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:

Plans to reduce emissions must be paired with commitments to phase-out production of fossil fuels

09 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: As the second week of COP25 commences, Climate Action Network today organized a press briefing to give a context and updates on where things stand as issues become more political and expose the fault lines on where and how the countries are undermining climate ambition. Representatives of NGOs called on governments to take concrete steps to address the climate emergency by stopping fossil fuel extraction and fossil fuel subsidies, committing to loss and damage finance and agreeing on robust rules on future carbon markets.

Reactions from CAN speakers:

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada:

For twenty-five years, these meetings have focused on the symptoms of climate change - greenhouse gas emissions - but ignored the root cause of the crisis. But a major shift has happened here at COP25 - after decades of tiptoeing around them, delegates are finally saying the F words - fossil fuels. We saw the release of the UNEP Production Gap Report in the lead up to the COP. It’s the first annual assessment of the gap between the targets in the Paris agreement and countries’ planned production of coal, oil and gas. Its findings were startling - governments are planning to produce 120% more fossil fuels in 2030 than is consistent to limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.

We also just saw the release of the oil and gas and climate report which examines the oil and gas industry’s expansion plan for the next five years. The sector plans to invest US$1.4 trillion into new extraction projects between 2020 and 2024 which would lock in 148 gigatons equivalent to 1,200 coal plants of CO2 emissions between now and then. 85% of that planned expansion is happening in Canada and the US. Other countries with the largest expansion plans include Argentina, China, Norway and Australia. COP25 marks a sea change in the dynamic in this institution - there’s no going back. From now on, the need to constrain production and supply of fossil fuels must be a necessary and growing piece of international climate talks.

2020 in the year of ambition and countries will be expected to present improved NDCs. We must see that those plans to reduce emissions are paired with commitments to phase-out production of fossil fuels while developing just transition plans making sure that no one is left behind.

 

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid International: 

Millions in Africa at this moment are facing food shortage and the number is going to touch 45 million in the next 6 months and they suffer from a food crisis right now as we speak in these conference rooms. This process was designed to deliver global justice. This is a place where Tuvalu is as powerful as the European Union or the United States. But the constant bullying of these big countries is making this process worse than useless. Their bullying has not stopped, they’re not letting us make any progress in this space. There is no substitute for action and what rich countries are doing is creating an illusion of actions by just talking. When we demand action, they offer reports. When we demand money, they offer workshops. That is not going to help people who are suffering right now.

In this process, we agreed to create a system that should help people. And that demand was raised 28 years ago by Vanuatu that we need to create that system. And it took us 22 years to even create that system in 2013. We believed in rich countries’ words that we are going to see money coming in to help these people on ground. That bullying did not let us create that system in the last six years under Warsaw International Mechanism. We created that mechanism but the money that should have started flowing in has not seen the light of day. They did not even allow a discussion on how money is going to be mobilized and we are talking about impacts and damage that is reaching $300 billion per year by 2030 and US$1.2 trillion by 2060. 

 

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor (Climate, Biodiversity, and Ocean)

Greenpeace East Asia: 

Over the first week, the Chilean Presidency has proposed a set of some of the most important decisions to be adopted by the end of this COP. These decisions in our view represents the most important outcome at COP and should send a very clear and strong signal to the rest of the world that all the countries here are still committed to high ambition and the principles enshrined in the Paris Agreement. 

On Article 6: the first week on the negotiations we have seen some of the lengthy debates in the future carbon market. We understand things haven’t moved that much on that issue in the first week. There’s a lot of complexity in the carbon market discussion. We want to set it straight - it is nonsense if the rules that we set for ourselves to allow countries to count the same emissions reductions twice. It also doesn’t make sense if some of the emissions that have already been achieved in the past 10 years are allowed to be carried over to post-2020. It is absurd to even have those debates over the first week. We have no time and luxury for future carbon offsets - we are in a climate emergency and carbon markets should not distract us away from the very important decisions of the second week which should be about ambition. 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

UN climate talks flounder on key issues: common time frames, finance for loss and damage and human rights in carbon market rules

07 December 2019, Madrid Spain: As the first week of the COP25 UN climate talks wraps up, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing today to highlight key issues where the negotiations are stuck- on ambition and common time frames, loss and damage, and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets mechanism.

