Tag: UNFCCC

Media Advisory – Webcast Notice

Negotiations Assessment: Cancun Climate Talks

Midpoint media briefing 

[Cancún, Mexico] Climate Action Network will host a media briefing to assess progress at the midpoint of the UNFCCC climate negotiations underway in Cancún, Mexico, on Monday, December 6, at 10:00 AM local (16:00 GMT), Room Luna of the Azteca building in the Moon Palace.

NGO experts on the panel include Wendel Trio, Greenpeace International; Tim Gore, Oxfam International; and Tara Rao, WWF International.

Panelists will assess the progress of negotiations over the first week of the talks, evaluate the new negotiation texts released by negotiators over the weekend and set out benchmarks for measuring progress over the final week.

What: Midpoint briefing on the UNFCCC climate negotiations in Cancún

Where: UNFCCC Press Conference Room Luna,Moon Palace, Cancún

Webcast Live: http://webcast.cc2010.mx/    (www.unfccc.int)

When: 10:00 AM local (17:00 GMT), Monday, December 6, 2010

Who: NGO experts on UNFCCC negotiations

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 450 non-governmental organizations 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 contact:

Hunter Cutting: +52(1) 998-108-1313

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CAN intervention - COP Agenda Item 5: Article 17 - COP 16 - 1 December 2010

Madam President, Distinguished Delegates,

My name is Yang Ailun from China. I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network, a global network of over 500 NGOs.

Today you have an opportunity to establish a process to resolve one of the many vexing problems that is contributing to the inability of these negotiations to make substantial progress towards a Fair, Ambitious and Legally Binding outcome. 

CAN has consistently supported an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that will establish a second commitment period – thus preserving the legal and institutional structure we have all worked so hard to build. 

At the same time, the COP has a chance to establish a contact group to consider the proposals that have been on the table for over a year now, that reflect different approaches to the legal form of the outcome of the LCA negotiations. 

We urge you to establish a contact group now to consider these proposals in an open and transparent manner with a view to providing greater focus to the negotiations going into Durban next year. 

Without clarity as to where the negotiations are heading, it will be hard to get there.

A Climate Fund Worth Fighting For

In the lead-up to Copenhagen and since, climate finance ranked has ranked higher and higher on the list of make-or-break issues. It’s both vitally important and politically challenging. As COP16 kicks off, however, there are worrying signs that negotiators may be taking their eye off the ball and sleepwalking toward a result that does little to resolve the inad­equacies of existing institutional arrange­ments.

To be sure, there is good news also. Over the course of 2010, talks on a new global climate fund have been produc­tive – and now there are proposals and options on the table to provide for its es­tablishment here in Cancun, with details to be worked out in time for COP17. But the establishment of the Fund and related climate finance decisions are far from a done deal. Many of the emerging ‘areas of convergence’ on the table may not de­liver the fair, legitimate and effective cli­mate fund that’s really needed.

For example, many Parties appear ready to accept equal representation between Annex I and non-Annex I on the Fund Board. Because there are roughly three times as many developing countries, this means that each developing country will have one-third the voice in the Fund’s governance. This notion of ‘equal representation’ is a big step backward from the precedent established by the Adaptation Fund, which additionally has two seats from each of the UN regional groups plus one each for LDCs and SIDS. It’s hard to see how, in the end, this would deliver arrangements that are any different from the GEF. Is this the “balanced’ guaran­tee of interests needed for all UNFCCC members?

Secondly, none of the textual propos­als tabled so far guarantee any balance between adaptation and mitigation fund­ing – something most countries agree in principle even though it has not been de­livered in practice to date.

Adaptation currently receives scarcely 10% of the overall climate finance port­folio. Unless Parties agree a dedicated adaptation window in the new Fund with at least 50% of the monies channelled to it, we can only assume the current trend will continue. Is this what Parties really mean by ‘balance’?

Third, textual proposals for guidelines to ensure that the most vulnerable com­munities, especially women in rural ar­eas, will ultimately benefit aren’t diffi­cult to improve – only because right now there aren’t any such proposals. But this is easy to address with a few lines of text and it’s hard to imagine any country op­posing it. Who is against guarantees that gender equity will receive particular at­tention in adaptation support?

