Press Releases

CAN is an important, critical voice in the international climate policy process. The network’s regular press briefings and commentary help journalists and their audience make sense of what can be a baffling process, even to those who have been covering it for years.

CAN helps coordinate and amplify the communications work of its 850 members around major international climate processes. CAN also provides an important capacity building role for some members interested in boosting their communications efforts.

You can find a range of our latest resources and releases below:

Press Release: The UN Climate Action Summit Must Be A Game Changer for Climate

Civil society expects world leaders to come with stronger emission targets, processes to build resilience and tackle climate impacts, and commitments to shift the trillions that will enable poor countries to cope with loss and damage and set forth the energy transition

Thursday 19 September 2019 

Tele-press briefing recording:

https://climateactionnetwork.zoom.us/recording/share/xU4AV5pNO1aGcopxEGP...

New York - Our house is on fire. Hurricanes, fires, cyclones and other impacts are hitting hard in every corner of the world. Countries must extinguish the fire sparked by global warming through bolder targets, support for impacted people and doubling finance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to enable poor communities to cope with climate change and transition to clean renewable energy.

The UN Climate Action Summit in New York is an important stop in the journey to crucial zero carbon economies. CAN members expect it to be a stepping stone to transformational change. Governments must demonstrate that they are responding adequately to the climate emergency. The UN Climate Summit is an important moment to honor multilateralism and the calls made by Secretary General Antonio Guterres for stronger ambition.

Consecutive scientific reports are sounding the alarm. The window to act is closing. Current targets take us to 3o C or 4o C warming, which ends any chance for human and other species’ survival. We are seeing deadly impacts at only 1o C . All countries must half emissions by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5o C and they have a year to develop the policy tools to operationalize decarbonization.

Vulnerable people, especially women and girls, are paying the heaviest price for a crisis caused by polluting economies. Rich countries hold the moral responsibility to support those affected by 2 impacts through innovative sources of finance and commitments in the order of at least USD50 billion per year by 2022.”

Climate finance is key to achieving justice. The trillions must shift from financing dirty fossil fuels to energy transition implemented at minimal social costs to workers. Wealthy countries must double their contributions to the GCF and drive progress to meet the finance goal of US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Governments have been lending their ears to powerful corporations in the fossil fuel industry. It is time they listen to the young people rising and striking in the streets demanding the end of coal, oil and gas, the energy sources fueling the climate emergency. They are demanding effective action that secures a safe and prosperous future for everyone.

Voices will continue to rise loudly if governments don’t deliver in New York what the Secretary General and people in the streets asked for in line with the science.

Quotes

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“The UN Secretary-General’s asks are clear, and he has set the bar where it must be at this moment in time - high. There’s still time to be surprised by what is delivered on Monday, but unfortunately there are countries actively trying to slow down progress, while others are claiming to be climate leaders but not showing any signs of following through. Multilateralism is never futile -- to fix the climate crisis, we need everyone -- but the people and youth are increasingly showing the unity, positivity and leadership that is missing at the negotiating table. We’re entering a new era of activism and a new era of accountability for weak governments and the toxic power of the fossil fuel industry. If leaders do fail to deliver at the Summit, they will have to answer to the hundreds of thousands of youth in the streets.”

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy and Climate Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International

“There will be no climate justice and no success at the UN Climate Summit without greater ambition in tackling the climate emergency. Climate impacts are already causing widespread suffering and damage, from the hurricane-hit Caribbean to drought-stricken East Africa and the rising sea level submerging the Pacific islands. The inaction of some is costing us all. At the Summit, governments must commit to pursuing new sources of finance which can generate truly additional money for addressing loss and damage in the order of at least USD50 billion per year by 2022. This is a matter of survival.”

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Executive Director, Action Aid USA

“Rich countries need to commit to much greater financial support for climate action around the world, starting with a doubling of contributions to the Green Climate Fund. Without climate finance, there will not be enough support for people suffering from climate impacts, especially in poorer countries. Without climate finance, there will be no just transition to a sustainable economy. Without climate finance, there will be no climate justice.”

May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org

“The Global Climate Strike begins on September 20th, the politicians gathering in New York at the UN Summit must listen to the children in the streets and start acting like adults in the room. The meeting couldn’t be more important. Its title is “climate action” - what action looks like is increasingly clear it means countries will need to finally talk about the source of the flames engulfing our planet: fossil fuels. What are their plans for phase out coal, oil, and gas production? When are their deadlines and how will they fund the transition so it's fair? Abolishing fossil fuels has become an increasingly central demand for the global climate movement. It’s what the Global Climate Strikes from September 20-27 will be demanding with actions in over 117 countries.

Tasneem Essop, Interim Executive Director, Climate Action Network

“We are in the fight of our lives. Human survival is at stake. Climate change is a human rights issue. Despite the fact that many governments are tone deaf to the science or actively obstructive against what it’s warning about, they cannot ignore the voices of the people. These voices are growing louder by the day. Civil society across the world are not tolerating inaction. CAN International has set benchmarks for what governments, especially major emitters, will need to put on the table in response to the UN Secretary General’s call for ambitious climate action. The level of ambition must include clear commitments to phase out fossil fuels, especially coal; generate enough money to address loss and damage caused by impacts and to shift the trillions away from dirty and polluting industries towards clean and sustainable sectors. Anything less will not be acceptable. We will hold governments accountable and will continue to keep up the pressure and mobilise until our demands for climate justice, in line with the science, are met.”

Contact: Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN hkilani@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +961 3 567928

About CAN Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Media Advisory - On Thursday 19 September 12:00 noon EST - Civil Society set Expectations for the United Nations Climate Action Summit to be held in New York

Tele-press briefing on expectations for the United Nations Climate Action Summit held in New York on 23 September 2019

*** https://climateactionnetwork.zoom.us/j/273420927 ***

Thursday 19 September 2019 12:00 noon New York local time (Eastern Standard Time) | 16h00 UTC/GMT | 17h00 London | 18h00 Berlin.

Tweet questions to @CANIntl 

Climate Action Network (CAN) will host an online press briefing to set civil society’s expectations for the UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit that will take place on Monday 23 September, 2019.

Consecutive scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been sounding the alarm about the climate emergency we are currently facing and we are fast approaching irreversible tipping points.

Warming is moving faster than originally forecasted with glaciers and ice sheets melting, forests burning and seas rising at an unprecedented rate. Governments must now act faster than ever to respond to the climate emergency with stronger targets and deeper emission cuts. Delayed action is as good as denial.

In this press briefing, CAN members will outline adequate response measures to the climate emergency and set clear expectations for ambitious government commitments through the coming year and up to the 2020 deadline.  

WHO:

  • Jennifer Morgan (Ms), Executive Director, Greenpeace International
  • Sven Harmeling (Mr), Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International  
  • Niranjali Amerasinghe (Ms), Executive Director, Action Aid US
  • Tasneem Essop (Ms), Interim Executive Director, Climate Action Network

Dial-in-details 

Click here to join:  https://climateactionnetwork.zoom.us/j/273420927

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CONTACT:

Hala Kilani / Francois Rogers - CAN communications 

hkilani@climatenetwork.org / frogers@climatenetwork.org

WhatsApp: +9613567928    /   WhatsApp: +447585707220

 

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Civil society calls for end of coal in Asia, stronger climate targets and more commitments on finance

04 September, BANGKOK, THAILAND: As fires ravage vast swathes of forests, sea levels rise, oceans warm up and floods and cyclones become more frequent and severe, civil society representatives from Climate Action Network in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Japan and Australia called on world leaders to halt the climate crisis by ending all new coal-fired power plants, stopping financing to coal and switching to renewables.

Speaking at Asia Pacific Climate Week (APCW) here today, they urged countries to heed the call from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is convening the Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September. Countries must step up climate action and strengthen their national climate targets by 2020 if we are to respond to the climate emergency. 