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor (Climate, Biodiversity, and Ocean), Greenpeace East Asia:

“We arrived here in Madrid with clear climate science and climate impacts around the world. A typhoon hit the Philippines creating huge losses and damage for some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Last night we had a historical march here around the streets of Madrid which demonstrated that the climate emergency did not go unnoticed by the people on the streets. COP25 needs to deliver a clear and strong signal that demonstrates that there is political resolve that would bridge the profound ambition gap in front of us. 

One technical issue we are having difficulties with for the past week is the issue of common timeframes. It is closely linked to ambition and deals with how long NDC commitment should be - it is one of the very few unresolved issues in the Paris Agreement rulebook. CAN is advocating for a single 5-year commitment period, to reflect the latest climate science and avoid locking in low ambition and work in a synchronized manner with the Paris Agreement ratchet mechanism. Country blocs such as AOSIS, Least Developed Countries and the African group support this position, and this is a fairly straightforward issue at the COP.  We are disappointed by the lack of progress that we observed in the room. We note the lack of position with the EU which is one of the primary reasons that we are not able to make progress over the past few days.”

  

Sadie DeCoste, Climate Action Network Working Group Coordinator, Loss and Damage:

“On loss and damage, yesterday we saw a draft decision text which countries will use to deliberate and reach a decision on what should be done to improve the Warsaw International Mechanism’s work on loss and damage. As far as developing countries positions, we’ve seen a strong call from a great majority of developing countries for finance to deal with the impacts of loss and damage. For countries such as the Bahamas, hurricane Dorian caused substantial loss and damage from months ago, neither finance for adaptation nor insurance or private sector support can do nearly enough to deal with the scale of the climate-induced catastrophe. Yet, developed countries have not appeared to support the call for specific new finance to address loss and damage, they prefer to talk about better collaborating with existing stakeholders. This is despite the fact that their lack of progress on reducing emissions has caused an increase in severe climate impacts like hurricane Dorian.

AOSIS and other developing countries are calling for finance for loss and damage on the top of their agenda in the negotiations, some developed countries recognize that but they need to step up and meet that challenge.”

 

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Climate & Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law: 

“On Article 6, we have seen a week of highly technical negotiations and there have been some technical progress on streaming the Article 6 text which is expected to come out today and be discussed. All the contentious issues and potentially harmful policies that risk undermining the Paris Agreement are in the text.

It's the responsibility of all the countries in the room and the Chilean Presidency to really make sure to not just agree on rules for Article 6. They need to agree on good rules that will help ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement, both the environmental integrity and the social integrity, and that it results in an overall reduction of emissions.

We are seeing signs of some language on human rights being obliterated from Article 6 by India China the Arab group and to some extent Brazil. This is a red line and there can be no carbon market rules without social safeguards.” 

 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

Today we march again to hold our political leaders to account

06 December 2019, Madrid Spain: As thousands of people in Madrid and Santiago take their demands to the streets today, Climate Action Network (CAN) today highlighted why action within the UN halls critical to respond to the pressure from people and for governments to come out with a solid plan to stop emissions. 

The speakers highlighted the growing presence and influence of fossil fuel lobbies within the talks and the disconnect between want people want as a climate safe future and what world leaders are willing to act on.    

