CAN Annual Policy Document: Marrakech - Galvanizing Ambition, October 2016

With the Paris Agreement entering into force less than eleven months after COP 21 concluded, leaders have demonstrated their ambition and willingness for decisive action on climate change. The establishment of a Global Market Based Mechanism (GMBM) under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down climate damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) further demonstrates the commitment that governments undertook in Paris to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre industrial levels.  

While COP 21 in Paris delivered the architecture and the regime in the form of the Paris Agreement, COP 22 will need to galvanize ambition within this regime. This means to swiftly enable transformative action, shifting away from outdated forms of energy to transformational plans to a brighter, cleaner, fairer and safer future for all. Continuing the collaborative and balanced process that was initiated at COP 21, this transformation must not only be in the hands of a few, but should instead derive its power from a shared sense of leadership among all those that helped shape success in Paris, including through catalysing and building on the ambition shown by non-state actors as well as governments.

We should celebrate the remarkably early entry into force of the Paris Agreement, but at the same time remember that we are now living in a 400ppm world, in which global temperature records are being shattered each month. People all over the globe are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. The need to act continues to be urgent, and in Marrakech we must shift attention towards rapidly scaling up ambition, which has lagged behind in the past few years.

COP 22 must create the right conditions for enabling both immediate and longer-term action. Concrete progress on capacity building, the $100 billion roadmap and success conclusion of the facilitative dialogue would be essential for building trust and unlocking pre-2020 ambition. In laying the longer term foundations for the new Paris regime, agreeing on a time bound work plan for the rule book, to be finalized no later than 2018, rapid progress on loss and damage, and greater clarity over how 2018 facilitative dialogue is conducted would define success at COP 22.

Finally, the Paris Agreement reiterates the necessity for all governments to respect, promote and take into consideration their respective human rights obligations when taking climate actions. Beginning at COP 22, the new climate regime in the post-Paris era must build on this mandate and promote the integration of human rights into its various areas of work.

Summary of key points:

Assessing, reviewing and scaling-up ambition: To keep the global temperature in line with Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) will require revision and strengthening over the course of the next few years. Revising them in five-year cycles and underpinned by ambitious, national long-term strategies presents opportunities for concentrated political attention that could result in greater collaboration and rapid increase in ambition. 

·        Assessments: Through the facilitative dialogues in 2016 and 2018, and the first global stocktake in 2023, the Paris Agreement has in-built mechanisms, to assess progress and scaling up of ambition. COP 22 should get the ball rolling on these by successfully concluding the 2016 facilitative dialogue. The facilitative dialogue should take stock of progress and identify implementation gap. CAN proposes that a comprehensive chair’s summary is produced from the 2016 facilitative dialogue capturing the discussions as well as potential options to explore for bridging the implementation gaps.

·        The facilitative dialogue in 2018 should be conducted over the course of 2018, ensuring a process in which countries are prepared to ramp up their level of ambition in current NDCs and look at opportunities to further increase ambition in the next round. COP 22 should adopt a decision to invite countries and other stakeholders to submit their views (particularly on format, scope, inputs and outcome) on the facilitative dialogue by 31st March 2017, with a synthesis report from the UNFCCC that should inform a workshop on the facilitative dialogue at SB 46.

·        COP 22 should establish a Preparatory Process for the Global Stock take (PPGS), culminating at COP 25 in 2019: This preparatory process would help in drawing lessons from the facilitative dialogues conducted over the next few years, it would also help in developing the modalities to assess over all progress towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Enhancing action pre-2020: Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require urgent, ramping up of pre-2020 action on mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation.

·        Radical collaboration facilitated by the high-level champions and an improved Technical Expert Meetings (TEMs) process with a narrower focus would enable greater mitigation ambition. Along with this, strong guiding criterions for initiatives would allow UNFCCC to maintain high levels of integrity.

·        Adaptation and loss & damage should be given greater priority and tangible steps to finance them should be taken urgently. COP 22 needs to set in motion concrete steps for additional adaptation action pre-2020. This includes the identification of adaptation actions that need to be urgently financed at High-level dialogue on finance. The financial requirements for addressing loss and damage also need to be addressed at COP 22. The COP should undertake to operationalize the need for L&D finance as acknowledged in Article 8 of the Paris Agreement. 