CAN Southeast Asia, Japan and Asia members specifically called out China, Japan and South Korea for financing fossil fuel in Southeast Asia, and called on Australia to stop exporting coal and to step up as a climate leader.

CAN members were joined by regional youth groups, who like their counterparts from around the world are actively mobilizing to demand urgent action to address the most dangerous threat to their future. Asia Pacific youth groups are joining the Global Week of Action and Climate Strike starting September 20 and led by ‘Fridays for Future’ and other civil society organizations.

CAN is a member of a consortium project called Shifting Financial Flows to Invest in Low Carbon Development in Southeast Asia (SHIFT-SEA) which has been developing multi-stakeholder platforms, comprised of NGOs, private sector, governments, academia and other actors, to actively drive the process of crafting concrete policies and climate action in the region.

Southeast Asia is critical in achieving the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement because it is one of the fastest growing regions in the world but continues to be largely reliant on fossil fuels, particularly coal, despite its wealth of renewable energy resources such as solar, geothermal and hydro.

The conclusions from the APCW, like other regional climate talks preceding it, are expected to feed into the UN Climate Action Summit in three weeks.

Quotes

Nithi Nesadurai, Regional Coordinator of CAN Southeast Asia (CANSEA) and Program manager for SHIFT-Sea said, “Southeast Asia has relied on fossil fuels to support its economic growth. Unfortunately, some countries are planning to rely heavily on coal for the future. Apart from going against the spirit of the Paris Agreement, this strategy will block solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy and act as a barrier for finance for renewables. This has to change: new coal projects must be halted and financial flows have to be shifted away from coal into renewable energy and low carbon development.”

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) said, “The Government of Japan committed in its Long Term Strategy (LTS) towards the Paris Agreement, to make its energy development in line with the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement. However, Japan is still actively supporting coal-fired power projects in Japan and overseas without any scientific rationale. Thus, Japan should remember its own word, and should end its support for coal energy.”

Sanjay Vashist, Director, CAN South Asia (CANSA) said, “The energy transition era starts now with affordable renewable energy and considering environmental consequences of coal, the South Asian governments need to read the writing on the wall. It’s time to start moving away from coal and provide clean and sustainable energy from solar and wind. We expect no more addition of infrastructure of fossil fuels and an immediate shift in investments to renewable energy.”

Fiona Ryan, Cairns Climate Action Network (CCAN) said, “Coal mining is a threat to the unique  Great Barrier Reef. The Australian government’s complete paralysis on climate action is a frustration to our Pacific neighbours. Australia’s indifference to the survival of those nations and their ancient cultures is a threat to its standing among the community of nations.  Its lack of action on climate change and in stopping fossil fuels such as coal, in particular, is also a threat to the Great Barrier Reef and the $50 billion it delivers to the Australian economy. Investments in coal will result in “stranded assets” with huge consequence on people’s lives and livelihoods in addition to a ruined national environment. The future is renewables.”
 

###

About CAN: 
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Contact:
Nithi Nesadurai
Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA)
nnesadurai@climatenetwork.org / +60173079313

CAN is a member of a consortium project called Shifting Financial Flows to Invest in Low carbon Development (SHIFT-SEA) https://www.seforall.org/interventions/shifting-financial-flows. Other members of the consortium are; Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) https://www.seforall.org/, Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) https://www.e3g.org/home, Mission 2020 (M2020) http://www.mission2020.global/. The national partners in Southeast Asia are: Yayasan Mitra Hijau (YMH) in Indonesia http://www.mitrahijau.or.id/, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) in the Philippines http://icsc.ngo/, GreenID in Vietnam http://en.greenidvietnam.org.vn/
The project is funded by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI) https://www.international-climate-initiative.com/en/

 

Countries Must Double Pledges During Green Climate Fund (GCF) Replenishment

Thursday 29 August 2019: As the Green Climate Fund (GCF) - the world’s largest multilateral fund for action on climate change - is holding its second consultation on the first replenishment in Ottawa, civil society welcomes the announcements by those countries including Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Norway that have doubled their pledges in local currency in comparison to contributions made during the initial capitalisation of the Fund. Whilst these developments are encouraging, we urge other countries to follow suit and announce their pledges imminently, starting at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit during September in New York

In light of the urgency of the climate crisis that the international community is facing and as highlighted by new science such as contained in the recent Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Climate Change and Land, it is of utmost importance that all developed countries make ambitious pledges. They must at least double the amounts they gave during the initial resource mobilization. In particular, those countries who have contributed less generously on either a per GDP or per capita basis should go well beyond doubling in this round to do their fair share. This can positively contribute to enhancing climate ambition, especially as countries are expected to step-up their national commitments under the Paris Agreement next year.

Every penny counts in the fight against climate change. As countries have agreed that the Fund operates in United States Dollar, as a minimum, countries must announce that they intend to at least double their contributions in this currency.  

Reactions by Members of Climate Action Network:

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, said: 

“As the climate crisis intensifies and exacerbates hunger and poverty in developing countries, rich countries must at least double their financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund in US dollars. This should come in grants as it betrays the Paris Agreement to provide loans to countries that are already bearing the bulk of the costs. The GCF has become a major funding source to help poor communities, including many vulnerable women and children, deal with harmful climate impacts, such as stronger storms and more severe droughts. Developed countries now must do their part to ensure that efforts to address the climate crisis do not leave developing countries behind.”

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Adviser, Climate Action Network - France, said:

“Emmanuel Macron’s announcement that France will double its pledge to the Green Climate Fund is a positive step forward. But this new contribution must be entirely provided in grants, as this is the only way for France to make sure its money will actually reach the most vulnerable communities, already facing the worst impacts of climate change. In the run up to the Climate Action Summit in New York, we expect France - lead country on climate finance - to rally more contributors around a coalition of the «doublers».”

Liane Schalatek, Associate Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC, and CSO Active Observer for Developed Countries to the Green Climate Fund, said:

“As prospective contributors are assembling in Ottawa and discussing replenishment scenarios right now, they need to have the courage to more than double the IRM commitments, including by setting an important replenishment target to coincide with November 2020 when developing countries are asked to raise the ambitions of their NDCs. We hope that many developed countries will pledge swiftly and generously – and with the final replenishment outcome of the GCF-1 only to be tallied in December 2023, there is not only room for countries to change their mind from not contributing to contributing as they should, such as the United States or Australia, but also room for those who have already committed to take a second look for opportunities to revise their commitment upward.”

Kiri Hanks, Climate Policy Advisor, Oxfam, said:

“It’s vital that wealthy countries with the highest emissions contribute to the Fund and work together with those most affected to adapt to the changing climate and mitigate its effects. The UK, France and Germany have set the bar by doubling their pledge, sending a strong signal to others that backtracking is not ok. A meaningful replenishment would involve reaching at the very least $15 billion in pledges before the end of the year.”  

Mark Lutes, WWF Climate and Energy senior advisor, global climate policy, said:

“We have only a small window of opportunity to act decisively to address the climate crisis. We need to do more, do it faster and do it at a scale that transforms key sectors like energy and transport, among others. To do that, there must also be sufficient finance available to support the efforts of developing countries to make this transition. We call on developed countries to provide at a minimum double the contributions (in US dollars) made in the first funding round. Without this minimum level of financial support, countries will be hamstrung in responding to the climate crisis. And in the face of urgent and growing climatic disruptions, we know we cannot afford any delay.”

Tara Daniel, Program Manager, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), said:

“The promise of the GCF to fund and catalyze climate action capable of significantly influencing our worldwide response to climate change, through prioritizing principles of sustainable development, gender equality, and justice for the most affected communities, cannot be realized if the scale and nature of funding is inadequate to the need and insufficient given countries' capacities. That is why we welcome the recent replenishment pledges but urge that countries that have not yet pledged consider how their contributions display their commitment to climate justice, by at least doubling their initial pledges--if they originally pledged their fair share, and by contributing in grants, the most effective mechanism for ensuring the GCF has the transformative impact we all seek.” 