Finally, everyone knows building an­other near-empty fund is pointless. Sev­eral options to deliver predictable sources of innovative financing – such as a levy on international shipping and aviation as part of an emissions reduction scheme – were presented by the UN Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Finance less than a month ago.

In fact, it’s clear from the AGF Report that raising $100 billion or more in pub­lic finance is possible. But unless Parties work in concert to map out options for putting such proposals into practice, a de­cision to establish a new Fund could de­liver an empty shell. Is this what Parties had in mind in Bali when they agreed to ‘improve access to adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources’?

­The decisions taken here in Cancun may not result in the FAB deal that is increasingly overdue. But they will have profound, long-standing implications for the institutional architecture of the future international climate regime.

A fair climate fund is definitely within reach, and ECO calls on all Parties to stand up for it.

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Opening Moves

Cancun should deliver a substantial package of decisions that provides a clear framework for climate action. Such a package will move forward toward a legally binding agreement and put positive pressure on countries to go beyond their current quite inadequate pledg­es and commitments. The Cancun package must progress both the KP and LCA tracks and secure agreements on all building blocks, namely mitigation/MRV, finance, adaptation, REDD, technology, the legal form, the sci­ence review, and a road map for South Africa and beyond.

This means all countries must do their fair share to secure success in Cancun. And so ECO would like to take the liberty of identi­fying some opening moves that key countries should make so that Cancun starts on a con­structive note, open negotiating space for the coming two weeks, and deliver outcomes that will set us on the pathway towards the ambi­tious, global treaty we need.

ECO supports the United States objective of increasing the transparency of mitigation actions by developing countries, but it must be part of a broader framework that includes greater transparency of developed country actions on both mitigation and finance. And so instead of pressurizing others, the US should announce its willingness to increase the transparency of its own actions. The draft decision text being circulated by the EU call­ing for more detailed information in Annex 1 national communications would be a very good way to start. Making it clear that sup­porting enhanced transparency for everybody includes the US itself will make adoption of a balanced package of decisions here in Can­cun much more likely. Just say yes!

ECO expects the European Union to speak out much more clearly in favour of a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, so that a constructive dialogue between de­veloped and developing countries leading to a legally binding agreement from both tracks can be achieved. To provide further support for the Kyoto Protocol the EU should also help close the loopholes in its own position on AAU surplus and LULUCF. Those helpful moves on the Kyoto track can be bolstered by the EU championing the establishment of the UNFCCC climate fund.

China should take a more progressive role in the international negotiations instead of just continually reacting to provocations from others. That way, China can building strongly on its domestic momentum for low carbon and clean energy development. For Cancun, this means China should now put forth its own views on the form international consultation and analysis should take, as well as challenge the US to clearly commit itself to proper MRV, along with other developed countries.

Japan must show more flexibility about the second commitment period of the Kyo­to Protocol. Upfront rejection will create an unconstructive atmosphere for the entire negotiations. Kyoto was the product of hard negotiations, not only for the specific targets, but also for a top-down approach so that ag­gregate emission reductions are driven by the science. ECO hopes that Japan still remem­bers the sleepless nights in Kyoto and knows that while the Protocol is not perfect, there is still a lot to be proud of. More openness on Kyoto will signal that it acknowledges that the Kyoto architecture is important to a vast majority of Parties and opens the way forward for securing a stronger global architecture.

India should help broker a solution to the dilemma of international consultation and analysis by tabling its own ICA proposal, un­equivocally stating that it will work towards creating a rule-based system of multilateral governance within the UNFCCC and ensur­ing transparency and accountability. Another constructive move will be to support efforts to identify substantial and innovative sources of public finance for the new global climate fund.

Brazil could come forward as a champion for the creation of a fair climate fund in Can­cun, supported through innovative sources of public funding, which fully funds not only mitigation but equally so adaptation. Brazil also should come forward as a leading coun­try fighting for responsible and transparent LULUCF accounting rules to help reduce and close the Gigatonne Gap.

It’s time for Mexico to play a more crea­tive role in its welcome efforts toward trust-building in the COP 16 presidency. Mexico is well positioned to spur Parties to tackle the issues that could otherwise drive the negotia­tions into deadlock: legal form, the road map on crunch issues post-Cancun, the Gigatonne Gap, the science review and more.