 

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Associate Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability 

For years, the global climate treaty has been laden with blockers of progress primarily obstructionist northers governments, big polluters and their proxies. They lobby to maintain the status quo as the climate crisis deepens and influence the policy-making at UNFCCC and shun aside real climate solutions. Take a look around - the very corporations bankrolling these talks, sponsors of this conference are Spain’s biggest polluters - Endesa, Iberdrola, Santander. And it’s not just sponsorship, these polluters roam these halls of this conference pushing dangerous distraction like carbon markets that we know don’t work. Industry groups like the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) whose members include BP, Shell, Chevron and COP25 sponsors Iberdrola and Santander is hosting 74 events this week averaging nearly 7 events a day. There, climate criminals like Shell are given a platform to greenwash and push for faulty carbon trading schemes as the way forward meanwhile civil society has to fight to keep the space inside the COP. 

In a world where we must act to decrease carbon emissions to zero as soon as possible and end fossil fuel use, there’s no room for any trading schemes that line big polluters’ profits and sets us firmly on a path of climate catastrophe, death, mass migration, loss of ecosystems. It doesn’t have to be this way - instead of focusing on rules for markets where there is simply no time or space for carbon markets, governments have the opportunity to chart a different course to real action right now.

They should stand with billions of people around the world enduring climate impacts daily and hundreds of thousands of people demanding real just solution like a decline of fossil fuels and advancement of framework for implementing real transformative solutions in Article 6.8 in the Paris Agreement. To advance the real solutions the world urgently needs, governments must heed the call of peoples’ movements all over the world, kick polluters out reject markets and advance real market solutions.

 

Juan Pablo Orrego, President of Ecosistemas, Chile 

There is very intense social uprising in Chile with very dramatic consequences. The reasons for this is Chile has been trapped since the arrival of the Spaniards and the British to plunder, kill and rape in our territories. We have been trapped in a primary phase of extractivism and now neocolonial extractivism. The pillars of the Chilean economy are mega mining, plantations of pines and eucalyptus, industrial fishing including intensive salmon farming, intensive agribusiness. This system has hurt the environment and when you hurt the environment, you hurt the people. We have unusually high cancer rates, vascular accidents and other diseases directly provoked by this economic model.
The reaction of the government has been to repress this uprising. We need to restore our territory, change this  economic model in Chile that does not respect the environment and human rights. One of the worst examples is the Alto Maipo project. The watershed basin that supplies water to the whole Metropolitan region of Chile - 8 million people - and four successive governments have allowed a North American Company AES Corp to build a massive run-of-the-river hydroelectric plant in this water shed.

 

Angela Valenzuela 350.org / Fridays for the Future Coordinator Chile

“One of the key messages in protests in Chile is “neoliberalism was born in Chile, and is going to die in Chile.” During the Cold War  we were an experiment of an extreme case of neoliberalism and clearly that has not worked for Chile, for the people or the environment. This is problem is the root of what’s happening globally - we need new paradigms and new answers and we cannot continue this paradigm of infinite growth in a planet with limited resources. 

These models are creating the climate crisis and leading us to a climate chaos. What we really need to do is to think about the root causes of the climate crisis. It’s been 25 years of negotiations and every year we hit record levels of heat waves, temperatures and emissions. And something is not working here but civil society around the world from Santiago to Madrid - is waking up - to confront the climate crisis. 

Today we are going to march again to hold our political leaders accountable. We know that there are solutions, we know that we need to change the systems and work differently but we are lacking in political will so we really need to build a movement.” 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

As impacts rise, decisions on loss and damage must be central to COP25 agenda

Audio recording of the press briefing available here

03 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing today with civil society representatives from regions currently facing severe climate-induced disasters  such as in the Pacific Islands, Southern and Eastern Africa, Latin America and Australia.

As extreme weather events and slow onset impacts like desertification are felt by millions of people across the globe, civil society called on negotiators to urgently act on the needs of vulnerable populations by agreeing on concrete outcomes on the Warsaw International Mechanism, including a financing mechanism for loss and damage and an expert group on action and support.