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate for ActionAid International said: 

 “This year, the world has started to wake up to the scale of the climate emergency. But the global transformation needed to avert climate catastrophe can’t happen unless rich countries contribute their fair share of climate finance. This week’s commitments to the Green Climate Fund are certainly welcome, but we mustn’t kid ourselves that they are in line with the scale of the climate challenge. Serious climate action requires serious climate finance.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) said: 

“As people are increasingly impacted by intensifying climate-driven disasters, countries must ambitiously reple​ni​sh the GCF so that it can fund developing nations to both adapt to the changing climate and mitigate their emissions. The costs to address climate change are in the trillions, and developed countries that are most responsible for the climate crisis must pay their fair share, at a minimum by doubling their initial pledged contributions to the GCF. That some countries have already made this commitment is encouraging, however much more is needed, and additional developed countries must come forward with greater ambition. With the climate crisis upon us, the GCF has the potential to be truly transformative in enabling sustainable development, human rights, and gender equality to be foundational to climate responses. The GCF’s success requires adequate funding that will facilitate the level of ambition necessary to meet the promises of the Paris Agreement.”

Eddy Pérez, International Policy Analyst, Climate Action Network - Canada, said:

“The GCF is the main financial mechanism of the UN Climate Convention helping vulnerable countries and people, including women and girls who are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. Canada’s commitment is welcomed, but to fight this crisis we need to recognize that Canada’s commitments to developing countries in relation to climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals is not reflected by the low ambition demonstrated in this announcement. This meeting should provide positive signals that will indicate that rich countries will contribute at least $15 billion in pledges.”

For further information contact:

Lucile Dufour (Ms)

International Policy and Development Adviser

Climate Action Network - France

Mobile: +33 6 77 27 40 03

Email: lucile.dufour@reseauactionclimat.org

Eddy Pérez

International Policy Analyst

Climate Action Network - Canada

Mobile and WhatsApp: +1 514 975 1592

Email: eddy@climateactionnetwork.ca

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Issued on behalf of Climate Action Network by François Rogers, Head of Communications, CAN International; email: frogers@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +44 7 585 707 220

Climate Action Network - response to fires in the Amazon rainforests

23 August 2019: The fires burning in the Amazon rainforest are a crisis on a catastrophic scale that is a result of putting profit and political gains ahead of the planet. Satellite images showed over 75,000 fires- an 84% increase since 2018 when the Bolsanaro government in Brazil started steamrolling aggressive and destabilising policies. These actions, carried out in close alliance with the agribusiness and mining lobbies, have displaced Indigenous communities, harmed the environment and undermined human rights.
Attempts are now finally in place to put out the fires following international outrage against the apathy of the Bolsanaro government, but there has been far too much damage.

The G7 leaders meeting this weekend at the summit in Biarritz, France, are to discuss the Amazon crisis. It is a welcome move to pressure the Brazilian government to retract its harmful policies, but the G7 countries as among the richest in the world must do much more themselves to stop the climate crisis beyond just expressing outrage. They must halt harmful subsidies to fossil fuels and do away with domestic policies that are exacerbating the climate crisis.

As the largest rainforests in the world, the Amazon forests encompass nine countries in Latin America, with 60% in Brazil. A source of natural riches, the Amazon is as an indispensable carbon sink to the planet.
The recent IPCC report on land and climate and the IPBES report underscored just how important it is to protect our primary forests if we are to stop climate breakdown.

Brazil has a legacy of progressive environmentalism- hosting the 1992 Rio Conference that gave birth to the Climate Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the 2012 “Rio +20” Conference that heralded the Global Sustainability Goals until 2030.
Climate Action Network stands in solidarity with local non-governmental organisations and Indigenous communities who are working at the frontlines everyday to stand up to powerful lobbies.

Quotes from CAN members:

Suelita Rocker, campaigner, 350.org
“The recent data about fires in the Amazon is showing that the current environmental policies are leading us to even more carbon emissions. Scientists, Indigenous Peoples, students, and other groups are clearly saying that they want a quick and thorough transition to clean energy, stronger measures for forest conservation and real participation of the communities in the government decisions” 

Shefali Sharma, Director, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, European office
“This massive destruction of the Amazon comes as both domestic and international pressure is building against the Bolsonaro government for its complete disregard for the climatic and human rights impacts of this disaster. If European governments are genuinely concerned about the devastation taking place, they must send a strong signal to Bolsonaro and urgently stop the EU-Mercosur trade deal—nothing less than the future of this planet is at stake."

Carlos Rittl, Executive Secretary, Observatório do Clima, Brazil
"Ever since they took office, Bolsonaro and his Environment Minister, Ricardo Salles, have dedicated themselves to destroying Brazil's environmental governance and law enforcement agencies. At the same time, they have empowered environmental criminals with promises of opening up Indigenous people’s lands for business and keeping environmental inspectors from doing their job. The increased number of fires this year reflects Bolsonaro's irresponsibility, and turns into smoke not only trees but also Brazil's reputation and the health of its people."

Alejandro Aleman, Centro Humboldt & Climate Action Network Latin America coordinator
"
It is unacceptable that the largest rainforest in the world, home to nature and many native communities, is on fire for days on end with no clear response or political leadership from the nine countries that are blessed to have the Amazon in their territory. Bolsanaro has once again proven his true colours but this is not a matter for single country anymore. The civil society of Latin American is committed to supporting civil society in Brazil to face up to the challenge and demand that environmental integrity and human rights are protected." 

Nouhad Awwad, CAN-Arab World regional coordinator
"The current fires in the Amazon forest in Brazil are unprecedented and destructive. They exceed last year's number of fires by more than 80% and are still going.  Forest fires are burning in many other parts of the world and many are human-made. This shows we need a unified and strong voice to protect forests and must switch to renewable energy. The level of pollution and ongoing fires exceed the power of nature to replenish itself. We must stand hand-to-hand to implement national, regional and international plans to protect forests."

Virginia Young, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society
"Bolsonaro has unleashed the apocalypse on the Amazon. He has gutted government environmental agencies, demonized NGOs working for sustainable development and protection, and avowed to open Indigenous land to industry and integrate the indigenous people into national society, that is, relegate them to the lowest rung of the poor in a country. The Amazon fires are caused by lack of government enforcement and perceived lack of consequences by ranchers, loggers and miners who are now rushing to grab whatever land and resources they can. Kayapo indigenous lands are at the forefront of this assault and are working hard to secure their borders."

Øyvind Eggen, Head of Rainforest Foundation, Norway
"This is a global crisis, and it is great that the G7 will discuss the unacceptable attacks on the Amazon. However, concrete action must be taken by both politicians and corporations.
Until Brazil has (1) reduced its deforestation and stopped the fires, (2) guaranteed security for environmental defenders and indigenous peoples and (3) reestablished the Amazon Fund with its mandate and transparent governance; politicians, companies, investors, and traders must immediately halt ratification of the EU Mercosur trade agreement, freeze new investments in Brazil and warn current trading partners of further measures."

Nicole Polsterer, Sustainable Consumption and Production Campaigner, Fern
"The European Union is the second largest market for Brazil’s soy and a large importer of its beef. Yet, the EU will be incapable of ensuring that its future imports from Brazil won’t stem from the areas opened by current fires. To ensure Europeans are not complicit in the Amazon’s devastation, the EU must urgently adopt new laws that will guarantee that neither agricultural products sold in the EU, nor the financial markets underpinning them, are destroying Brazil’s forests and driving land grabs."

Josianne Gauthier, CIDSE Secretary General
"For years we have been fighting for ambitious and binding commitments from States and International institutions, on climate justice, on corporate responsibility and accountability, on human rights, and on access to fair and sustainable energy and food systems. All of these questions rise painfully to the surface as we watch the Amazon burn as does our collective responsibility to act."