·        COP 22 should give greater clarity on the $100 billion roadmap. The roadmap should demonstrate how a 50:50 balance between adaptation and mitigation finance is achieved. The expected COP decision on long-term finance (LTF) should also include an aspirational target for the provision of annual financial assistance for adaptation to be reached by 2020.

Transparency and Accounting of Action and Support: A core set of robust and enforceable MRV rules will be critical to driving forward the ambition necessary to ensure the success of the Paris Agreement.

·        Transparency Framework: the post-Paris transparency framework should be completed no later than 2018. The framework should be robust, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity and avoid double counting as well as loopholes. Monitoring, reporting and review should cover all Parties whilst still recognizing different national circumstances. The framework should provide flexibility and this should not be used as an excuse to keep the status quo, but rather as a means to enable participation, balanced by the overarching goal to enable progression and facilitate improvement over time.

·        Comparability of NDCs: A minimum requirement should be that Parties indicate a direction of improvement for the information they provide in their NDCs. This could range from information to specify emission pathways, intended use of international markets, renewable and energy efficiency targets, fossil fuel phase-out, participation of civil society, indigenous peoples, and affected local communities, respect for and promotion of human rights and gender equality, conditional aspect of the contribution, or “stretch goals”, information on financial support needed by developing countries in order to achieve their pledges.

·        Accounting for finance: In order to address existing insufficiencies in the reporting of climate finance and to avoid overestimation of climate-specific net assistance, at COP 22, SBSTA should adopt a detailed work program and timeline to advance discussions on modalities of accounting for climate finance. While discussions may need to continue at SB 46 and COP 23, the draft decision for modalities of accounting should be presented for consideration and adoption by CMA no later than 2018.

·        Accounting for adaptation: Decisions on adaptation communications should identify the capacity needs of vulnerable countries, including approaches to plan and communicate adaptation requirements in light of different warming scenarios, and promote ways to communicate on adaptation progress (and limits) effectively and efficiently for different reporting purposes.

·        Accounting for agriculture forestry and other land use: Countries must account for emissions and removals from AFOLU in a comparable and transparent way, especially those which intend to include emission reductions or increased removals from the sector as part of their NDCs. The Convention employs a land-based system of reporting and this should be used in the new agreement and should applied towards accounting for AFOLU sector.

Finance: Provision of finance is key towards galvanizing ambition and COP 22 needs to take several decisions on facilitating greater climate finance flows.

·        Adaptation: COP 22 should adopt a decision clarifying the role of the Adaptation Fund under the Paris Agreement. COP 22 should also encourage countries to announce financial contributions to both the Adaptation Fund and Least Developed Countries (LDC) Fund.

·        Loss and Damage: COP 22 must the review the WIM with a view to put more emphasis on enhancing action and support to address loss and damage and the need to provide the WIM with more resources to deliver on its tasks. The five-year work plan should be guided by strategic objectives which can develop the WIM in the next phase into a tool that is ideally in position to respond to L&D that has already taken place and prevent further loss and damage.

·        Technology: COP 22 must mandate the SBI to develop and recommend an adequate, sustainable and predictable financing model for the CTCN for adoption at COP 23, taking into account the CTCN host’s obligations to also provide and seek out funding.


CAN Submission: Input to IPCC-44, October 2016

~Resulting from the Paris Agreement the IPCC will provide a special report by 2018 on the multitude of scientific, economic, social, environmental and developmental questions, opportunities and challenges related to not exceeding a threshold of 1.5°C global warming above pre-industrial levels. CAN strongly supports the IPCC in this endeavour and highlights again the need for developing globally ambitious and socially sound GHG emission reduction pathways for all sectors and all regions and assessing funding requirements for adaptation to unavoidable climate change impacts, particularly for poor and most exposed communities, even under a temperature limit of 1.5°C in the context of equity, responsibility and fairness. Based on the preparatory expert meeting in August in Geneva, the IPCC will discuss and likely approve the draft outline of the Special Report at its coming 44th Session in October 2016.


Montreal Protocol: Deal to phase down HFCs a major score for global climate action

15 October, Kigali: Climate Action Network welcomes the outcome reached in Kigali under the Montreal Protocol to phase down “super greenhouse gases” known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This is a critical step towards limiting warming and the single biggest climate action of the year, just weeks before leaders meet in Morocco for international climate talks.

The amendment establishes three different timetables for all developed and developing countries to freeze and then reduce their production and use of HFCs.

