C.B., open-minded, progressive type (lonely-hearted since that wonderful fortnight in Marrakech 10 years ago) seeks forward-looking, equally open-minded partners for serious, mutually-productive, action-oriented long-term engagement. Available to meet up 3-6 pm today [Tuesday] and tomorrow [Wednesday] in Plenary 2 throughout the Durban Forum on Capacity Building.
ECO has long wrestled with this foundational dilemma of the climate talks, but has noticed something different in the negotiating air since Durban. There seems a new ¨C or a renewed ¨C recognition from all sides that the issue of equity cannot be pushed aside or wished away any longer. It is at the heart of the negotiations, and must be the foundation on which the Durban Platform is built.
The development of a broad consensus ¨C even if only rough or approximate ¨C of the fair shares of different countries in tackling climate change is essential to increasing the ambition of action sufficiently to avoid climate catastrophe. Without such a common understanding and its codification, Parties will continue to fear that they are doing too much while others free-ride on their efforts. The emissions gap will only widen as a result. Only a fair deal can close it.
ECO is therefore looking forward to tomorrow’s workshop on Equitable Access to Sustainable Development, and hopes that Parties will see it as an opportunity to look afresh at the equity question. But after 20 years, no one should imagine that one workshop will find all the answers. Parties will need time to build understanding and trust. They have three and a half years left under the ADP in which to do it.
The equity workshop should therefore be the start of a process with perhaps three phases. In the first phase Parties should make good faith efforts to understand each others’ approaches and their underlying assumptions. ECO recalls certain, perhaps well-meaning, European ministers and leaders in Copenhagen who did not understand why some developing countries blocked their proposals for a 2050 global emissions reduction target. Some capacity building efforts on all sides are in order, and equity must take an integral place in the ADP agenda to allow this to happen.
Second, in 2013 Parties should begin negotiations to reach agreement on key equity principles and criteria for their operationalisation. After all these years, ECO thinks there are three that really matter ¨C adequacy of efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change; CBDRRC; and the right to sustainable development.
Third, in 2014 Parties should begin negotiations on applying these principles and criteria to the central issues of mitigation, finance, adaptation, loss and damage and so on. In short, they must bring numbers to the table. ECO is clear on one thing ¨C whichever way Parties agree to slice up the cake, the current efforts of developed countries fall very far short of what can be reasonably expected of them. However we look at equity, developed countries must be prepared to do much much more.
This three-phase approach could provide the setting in which the equity question finally receives an answer that all Parties can accept, and in time to make sure COP21 in 2015 does not repeat the fate of COP15 in Copenhagen. ECO hopes Parties approach tomorrow’s workshop with this in mind and in this spirit, and that no Party attempts to rule anything in or out this week. Starting a process in this way, they can finally take down the sword of Damocles and use it instead to carve the fair, ambitious and legally binding deal that all countries need.
As you may recall, today marks my last day as Director of the CAN-International Secretariat.
I said a lot in my announcement to CAN members at the end of last year about how much I've learned and grown in this position. If I could somehow express those sentiments even more strongly now I would, having continued to learn so much from so many of you in the last few months of my post here. I'll be carrying with me wonderful memories from Durban, of touching moments reminiscing with friends, of whispering in our outdoor meeting so a certain bug-eyed climate denier couldn't hear us, of dancing on the beach, hugs and handshakes, smiles and frustrations.
There are, as could be expected, things I will not miss from the past few years -- those 6am conference calls, the countless hours spent in airplane lounges or trying to find that one elusive comfortable posture on cramped airplanes. I won't necessarily miss arguing with the UNFCCC for more intervention slots or negotiating where a comma should go to avoid a dreaded "byline" on CAN positions. But, by a large margin, there are many more memories, lessons, and experiences that this position has afforded me that I will cherish.
When I'm asked what I've enjoyed about my job I almost universally tell the same story -- how it all boils down to the people I've been privileged to get to know, to work with, and to call my friends. We at the Secretariat often say CAN is only as strong as its members. If that hypothesis holds, I can safely say -- having gotten to know so many of you so well -- that CAN is an incredibly strong coalition. It's a crazy moment to be sitting in the back of a plenary of a UN negotiation at 4am in a foreign country and look around the room and feel like you are surrounded by family. It's those moments walking down the halls of the Maritim where you feel like you will never make it to your destination because you feel compelled to stop every four feet to talk to someone you bump into. The idea that I literally can go to any continent on the globe and find someone that is part of this family is something that I don't think I'll ever wrap my head around. It's something I'll always hold dear, perhaps even more so than our successes along the way.