WWF International
WWF expresses its serious concern about the spread of fires in the Amazon that threatens the existence of the world's largest tropical forest, habitat of thousands of animals and plants and home to more than 34 million people, including around 500 indigenous peoples.
The fires are consuming important areas of forest in the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazon, and in other ecoregions such as the Chiquitano Forest, the Chaco, the Pantanal and the Cerrado, in both Bolivia and Paraguay.
Faced with this ecological devastation, WWF calls on the countries of the region - Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname - to protect the Amazon, fight deforestation and reduce the causes behind these fires.
The Amazon plays an important role in the climate regulation of South America, even influencing the rainfall regime of the region [read more].  

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International 
"
This is a climate emergency demanding urgent action that meets the scale of the challenge. Brazil has a responsibility to the world to protect the lungs of the Earth, but G7 leaders must not use the Amazon fires as a smokescreen to hide their own failures to act at home. G7 leaders must demonstrate to the world the urgency required by rapidly embracing known key solutions to the climate and land crises.
“As fires rage in Siberia and the Amazon, this month’s IPCC land report brought to light the critical need to protect and restore forests and for sweeping changes to the global food system. Meat and dairy consumption must be cut 50% globally by 2050 and rich countries such as the G7 should reduce that even further.
“G7 leaders have a duty to respond with everything in their power to end the use of fossil fuels, protect the world’s forests and lead agricultural change. They can make those national commitments at this Summit. Our forests and our hopes are running out of time. Expressions of regret over the Amazon fires and offers of help are fine, but are woefully inadequate.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada
"
My heart is in my throat today thinking of the emergency the Amazon and the animals and people that live there are facing. One in every five breaths we breathe is produced in the Amazon; the Amazon is the heartbeat of the global hydrological cycle. Ecosystems worldwide will quite literally collapse if we fail to protect this incredible place. If that’s not something for the leaders of the world’s richest nations to discuss in Biarritz, along with how to take action on the climate chaos that is egging this and so many other crises on, I don’t know what is. We are also calling in Canada to halt negotiations on the Mercosur trade deal until Brazil puts meaningful policies in place to protect the Amazon." 

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Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN, dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

New IPCC study on land and climate change must spur renewed political conviction to stop climate breakdown

Geneva, 8 August 2019: The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land released today is another stark reminder that we are in an ecological and climate emergency. This report-- coming after the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C and the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity -- brings together the best available science on how the enormous pressure on land is exacerbating the climate crisis.
It offers clear direction to governments to rapidly transform land and food systems, halt deforestation and pursue policies that empower small-holder farmers, eliminate poverty and hunger and protect the most vulnerable from increasingly frequent weather calamities.
Drastically cutting food waste and switching to more balanced plant-based diets, particularly in high-emitting societies, and adopting agroecological farming will go a long way towards curbing emissions and building adaptation.
Governments must unite behind the science. They must substantially increase their national climate targets by 2020 in line with the 1.5°C goal to cut global emissions by half in the next decade. Nature-based solutions must go together with abandoning fossil fuel use and investing in renewables.
This report must form the basis for a renewed political conviction to stop climate breakdown.

Quotes from CAN members

Stephen Cornelius, Chief Advisor on Climate Change and IPCC lead, WWF:
“This report sends a clear message that the way we currently use land is contributing to climate change, while also undermining its ability to support people and nature. We need to see an urgent transformation in our land use. Priorities include protecting and restoring natural ecosystems and moving to sustainable food production and consumption. 

“Good land choices are fundamental to tackling the climate crisis. A shift to sustainable land management must be accompanied by the necessary rapid and deep cuts to fossil fuel emissions if we are to meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Action on one alone is not enough.

“Delayed action will increase the risk of climate change impacts on food security. Those most at risk are the world’s poorest. Early action to address the climate crisis has the potential to provide multiple co-benefits across the whole range of land challenges, with many options contributing positively to sustainable development and other societal goals.”

Christoph Thies, Forests and Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace Germany:
“Defending and restoring our forests and changing our food system by eating less meat will help turn the climate and biodiversity crisis into new hope for nature and people. Our land and biodiversity are under enormous pressure, as seen by the devastating fires in Siberia. We need to make some hard choices because we cannot use up our land twice and we’re already over-using it. To protect our climate and feed the world demands action now. Governments are now compelled to update and enhance their climate action targets in light of the IPCC’s report.”

Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator, ActionAid:   
“The world’s leading scientists are clear – the way we produce food and manage land must change dramatically if we are to avert catastrophic climate change. Farming must work with nature, not against it. “The IPCC’s land report puts a big question mark on the future of industrial agriculture. A major shift to farming methods that work with nature, reduce emissions, empower women farmers and improve resilience to the impacts of climate change, is now essential.  

“It sends a stark warning that relying on harmful technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which would take up huge amounts of land, are at odds with our need to improve food security and protect our natural ecosystems.  

“Rich, polluting countries cannot expect the Global South to give away swathes of farmland to clean up the climate mess.”

Ashton Berry, Global Climate Change Programme Coordinator, BirdLife International:
“The report makes clear that better land management is urgently needed to tackle climate change, while also highlighting that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2˚C.  Joined-up policy and action to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crises is therefore key – supporting the rapid transition to biodiversity-friendly renewable energy such as wind and solar, while promoting and developing nature-based solutions that support and protect biodiversity at the same time as providing climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits.  The science and recommendations from this report provide a solid basis for the upcoming discussions on the content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to be agreed by governments in China next year – the success of which, and our very survival, hangs upon rapid, transformational change in the way we value and manage nature.”

Tonya Rawe, Director of Global Food and Nutrition Security Advocacy, CARE:
“Our food systems are broken, driving environmental degradation and worsening the climate crisis while over 800 million people are chronically hungry, and small-scale farmers – particularly women -- struggle to achieve resilient livelihoods. Today, the IPCC joined a chorus of others sounding the alarm for fundamental change in our food systems to solve the climate crisis and end hunger & malnutrition. Scientists agree: we need urgent and ambitious climate action in our food systems or more people will be hungry, public health will continue to suffer, and land ecosystems will see irrevocable loss. But action can only be achieved if local communities, women, and indigenous peoples are empowered to make decisions and lead action. We have solutions: what we need is political commitments and leadership to make them happen – now.”

Shefali Sharma, Director, IATP’s European office:
“The IPCC emphasizes significant emissions reductions from reducing meat and dairy. It’s a call for action for governments to hold agribusiness accountable for its mass production, mass waste model. There are very clear actions that governments can take to begin a just transition towards an agroecological and socially just model of animal husbandry that improve soils, animal welfare and  provides sufficient quantities of healthy animal foods which limit our carbon footprint. These actions include ending both direct and indirect subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives for global grain traders like Cargill, fertilizer giants like Yara and meat producers such as JBS and Tyson. It also means regulating them and making them pay for deforestation, water pollution and soil degradation.”

“We must integrate climate goals for agriculture into free trade agreements and ensure that trade agreements no longer lead to land degradation and deforestation. For example, deforestation has dramatically accelerated in the Amazon, encouraged by the Bolsonaro government. If European governments genuinely take seriously the dire findings of this IPCC report, then they must urgently stop the EU-Mercosur deal that includes Brazil—nothing less than the future of this planet is at stake.”

“The IPCC unequivocally shows that any further delay on land-based adaptation and mitigation actions will severely undermine our ability to produce food and sustain agricultural livelihoods. The IPCC report, together with the recently released report by the Committee on World Food Security that articulates how agroecology can help meet the twin and inextricably linked climate and biodiversity crises must now translate into action, empowering local communities and producers that are on the frontline of addressing food security and building climate resilience.”

Peg Putt, Climate Action Network Ecosystems Working Group Coordinator:
“Nature-based solutions to the climate crisis and the linkage with the biodiversity crisis are recognised. There is a major role for conservation, restoration of natural ecosystems and prioritisation of forests. Ending deforestation and forest degradation is vital. The report emphasises the importance of carbon rich peatlands and coastal wetlands."