 

Reactions from CAN speakers:

Teruabine Anna Nuariki: Kiribati Climate Action Network and Pacific Islands CAN Board Member 

Loss and damage is the biggest issue for Kiribati. Our livelihood, wellbeing, culture, security and rights are all threatened by climate change. Land erosion has led to loss of lands impacting communities who are uprooted from their homes. Climate change has been destroying homes and killing livestock and food crops in our islands. It has also caused disputes where communities are fighting over lands.

Our nation must now focus on adaptation and building resilience. With our government’s disaster funds we can only build sea walls, but we can no longer pay for loss of life and damage on homes and livelihood. Communities are seriously affected not just physically but also mentally and spiritually.

However, we are still fighting to because it is our culture, identity and our lives. We have to protect our lives, identity and culture. We do not ought for migration but fight the battle for climate change. We are now living in a situation we did not create because developed countries are prioritizing profit over people. Together with you, we ask you to work hand in hand to act and amplify our voices as one to sing our song - my world, your world, our world, for health, peace and prosperity.

 

Ismael Sayyad: Climate Change Advisor from Oxfam LAC 

Yesterday, Oxfam released a report: “Forced from home: Climate-fueled displacement” that highlights that about 20 million people are being displaced annually due to the climate emergency that has shown an increase in the intensity and frequency of disasters. Climate impacts have not only forced millions of people from their homes, but also have consequences on livelihood and armed conflicts.

In the Caribbean, we are suffering impacts of climate change such as hurricane Irma that displaced 1.7 million people, destroying 30,000 houses, and further damaging 100,000 houses. In Central America, climate impacts have caused and exacerbated Guatemala’s malnutrition, forced migration displacing people to Mexico and the United States, and 2.6 million people in need of food assistance today.

Beyond extreme weather events, slow onset impacts such as sea level rise and droughts have displaced communities from their homes and affected our farmers’ agricultural production and everyday they need to adapt. We underscore the inequality in emissions because those who have most emissions are not the ones who suffer the most impacts, they are felt by vulnerable people such as communities in Latin America. This COP we expect progress on loss and damage while emissions are being reduced. We need to recover from the impacts.

 

Vitumbiko Chinoko: Regional Advocacy and Policy Lead for CARE in Southern Africa

In South Africa, Cyclones Idai and Kenneth affected 2.2 million people who are still seeing the impacts of climate change, and 1.1 million people have become food insecure. We are seeing the impacts of climate change not just becoming more frequent but also more severe. Money that’s supposed to go to development programmes such as education and health are being diverted to emergency services and restoration. Cyclone Iidai-affected countries Mozambique and Malawi had to borrow money from the IMF to address their needs but it is a loan. Climate finance to developing countries must come in a form of grants because climate change is affecting the development pathways of these countries.

These effects have heightened the importance of the agenda of loss and damage for Southern Africa and so we urge our negotiators to focus more on loss and damage. We clearly need a very robust review on action and support and a programme on how Southern African countries, i.e. how to enhance the finance aspect, capacity-building, slow onset and non-economic losses.  We need rules on loss and damage finance and have that provide us with the opportunity to apply for funding. We need to make sure that in this COP we will deliver on that.

 

Julie Anne Richards: Executive Director, CAN Australia

Loss and damage is something that developing countries are living through, or not living through, unfortunately. Developed countries are also not immune to the impacts of climate change.

We are facing an unprecedented level of fires in Australia. We’re living through the worst drought that has contributed to the huge bush fires and affected several towns and regional centers now facing the risk of running out of water. The fire front in Eastern Australia is 6,000 kilometers long that’s happening in Spring which is unprecedented. Twenty percent of the Blue Mountains national heritage area, of approximately 4 million acres, is burnt which is more than the past three fire seasons combined. The fires have also affected our health, with hospitals in Sydney reporting a spike in asthmatic cases.

