CAN Intervention at the Bonn ADP2-6 Opening Plenary, 20 October 2014

Thank you Co-Chairs,

I am Vositha Wijenayake speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The INDC draft decision text needs to be finalized at this session. CAN believes that INDCs from all major economies need to be submitted by March 2015. It is crucial that INDCs are detailed and come early enough, to support a comprehensive and meaningful review process. This review will ensure that contributions from countries are fair and equitable in relation to each other as well as ambitious and scientifically adequate to put us back on a climate safe trajectory.

Locking in low ambition within the INDCs is a real danger. The INDCs need to have a five-year cycle with the first cycle ending in 2025. The EU is likely to decide on its contribution in the coming days and we urge them to set the bar high enough for others to follow rather than initiate a race to the bottom.

On climate finance: developed countries need to accept that providing finance is part of their fair share in the global effort alongside mitigation efforts. In Paris we will need new collective targets for public finance but also individual quantified commitments. The INDC should include such planned commitments as otherwise it would not be possible to assess if a country does its fair share.

Thank you

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Submission on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)

Governments at COP19 in Warsaw agreed to “initiate or intensify preparations of their intended nationally determined contributions” (INDC) to meet the ultimate objective of the convention. It was also agreed that governments in ‘a position to do so’ would submit their INDCs by March 2015. At the Climate Summit in New York, the commitment to come forward with INDCs was further reiterated. Even though there is broad agreement on the need to submit INDCs much ahead of COP 21 in Paris, there is still not enough agreement on the shape of these INDCs.

Climate Action Network (CAN) with this submission intends to elaborate its thinking around the INDCs as well as provide solutions towards the continuing disagreements between governments as well as clear the ambiguity around the concept of INDCs. 

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CAN Submission on Further Guidance on SIS (REDD+ Safeguards)

 

Currently, there is minimal guidance on the system for providing information on how REDD+ safeguards are being addressed and respected. Without further guidance, there are gaps and inconsistencies between reporting requirements, which could lead to unnecessary costs and inconveniences for countries fulfilling their REDD+ requirements.

Ultimately, without further guidance from the UNFCCC, there is a real risk that the SIS will fail to demonstrate that safeguards are being addressed and respected; and thus, result in significant negative social and environmental impacts and jeopardize the ability for REDD+ to mitigate climate change. Fortunately, if Parties agree to further guidance on the SIS at COP 20, there is opportunity to reduce the risk of negative impacts from REDD+ as well as produce positive outcomes, including adaptation outcomes. Therefore, there are important reasons for all Parties to support further guidance to support effective REDD+ implementation.

Further guidance is useful for REDD+ countries because:

  • It will assist developing country Parties to implement safeguards equitably and effectively;
  • It will assist countries without strong technical and financial capacities on how to design country approaches to implement and report on the safeguards;
  • It could simplify reporting formats and thus reduce the burden of reporting;
  • It would reduce the inconsistency and promote coherence between the multiple sets of requirements from the various multilateral funding initiatives for REDD+, thereby reducing the consequent and unnecessary costs and inconveniences of implementing and reporting on safeguards;
  • It could support countries in taking advantage of synergies with other international agreements (e.g. the Convention on Biological Diversity);
  • It could improve understanding and awareness among REDD+ stakeholders;
  • It could increase the amount of REDD+ funding available to REDD+ countries by providing greater assurance to potential REDD+ investors that safeguards have been addressed and respected;
  • It could support countries to apply safeguards systems that allow for adaptive management, leading to improvements in a country’s REDD+ program.

Further guidance is also useful for REDD+ funders because:

  • It could improve REDD+ safeguards implementation and lead to greater transparency, facilitating more effective investments that lead to improved results from REDD+;
  • It could better normalize the provision of safeguard information summaries, facilitating a more streamlined assessment;
  • It could provide greater confidence in REDD+ reporting, assisting investors in demonstrating their accountability to their domestic constituencies.

Therefore, CAN calls on Parties at COP 20 to develop additional guidance on the system for providing information on how the REDD+ safeguards are addressed and respected. If Parties rely on the current inadequate and vague guidance from Durban, they will both miss an opportunity and endanger the long-term success of the REDD+ mechanism.

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Statement on UNSG's Climate Summit by Climate Action Network and the Global Call for Climate Action

The UNSG's Climate Summit today contributed to the growing sense that the fossil fuel era is ending and delivered some momentum towards an international climate agreement to be signed in Paris next year, according to civil society groups organized in two major networks.

A small but growing number of countries joined UNSG Ban Ki-moon and actor Leonardo diCaprio to confirm the need to speed up the switch from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy, such as Samoa, Tuvalu, Costa Rica and Denmark. Other countries, like Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia and Iceland pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050. 

While the Summit produced positive signals and some money on the table for climate action, many governments came to New York today to merely restate what they are already doing. As the almost 700,000 people who joined the Peoples Climate marches over the weekend know, what they are already doing is not nearly enough. 

"Leaders in New York, including US President Barack Obama, acknowledged they can no longer act against the will of the people. And on the weekend, the will of the people was made profoundly clear. Mums and dads, people of faith, progressive business leaders, union members and youth - all are already taking action in massive numbers, and they expect Heads of Government to join them and do more, now." Climate Action Network director Wael Hmaidan said. 

"Government leaders have the choice to lead the orderly transformation of our societies or to end up on the wrong side of history."

China should be commended for signaling its intention to peak emissions as soon as possible. Such moves along with more ambitious actions by the US - which President Obama hinted at -  could accelerate negotiations towards the global climate agreement due next year. We now need them to translate their positive rhetoric into concrete commitments – carbon cuts and climate finance for the world’s vulnerable nations.

Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor Mohamed Adow said, "those countries that are hawking old goods today have to go back to their capitals with a renewed determination to get their countries on the right path with the words of the Marshall Islands', Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner ringing in their ears, who said in the opening ceremony on behalf of civil society "We deserve to not just survive. We deserve to thrive."

Contact:

About CAN and GCCA

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

The Global Call for Climate Action is an international network of diverse non-profit organizations working to mobilize civil society and galvanize public opinion in support of climate action. More at: www.tcktcktck.org

Further statements here

Greenpeace

WWF

Neighbours must do their share: Pacific climate network

Pacific civil society groups are extremely disappointed Australian and New Zealand leaders will not join island neighbours at a global climate summit in New York this week.

Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) convenor Shirley Laban said the decision by Tony Abbott and John Key not to attend the UN Climate Summit, on September 23, was ‘alarming and disheartening’.

Organised by UN chief Ban Ki Moon, the summit is intended to provide momentum for a global pact to tackle climate change, with an agreement expected to be finalised in Paris next year. More than 120 world leaders, including US president Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron, will be attending the climate meeting.

Leaders from almost all Pacific island countries will be attending, and demanding strong commitments from polluting nations.  Australian prime minister Tony Abbott will also be in New York this week to attend a special UN security council meeting on terrorism.  However he has ruled out attending the Climate Summit.

Ms Laban said Abbott’s decision not to attend the summit sent a strong message to island neighbours that Australia was not serious addressing global climate change.

‘A changing climate presents a clear and present danger for Pacific island countries,’ said Ms Laban. ‘If Australian and New Zealand leaders refuse to do their share to address the issue, they send a very poor signal to the global community. Pacific communities will reap the devastating consequences of their failure to act for generations to come’.

In recent times conservative governments in both Australia and New Zealand have distanced themselves from crucial international climate negotiations, and have rolled back support to help island states adapt to changes that are already understood to be unavoidable.

Pacific island countries are already among the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Every year island communities face the threat of droughts, devastating floods and intense cyclones.  Climate change looks set to increase the risks.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggests a changing climate is likely to lead to changing rainfall patterns, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching.  Coastal communities are also likely to experience stronger storm surges, increased erosion and inundation as sea levels rise, and salination is likely to compromise groundwater resources.

Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said Pacific island states were sounding a warning to the rest of the world.

‘Our experience as the “canaries in the coalmine” must finally be understood by the international community and acted on’, said Mr Malielegaoi.

Ms Laban echoed the call for polluting nations to take action now to curb emissions.  She also said wealthy nations needed to do more to help island communities adapt to a changing climate.

‘Funding for adaptation, including from the Green Climate Fund, needs to be accessible to Pacific communities and civil society organisations, said Ms Laban. ‘Because we are at the frontline of climate change, more support must be allocated to community-based adaptation measures’.

She said a global agreement to tackle climate change should include commitments to address the irreversible damage that is likely to occur in Pacific island states.

‘We are not responsible for climate change, yet we will bear the greatest impacts of a changing climate,’ said Ms Laban. ‘Even if drastic action is taken now to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Pacific countries are still likely to experience significant losses, and permanent damage.  The countries responsible for emitting greenhouse gases must take responsibility for the impacts of their pollution’.

The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) brings together civil society actors in Pacific island countries advocating for climate justice.  PICAN is a regional network of the global Climate Action Network (CAN-International).

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Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)

For Media Enquiries please contact:

P: +678 25786.  M: +678 7772306

Shirley Laban is available for interview

 
 
 
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Conservative Crowd Count: 310,000+ Join People’s Climate March in New York City

Contact: media@peoplesclimate.org, +1- 917-719-6672

Conservative Crowd Count:  310,000+ Join People’s Climate March in New York City, Over Half A Million Join Rallies Around the World 

NEW YORK - September 21, 2014 -- An official count conducted at the People’s Climate March in New York City showed that over 310,000 people participated in the largest climate rally in history--more than tripling pre-march estimates of 100,000. Around the world, over half a million people joined 2800 events in 160 countries. 

“We said it would take everyone to change everything -- and everyone showed up,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

Shattering expectations, this official attendee count makes the People’s Climate March New York City’s largest social demonstration in the last decade. Well above the 80,000 who attended the 2009 march at the Copenhagen climate talks, the 310,000 attendees at today’s demonstration have set world history just days before a UN Summit bringing world leaders together to discuss tangible action on climate change.

“People around the world are tired of waiting for our politicians to act,” said Payal Parekh, Global Managing Director for 350.org, one of the organizations coordinating the global day of events. “From the islands of the Pacific to the streets of New York City, we’re demanding action, not words. We’re showing what real leadership looks like.” 

Marches around the world also exceeded expectations with more than 30,000 people taking to the streets in both London and Melbourne and over 25,000 in Paris. Thousands also marched in Delhi, Rio, Paris, Barcelona, Jakarta and beyond. In most places, the People’s Climate march was the largest demonstration on climate change to date. 

In addition, at last count, 2,129,060 people around the world had also signed onto a petition calling for world leaders to take bold action at the UN Climate Summit this week. 

“With hundreds of thousands marching in over 2,500 protests worldwide, this is by a long way the largest climate mobilization in history. It's a wake up call to politicians that climate change is not a green issue anymore, it's an everybody issue,” said Ricken Patel, the executive director of Avaaz, who delivered the petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 1:00pm this afternoon on the march route. 

Learn more at www.peoplesclimate.org.

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