"The enormous threat to ecosystems, people, and food security posed by large scale bioenergy and BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) leaps out of the report which points out the huge land area of 15 million square kilometers required for monoculture tree crops, which is actually equal to the extent of global cropland. As we clearly cannot afford to lose or destroy ecosystems vital to life, the report effectively paints large scale bioenergy and BECCS as completely unacceptable and unworkable."

Katherine Kramer, Global Climate Lead, Christian Aid:
“The IPCC report reflected the importance of conserving natural ecosystems, as stores of carbon and for their importance for providing food, feed, fiber and timber. Many of the world’s poorest people rely on natural systems for these resources and it is vital that policymakers recognize this in their land-use decisions.

“How we produce food will become an ever more important task for people needing to survive and thrive in a world facing a triple crisis of climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss. It’s crucial we use land in the most efficient way possible to bring down our emissions, conserve the natural systems on which we rely and boost food security for the most vulnerable.”

Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation:
“We are in a climate and nature crisis- the two are interconnected and must be tackled in tandem.
“Nature-based solutions offer the opportunity to not only restore the natural riches of the world but to also slam the brakes on climate change.
“But we must act urgently to address the way we manage our land and our over reliance on fossil fuels or risk irreversible climate change with disastrous consequences for nature as well as people’s lives.” 

Sara Lickel, Advocacy officer on the Right to food and climate, Caritas France:
“As lands and soils are every time more degraded, there is also increasing pressure from false solutions that are threatening human rights. The IPCC shows us that delayed action means we will have to choose between feeding ourselves, producing bioenergy or sequester carbon. We cannot morally and socially afford this kind of competition on land, and we need governments to ensure rapid and fast emissions reductions.” 

Reyes Tirado, Senior Scientist, Greenpeace Research Laboratory, University of Exeter: 
“The challenge is great, but the solutions are many. Changing the way we produce food and what we eat will protect our climate and promote food security. We can free up vital land space being used for animal feed and grazing through healthier plant-rich diets and ecological farming practices that will help sequester carbon in the soil and increase biodiversity.”

 David Festa, Senior Vice President for Ecosystems at Environmental Defense Fund:
 “Our best shot at a healthy, prosperous and food-secure future requires us to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the climate impacts we cannot avoid. Making agriculture more sustainable and preserving our forests will help on both fronts.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law:
“The climate crisis is here and getting worse every day. We need urgent action now to reduce CO2 emissions, and land has a critical role to play in addressing the climate crisis and sustaining human life. With its new Special Report on Land and Climate Change, the IPCC once again emphasized the significant threat that climate change poses to the environment and people, including to land and food security. To guarantee that land can continue to fulfill its vital role, countries must ensure and respect the land tenure of indigenous peoples, women, and local communities. Further, public participation in decision-making, including of women, indigenous peoples, and vulnerable groups, is essential to adopting ambitious and effective policies and practices to address the climate, biodiversity, and land crises.”

Jennifer Tabola, Director, Global Climate Strategy, The Nature Conservancy:
“In the same way last year’s IPCC special report on 1.5°C focused global attention on the threats of climate change like never before, today’s new report promises to do the same for the complex challenges of land use. We already knew that humanity’s over-exploitation of the Earth’s lands is a key driver of climate change, and that we need to take urgent, ambitious action to address these issues.  The IPCC’s land report simply puts this situation into sharper focus – and presents us with the opportunity to define our generation.

“As with climate change in general, we have a choice: do we balance the needs of human development and nature, or do we sleepwalk into a future of failing farmlands, eroding soil, collapsing ecosystems and dwindling food resources? Can we look at the powerful tools conservation science has already put at our disposal to help combat these threats and have the courage to take the urgent policy decisions now necessary to see these deployed at scale?” 

Mahir Ilgaz, Research and Grants Coordinator, 350.org:
“Unless we start substantially reducing fossil fuel use now and go completely fossil free by 2050, the combination of climate change and land degradation will lock even more people into poverty and exposure to climate impacts. The more carbon dioxide and methane we emit now, the higher the risks of breakdown in our food systems, especially in vulnerable areas.  Continuing investments in fossil fuels and fossil fuel extraction, at this point, equals indirectly starving poor people.” 

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe:
To stop climate breakdown, we need a rapid and far-reaching change in the EU’s land sector, alongside all other sectors of the economy. The EU needs to rapidly increase the rate of emission reductions in agriculture and invest in nature protection. To spur immediate action in this sector in line with the 1.5°C goal, the EU needs to increase its 2030 climate target to at least 65% emission cuts. The perfect opportunity to do so is the UN Climate Action Summit in September.”

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:
“Changes to our climate and lands are a global crisis requiring a global solution--one in which we all play a role. The science is conclusive: in the U.S, public land management must be part of our climate solution. We must not only prevent further pollution by stopping new dirty fuels leasing and development, but also keep natural spaces wild to help pull us back from the brink of the climate crisis.

Keeping forests intact to store carbon and protecting public lands will also safeguard wildlife faced with mass extinction and provide protection from flooding and other climate-induced disasters that we’re already seeing. We have an incredible resource -- and incredible opportunity -- in our public lands, but we have to act now before our chance is lost.”

Stephan Singer, Senior Adviser, Climate Action Network International:
“The approved report should lead all governments to significantly enhance their nationally determined contributions with actions in the land sector to immediately halt deforestation, enhance restoration of ecosystems and build resilience for poor farmers and communities. In conjunction with the deep decarbonisation of the energy sector, the findings of the report, if implemented by governments, will lead us to the 1.5C pathway.”

Anton Beneslavsky, expert, Greenpeace Russia
"It’s important that natural fires were named as a factor of climate change, although there is a feeling that the effects of natural fires and agricultural burning are generally underestimated: we are currently observing how climate change leads to the fact that natural fires become more and more intense and frequent, their impact on the climate through carbon dioxide emissions, soot and degradation of landscapes and soils is growing This is a vicious circle that needs to be broken and for this serious changes in the usual ways of managing land must be done."

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Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

As heatwaves, floods and fires sweep the world, what are governments waiting for?

Civil society groups call for a concerted political push to raise ambition and deliver support in the coming months   

27 June, Bonn: In a week of record-breaking heatwaves here in Bonn, where negotiators are concluding talks at the UN climate meeting, civil society groups have excoriated governments for their weak political positions on responding to the climate crisis.
The signals emerging from inside negotiating rooms and outside suggest that countries are ready to cave to the short-term interests of a few powerful polluters. They are willing to dismiss the concerns of their citizens who show up in massive numbers at marches, and ignore the large-scale suffering from impacts and loss and damage to maintain a business-as-usual attitude.

With the adoption of the landmark IPCC 1.5C Special Report on Global Warming last year and the Paris Rulebook at COP24, the direction of travel was clear: escalating rapid and transformative actions to stop emissions and limit dangerous warming to 1.5C within the next decade. What we see so far is woefully inadequate.

It is unconscionable that the relevance of climate science is put under the spotlight by Saudi Arabia and some other countries at a time when all governments must be responding to the climate emergency and using the IPCC 1.5C Report to plan for a zero-carbon future. It is important that more countries defend the IPCC report and are outspoken in their condemnation of those making a concerted effort to undermine the best available science and the Paris Agreement.

The discussions on the technical themes have seen uneven progress overall - on Article 6 on carbon market mechanisms, the process towards the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage, common timeframes and in addressing the influence of vested interests in UN talks. Ahead of COP25, It is important that Parties make progress on these to uphold the intergrity of the Paris Agreement and operationalise it. 

In a week when the UK has enforced a new net-zero law and Denmark committed to ambitious climate targets, the inability of the G20 countries, who account for 80% of global emissions, to find common ground,on climate change, just ahead of the leaders’ summit in Japan, is an alarming sign of backsliding on previous promises to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and once again pander to a few powerful polluters like the United States.