Russia has an AAU surplus of 6 billion tonnes of CO2 that is creating grave uncer­tainty for the negotiations, carbon markets and the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol. It’s time for clear statements from Russia that it will not sell its AAU surplus from the 1st commitment period. That kind of good political will can go a long way to ensuring progress can be made in Cancun on dealing with AAU surplus, and give a big boost to closing the Gigatonne Gap.

ECO hopes this list of substantial but manageable first moves will help clarify the middle game on the Cancun chess­board and lead to a solution that makes everyone a winner.

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UN High-Level Climate Finance Group delivers a low-level response to the poorest people, says Tearfund

 

5th November 2010

A UN High-Level Advisory Group set up to analyse how to raise urgently needed climate finance announced details of its report today.

Tearfund's Director of Advocacy Paul Cook said: "The Climate Finance panel was set up to analyse how to raise the $100 billion a year by 2020 and the report shows that it is feasible to raise at least this amount by using public sources alone. However, what we have seen today doesn't go far enough and still amounts to leaving the most vulnerable people in countries like Bangladesh to clean up the mess rich countries have made."

The aid agency said climate change is the greatest development issue we face.  What was needed was a report that demonstrated how we are going to raise at least $200bn a year by 2020 for developing countries to adapt to a changing climate and reduce their emissions.

This money must be new and additional to existing aid budgets. It must come from innovative sources of public finance, like a Robin Hood Tax on banks and from levies on fuel and tickets for international aviation and shipping. Instead the AGF has delivered the low-level $100bn.

Tearfund warned that while it is good that the group recognises that the money required is in the range of billions of dollars, $100bn is not and has never been enough.

"Developed countries must think in terms of an evolving understanding of the science and of developing countries needs, rather than what they can get away with.

"We are pleased that the report shows how a combination of innovative sources can be used to raise the money for the long term. Today's launch is not the end of these discussions on innovative sources of public finance - rather it must be the starting point. Getting an international agreement for climate money is a crucial step towards agreeing an international climate treaty." Cook continues.

 Tearfund welcomed the UK's commitment to playing its part in the creation of new innovative sources and urged them to continue championing these to ensure progress is made within the UN climate talks.

 

Notes to Editor

 

For a briefing with one of Tearfund's Climate Change Policy Team, or an interview please contact the Media Team on:

0208 943 7779 / 0208 943 7792 / 07710 573749

Or email esther.williams@tearfund.org

 

Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency building a global network of local churches to help eradicate poverty. Tearfund is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. www.tearfund.org

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UN Advisory Group on Climate Finance Report Falls Flat

Recommendations Downplay Role of Public Finance, Rely Too Much on Private Finance

A new report on climate change financing options released today by a U.N. Advisory Group unwisely emphasizes carbon markets and other private finance options, while irresponsibly advocating an increased role for multilateral development banks (MDBs). Despite concluding that public sources of climate finance are available and promising, the report’s findings downplay the role that public finance can and must play in helping developing countries deal with climate change.

The U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing (AGF) issued its report today ahead of the annual U.N. climate summit in Cancún that begins November 29. The report outlines a number of public and private options to raise money to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

“The AGF recommendations are unfortunately based on unduly optimistic econometric projections and a blind faith in the capacity of highly volatile and unreliable carbon price signals to induce long-term investments in low carbon energy production and manufacturing,” said Steve Suppan of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. “A better start on climate finance would be for developed countries to make good on their $30 billion pledge for immediate funding to allow developing countries to adapt agricultural production and water management systems to the imminent ravages of climate change.”

“It was inappropriate for the AGF Report to make reference to the role of multilateral development banks. MDBs are not a source of climate finance, but are used as a channel. And they are not acceptable even as a channel. MDBs are a part of the climate problem, not the solution. The World Bank and other MDBs are far, far more adept at causing climate pollution than in helping countries to mitigate or adapt to it. Using MDBs as a channel would also mean climate finance in the form of loans or other debt-creating instruments,” said Lidy Nacpill of Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

“Adaptation funding, in particular, is compensation for damages done by developed countries and should only be given in grants. It is untenable that the AGF suggests otherwise. The enormous costs of dealing with climate change must not add to the already heavy debt burdens experienced by many developing countries,” added Nacpil.

