Letter to G7 Sherpas: Make climate change a priority

To                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            25 April 2017

The Sherpas of the G7, under the Italian Presidency

Re: The 3rd G7 Sherpa’s meeting on 26-27 April

Dear Ambassadors,

Climate Action Network, a broad coalition of 1200 civil society organisations in over 120 countries fighting climate change, calls on the G7 to put climate change at the front and centre of discussions in the upcoming Sherpa’s meeting and in the G7 Heads of State meeting on 26-27 May.  

The G7 has played a pivotal role in shaping multilateral diplomacy and international climate policy and in upholding the principles of sustainable growth and development. We need this leadership now more than ever.All G7 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement and must deliver on commitments to limit the increase in global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The credibility of the implementation of the Paris Agreement rests on countries honoring commitments on climate finance and demonstrating the will to undertake a global low-carbon transition as agreed at COP22 in Marrakesh.

The recent G7 energy ministers’ discussions failed to live up to expectations and demonstrate the urgency that is required to tackle the pace and scale of climate change that confronts us. This cannot set a precedent for discussions in future meetings.
We, however, do appreciate that most of the countries stood firm on implementing the Paris Agreement and the need for a decarbonisation strategy.
Future meetings of G7 countries must significantly advance discussions on the global climate agenda if we want to maintain trust in the multilateral system.

The United States’ decision to retreat from domestic and international climate action cannot stand in the way of other countries leading the charge towards decarbonisation and ramping up national targets to cut emissions commensurate with their promises in Paris. At this juncture, the G7 cannot afford to dither on its commitments or be undermined by any one country. There is no room for a compromise that results in diluting language on climate change, climate finance and decarbonisation to a mere footnote. This would be a failure.
Countries must stand firmly together to prevent backsliding on hard-won global consensus on climate action, even going as far to issue a climate declaration in the name of the G6 should one country obstruct the way forward.   

Sincerely,
Wael Hmaidan
Director, Climate Action Network-International

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CAN Submission on Adaptation Communications

Under the Paris Agreement Article 7, Parties agreed to establish the global goal on adaptation for enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal. Furthermore, Parties stressed that adaptation action should follow a “country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on  and guided by the best  available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions.”

The Paris Agreement and decision 1/CP.21 stipulate that adaptation communications should serve as one of the inputs to the global stocktake and define the overall scope as well as the communication and recording process for adaptation communications. The adaptation communication is referred to in the context of the global stocktake as contributing to enhancing the implementation of adaptation action taking into account the adaptation communication, as a source of input to be identified by the APA for the global stocktake, that includes information on the state of adaptation efforts, support, experiences and priorities from, and also reflecting the submitting Party’s priorities, implementation and support needs, and plans and actions.

Climate Action Network would like to submit our views on elements for adaptation communications, highlighting the following as key aspects network members consider necessary for providing accurate and updated information on climate adaptation, which will contribute effectively to the global stocktake.

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CAN Submission on the Technology Framework - March 2017

CAN thanks the Parties for this opportunity to share our thinking on the Technology Framework. Our submission contains five key components: Strategic Vision; Innovation and RDD; Support for implementation; Enabling Environments and Capacity Building; and Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement.

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Trump signs orders reversing climate policies- harming jobs, health and the economy

28 March 2017: The world stood in shock as President Trump signed executive orders rolling back the Clean Power Plan and promoting outdated fossil fuels. While more than 190 countries are moving forward, as they agreed in Paris, towards a clean energy future, President Trump is taking America backwards by signing executive orders that will revive the dirty coal industry which has been lagging since 2010. Grassroots movements and market forces have unleashed a clean energy revolution making it the cheaper, healthier option with the promise to generate the jobs of the future. The orders also promote oil and gas at a time when other countries abandon them in favor of fast growing renewable energy. CAN members and partners, including former US Vice President Al Gore and former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres react.