And for these experiences, the friendships, and all the lessons I have taken from so many of you, all I can say is thank you.
One of the things I've been struck by is how personally invested CAN members are in this work. This isn't a job to many of us; it's not a 9 to 5 thing that we can set aside from our "normal" lives. For better or worse, it's our life's work and it's something we are all truly passionate about.
With that in mind, it becomes clear that our enemies are not eachother (despite the fact that sometimes it might feel that way), or the more radical or conservative colleagues we find in the network. Our enemies are out there. They are the fossil fuel interests who are making more money than ever known to man, and spending equal amounts on making sure they can continue to make that money. They are the conservative politicians who have either been bought off by those corporations or somehow otherwise genuinely fear government policies and regulations, when we know that for a truly global problem, a comprehensive government approach is needed. There are those who choose to turn the other way -- perhaps aware that the problem exists, but not willing to admit it because doing so would make their lives inconvenient.
Our enemies are not eachother and they never will be...and that's what makes CAN so important. We need our fellow CAN members not just for support, but because it's only together that we can win. This is why I'm so happy to know that I am leaving CAN in as strong a position as I could ever have hoped to leave it. We have an amazing Secretariat that works tirelessly with the full understanding that their efforts will often be left out of the limelight, but knowing how important they are all the same. We have more members from more countries and constituencies than could have been dreamed of 20 years ago, and our positions, analyses, and strategies reflect this in the most positive of ways. We have the respect and attention of governments all around the world, even if sometimes it feels as though they choose to ignore us.
A friend of mine in the movement once wrote that she knows we're going to win because we're cooler than they are. And I couldn't put it better myself. Putting aside the fact that we're have the truth on our side...we're more fun, more dynamic, more challenging, more passionate, more inspiring, more critical, more friendly, more caring, more creative than THEY are. And sometimes we throw some wicked parties too.
I know you all aren't going anywhere from my life and my heart--and this cause--and you can rest assured I'm not going far. This is a fight we're in together, no matter what roles we play. And I know, like you, I plan on seeing it to the end.
As I leave this role, I'm so tempted to use that clichéd phrase, "it's not goodbye, it's see you later." But I won't...instead, I'll just say:
CAN-International Director, October 2008 - February 2012
UNFCCC CLIMATE TALKS IN DURBAN: NGO BRIEFING ON THE FINAL DAY OF NEGOTIATIONS
Civil society reflections on outcome of negotiations on finance and the role of the EU and US
[Durban, South Africa] Climate Action Network – International will host a media briefing, webcast live, to outline civil society expectations for a successful outcome of UN climate talks in Durban.
On the final day of negotiations international NGO experts will discuss civil society reflections on the situation in the negotiations on finance and comment on the role of the EU and the US throughout the negotiations and with reflections on their role in these final hours.
The briefing takes place at the UNFCCC conference venue, on Friday, December 9, at 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room.
It will be webcast live at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts
NGO experts on the panel will include: Jason Anderson of WWF Europe; Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Harjeet Singh of ActionAid International.
What: Briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Durban
Where: Kosi Palm (ICC MR 21 ABCG) NGO Press Conference Room, UNFCCC conference venue, Durban
Webcast Live via www.unfccc.int, or at: http://bit.ly/CANwebcasts
When: 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT), Friday, December 9, 2011
Who: Jason Anderson – WWF Europe
Alden Meyer – the Union of Concerned Scientists
Harjeet Singh – ActionAid International
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 go to: www.climatenetwork.org
For more information please contact:
David Turnbull, CAN International, +27 (0) 78 889 6827 (local mobile)
Every day at 18:00 local time CAN gives the Fossil of the Day to the Parties that obstruct the negotiations the most. You can watch the Fossil ceremony at the CAN booth in the DEC building and get the press releases every day at: http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day
Photo Credit: Adopt A Negotiator
Following tradition, the NGO Party took place on Saturday night on the beach in Durban. Here conference delegates relaxed a little bit, but of course discussions about the conference were to be heard in every corner at the party.
In the Cancun UN Climate Talks (COP16) it was decided that the Technology Mechanism will be fully operational in 2012. The institutions within the Technology Mechanism: Technology Executive Committee (TEC) and Climate Technology Centers and Network (CTCN) should be fully functioning to implement the Cancun Agreements. This is the reason CTCN has become an important issue of discussion here in Panamá.