At this COP, the review of WIM has to put in place the finance facility that provides new finance on loss and damage which it has failed to do in the past six years. We need new finance that comes from polluting sources because we know that the fossil fuel industry and big polluting countries are the cause of this climate crisis - they have a responsibility to pay for loss and damage experienced by developing countries. We also need to move forward with an expert group on action and support to ensure that we act on loss and damage.

 

Lara Muaves: Head of the Africa Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, WWF

I am a witness of severe climate impacts in Mozambique - it’s a fact, it is real, we are suffering from loss and damage. Between March and April last year, we were hit by two subsequent cyclones - Kenneth and Idai - that have left huge destruction and 2.2. Million people in need of emergency assistance and 1.1 million youth between 5-17 years old are left without healthcare. 17 districts or 50% of Mozambique was completely destroyed and now we are still suffering.
We as a country, we as Mozambique, we as civilians we are still struggling, we are still trying to recover from loss and damage and to connect our infrastructure so we can reach primary needs such as food and resources. I beg our leaders in this COP25: you can make a difference, you have to so something. The Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage has to be extended and it must have a finance facility and be fit for purpose.

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

 

 

Related Event: 

COP25: Crucial two weeks of UN talks to address climate crisis begins

02 December 2019, Madrid Spain: As the UN Climate Change Conference or COP25 starts here in Madrid, Spain, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing to outline the key expectations from governments. These include finance commitments for loss and damage, stronger commitments on ambition, rules on carbon markets under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, as well as priorities of the Latin American region.

More and more people are taking their discontent to the streets as governments have failed to deliver on their promises in the Paris Agreement and address social and economic problems. Civil society leaders stressed the need for negotiators to urgently act on the people’s demands as the severity of the climate emergency escalates, causing droughts, water and food crises, and displacement of millions of people, and thereby further exacerbating social inequalities.

The next two weeks are crucial in addressing the climate emergency and social justice. Countries, especially major emitters, must agree to a funding mechanism under the Warsaw International Mechanism that would provide loss and damage compensation, including a loss and damage gap report that unpacks the scale by which such support is needed, and a task force to ensure that the funding reaches the vulnerable populations. It is also critical for negotiators to finally come up with a fair deal on carbon markets that should drive an overall reduction in emissions and avoid double counting at all costs.

Climate negotiations were moved to Madrid from Santiago de Chile but that does not stop the civil society in the Latin American region continue to assert their voice - their demands must be heard and people’s rights in the region should be protected. Our demands cannot fall on deaf ears: CAN urges our leaders to respond to the people’s needs and commit to concrete solutions to the worsening climate emergency.

 

Reactions from CAN speakers:

Jean Su: Energy Director, Center for Biological Diversity

We are in an absolute climate emergency right now. Our house - the planet - is literally on fire. Developed countries are fueling those flames by continuing to burn fossil fuels. We have seen an incredible awakening of the public, Greta Thunberg and millions of people are going to the streets to demand real political change. The culprits are the same: governments are not listening to the people but to the fossil fuel industry.

For far too long, these COPs have not been COPs of the people, but countries are not doing something. They hide behind jargon on mitigation targets and percentages that people on the streets do not understand. We are telling the government to stop burning fossil fuels now, start transitioning to 100% renewables in a fair and just manner and pay for loss and damage to the millions of people who have suffered for decades. It is not a climate emergency of tomorrow that developed countries believe it to be - it is a reality today to millions of people affected by this climate emergency right now.

Harjeet Singh: Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid
With an increasing number of cyclones, droughts and rising sea levels, 60 million people in Southern and Eastern Africa are facing greater risk, 9 million people experience a food crisis due to droughts, and affected populations are expected to grow to 45 million in the next months. That’s why we call it a climate emergency. We will cross the 2°C temperature rise given the current commitments.

The UN system and the countries primarily responsible for this crisis - are they losing sleep? Those impacted but are not responsible for the climate crisis, are they being supported and protected against human rights violations they encounter due to climate migration? No.