Developed countries agreed to make their first HFC cuts by 2019. China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and more than 100 other developing countries have committed to freeze their HFC production and use by 2024, and make further reductions thereafter. India, Gulf States, and Pakistan have agreed to make HFC reductions on a slower track.

It is crucial that in the coming years countries work towards transitioning to energy efficient and environment friendly alternatives. The agreed technology review will help with rapid maturity of alternatives and enable countries to strengthen their actions.

The results from Kigali on HFCs as well as the recent outcome on aviation emissions shows that governments are taking the objective of the Paris Agreement seriously. CAN hopes that countries will accelerate national ambition over time but soon enough to give a fighting chance for the world to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C.  

Representatives from civil society organisations reacted to the agreement as follows:

“This is a major breakthrough: The world has come together to curb climate-wrecking super-pollutant HFCs. This is the biggest step we can take in the year after the Paris agreement against the widening threats from climate change. And bringing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol sends a clear signal to the global marketplace to start replacing these dangerous chemicals with a new generation of climate-friendly and energy-efficient alternatives.” David Doniger, NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air program director.   

 “The success of this agreement will be determined by how much developing countries can leapfrog HFCs and how much countries can avoid yet another chemical alternative like toxic HFOs and adopt natural refrigerants. This will be decisive in the coming months and years.” Paula Tejón Carbajal, Global strategist, Greenpeace International

“The agreement reflects the willingness of all parties to take action on climate change. What we have achieved at Kigali is the beginning. We can build on this success and further enhance climate actions by countries under the Montreal Protocol and in other climate agreements, especially the Paris Agreement,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE

“To aid the switch to newer and safer natural refrigerants, sufficient funding will be required through the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to enable poorer countries to invest in the new technology. It is vital that developed countries also share their progress on technological breakthroughs.” Benson Ireri, Senior Policy Advisor, Christian Aid

“The Kigali Amendment, just prior to the adoption of the Paris Agreement, brings concrete global action to fight catastrophic global warming. With billions of tonnes of emissions still up for grabs, the ultimate success of the Kigali amendment will depend on accelerating the removal of these industrial climate-killers in upcoming meetings.” Clare Perry, Climate Campaign Leader, Environmental Investigation Agency

For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email:, or call on +918826107830

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

CAN Recommendations to the Ministerial Policy Dialogue - Pre-COP

COP 22 is an important milestone for the international climate regime as it will see the entry into force of the Paris Agreement as well as kick start a new phase of the negotiation, particularly on facilitating implementation. COP 22 needs to catalyze greater political momentum towards climate action continuing from Paris while also galvanizing ambition across the regime to enable faster implementation in line with the vision articulated in the Paris Agreement. The Pre-COP briefing gives CAN's recommendations for ministers to consider at the Ministerial Policy Dialogue.


Montreal Protocol: Call for show of leadership as ministers converge for high-level talks on phasing down HFCs

12 October 2016, Kigali: Negotiations to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase-down HFCs enter a critical stage as nearly 40 ministers arrive in Kigali (Rwanda) on Thursday to attend the high-level discussions. Hydrofluorocarbons are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries.
An agreement to halt their growth and to rapidly transition to energy efficient and climate-friendly alternatives can avoid warming of up to 0.5 degrees warming by the end of the century. This would greatly increase our chances to meet the world’s climate goal, to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.    

“Climate Action Network urges leaders use this occasion to come together to strike an ambitious deal to cut down on these heat-trapping "super pollutants" and reaffirm the commitment they made in Paris to use every opportunity they have to tackle climate change. A success in Kigali can really raise the bar for greater ambition on global climate action in the years ahead,” said Wael Hmaidan, International Director, Climate Action Network  
In the Paris Agreement, national leaders promised to try their hardest to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. However, those promises will ring hollow if we don’t get an early date for the global phase down of HFCs.  These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than C0₂ as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year.”

Benson Ireri, Christian Aid’s Senior Policy Officer for Africa, said: “It’s fitting that ministers will be arriving here at the summit in the coming days because it is their government's credibility that will be on the line if we don’t get a good outcome. Vulnerable countries do not have time to wait, the climate is changing fast and phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement. It would be an embarrassing start if the Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their first test by delivering a feeble deal on HFCs."