“The AGF report—as limited in scope and conservative in its estimates as it is—still shows that there are numerous viable options to generate public finance for climate change,” said Ilana Solomon of ActionAid USA. “Developed countries have no excuse for inaction. The options are there. They must work through the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change to come to agreement on a combination of public sources to generate the desperately needed resources to help developing countries confront climate change."

“The AGF acknowledges that meeting the needs of developing countries will take a ‘systemic approach’ to financing climate adaptation and mitigation,” noted Janet Redman, co-director of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies. “Options like a financial transaction tax meet the mark: stabilizing the economy by curbing dangerous speculation and raising hundreds of billions of dollars each year for global public goods like combating climate change. The AGF is undercutting its own mission by underestimating the revenue generated by a feasible and popular source of public finance."

The groups expressed concern that the AGF was guided by a pledge developed countries made in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 in public and private finance—a pledge which falls short of reasonable estimates of climate financing.

“$100 billion is an arbitrary, political figure that is based neither on need nor on equity. If the U.S. government rapidly mobilized trillions to bail out Wall Street, why cannot at least equal effort be put toward bailing out the planet from a climate crisis that rich countries caused?” said Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth U.S.

In October, at the global climate talks in Tianjin, more than 25 civil society organizations sent a letter to the co-chairs of the AGF outlining their recommendations for climate finance.

ActionAid USA, Friends of the Earth U.S., Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Institute for Policy Studies, Jubilee South – Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

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Greenpeace: UN climate finance report wipes out developed country excuses to delay action

New York – 4 November 2010—Responding to the publication of the report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance (AGF), Steve Herz of Greenpeace International said: “Developed countries now have no excuse to delay meeting their promise to raise $100bn a year by 2020 to support climate action in the developing world.

“It is now clear that it is both technically feasible and politically possible for governments to raise substantial amounts of public money for climate action from new mechanisms, such as pricing emissions from international air travel and shipping.”

“In fact, developed countries can meet their Copenhagen commitments without raiding existing aid programs, and without counting the face value of loans or private sector investments, rather than their grant component.”

Unless developed country Governments keep their promise to provide long-term finance, a global agreement on climate action would be nearly impossible to reach.

“It is now time for developed country governments to come up with a clear workplan and timeline for implementing a suite of sources of finance that can meet the long-term need,” added Herz.

 The AGF has shown that significant new public resources can be mobilised through mechanisms such as

-       auctioning emissions allowances in developed countries,

-       pricing emissions from international shipping and aviation, and

-       eliminating developed country subsidies to fossil fuels and using these resources to support climate action.

Greenpeace is calling on Governments gathering at the upcoming climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, to make clear progress on outlining how decisions on innovative sources of funding will be taken and to build upon their Copenhagen commitments by agreeing that they will provide at least $100bn in public finance that is new and additional to existing aid targets, as a significant milestone towards achieving the public funding that is actually needed. .

For information/interviews

Steve Herz, Greenpeace International (based in San Francisco):  +1 510-338-123

Wendel Trio, Greenpeace International Climate Policy Director (in Belgium) +32 473 17 08 87

Szabina Mozes, Greenpeace International Communications (Amsterdam): +31 646 162 023

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WWF: Climate money can be generated, political will needs to come from Cancun

New York, USA:  A high level analysis of climate finance submitted to the UN today has demonstrated the feasibility of putting up by 2020 US$100 billion a year in public funding to fight climate change.

According to WWF, this conservative analysis by the special High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance (AGF) sets the stage for a finance agreement to come out of the UN climate summit starting late this month in Cancun, Mexico.

“The Secretary General’s high level group has come up with the financial mechanisms, now we look to governments to come up with the political mechanisms to get the finance actually flowing,” said Gordon Shepherd, leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

Financing, agreed in principle under the Copenhagen Accord from the last UN climate summit, is needed to support action in developing countries to halt the destruction of tropical forests, speed the transition away from high-emission models of development, and to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change impacts.

 “These public funds are critical to speed up the development and implementation of new technologies, as well as for adaptation and resilience building, new energy efficient infrastructure, and for construction. It will also be used to leverage private sector finance which will contribute much of the investments needed in clean energy technologies,” said Shepherd.

“Our experience is that public investment and initiatives play key roles in mobilising and directing private investment.”