The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage was set up to protect them but the constant bullying from major emitters has blocked finance for them - and that has to change at COP25. There has been some advancement in knowledge generation but that is not enough. No progress has been made on finance. We need an operating system that goes out and helps these people facing the climate emergency. The Paris Agreement is not just about shutting down coal plants and putting up solar panels - it’s about people and making sure that vulnerable populations are safe in this climate emergency.

Gilles Dufrasne: Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch
There are many elements in carbon markets and that’s why we need to have a comprehensive deal under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. There must be strong rules that ensure that carbon markets drive new emissions reductions and do not rely on old carbon credits from the Kyoto Protocol representing about 19 billion credits of 19 gigatonnes of carbon emissions.

Proper accounting and transparency are key in protecting the integrity of carbon markets and avoid double counting at all costs. Some countries want to have their cake and it - that is not acceptable. Double counting is cheating the people and that will not help solve the climate emergency. Carbon credits must not be used to justify pollution at home and shift emissions around the world, rather, we need markets that will deliver an overall reduction in emissions.

Adrian Martinez: Director, La Ruta del Clima

We have to consider that we are now in Spain and the change of venue has raised serious economic and geographic barriers to civil society in Latin America. As it is meant to be a Latin American COP, we should be able to voice out our priorities in the region. The changes should not infringe our right to participate in the COP and reduce the voice of the people. What is environmental democracy if we cannot access it?
For the few of us who made it here in Spain, we’ll remind our leaders of the key issues for the region such as signing the Escazú Agreement to protect the human rights of environmental defenders in Latin America. For us, this COP should keep in mind all the voices that have been left behind who are also executing different activities in Chile to ensure that our priorities are heard. How civil society participates in the climate negotiations should be taken into consideration and not limit our voice.

#### ENDS ####

Contact: Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

COP25: Governments must respond to the urgency of the science and the demands of people around the world for transformational actions

Audio recording of the press briefing available here

26 November 2019: Climate Action Network today organised an online press briefing to set expectations for COP25 and unpack some of the main issues that will be high on the agenda of this COP in Madrid, Spain, from 2-13 December. This includes addressing the issue of finance for loss and damage under the review of the Warsaw International mechanism and ironing out the rules related to the carbon market mechanisms, an outstanding issue on the Paris Agreement Rulebook from last year.

Representatives from civil society were unequivocal in their demand that governments use this COP to build political momentum towards stronger climate targets in 2020, deliver on financial support for the most vulnerable and more specifically ensure that a funding facility is operational under the Warsaw International Mechanism for climate-related loss and damage. As deadly impacts escalate and all signs point towards unabated and rising greenhouse gas emissions as evident in the UN Emissions Gap Report released today, the pressure is high on governments to take radical action to avert climate catastrophe.

The UN climate talks, now moved to Madrid, Spain from Santiago de Chile owing to civil unrest in Chile and growing concerns on human rights violations there, will be a key moment for countries to demonstrate their willingness to heed the demands of people and act on the weight of the scientific evidence. Climate Action Network calls on all countries - led by the major emitters- to submit ambitious near-term climate targets early next year that match the scale of the climate crisis the world is facing.   

Comments from CAN members:

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
“The climate emergency is now upon us, as countries around the world experience torrential floods, out-of-control wildfires, powerful storms, heatwaves and other climate-related extreme events. Some countries, states, cities and companies are responding with the urgency required, but the world’s largest emitting countries are missing in action.”

“For several years, we’ve been warning that we are running out of time. But it is clear that now is the time to radically change the path we’re on. The latest United Nations emissions gap report shows that global emissions continue to rise and will need to be cut at a rate of 7.6 percent each year for the next decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement.

“We are sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe and need to wake up and take urgent action. The outcomes of COP25 must respond to the clear urgency of the science and the demands of people around the world for transformational actions to address both the climate crisis and the crisis of economic inequality and social exclusion. We’ll be doing our best to ensure that they do.”