This week the Montreal Protocol has rapidly moved closer to an amendment that will build significantly on climate action committed under the Paris Agreement. Although we've made progress on the important issue of baselines in the negotiations, time is scarce, and barely three negotiating days remain to reach the ambition necessary to achieve the 0.5 degree contribution to avoided warming that we desperately need." said Avipsa Mahapatra, Climate Campaign Lead, Environmental Investigation Agency (US).  "It is pivotal that all Parties agree to an early freeze date for HFC production and consumption and that sufficient funding and flexibility mechanisms are made available to enable such action in developing countries."

Conditions are ripe for reaching an ambitious agreement to phase-down HFCs this week. The technology to transition to energy efficient and climate-friendly alternatives is already available. As the talks progress, most developing countries are displaying ambition and are ready for a freeze starting in the first half of the next decade. Developed countries are also supporting early action and pledging adequate funding to developing countries through the Multilateral Fund,” said Bhaskar Deol, NRDC India Representative.

Q&A for the Ministerial Pre-COP meeting

The countdown to COP22 will intensify at the Ministers meeting on 17 October intended to clarify key issues before the conference. The incoming Moroccan presidency and outgoing French presidency have prepared a handy Q&A for Ministers to come prepared to the meeting. ECO has answered the most relevant questions for you exclusively in this issue of ECO.

Mobilisation of means of implementation 

1) What to expect for the roadmap towards the USD 100 billion? 

Like all good financial tools and plans, the roadmap needs to have clarity and predictability. It needs to provide an accurate and detailed forward-looking account of how the US$100 billion will be mobilised in addition to the existing efforts being made. This should include the types of instruments, sources, channels, etc. as well as public-private leverage ratios. ECO has said it dozens of times: greater clarity on financial support to mitigation and adaptation will generate confidence in developing country Parties. It will also showcase the amount of finance flowing in the coming years by 2020 which will help developing countries integrate NDCs into their planning and implementation. Of particular note would be building on the OECD’s 2015 report on progress towards the $100 billion goal. This means grants should be reported at face value and present net positive flows into developing countries.

2) What are Parties’ intended announcements/initiatives at the COP that would show support, action and momentum?

COP22 should assess and highlight pre-2020 ambition. That’s right, we never forget about what needs to happen now — in particular, means of implementation, the pledges made by countries within CP2 of the Kyoto Protocol, countries’ Cancun pledges, the NAMA registry, REDD+ and plenty of others. This assessment would show support, ambition and momentum in the context of the facilitative dialogue technical track. Ideally, this would be in the form of roundtable discussions amongst experts, facilitated by the High-Level Champions with representation of technical experts from UNFCCC institutions. The discussions from the technical track should be reflected in the form of a policymaker’s summary.

Strengthening action

3) How can the facilitative dialogue on action and implementation help Parties identify options to increase ambition through the implementation of existing decisions?

Why take one track when we can take two? This year’s facilitative dialogue should follow a two-track approach: first, a technical track to take stock of progress and identify implementation gaps.

The high level track overseen by the presidency should then provide the opportunity to discuss how the recommendations from the technical track should be taken forward. It should also provide the ministers with a platform to make announcements and pledges towards greater action as well as strengthening their own commitments. These discussions should then be reflected in a chair’s summary to be forwarded to the COP for its consideration. Said summary could be noted by the COP and its intent reflected within decisions from COP22 too. Overall, the two tracks make for a nice package to increase ambition.
4) How can the Global Climate Action Agenda and the work of the Champions be strengthened?
All mitigation initiatives associated with the UNFCCC should adhere to a set of strong, guiding criteria to ensure positive impact and avoid greenwashing. Giving the UN stamp of approval to greenwashers will undermine the UNFCCC’s credibility and make the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C more difficult to achieve. The process to develop criteria should be announced at COP22, and be facilitated by the Champions.

Related Event: 

Ratification And What Next

October started with a real bustle of activity! This month, the Paris Agreement became one of the most swiftly ratified international treaties in history as it crossed the second of two thresholds required to enter into force, which will now occur on 4 November 2016. Expedited action by the European Union and seven of its member states (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia) as well as Bolivia, Canada and Nepal ensured that the global community sailed past the Agreement’s emissions threshold.

Since the Paris Agreement opened for signature on 22 April, ratification has occurred at a breakneck speed. In just 5 short months, 73 countries representing nearly 57% of global emissions have joined the Paris Agreement, signalling their intent to continue the spirit of Paris and work together to address climate change.