CAN Members

WWF’s global Climate & Energy Practice Leader, Manuel-Pulgar Vidal, said:
“Hampering the US’ ability to deliver on its international climate commitments will impact the world’s climate trajectory, but it will not define its outcome.
“Our ability to achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement does not rest on the actions of one government alone.  At COP22 held in Marrakech last year, French President Holland said the Paris Agreement is an ‘irreversible’ process. We agree. “The speed and scale of meeting the climate challenge has always required global solutions from all parts of the international community. It is up to all of us to reaffirm our commitment for a clean energy future, and to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.
“Companies and cities are not waiting to act; neither should we. Delivering on the Paris Agreement means more jobs, fewer health problems and increased access to cheaper, cleaner electricity. We have no time to lose: momentum remains on our side and together, we are unstoppable.”

President & CEO, World Resources Institute, Dr. Andrew Steer said:
“The Trump administration is failing a test of leadership to protect Americans' health, the environment and the economy. It’s been shown time and again that sustained economic growth and national security are intertwined with good environmental stewardship.
“In taking a sledgehammer to U.S. climate action, the administration will push the country backward, making it harder and more expensive to reduce emissions. Climate science is clear and unwavering: mounting greenhouse gas emissions are warming our planet, putting people and business in harm’s way.
“The Clean Power Plan is a flexible and commonsense approach to reduce emissions from the power sector. It’s already helping to shift markets toward clean energy, which is good for the economy and American competitiveness. The administration should not be rolling back the safeguards that protect our air from methane emissions and limits on coal leasing on public lands. The administration is also wrong to withdraw support for local communities which need to be strong and secure in the face of rising seas, extreme weather events, and other climate impacts.

“The administration is out of step with U.S. companies, investors and consumers who want clean energy that is delivering jobs and revitalizing communities. Many governors and mayors will continue to embrace low-carbon solutions because it’s good for jobs, people and the planet. Republican and Democratic officials alike are committed to harnessing energy from the wind and sun because it’s good for their constituents. Hundreds of leading businesses are committed to reduce emissions and support climate action because it’s in their economic interest to do so.
“Around the globe, countries have committed to transition to a low-carbon economy that will make the world safer and more prosperous.
“Make no mistake: This Executive Order will undermine people’s health and the U.S. economy. It hands moral authority and global leadership over to others, leaving America behind.”

Oxfam America climate change manager, Heather Coleman said:
“President Trump’s reprehensible move to dismantle US progress in fighting climate change is yet another signal that this administration could not care less about the millions of vulnerable people around the world who live on the front lines of a climate crisis they did not create. These actions cater to the fossil fuel industry and corporate elites, while leaving the most vulnerable high and dry.
"Never before have the impacts of a changing climate felt so severe, with disproportionate impacts on those already living in poverty here at home and across the world. Yet with these actions, the Trump administration is choosing to abandon any claim to the US moral high ground.
"Despite the lack of leadership from the President and Congress in addressing climate change, US businesses, cities, and states are stepping up to commit to climate action and to long-term solutions that create safer, healthier communities and strong economic prosperity. Oxfam will continue to encourage equitable solutions to the climate crisis and hold sectors and government leaders accountable.”

350.org Executive Director, May Boeve said:
“This all-out attack on our climate and communities will be met with historic resistance. Trump is once again propping up the reckless fossil fuel industry while slashing any protections that put people before profits. As concern about global warming reaches a three-decade record high, there’s overwhelming support from the American people for climate action. On April 29th, we’re taking our vision and our resistance to Washington for the Peoples Climate March with people from every corner of the country who are ready to keep fighting for our future.”

ClientEarth CEO of environmental lawyers, James Thornton said:
“This is a monumental and ill-considered mistake by Trump which will have a hugely detrimental impact on American citizens, on jobs and on the environment. The vast majority of Americans understand the need to protect the environment and tackle climate change, yet the Trump administration is seeking to undo the laws which all of us – around the globe – need to protect people, the planet and future generations. We must not allow progress to be turned back.”

Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director, Kieran Suckling said:
"Trump just took his war against our climate to a terrifying new level,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “With these massive giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, he proves that his first loyalty is to polluters, not the American public. Anyone who values wildlife, clean air and clean water will be hurt by this plan to let dirty companies pollute our climate and exploit our beautiful public lands.”

Sierra Club Executive Director, Michael Brune said:
“Donald Trump’s executive order would let dirty power plants spew unlimited pollution into our air while ignoring the climate crisis, unraveling protections that are designed to save billions of dollars, and thousands of lives. The safeguards Donald Trump is trying to throw out protect all families in America by curbing dangerous carbon pollution and reducing other dangerous pollutants like mercury, methane, and sulfur dioxide -- but unfortunately Trump would rather pad the fossil fuel industry’s profits.

“Worse, Trump’s attack ignores reality -- not just the reality of the climate crisis, but the reality that the clean energy economy is rapidly growing. The best way to protect workers and the environment is to invest in growing the clean energy economy that is already outpacing fossil fuels, and ensuring no one is left behind  At a time when we can declare independence from dirty fuels by embracing clean energy, this action could only deepen our dependence on fuels that pollute our air, water and climate while making our kids sicker.
“Meanwhile, grassroots advocates have helped push coal to its lowest level in history by retiring nearly 250 plants nationwide, and cities ranging from Salt Lake City, Utah to Georgetown, Texas are committing to 100 percent clean energy. Because of strong local action to replace coal and gas with clean energy we are on track to meet the Clean Power Plan’s 2030 emissions targets as soon as next year, and clean energy growth nationwide will continue unabated.

"The good news is that the safeguards Trump wants to shred -- like the Clean Power Plan -- are on a strong legal footing and the public will have the chance to voice its objections as the Trump administration tries to roll them back. Trump can’t reverse our clean energy and climate progress with the stroke of a pen, and we’ll fight Trump in the courts, in the streets, and at the state and local level across America to protect the health of every community.”

CAN Partners:

Former US Vice President Al Gore said:
 “Today’s executive order, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rolling back environmental protections and policies including the Clean Power Plan, is a misguided step away from a sustainable, carbon-free future for ourselves and generations to come. It is essential, not only to our planet, but also to our economic future, that the United States continues to serve as a global leader in solving the climate crisis by transitioning to clean energy, a transition that will continue to gain speed due to the increasing competitiveness of solar and wind.

No matter how discouraging this executive order may be, we must, we can, and we will solve the climate crisis. No one man or group can stop the encouraging and escalating momentum we are experiencing in the fight to protect our planet.”

Former mayor of NYC, Michael Bloomberg said: 
“No matter what any elected official says, rescinding commonsense climate change regulations and popular public health protections will not revive the coal industry or put thousands of miners back to work. Market forces, including consumer preferences and technological advancement, are the primary reason for the surge in cleaner forms of energy. In fact, even without the Clean Power Plan, we are likely to hit its emissions targets ahead of schedule -- because consumers, cities, and businesses will continue leading on public health and climate change even when Washington won't." 

Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres said: 
"The action by the US to undo important domestic carbon reduction regulation in the face of the enormous momentum building globally toward a low carbon economy risks putting the country on a back-foot at a time when most Americans are looking to lead. This decision will make things harder, not easier for Americans.”

“That's because trying to make fossil fuels remain competitive in the face of a booming clean renewable power sector, with the clean air and plentiful jobs it continues to generate, is going against the flow of economics.”
“I don't know anyone who wants to breathe dirty air, who wants to worry about their water source, or who wants to leave a dangerous world to their children. And because we are all united by these common desires, I am optimistic that Paris will endure, with world leadership remaining resilient in its commitments to Paris.”
“We have already seen an unprecedented upsurge of concern and activism as a result of the recent geopolitical shocks, and I expect we will continue to see that from the American people in response to any proposed weakening of the protections put in place for their health and safety in the form of climate regulations."

