CAN Briefing: Comments on land sector accounting in the Co-Chair’s tool, August 2015

~~CAN is encouraged that the Co-Chairs’ tool contains a substantial amount on land sector accounting rules from the Geneva Negotiating Text (GNT).  We have long advocated the need for such rules and think that an environmentally sound outcome can be developed from the current text.  We would prefer the principles governing land sector rules to be included in the treaty text, simply because they are principles, but accept that the same outcome can probably be achieved if they are included in the COP Decision, where the Co-Chairs have placed them.

In this paper we first restate in outline our policy position on land sector rules.  We then briefly examine the Co-Chair’s text and present a clean text on the land sector based on their tool.  This is followed by a section in which we show precisely which brackets we have removed and what we have deleted.
 

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CAN Non-Paper: Options for a Long-Term Mitigation Goal in the Paris Accord, August 2015

All UNFCCC Parties agreed in Lima on a long-term temperature goal of limiting global average temperature rise to below 1.5°C or 2°C above pre-industrial levels.  Since then, Parties have considered the possibility of adopting a complementary long-term goal (LTG) to operationalize this temperature target. The new global climate agreement, whose adoption is anticipated in Paris this December, represents a tremendous opportunity to frame an adequate, overarching global goal for the decades to come, yet it also comes with risks in this regard.

It is therefore timely for CAN to summarize the debate surrounding the appropriate LTG to emerge from COP21 in Paris. Although negotiators are also considering including in the Paris outcome LTGs for adaptation, loss and damage, and finance, this discussion paper limits itself to providing an overview and explanation of the mitigation LTGs referred to in the Geneva Text, as well as of the mitigation goals that have been prominently articulated by civil society. The paper aims to inform negotiators and civil society actors by clarifying different options currently in the text and by presenting a discussion on what the ultimate objective of the new Paris Agreement could be.  

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Islamic Climate Declaration calls for fossil fuel phase out

Istanbul, Turkey - 18 August. Islamic leaders from 20 countries today launched a bold Climate Change Declaration to engage the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims on the issue of our time.

Adopted by the 60 participants at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium, (Istanbul, 17-18 August) the Declaration urges governments to deliver a strong, new international climate agreement in Paris this December that signals the end of the road for polluting fossil fuels by creating architecture that will give us a chance of limiting global warming above pre-industrial levels to 2, or preferably 1.5, degrees Celsius.

The Declaration presents the moral case, based on Islamic teachings, for Muslims and people of all faiths worldwide to take urgent climate action. It was drafted by a large, diverse team of international Islamic scholars from around the world following a lengthy consultation period prior to the Symposium. It has already been endorsed by more than 60 participants and organisations including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon. The Declaration is in harmony with the Papal Encyclical and has won the support of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace of the Holy See.

The Declaration calls for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and a switch to 100% renewable energy as well as increased support for vulnerable communities already suffering from climate impacts. It can be seen as part of the groundswell of people from all walks of life calling for governments to scale up the transition away from fossil fuels. Wealthy and oil-producing nations are urged to phase out all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. All people, leaders and businesses are invited to commit to 100% renewable energy in order to tackle climate change, reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Amongst keynote speakers at the Symposium were three senior UN officials - from the UN Environment Programme, the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Secretary-General’s climate change team. Presentations were also made by scientists, NGO leaders and academics. Also attending were religious leaders from many other faith traditions.

That the Symposium was held in Istanbul is significant - just two weeks before the Paris Summit, for the first time in history, the G20 summit will be organized by the presidency of Turkey, a country with a majority Muslim population.  Leaders from the world’s largest 20 economies will gather in an  attempt to reach agreement on how international financial stability can be achieved. The economic implications of climate change and the huge amounts of subsidies given by G20 countries to the polluting fossil fuel industry will also be on the agenda.

Reactions:

“On behalf of the Indonesian Council of Ulema and 210 million Muslims we welcome this Declaration and we are committed to to implementing all recommendations. The climate crisis needs to be tackled through collaborative efforts, so let’s work together for a better world for our children, and our children’s children.” - Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema

“I am proud to be associated with the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change released in Istanbul today. As a Muslim I try to follow the moral teachings  of Islam to preserve the environment and help the victims of climate change. I urge all Muslims around the world to play their role in tackling the global problem of climate change.” - Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of Institute of Environmental Studies

“The basis of the declaration is the work of world renowned islamic environmentalists, it is a trigger for further action and we would be very happy if people adopted and improved upon the ideas that are articulated in this document.” - Fazlun Khalid, Founder, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences

“It is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.” - His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City

“A clean energy, sustainable future for everyone ultimately rests on a fundamental shift in the understanding of how we value the environment and each other. Islam’s teachings, which emphasize the duty of humans as stewards of the Earth and the teacher’s role as an appointed guide to correct behavior, provide guidance to take the right action on climate change.” - Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

“Civil society is delighted by this powerful Climate Declaration coming from the Islamic community, which could be a game changer, as it challenges all world leaders, and especially oil producing nations, to phase out their carbon emissions and supports the just transition to 100% renewable energy as a necessity to tackle climate change, reduce poverty and deliver sustainable development around the world.” - Wael Hmaidan, International Director of Climate Action Network

You can find photos available for use under creative commons license here, please credit Islamic Relief

Calls from the Declaration below, full version of the Declaration here:

3.1 We call upon the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Kyoto Protocol taking place in Paris this December, 2015 to bring their discussions to an equitable and binding conclusion, bearing in mind –

·       The scientific consensus on climate change, which is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate systems;

·       The need to set clear targets and monitoring systems;

·       The dire consequences to planet earth if we do not do so;

·       The enormous responsibility the COP shoulders on behalf of the rest of humanity, including leading the rest of us to a new way of relating to God’s Earth.

3.2 We particularly call on the well-off nations and oil-producing states to –

·       Lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and no later than the middle of the century;

·       Provide generous financial and technical support to the less well-off to achieve a phase-out of greenhouse gases as early as possible;

·       Recognize the moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the earth’s non-renewable resources;

·       Stay within the ‘2 degree’ limit, or, preferably, within the ‘1.5 degree’ limit, bearing in mind that two-thirds of the earth’s proven fossil fuel reserves remain in the ground;

·       Re-focus their concerns from unethical profit from the environment, to that of preserving it and elevating the condition of the world’s poor.

·       Invest in the creation of a green economy.

3.3 We call on the people of all nations and their leaders to –

·       Aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere;

•       Commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible, to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities;

·       Invest in decentralized renewable energy, which is the best way to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development;

·       Realize that to chase after unlimited economic growth in a planet that is finite and already overloaded is not viable. Growth must be pursued wisely and in moderation; placing a priority on increasing the resilience of all, and especially the most vulnerable, to the climate change impacts already underway and expected to continue for many years to come.

·       Set in motion a fresh model of wellbeing, based on an alternative to the current financial model which depletes resources, degrades the environment, and deepens inequality.

·       Prioritise adaptation efforts with appropriate support to the vulnerable countries with the least capacity to adapt. And to vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, women and children.

3.4 We call upon corporations, finance, and the business sector to -

·       Shoulder the consequences of their profit-making activities, and take a visibly more active role in reducing their carbon footprint and other forms of impact upon the natural environment;

•       In order to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities, commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible and shift investments into renewable energy;

•       Change from the current business model which is based on an unsustainable escalating economy, and to adopt a circular economy that is wholly sustainable;

•       Pay more heed to social and ecological responsibilities, particularly to the extent that they extract and utilize scarce resources;

•       Assist in the divestment from the fossil fuel driven economy and the scaling up of renewable energy and other ecological alternatives.

3.5 We call on all groups to join us in collaboration, co-operation and friendly competition in this endeavour and we welcome the significant contributions taken by other faiths, as we can all be winners in this race

وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ

He (God) wanted to test you regarding what has

come to you. So compete with each other

in doing good deeds.

Qur’an 5: 48

If we each offer the best of our respective traditions, we may yet see a way through our difficulties.

3.6 Finally, we call on all Muslims wherever they may be  –

  • Heads of state
  • Political leaders
  • Business community
  • UNFCCC delegates
  • Religious leaders and scholars
  • Mosque congregations
  • Islamic endowments (awqaf)
  • Educators and educational institutions
  • Community leaders
  • Civil society activists
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Communications and media

to tackle habits, mindsets, and the root causes of climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity in their particular spheres of influence, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him),and bring about a resolution to the challenges that now face us. 

CAN Position: Mitigation elements for a COP decision on pre-2020 ambition in Paris, August 2015

~Parties to the UNFCCC recognize that current pre-2020 mitigation efforts are not sufficient to get the world onto an emissions pathway consistent with the 2°C limit, let alone 1.5°C. Thus, there is a recognized gap between the emissions reductions needed, and what is being done. This gap will be 8-12 Gt CO2e in 2020, according to UNEP. Therefore, in Durban in 2011, parties agreed to enhance pre-2020 mitigation ambition under the so-called ADP workstream 2 (WS2).

