Tag: climate action network

Statement NGOs Major Group during High-Level Plenary session – 20th of June

 

delivered by Wael Hmaidan, Climate Action Network

Watch the presentation Wael delivered to Rio+20 on behalf of NGOs at Rio.

 

 

Thank you, Vice-President.

I am making this statement on behalf of the NGOs in Rio+20.

It feels amazing to be in this room among all the world leaders, and feeling all this power around me that can shape the World. We all know the threat that is facing us, and I do not need to repeat the urgency. Science is very clear. If we do not change in the coming five to ten years the way our societies function, we will be threatening the survival of future generations and all other species on the planet. Nevertheless, you sitting here in this room have the power to reverse all of this. What you can do here is the ideal dream of each one of us: to have the opportunity to be the savors of the planet.

And yet we stand on the brink of Rio+20 being another failed attempt, with governments only trying to protect their narrow interests instead of inspiring the World and giving all of us back the faith in humanity that we need. If this happens, it would be a big waste of power, and a big waste of leadership opportunity.

You cannot have a document titled ‘the future we want’ without any mention of planetary boundaries, tipping points, or the Earth’s carrying capacity.  The text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality. Just to be clear, NGOs here in Rio in no way endorse this document. Already more than 1,000 organisations and individuals have signed in only one day a petition called “The Future We Don’t Want” that completely refuses the current text. It does not in any way reflect our aspiration, and therefore we demand that the words “in full participation with civil society” are removed from the first paragraph.

If you adopt the text in its current form, you will fail to secure a future for the coming generations, including your own children.

To mention a few examples of failures in the document:

In the issue of finding resources to implement sustainable development, we see countries using the economic crisis as an excuse, while at the same time spending 100s of billions of dollars subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, the most profitable industry in the world. The first thing you can do is eliminating the existing harmful subsidies, especially fossil fuel subsidies, which was voted as the number one issue during the civil society dialogue.

Under the oceans section, you have failed to give a clear mandate to even start negotiating an implementing agreement to stop the Wild West abuse of the high seas.

There are many other failures in the document related to women’s reproduction health, missed opportunities to start new global treaties on civil society participation and on sustainability reporting, the extraordinary lack of any reference to armed conflicts, nuclear energy (especially in light of the fukushima disaster), and many others.

But it is not too late. We do not believe that it is over. You are here for three more days, and you can still inspire us and the world. It would be a shame and a waste for you to only come here and sign off a document. We urge you to create new political will that would make us stand and applaud you as our true leaders.

Thank you

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CAN-International Director says goodbye

Dear friends,
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:

Onwards, friends.

 

-David Turnbull

CAN-International Director, October 2008 - February 2012

Region: 

Manjeet Dhakal on the Technology Mechanism

Manjeet Dhakal on the Technology Mechanism

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.

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Related Member Organization: 

CAN Southern CSOs Pre-COP 16 Preparatory Meeting (Mexico City) - 2010

 

This meeting was one of the most intense discussions in a focused setting for CAN’s southern members. Last year CAN International under the Southern Capacity Building Program engaged in inter-country and regional capacity building sessions which were narrower in their objectives.  
The Pre-COP 16 Southern CSOs Preparatory Meeting was in a sense the next logical step forward in the discussions amongst Southern CSOs to strengthen their capacities and develop a joint understanding of the challenges existing in the global south. The range of expertise and backgrounds represented within the group of participants was another positive element responsible for the outcome of this meeting.
Region: 

Fossil #1: Saudi Arabia, 
Kuwait, Qatar, Oman

First place fossil goes to these four Parties for risking the good faith and integrity of the negotiations by blocking all attempts to secure a technical review of the 1.5 target and suggesting that vulnerable countries use Google to get information that they need/want. They did this in the teeth of emotional pleas from vulnerable countries and 
numerous rounds of diplomatic efforts to reach a compromise.

Saudi Arabia even gave us a list of traded goods which would be in peril from a 1.5 target. See if you can spot which one is their true concern: rice, cocoa, tomatoes, coal, oil.  (If you’re stuck, look up their chief export on Google.)

Region: 
Related Newsletter : 

Fossil #1: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia received the 1st Place Fossil for ingeniously linking carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. In today’s debate there was general  agreement on having additional public funding for REDD; the Saudis said they would only consent if there were funding windows for all other  mitigation activities, including CCS. That would not only mean that they  can ‘compensate’ for emissions from the oil they produce, but also get  money for it, holding REDD hostage in the process.

Related Newsletter : 

Fossil #2: Russian Federation

Russia received the 2nd Place Fossil for very significant weakening of its emissions reduction commitment from 25% to 15% of 1990 levels if land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) is not counted. The Russian president announced the 25% target as unconditional, but the Russian delegation converted this to being conditional in yesterday’s Numbers+LULUCF contact  group. In addition, Russia’s proposal to account for LULUCF would  hide huge quantities of emissions.

Related Newsletter : 

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