For more information, contact:

Hala Kilani

Senior Communications Officer campaigns - Climate Action Network

Email: hkilani@climatenetwork.org

Tel: +961 3 567928

OR

Dharini Parthasarathy

Communications Coordinator Policy- Climate Action Network

Email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

Tel: +918826107830

 

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Business, civil society and think tanks call on G20 to lead the way on implementing the Paris Agreement

Business, civil society and think tanks call on G20 to lead the way on implementing the Paris Agreement

22 March 2017: Climate Action Network welcomes the joint statement by the G20 Climate and Energy Engagement Groups. The B20 [Business 20], C20 [Civil 20] and the T20 [think tanks] working groups on climate and energy have called on G20 countries, under the German Presidency, to honour their commitments under the Paris Agreement, lead the way in ramping up ambition under their national climate action plans and submit their long-term projections for low-carbon development by 2018.

Read the full statement here

The G20 accounts for nearly 80% of global emissions. This statement highlights that sustainable development and inclusive growth must be compatible with the Agenda 2030 and Paris Agreement goals.
The G20 heads of state will meet in the Leaders’ Summit in Hamburg in July.

About CAN Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. For more information, please contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International, email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org or call +918826107830

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G20 Issue Brief: Sustainable Infrastructure

The additional up-front investment required for a sustainable infrastructure pathway by 2030 is estimated at less than 5% above baseline levels, and is very likely to be more than “offset” by the resulting energy and fuel savings from modern clean energy and energy efficiency, with large additional benefits resulting from avoided climate impacts and air pollution related health costs, as well as reduced risk of stranded assets. Present externalities of and subsidies to burning fossil fuels amount to a staggering 6.5% of global GDP.

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G20 Issue Brief: Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies

It is estimated that fossil fuel subsidies contributed up to 36% of global emissions between 1980 and 2010, while also exacerbating health problems, air and water local pollution. Limiting their use is a key step towards reducing inequality and achieving inclusive growth, since fossil fuel subsidies disproportionately benefit the middle and upper classes. Fossil fuel subsidies constitute an inefficient use of scarce public funds, and inhibit the market penetration of price-competitive renewables. While subsidies more broadly can be used as an effective tool to support the poor and promote a particular industry for the benefit of larger good, an industry that is well-established should not be the beneficiary of limited public resources, especially when cost-effective and healthier alternatives are available.

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G20 Issue Brief: Ratification of the Montreal Protocol Amendment on HFCs

In the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol adopted in 2016, parties agreed to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons, the fastest growing climate pollutants. Once implemented, this phase-down could prevent emissions of 80 GtCO2e by 2050, reducing global warming by up to 0.5ºC by the end of the century compared to business as usual.

In addition, the HFC phasedown under the Montreal Protocol will, as has always been the case in the past, provide the opportunity to improve energy efficiency in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, potentially in the range of 30 to 60%. In the room air conditioning sector alone, improving energy efficiency of equipment by 30% while simultaneously transitioning to low-GWP alternatives could save an amount of electricity equivalent to up to 2,500 medium-sized power plants globally by 2050, while providing climate mitigation of nearly 100 Gt CO2-eq by 2050 from this sector.

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G20 Issue Brief: Sustainable Finance

 

 

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 requires some $90trn of investments over the next 15 years. The issue is not availability of capital: our global financial system today is nearly $300trn strong and growing. Rather, the challenge is aligning financial regulation with sustainability objectives to shift financial flows and unleash green finance. Success would result in more than just meeting SDGs. It would create a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive global economy, while at the same time adding approximately $12trn a year to global GDP – and possibly more. In their current form, however, financial markets do not price in the externalities of investments at a level strong enough to shift investments decisions; nor do they provide enough public information to market players regarding their exposure to sustainability-related risks and opportunities. More work is also needed to scale up green finance.

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