In the next months we call on countries to submit bold and actionable climate plans at the UN SG's Climate Summit in September. Contributor countries must come to the Green Climate Fund's replenishment meeting later this year with pledges that double on existing individual contributions and spur a financial shift that will mobilise trillions into a green global economy. A failure to substantially enhance national climate targets and deliver the support for this will be seen as a conscious decision to abandon the 1.5C goal. 
 

Members of Climate Action Network react:

Mark Lutes, Senior Global Climate Policy Advisor, WWF said: ‘While there was some action outside of the UN climate talks this week – with the UK putting net-zero emissions by 2050 into law, Denmark committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 – and inside things were more procedural. What did catch attention at the meetings were heated exchanges about how Parties will respond to the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The dispute is a sign of what’s at stake in responding to the climate crisis and the science of 1.5°C. Parties have to take on board the substance of this and other IPCC science reports in revising their national climate plans.’

Sven Harmeling, CARE’s Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, said:
“In the wake of the UN Climate Action Summit and COP25, outcries sound from the public demanding climate justice amidst fears of catastrophe and a climate apartheid. While more than 20 countries announced in Bonn to improve their national climate plans, now, more than ever, the big emitters must follow their lead. We continue to reiterate the same message to decision makers: heed our warning before it’s too late. Government leaders must now step up and provide the emergency action required and stop making empty promises.”

 Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change, ActionAid international, said: 
“Some governments are finally waking up to the threat of catastrophic climate change by setting vague, faraway net-zero carbon targets for 2050. But they are forgetting those already struggling to cope with the devastating effects of global warming. Communities are losing their livelihoods as cyclones tear through Africa, facing water shortages in India and losing farmland to sea level rise in Bangladesh at an alarming rate.

“Despite six years of negotiating, the UN process has failed to face the fact that a new funding mechanism is desperately needed to support people to recover from climate disasters. This process needs to be urgently rebooted in a way that responds to the terrifying reality facing those on the frontline of climate change.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada, said:
“2019 has so far been characterized by two trends: people losing their homes and their lives at unimaginable rates thanks to the floods, fires and famines caused by climate chaos, and; governments beholden to fossil fuel interests teaming up to hijack these climate talks and multilateral events like the G20 with destructive anti-climate agendas that betray the people who depend on them. It is sickening. Germany shattered its all-time heat record for June yesterday as Parties sat in air-conditioned rooms debating how to receive the best available science on climate change - proof positive that suppressing climate science won’t make the problem go away. Governments of the world listen up: either we confront climate change with you or without you. Act now or become irrelevant.” 

Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate Policy Coordinator of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: 
“It was positive to see the EU making efforts to defend science and environmental integrity at the Bonn climate talks. However, the EU's failure to agree on reaching net zero emissions by 2050 was clearly a big disappointment for many vulnerable countries who are relying on the EU to show leadership.

We call upon the EU to organise a Climate Emergency Summit to agree on a substantial increase of its 2030 climate target. Otherwise, its empty-handed participation at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit next September will undermine its role as a global climate champion.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“As superstorms, floods, wildfires, and other climate-related extreme events continue to wreak devastation on communities across the world, people across the world are looking for leadership to address the climate emergency. The United Nations Secretary General has called for a leaders’ summit in New York this September to galvanize much greater political will to decarbonize the global economy, to enhance resilience to climate impacts, and to spur the major shifts in finance and investment needed to achieve these goals. Meanwhile, a growing number of governors, mayors, business leaders, investors and others around the world are committing to transformational climate action.

“By contrast, here in Bonn, there wasn’t much ambition to be found. While some headway was made on several technical topics, sharp political differences remain on issues such as carbon markets, ramping up finance to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and even on the role of science in informing policymaker understanding of the urgent need for climate action. On this last point, Saudi Arabia blocked the substantive discussions called for by a large number of vulnerable developing countries on the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius that was released last October. But while they may have succeeded in short-circuiting formal discussion of the report, the Saudis can’t prevent it from continuing to drive the heightened awareness amongst governments, the business community, and the public of the need for an urgent response to the climate crisis.

“All countries must come to the leaders’ climate summit in New York and COP25 in Santiago prepared to indicate how they intend to increase the ambition of their national actions, as is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Developed countries must also provide greater confidence on how they’ll meet their commitment to mobilize $100 billion in annual support for developing country actions, and to ramp up assistance to the most vulnerable countries that are already experiencing devastating climate impacts."

Sriram Madhusoodanan, climate campaign director, Corporate Accountability, said:
“What happened here was an injustice – not only for governments and civil society – but for people around the world who desperately need real climate action. Trump’s delegation, Australia and other Global North countries went to new lows to prevent the undue and proven influence of the fossil fuel industry from even being acknowledged – let alone addressed. Time and again, the U.S has gone out of its way to undermine the talks on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.

This is what corporate capture looks like and why a conflict of interest policy is so vital for the future of this process. But, the call to kick polluters out is not confined to the walls of the UNFCCC. Following the call from countries collectively representing more than 70% of the world’s population, over 600,000 people and hundreds of organizations in more than 130 countries are ensuring this call is inescapable from the UN Climate Summit in September to COP25 in December.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said: 
As the climate crisis continues to escalate, climate emergencies are declared, and students take to the streets, it is unconscionable that a handful of countries continue to question climate science. Increasing ambition to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C is essential to the integrity of the Paris Agreement. So too is ensuring that Article 6 mechanisms have strong human rights-based social and environmental safeguards, including meaningful public participation of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women, and an independent grievance body that can address harms if they occur. Anything short undermines the promises made in Paris and further harms communities who are the least responsible for the climate crisis. 

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, said:
“While a record breaking heat wave causes mayhem across Europe, melting roads and buckling train tracks in Germany, key polluting countries at the climate talks in Bonn have attempted to water down scientific warnings and stall progress. Thankfully attempts by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the USA were opposed by most other countries, and especially by vulnerable nations and it’s good to see the findings of the IPCC’s 1.5C report will be used to inform the next round of national pledges to strengthen the Paris Agreement.

"Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the United States are rogue nations.  These four major fossil fuel producers are working together against the interests of the set of the world and jeopardising our chances of a safe climate. These countries hardly agree on anything other than undermining climate science. Because their short-term economic interests rely on fossil fuels are at risk this is their last kick back at the rest of the world by suppressing scientific warnings.”

Rixa Schwarz, Team Leader International Climate Policy, Germanwatch, said:
During the UN climate talks, the negotiators remained unaffected by the European heat wave and the youth movement, which at the same time brought 40,000 people onto the streets. Germanwatch considers the pace of negotiations to be insufficient to promote the speedy implementation of the Paris Agreement. This lack of speed at the UN climate talks must be compensated outside the negotiating context. On 23 September, the world will turn its attention to the UN Secretary-General's climate summit in New York. Germany and the EU must respond to the UN Secretary-General Guterres' call for concrete plans. After the failure to agree on a net-zero climate target in June, Germanwatch calls for this decision to be taken at a special EU Council meeting in September. Germany must play a driving role in this.

Jean Su, Energy Director, Center for Biological Diversity, said:
“It’s unconscionable that countries have failed this week to make any meaningful progress to combat the climate emergency. As undertaking the clean energy revolution is now technologically and economically viable, the major obstacle to real climate action is the sheer lack of political will.  We urge world leaders to listen to the millions of people in the streets and act with humanity and courage to turn this crisis around."  

Gilles Dufrasne, Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch, said:
“Article 6 negotiations progressed marginally, but there is no real sign indicating that countries are ready to adopt rules which will actually safeguard the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement. At this stage, everything is still on the table, including many proposals which are nothing but foolish accounting tricks which will do nothing to actually reduce emissions.”