So far in 2015, five country groups have submitted suggestions for a COP decision in Paris to advance the work on WS2 in the period from 2016 to 2020, covering different options to increase mitigation ambition.

Based on this input the Co-chairs have produced a draft decision on WS2, published on the 24th of July , which will to be discussed during the next ADP session to be held from 31 August to 4 September 2015 in Bonn, Germany.

In this document, the Climate Action Network offers comments and recommendations to the Co-chairs’ text for how to progress towards a truly ambitious WS2 decision. While the Co-chairs’ document provides a good basis for discussion, trying to find middle ground between the five negotiation group proposals currently on the table, it falls short of providing a clear approach to closing the gap by adopting an action-oriented mode of work or taking advantage of other innovative forms of collaboration within WS2.

The current draft also fails to adequately prioritize solutions that respect human rights and environmental safeguards while promoting social and gender equality. In particular renewable energy and energy efficiency, whose co-benefits for, inter alia, health, poverty reduction, and energy access are many and universally recognized, should be given greater priority.

In order to use all possible avenues to increase mitigation ambition, the Climate Action Network proposes changes and amendments to the Co-chairs’ draft decision text in this position.

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Civil Society Reactions: Global Sustainable Development agenda finalised in New York

August 3 - New York: The world has updated its to do list to drive solutions to our biggest problems - poverty, inequality and climate change - after the new Global Sustainable Development agenda was finalised in New York on Sunday in preparation for ratification by world leaders at a major UN summit in September. The agenda, which includes a landmark set of 17 goals, acknowledges for the first time that countries need to address climate change as a developmental challenge, decoupling growth from environmental degradation. Governments will need to raise their ambition to start delivering on these goals by producing a universal and legally binding Paris agreement on climate this December to shift to a low-carbon economy.

For the first time, these global goals acknowledge that the world can’t deal with these crises in isolation, said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK. "We can – in our generation – stamp out extreme poverty and achieve sustainable development. But with climate impacts already hitting the most vulnerable people hardest, it’s clear that we will not meet these global goals unless we take decisive action on climate change, get an ambitious and universal climate agreement with legal force in Paris and manage to address the existing emissions gap – as rightly acknowledged by the post-2015 summit outcome document agreed at the UN in New York yesterday.” Nussbaum said. “That’s why we welcome the newly minted post-2015 sustainable development framework, which features climate action as a headline goal, as well as it running through many other goals like a green thread. The new framework recognises that addressing climate change and eradicating poverty are profoundly connected.”

“Many countries will need to drastically alter policies in favour of people and planet if they take this new to do list for the planet seriously. To tackle poverty and dangerous climate change, we must urgently end the fossil fuel era and deliver 100% renewable energy for all" said Daniel Mittler, political director of Greenpeace International. "These goals will mean nothing unless governments at the Paris climate summit complete the task and agree to phase out fossil fuels and switch to 100% renewable energy for all by 2050.”

The Sustainable Development Agenda has laid the groundwork for such a signal, according to Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network International. “In New York, this week governments have failed to acknowledge the need to have ‘a world free from harmful emissions', which is needed to address the climate challenge, but there was a strong recognition that there is a need to follow more ambitious emission reduction pathways to stay below 2 or 1.5 degrees temperature rise. Beyond these temperatures economic development will become severely hampered.”

Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at CAFOD, welcomed the progress that these new goals represent in relation to the MDGs understanding of our shared responsibility to care for our common home. “Pope Francis’ powerful statements recently have reminded us that we must stand in solidarity with the poorest people and the environment, and that we must phase out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy to do this. The goals alone are not a solution to our world’s problems but a stepping stone we need to build on in the climate talks in Paris and through meaningful implementation of these goals over the next 15 years. This is our responsibility for present and future generations.”

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 110 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Mark Raven, CAN International, email: mraven@climatenetwork.org, phone: +90 53626 88406

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CAN Briefing Paper: Post-2015 Reaction to the 26th July post-2015 draft, July 2015

~~The Climate Action Network welcomes the final draft outcome document dates 26th July. We are pleased with the increased focus on sustainable energy and resilience in the declaration. We particularly welcome the inclusion of a temperature reference in Paragraph 31 and strongly urge Member States to keep the following sentence: “holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels”.

However, we think that a few more steps must be taken in order to ensure that the post-2015 agenda leads us to a truly sustainable future by 2030.

Read full document.

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Civil Society Statement on how to strenghten the Post-2015 declaration with respect to climate change, July 2015

POST-2015 INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS- INTERGOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATIONS ON THE OUTCOME DOCUMENT

20th July, 2015

Speaker: Noelene Nabulivou, Fiji

 

My name is Noelene Nabulivou, I am from Fiji, in the Pacific. I am here to remind us all, that climate change is real and happening.