The Agreement further provides that the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement referred to as CMA1—we can never get enough acronyms—will be held in conjunction with the next COP, next month in Marrakech.

This will be a significant for a number of reasons. CMA1 will be the first meeting of the governing body, which has authority over all substantive, procedural, administrative and operational matters. The Agreement and accompanying decisions anticipate a number of core decisions—including accounting guidelines, rules to elaborate the transparency framework and modalities for the global stocktake—to be adopted at CMA1. Due to the unanticipated speed of entry into force, Parties still need time to finalise these decisions.

Therefore it is very important that CMA1 to agree a process to ensure adequate time to negotiate these important technical details and be inclusive for those countries that have not yet had the opportunity to join the Agreement. ECO doesn’t believe that this time period should continue indefinitely though. If the closure of CMA1 is suspended during COP22, Parties should decide to have all rules developed by 2018.

Related Event: 

Variety is the Spice of Life: External Processes That Matter

As we approach the yearly Pre-COP and COP feast, this time with a Moroccan flavour, here is how working in other fora can strengthen ambition and action in the UNFCCC. With ICAO, Montreal Protocol, G20, and not to mention all of the synergies with the SDGs there is so much more on the menu. In this brave new world of implementation and global action, the emphasis must not only be on the ingredients of the tajine, but also what you serve it with. ECO has 5 serving suggestions

A handful of HFCs:

Like giving up sugar, it’s hard to go cold turkey on HFCs. However, ECO hopes for a Kigali special this October that finally kicks the HFCs habit. All that’s needed is Montreal Protocol Parties to adopt an ambitious amendment to phase-down HFCs and improve energy efficiency. The most scientific chefs estimate a phase down of these potent greenhouse gases could avoid more than 100 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2050 which is equal to about 0.5ºC of warming.

An ounce of aviation:

At its recently concluded 39th Assembly in Montreal, the International Civil Aviation Organisation has reached the world’s first agreement to limit emissions from international aviation—a deal that will be voluntary until 2027. While it does include a treat or two, it also contains several less appetising ingredients. ECO salutes the inclusion of language on double counting of UNFCCC credits, but laments the missing language on environmental integrity and the deletion of some language on a long-term temperature goal in line with the Paris Agreement. Without concerted action, aviation emissions could make up over 20% of global emissions by 2050. Yet 2020 was supposed to be the year where the aviation sector began carbon-neutral growth. Governments need to sign up to the deal from its outset in 2021, not 2027. ICAO’s agreement is a start, but without stronger leadership and action in this sector, the achievement of the Paris goals will be in peril.

A sprinkle of shipping:

Often overlooked, this important ingredient (predicted to account for 17% of global emissions by 2050 under BAU) can turn a mediocre dish into climate haute cuisine. At the end of October, countries will meet in London at the International Maritime Organisation to discuss whether the vital ingredients will be added or not. For a five-star meal, countries need to commit to defining the shipping sector’s ‘fair share’ contribution to mitigating climate change. Shipping Ministers, the more you delay, the larger this fair share will become!

A dollop of G20:

Accounting for approximately 81% of global greenhouse gas emissions, G20 countries add a lot of spice to the dish. While the Chinese Presidency of the recent G20 Summit placed climate change firmly on the agenda, the communiqué lacked any oomph in terms of concrete outcomes. Now is the time for a timeline of when G20 countries will finally get rid of those tasteless, unhealthy fossil fuel subsidies, a commitment to develop long-term strategies, and more robust climate language on infrastructure and finance. ECO hopes that G20 countries will take domestic action to ensure that the momentum and spirit of Paris continues and is mainstreamed into the global agenda. The baton is passed onto Germany as it takes up the 2017 G20 Presidency, so let’s hope that when it comes to climate change, Germany and its G20 sous-chefs cook up a feast to be proud of.

Finally, stir in some SDGs:

Several national policies are likely to contribute to the goals of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. Developing long-term strategies for sustainable development and decarbonisation will allow countries to fully enhance all flavours of the dish by strengthening synergies between climate and development policymaking, making successful outcomes in both processes more likely.

While progress within the UNFCCC process is the essential basis of our efforts to fight climate change, our focus should not be so narrow that we ignore what is going on around us. Rigorous efforts for streamlining and coherence in important outside processes will be crucial to ensure that our climate deal succeeds.

Related Event: