Tag: UNFCCC

CAN Closing ADP 2.9 Intervention for UNFCCC Website, 11 June 2015

Thank you, honourable Co-Chairs and distinguished delegates for the opportunity to submit a written statement for the website.

CAN believes that the end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable, and the dawning of the age of renewables is unstoppable. The recent G7 declaration points towards this. The world is watching to make sure their governments are part of the solution, and not part of the problem. 

This session has provided an opportunity for enhanced trust building and contributed to a sense of ownership by governments of the draft text for Paris.

Yet the past two weeks in Bonn have left us with feeling that a sense of urgency and purpose has eluded the negotiations. 

Climate change is real, and happening now. As highlighted by the outcomes of the Structured Expert Dialogue 2013-2015, safeguarding human rights, security and well-being requires all efforts to be made to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The first step towards realising this scientific and moral imperative is an urgent need for all countries to increase their mitigation ambition in the pre-2020 period. 

This increase of ambition in developing countries should be supported by ensuring adequate and predictable means of implementation. 

A roadmap towards achieving the $100 billion per year target and clear milestones towards this target by developed countries is essential for increasing ambition in developing countries for the pre-2020 period, along with developed countries increasing their own mitigation targets.

But our work is just beginning. A high level of ambition must carry over to the post-2020 period with all countries putting forward ambitious INDCs as early as possible.

Parties at COP 21 would need to decide on a mechanism with the intent to periodically upscale and enhance mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation to be provided. CAN would like the duration of this enhancement to be 5 years. This will ensure that we do not end up increasing the existing gigatonne gap, and that we continuously have a forward direction instead of a "one step forward, two steps back” approach to ambition.

Since no country can escape the realities of climate change, we support a global adaptation goal that links adaptation requirements to mitigation efforts. This goal should be predicated on the principles of appropriateness, gender equality, and a rights-based approach to adaptation.

However, we must also recognise that mitigation and adaptation efforts cannot always be sufficient. Loss and damage should therefore be anchored in the 2015 agreement on an equal footing with adaptation, and additional finance ensured.

Honourable delegates, the world is counting on you to rise to the challenge and demonstrate the necessary foresight, courage and leadership.

Thank you.

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Lima Summit shows climate politics lagging behind real world momentum

Big issues punted to Paris

Lima, Peru, December 14, 2014: All eyes will turn to the leaders of the governments who have signed off on an outcome at the UN climate talks in Lima today which neither reflects the growing public support for the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies nor the urgency to accelerate this transition.

The Lima Decision reaffirmed that governments are now on the spot to put the individual climate pledges on table in the first half of next year, that will form the foundations of the global climate agreement due in Paris next December, but some of the big issues that have been plaguing the talks for years were shirked and could cause headaches later on.

When it comes down to it, these talks shows governments are disconnected from their people who are worried about climate risks and want a just transition to boost our economies, deliver jobs and strengthen public health. Increasingly domestic issues, whether they are elections or decisions about major projects such as the KeystoneXL pipeline in the US and the Galilee basin in Australia, will be seen as a country’s intention on climate change.

While governments were able to hide in Lima, they won’t have that luxury in Paris where the world will be expecting them to deliver an agreement, not shoe-gazing.

"The talks took place in the wake of worsening climate impacts hitting communities around the world, like Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines which has highlighted to ensure communities can adapt and to providing support for the loss and damage they experience when they can no longer adapt" said Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor at Christian Aid.

“There is an elephant in the room at these negotiations - we’ve not managed to entice it out. Working out how to fairly share the workload of tackling climate change between developed and developing countries has become the major stumbling block on the road to Paris.”  

Samantha Smith, Leader, WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative said “Governments crucially failed to agree on specific plans to cut emissions before 2020 that would have laid the ground for ending the fossil fuel era and accelerated the move toward renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. The science is clear that delaying action until 2020 will make it near impossible to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, yet political expediency won over scientific urgency. Instead of leadership, they delivered a lackluster plan with little scientific relevancy.”

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International said, "there is still a vast and growing gulf between the approach of some climate negotiators and the public demand for action. This outcome can only be seen as a call to action for people around the world. Governments will not deliver the solutions we need unless more people stand up to make our voices heard. We must continue to build a stronger movement to counteract the narrow interests that are preventing action."

In a positive contrast, negotiators here in Lima were in sync with the emerging consensus around the world that we need to phase out fossil fuels, illustrated by this phaseout surviving as one of the options listed in the current list of options for the Paris agreement. Governments need to get to real work at the next UN climate session in February, in Geneva, to convert the options into plain English, legal negotiating text.

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SDGs? Whazit? And what’s climate got to do with it?

In a land far far away, a bunch of busy bees are currently negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This brainchild of the Rio+20 Summit should provide for a successor to the MDGs, and is supposed to end poverty and bring on sustainable development. Since March last year, the members of the Open Working Group on SDGs have been working on an inspirational, aspirational and otherwise brilliant ‘To Do List’ (the goals) for international development over the next 15 years. Their recommendations are due to be delivered to the UN General Assembly by September 2014. The next round of negotiations starts on 16 June.

What will end up on the goals list, depends on a battle that is yet to come. There are already some things in place like gender, health, education, food and agriculture, energy and water. There’s also some new kids on the block too, like climate change, ecosystems, forests and cities. Amongst all of these, the climate change goal is having the hardest time staying alive. At the moment the working group’s report’s zero draft has it on life support but a number of powerful countries are trying hard to pull the plug. These murderous intentions are only being kept at bay by a handful of brave countries and groups, like the LDCs, some island states, Bangladesh and Guatemala. Far too many others are just watching the battle from the sidelines.

It’s time to do some soul searching on why a climate goal is worth having.

Is it because addressing climate change is a pre-requisite to ending poverty and achieving sustainable development? Or because the IPCC has hammered it home, time and time again, that climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and that action cannot wait another minute? Or because some leaders agree that climate change is the greatest threat to development? Heads of States will find it hard to credibly justify the SDGs in September 2015 without climate change goals while academia, civil society and even the private sector (and of course, ECO too!) realise that this is the most pressing challenge of our generation .

Now that we get that, what’s that got that to do with the UNFCCC?

A set of climate-blind SDGs agreed in September 2015 wouldn’t set a nice stage for an ambitious climate agreement a few weeks later in Paris would it? Since the SDGs cover areas like energy, agriculture, water, forests, oceans, cities and economic growth, they can, and will, massively contribute to both mitigation and adaptation action. If you strive for low-carbon and climate-resilient DEVELOPMENT, you might throw the occasional side glance at those DEVELOPMENT goals.

Both processes are currently looking at the same pots for money and they intersect during implementation where (hopefully!) the same national strategies will guide climate and development action.

For ECO, it seems pretty straightforward that climate change must be strongly and credibly reflected in the SDGs and we want to encourage the Bonn clique to connect with their mates in New York - go!

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