Carlos Rittl, executive secretary, Brazilian Climate Observatory, said:
“World governments are still procrastinating on climate even when they are literally feeling the effects of the crisis on their skin, as we saw this week in Bonn. This meeting has started amidst stern warnings of a climate emergency, and you don’t treat an emergency by promising to go carbon-neutral in 35 years. Science is yelling that “now” means “now”, but some parties have chosen to shoot the messenger. “

Contact:
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

'Backsliding by G20 nations on climate is alarming when we need an emergency plan'

The world's largest economies must respond with solutions proportionate to the magnitude of the climate emergency 

Bonn, 26 June 2019: In light of the worrying signals that the G20 are sending about their lack of commitment to climate ambition, civil society said that these countries are threatening to exacerbate the climate emergency and push the limits of dangerous warming beyond 1.5C degrees.

Language on climate change and the Paris Agreement of the G20 communique expected to come out of the leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan this Friday, is looking weak and alarming. Worryingly, it omits the phrases “global warming” and “decarbonisation”. The message coming from the G20 countries indicates that they will continue to support fossil fuel subsidies and overall expansion.

Civil society representatives, who spoke at a press conference in Bonn, said that countries are going against the tide of their citizens' demands and are ignoring the science. This will make these countries irrelevant and their policies incompatible with the reality on the ground.

Countries are increasingly caving to fossil fuels interests and the agenda of rich polluters backing them, which will lead to more intense and frequent climate impacts and loss and damage.

Quotes:

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, CAN Canada, said:

“So far, 2019 has been characterized by two trends: people losing their homes and their lives at unimaginable rates thanks to the floods, fires and famines caused by climate chaos, and; governments beholden to fossil fuel interests teaming up to hijack multilateral events like the G20 with destructive anti-climate agendas that betray the people who depend on them. It is sickening. Governments of the world listen up: either we confront climate change with you or without you. Act now or become irrelevant.”

Kelly Trout, Senior Research Analyst, Oil Change International, said:

“The latest analysis shows G20 countries are still propping up coal to the tune of $64 billion a year, tripling support for coal plants since 2013. G20 host Japan is one of the worst offenders on coal, and now may be leading the G20 backward on climate commitments in Osaka.”

“Ten years ago, G20 leaders came out of their summit pledging to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. At this stage of climate emergency, every new subsidy that helps lock in fossil fuel pollution is not only inefficient but unconscionable.”

“It’s good to see a growing list of governments declaring climate emergencies. But in the real world, no rational person would pull a fire alarm with one hand and then fan the flames with the other. This is what G20 governments as long as they continue to support and fund the expansion of oil, gas and coal production and burning adding fuel to the fire of the climate crisis. The carbon mass shows we already have enough oil, gas and coal under development globally to push the world well above 1.5C degrees of warming.”

“So it’s time for governments to decide here in Bonn, at the G20 and at the UNSG Summit this September. Are they for the Paris Agreement goals or are they for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Those two things are no longer compatible. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, all new investment needs to be in renewable solutions not new sources of pollution.” 

Nouhad Awwad, CAN Arab World Regional Coordinator, said:

“We need transparency in the process and civil society participation in national and regional policy-making and for the private sector to assume its responsibilities. Most importantly, we need progress on finance, which is lacking here. Finance is limited to humanitarian response and no funds are allocated to land rehabilitation, territorial losses and other issues to treat the massive human suffering from climate impacts. For the drought in Madagascar, only 20.7% of the needed amount was delivered and for the drought in Somalia only 21.7% of the needed amount was delivered.”

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director, Corporate Accountability, said:

“For decades, we’ve seen that the UN climate talks have failed to deliver the kind of action that people are demanding around the world. For years, time and again the influence and interference of the very corporations and industries that have fueled this crisis, that have blocked and undermined progress, is apparent within these walls. This is one of the greatest challenges we’re now facing as we work collectively to address the climate crisis that the same industries here with us are trying to ensure that everything remains business as usual. Fossil fuel corporations like Schell, Exxon and BP have been sending people to these talks themselves and through trade associations to lobby for weaker policy on climate for decades. Since 1995, there’s been more than 6,000 delegates including Schell and Exxon Mobil here at the talks.”

“We see that the US, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the EU have repeatedly defended the involvement of the same polluting corporations that have known about and driven the climate crisis at these talks. This is completely absurd. It’s like trying to put out a fire by bringing in an arsonist. Unlike the past two years when countries stood unified and made the US stand on its own, this year we’re seeing Japan cave to the US and fossil fuel interests.”

Written by Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

For follow up informations in Bonn, contact:
 

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Glaring vacuum on political leadership threatens to undermine ability to address climate crisis

Bonn, 24 June 2019: Today at the UN climate talks in Bonn, civil society voiced its concerns that the political will and ambition needed to tackle the climate emergency is nowhere in sight.

Solving the climate crisis requires political leadership, particularly from the big emitters, who must step up and commit to enhancing their national climate targets by 2020 in order to cut global emissions by half by 2030 and meet the Paris Agreement goal to dangerous keep heating below 1.5C degrees.
Rich countries must pledge climate finance on a scale that will allow countries already suffering the consequences of climate change to deal with impacts and adapt quickly to survive.

Speakers at a press conference by Climate Action Network said the very weak signals coming from developed countries on enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and on delivering finance, raises concerns that the Bonn climate talks are not responding to the climate emergency, even as a full-fledged heatwave is to sweep Europe this week and bring home the reality of climate change.

Quotes:

Alden Meyer, Director, Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:

“It’s very clear what we want out of this process, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has made it crystal clear. We need three things: ambition, ambition and ambition. We need of the ambition to close the emissions gap and have a chance to stay at the 1.5 C degree level. We need ambition on impacts because even if we manage to hold temperature increases globally to no more than 1.5C degrees, the horrific impacts we are already seeing across the world are going to continue and intensify over the next several decades. So we need more progress, more support on adaptation and loss and damage and we need ambition on finance, technology and capacity building, support for developing country actions.”

“It’s kind of a tale of two cities. We’re seeing very smooth progress here in Bonn on the technical issues at play… but on the political level, it’s a very different picture. There is a vacuum of leadership from major countries on ambition across all these fronts. If you see the countries that are committing in public to enhance the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), it is almost entirely developing countries and most of them are small or mid-size emitters. You don’t see the G20 countries on that list. You don’t see the countries that collectively represent about 80% of global emissions providing any certainty about what they plan to do on ambition.”

“At the end of this week, Japan will be chairing the meeting of the G20 leaders in Osaka. We’re very concerned that Japan is not building on the momentum generated by Germany and Argentina over the last two G20 meetings to fully implement Paris, decarbonize the global economy and ramp up support for developing country ambition and action. As a matter of fact, we hear concerns that Japan is talking about cutting its next pledge to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in half from the USD 1.5 billion that they pledged in the first round, not doubling its pledge as Germany and other countries are committing to do.”

“We have a lot of work to do in front of us over the next six months and most of what we need can be solved with political ambition from the major countries and we are calling for that leadership coming forward out of this meeting in Bonn.”

Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid, said:

“We all know that the world is starting to wake up to the fact that we’re in the midst of a climate emergency. Even though, this issue is getting the public’s attention, leaders are avoiding to take responsibility and address it effectively. It’s quite shameful that at a time when we have a climate emergency, these leaders are relegating the very important climate ambition that is required to a footnote. That’s what happened with the European Union but it is also happening with G20 with Japan totally avoiding including in the G20 agenda the need to be able to actually enhance ambition.”

“The conversation around loss and damage is limited to negotiating the terms of reference for the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) and in there the very important element of finance for loss and damage isn’t getting a lot of support particularly from the biggest polluters.”

“Look at the cruel irony. Those countries that are most vulnerable to climate change that are suffering the impacts of climate change who have contributed the least are the ones who are leading from the front. If these poor, vulnerable, most impacted communities can, I believe so can all the other big polluters. We need them to actually step up and provide the kind of support that is required. We’re looking at clarity on the 100 billion and the delivery of that political pledge but also the replenishment of the GCF. We need to see political signals coming through that the rich world is actually going to deliver the kind of support that is going to help the world transition to a pathway that is safe.”