The AGF report gives strong support for financing from carbon pricing mechanisms, with one of the most promising sectors being international aviation and maritime transport, whose emissions are as yet unregulated. “We expect decisive action in Cancun to put this finance source on a fast track to implementation”, said Shepherd.

Other promising sources were downplayed because of opposition from some individual group members, with the chief casualty being the financial transaction tax (FTT).

““Financial transaction taxes have been successfully implemented in more than a dozen countries and at this point we should be examining all potential sources of finance on their merits”, said Shepherd.

Although the assumptions used by the AGF to assess the scale of potential financing generated are extremely conservative, and some members placed undue emphasis on private sector investments in meeting the $100 billion per year financing milestone, the report provides a useful starting point for moving forward.

Parties in Cancun can build upon the AGF recommendation on the way to establishing a much needed new UN Climate Fund and could contribute to host country Mexico’s wish for progress on all elements of a “balanced” Cancun package.

The AGF was set up by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in February, Co-chaired by Prime Minister Stoltenberg from Norway, and Prime Minister Zenawi from Ethiopia, to explore innovative financing sources and mobilize the financing promised for climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last December. 

For any further information and interviews contact:

Gordon Shepherd,Leader WWF Global Climate Initiative, gshepherd@wwfint.org, Ph: +41 794567959

(On European time-zone)

Mark Lutes, Finance Policy Coordinator, WWF Global Climate Initiative, mark.lutes@wwf.panda.org, Ph: +1 416 484-7723; mobile: +1 416 473-5919;(On Toronto, Canadian time-zone)

Ashwini Prabha, Communications Manager, WWF Global Climate Initiative, aprabha@wwfint.org, +41 798741682

 

More information on financing for climate change and AGF: www.panda.org/climatefinance

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CAN Submission: Cancun building blocks- Summary, October 2010

Cancun Building Blocks: Essential steps on the road to a fair, ambitious & binding deal outlines the balanced package of outcomes from Cancun, and the benchmark by which CAN’s 500 member organisations, and their millions of supporters, will judge the Cancun negotiations.

These building blocks were chosen not only because they provide a pathway for preventing catastrophic climate change but also because they pave a road which can be travelled, even taking into account political constraints. 

Success in Cancun will require meaningful progress in each area, agree­ment to work toward a legally binding deal in both tracks, including an indication that the Kyoto Protocol will continue, work plans agreed on each key area, and a long term vision for future negotiations.

Cancun Building Blocks include:

  • Agree a shared vision that keeps below 1.5o C warming, links it to the short and long term actions of Parties.
  • Establish a new climate fund along with a governance structure that is transparent, regionally balanced and ensures the COP decides policies, programme priorities and eligibility criteria. Agree on a process to se­cure sufficient scale and sources of finance.
  • Establish an adaptation framework along with its institutions, goals and princi­ples and a mandate to agree a mechanism on loss and damage.
  • Put in place a technology executive committee and provide a mandate to agree measurable objectives and plans.
  • Agree to stop deforestation and degrada­tion of natural forests and related emissions completely by 2020, and ensure sufficient finance to meet this goal.
  • Implement the roll-out of a capacity building program.
  • Acknowledge the gigatonne gap be­tween current pledges and science-based targets, and ensure the gap will be closed in the process going forward.
  • Agree a mandate to negotiate by COP17 individual emission reduction commitments for industrialised countries that match an aggregate reduction target of more than 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Agree that each developed country will produce a Zero Carbon Action Plan by 2012.Minimise loopholes by adopting LULUCF rules that deliver emission reduc­tions from the forestry and land use sectors; market mechanism rules that prevent double counting of emission reductions or finance; and banking rules that minimise damage from ‘hot air’ (surplus AAUs).
  • Agree on producing climate-resilient Low Carbon Action Plans for developing countries, and establish a mechanism to match NAMAs with support. Mandate SBI and SBSTA to develop MRV guidelines for adoption in COP17.
  • Commission at COP 16 a technical pa­per to explore the mitigation required to keep warming below 1.5°C, and outline a process to negotiate how that effort will be shared between countries.
  • Agree a clear mandate that ensures that we get a full fair, ambitious and binding (FAB) deal at COP 17 in South Africa – one that includes the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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