We welcome the opportunity to offer comments on today’s discussions, giving special attention to the issue of climate change. Several member states have already acknowledged that the new draft contains some welcome references to climate change, resilience, sustainable energy  and of course CBDR. It has been also mentioned and we agree, that climate change, gender equality, healthy ecosystems, human rights, poverty eradication, and respect for planetary boundaries are inextricably linked.

However occasional and inconsistent references are not enough. The text still falls short of a vision to embrace a future in which we completely phase out fossil fuel emissions, phase in renewable energy and remain within planetary boundaries.

We urge governments to give people hope by including a reference to limiting global warming to 1.5ºC and remaining within planetary boundaries; and to heighten trust by explaining how we will achieve this goal with specific references to phasing-out greenhouse gas emissions completely and by taking immediate urgent mitigation action.

We also need a clear reference to climate justice by acknowledging that the poorest are hit hardest and that support for adaptation, loss and damage will be available.

People need certainty that governments will act to protect their fundamental and universal human rights from the adverse effects of climate change, in a manner consistent with existing legal obligations and principles in line with best available science.

Further, the Post-2015 agenda must ensure private sector accountability, including for transnational corporations in their cross-border activities.

Finally, we urge governments to be explicit about both infrastructural and psychosocial resilience; to replace all reference to “modern energy” with “safe, ​clean, sustainable and renewable energy services”; and to have a clear reference to ocean acidification and phase-out emissions.

These proposals will strengthen the draft and people's understanding of the challenges ahead. The Post-2015 agenda must speak to everyone - No more must drown, no more must die of thirst and hunger, and no one need to leave their countries because of climate crises.

Endorsements:

Climate Action Network, PICAN, Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development, Pacific CSO COP21 Urgent Action Campaign (Fiji], DIVA for Equality; DAWN, International-Lawyers.Org, and Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, and the Psychology Coalition of NGOs at the UN, Centre for Human Rights and Development Studies (CHRDS), Pathways to Peace (PTP), Institute for Planetary Synthesis (IPS), Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Christian Aid.

 

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CAN reacts as Finance for Development Conference closes in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA, JULY 16, 2015:  Financing for Development Conference closed in Addis Ababa today with the release of an outcome document summing up governments’ thinking on how to generate and manage the funds necessary to allow countries to develop sustainably. The conference comes ahead of two big summits - the first in New York in September and the second in Paris in December - which seek to forge international agreements which eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and fight climate change.
 
Aïssatou Diouf, coordinator Climate Action Network West Africa, said from Addis: 
 
"With climate impacts hitting home around the world and the solutions to the crisis in our grasp, what’s missing from this outcome is a strong call to richer countries to stop using flatlining Overseas Development Aid to meet the climate finance commitments they made in 2009: $100 billion a year by 2020. 
 
It's time to start facing the hard truth: for Paris to deliver, donor countries need to come clean on existing commitments and provide increased public climate finance once the new agreement comes into effect in 2020. Ministers meetings in July should be looking into the solutions to scale up climate finance without diverting aid away from education and health: the upcoming EU-Financial Transaction Tax and EU-ETS reform provide us with two amazing opportunities."
 
To interview a CAN expert on the ground in Addis Ababa, please contact Ria Voorhaar - rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org - +49 157 3173 5568
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org   
 
 

CAN Briefing: Post-2015 Final Draft from Climate Change Perspective, July 2015

Climate Action Network welcomes the opportunity to offer further comments and recommendations to the final post-2015 draft text in order to progress towards securing a truly sustainable development agenda. CAN believes the post-2015 development framework must be a clear and unanimous call to the world that achieving sustainable development, eradicating poverty and tackling climate change are inextricably linked and at the same time give hope these challenges can be addressed simultaneously.

While some good references to climate change, resilience and sustainable energy were included in the new draft, the text still falls short of  incorporating the fundamental sustainable development challenge entailed in climate change and a vision to embrace a future in which we fully phase out fossil fuel emissions.

Key recommendations
The post-2015 final draft must be strengthened, inter alia by:
1. Incorporating clear reference to limiting global warming to 2 or 1.5°C in §27,
2. Incorporating the need to phase-out carbon emissions in §27;
3. Strengthening the role of and support for adaptation (§9, §27 & §28) to climate impacts and addressing loss and damage (§27); and
4. By recognizing climate change is not only an environmental issue, but also an economic, social and political challenge. A strong statement on this interlinkage must be included  in the Preamble
 

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