and New Zealand are on notice that we expect these submissions by the end of Bonn – though the sooner the better, as it is causing trouble in the KP.

And the final1st place Fossil goes to China for holding in abeyance the work programme on scaling-up pre-2020 ambition under the ADP. We agree with China that the ADP must not allow developed countries to jump ship from the KP and LCA to a weaker regime, but Parties can't hold critical parts of the Durban package in abeyance, which amounts to punting them to the other side of the moon. We can't hold the fight against climate change in abeyance!

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