“Biggest polluters need to commit to enhance their ambition. We need countries to step forward and actually revise and enhance their NDCs. In the absence of revision and updating of NDCs, it’s unlikely that we will be able to catalyze the transformational change that will put the world on a 1.5C degrees pathway. We also need them to commit and deliver their 2050 net-zero strategies so we have clarity around their development pathway. The third thing is the phase out of coal the biggest source of pollution in energy. We can’t have a conference as important as the UNSG Summit coming forward without countries taking concrete steps in terms of actually stepping away from coal towards renewables. We have abundant renewable energy resources across the world and that potential needs to be tapped to set the world on a safe pathway.”

“Get your grip on addressing impacts because it’s actually affecting people’s lives, mobilize adequate support so that we can bridge the financial gap and catalyze transformative changes. Then, increase your ambition in mitigation to get the world on a safe pathway.”

Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate Policy Coordinator, Climate Action Network Europe, said:

 “The UNSG Climate Summit in New York is the key focus point this year and currently as it stands, the EU would be going there all empty handed and it’s very unlikely that the EU would be willing to do that. Historically, the EU has always been at the forefront pushing forward international global climate ambition, Kyoto, Paris and at every crunch point and this time, the climate is much higher on the Europeans agenda than it has ever been. It’s a top priority for many European citizens in many European countries. It was felt by the European elections results that showed that strong climate policies get you elected.”

“CAN thinks that the EU’s target by 2030 should be at least 65% reduction in emissions.”

“In one week, Finland takes over the EU’s rotating Presidency and climate emergency is a key issue in Finland now for the fins and for the Finnish government to the extent that climate change are the two first words of the current government’s programme for the next four years. We’re happy that in the next six months we have a serious EU Presidency and we hope that Finland will use all its diplomatic skills and other means to make sure that the EU will align its 2030 target with the Paris Agreement. The time is now. If you decide not to revise the NDCs now, we have to see it as a conscious decision to abandon the 1.5C degrees target. The time is now and the Europeans also want that.”

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Advisor, Climate Action Network, France, said:

“Increased support not only helps developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and implement their climate plans, it also has the potential to unlock the ambition and NDC enhancement that we urgently need.”

“Parties need to build on the rules decided in Katowice and design the tools that will help enhance the transparency of climate finance. We’re at early stages of this process, but parties need to make sure from the beginning that the tool that they are going to design is going to provide complete, comparable, and traceable information on the finance flowing from developing to developed countries. It is key to maintain the trust between parties and also build confidence in the new climate regime.”

“Last week, we saw some tensions emerging on who and how to govern the adaptation fund.

This is extremely concerning because the adaptation fund and the sustainability of funds over time is still a question that is not solved. In the context of growing climate impacts, adaptation and adaptation finance must remain at the center of the talks. Parties need to make sure that the adaptation fund will get increasing and sustainable funds because the adaptation fund works well and is well designed and actually delivers concrete results to help the most vulnerable communities on the ground.”

“We expect parties to demonstrate progress on the commitment they made to mobilize USD 100 billion a year by 2020 and they should do so by improving and achieving a balance between adaptation and mitigation finance. One of the biggest signals they need to send is about the GCF because it will hold its replenishment conference by the end of the year.

In light of the achievements of the fund that funded more than 100 projects with USD 5 billion over the past six years, we expect all the contributor countries especially the bigger ones such as Japan, Canada and the European countries to make new and ambitious pledges to the fund, we need at least doubling of the financial efforts. Any backsliding would be completely unacceptable in the current context.”

Written by Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

For Follow up in Bonn, contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Updates from week one of the Bonn climate meeting: uneven progress on technical issues

Bonn, 22 June 2019: Mid-way through the intersessional UN climate negotiations in Bonn, CAN members say progress has been sluggish on countries’ cooperation to meet their Paris commitments or Article 6, on loss and damage and the implementation cycle of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), known as common timeframes.

Civil society set clear expectations for decisions and final texts in Bonn that reflect the needs on the ground to address impacts with adequate finance and support and to heed the calls by youth from around the world for elevated and more rapid climate ambition, commitments and action. Countries need to step up to their moral obligation to solve the climate crisis and prevent passing the burden to future generations in line with inter-generational equity and justice. Currently, what is happening outside the UNFCCC process doesn’t match the inside.

The metrics of success in these negotiations for Article 6, which allows countries to cooperate to meet their NDCs through international transfers of mitigation outcomes, is a text that narrows options on key issues. These include prevention of double counting, a good direction on the transition of the Kyoto protocol mechanisms, and clear safeguards to prevent human rights abuses.

The review of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on loss and damage and discussions on common timeframes to implement NDCs are not yet complete with both areas of convergence and disagreements between parties still playing out.

Quotes:

Brad Schallert, Deputy Director, International Climate Cooperation, WWF said:

“There is a little bit of a difference in terms of the tone and the cooperative spirit of what’s happening in the Article 6 room because there is such political pressure to come up with solutions, all parties are feeling that. There seems to be real desire to not just restate positions but to try to signal that they are ready to bridge gaps. There is some hostage-taking where some countries are saying if we don’t like how this turns out in the end we might revert back to our original positions but there seems to be real desire to come up with a new text at some point.”

Leia Achampong, Policy Officer, Climate Justice, Act Alliance EU, said:

“What is particularly concerning that when attending some of the informal open sessions on the WIM review process and development of the terms of reference, some delegates are saying that they don’t expect the outcomes of the review that will take place in COP25 to be taken forward until the executive committee of the WIM on loss and damage has its own review next year, which means there would be a year of inaction. Climate impacts are taken place now and having repercussions on agriculture, on global food trade, causing climate-induced displacement. What we need to see in reaction to the urgency of climate change is that there isn’t a year of inaction taking place. The outcomes and recommendations of the review that takes place in COP25 actually need to be implemented as soon as the COP is over, it can’t be that there is time period of wait up until COP26 when then the executive committee takes into account these recommendations.”

 “As CAN, we would urge that those outcomes are immediately taken into account and that the third pillar of the WIM on loss and damage is immediately operationalized to ensure that there is support in the form of capacity building, finance and technology transfer.”

Jeffrey Qi, Policy Analyst & Coordinator, Climate Change, BC Council for International Cooperation, said:

“We need to have a single five-year common time frame. A five-year common time frame will avoid locking in low ambition in NDCs, it will harness rapidly evolving real-world opportunities like economic, social, political and scientific technological progress. It will incentivize early action instead of delayed action on climate mitigation and lastly aligns better with the whole Paris climate regime with NDCs being communicated every five years and the global stock-take taking place every five years.”

“This single five-year common timeframe will match the ambition cycle. It is very crucial to ensure that the Paris Agreement serves its purpose and is able to deliver this ambitious action that the world urgently needs.”

“There is general consensus amongst parties at this session, that NDCs will be communicated in 2025 (for actions post 2031) that means there will be a domestic planning period between 2025 and 2031. Since we have this consensus, it is very important to have the textual guidance in the final decision to avoid any ambiguity or confusion, any misunderstanding regarding this domestic planning period.”

“Parties must leave Bonn with a deadline to have a decision on common time frames because we can’t let these negotiations go all the way until 2022 and 2023 because there are some parties that are planning for their 2025 NDCs beginning 2020 and need this guidance to understand the length of the time frame they are planning for.”

Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Advisor on Climate Adaption Policy, WWF Singapore

“It’s great to see how the youth is mobilizing around the world. These marches are going on a massive scale…the message they are giving is loud and clear… we as civil society engaged in the UNFCCC process need to take into account those messages and how that can replicate in the UNFCCC process.”

“We see banners and posters calling strongly for climate action now and the UNFCCC needs to hear that clear message and try to add that in an educate manner in this period. We as adults mostly from developed as well as developing countries have created this mess. We need to resolve this mess we have created within our lifetime. Let’s not let our children and future generations take that burden because that’s not equity and justice.”

“All countries need to raise ambition… and more action on adaptation is critical. It is the moral obligation of developed countries to provide support.”

Written by Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

For follow up in Bonn, contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

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