Alejandro Aleman: Coordinator, Climate Action Network Latin America
“Although the COP25 venue has changed from Santiago de Chile in Chile to Madrid in Spain, we expect that this will still remain a Latin American COP and raise issues pertinent to the region including funding under the Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage and mobilising finance for climate action in countries in Latin America.

We urge Chile to sign the Escazú agreement and honor the rights of environmental defenders.”

Erika Lennon: Senior Attorney in the Climate and Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law
“We are in the middle of a climate crisis and it is imperative that the rules for market mechanisms under Article 6 ensure that they deliver on the overall reduction of emissions, help to raise rather than undermine domestic ambition, and ensure that the rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples are respected and that they are not harmed by carbon market activities.

At COP25 we need robust and detailed rules to avoid double counting and ensure transparent accounting. Appropriate social, environmental safeguards that protect local communities and indigenous people’s rights - including mandatory local stakeholder participation throughout the project design and life cycle- is critical. Anything less than robust rules from the outset before the markets are in place will risk undermining the Paris Agreement and countries nationally determined contributions.”

Sven Harmeling: Global Policy Leader on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE
“Climate change loss and damage is impacting the poorest countries most significantly, as they lack the economic and financial capacity to rebuild and recover as quickly as developed countries. It creates a daily climate emergency for millions of people, particularly women and girls. Developed countries must urgently ramp up finance to reduce climate impacts and recover from those unavoided. COP25 must become the moment where rich countries shift the scales of justice towards the climate harmed people. Climate Action Network calls for a funding facility under the Warsaw International Mechanism that can provide innovative sources of funding to compensate for loss and damage. This lies at the heart of climate justice ”

Angelica Guerrero: Asociacion Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia
“We are facing the twin crises of climate and biodiversity. The recent IPCC on land and climate and IPBES reports have shown the huge role that nature plays in the solutions to the climate emergency. Nature can provide around a third of the solutions to limit global warming to 1.5C by 2030. However, we need to make sure that these nature-based solutions are not simply offsets and go hand-in-hand with far-reaching and transformational policies to stop fossil fuel use and fossil fuel subsidies.

It makes no sense to scale up nature based solutions if these solutions undermine the rights of  indigenous communities, their land, their culture and food sovereignty. Latin America is witnessing rising human rights violations and environmental leaders are being threatened and killed. A genuine approach to the climate crisis includes the protection of people’s rights. We need a clear interpretation from governments on nature-based solutions constitute and under no circumstances must such solutions include monoculture plantations.” 

#### ENDS ####

Contact: Dharini Parsarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN dparsarathy@climatenetwork.org +918826107830

 

 

CAN Board Appoints Tasneem Essop as New Executive Director

04 November 2019: The Board of the Climate Action Network International (CAN) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Tasneem Essop as the new Executive Director of CAN, effective from December 1, 2019.

This follows a thorough selection process managed by the Board. Ms Essop brings significant experience in the climate and environment sectors, having worked on these issues in  government and civil society for many years. 

Ms. Essop said: "I am deeply honoured to have been appointed as the new Executive Director for CAN International. I am also excited to be given the opportunity to continue the work we have started in terms of the transformation of the Network and the Secretariat. This transformation is urgent in this critical time when we are facing a climate crisis. I want to thank the Board and the Network for having the confidence in me to steer this ship. I also want to thank the staff for their continued dedication and hard work. They have never slowed down. Our responsibility to make this Network the best it can be, to help unlock its power has never been more urgent. I look forward to helping with this". 

CAN International Board co-chair Wendel Trio said: “Ms. Essop has convinced the Board of her vision, motivation and capacity to further strengthen the CAN Network and the climate movement as a whole. We strongly appreciate her dedication to building a bottom up approach to the work implemented by CAN, especially through responding to the needs of national and regional nodes and strengthening their role. The Board is pleased by how Ms Essop has been leading CAN as Interim Executive Director since February 2019 and how she successfully guided and transitioned the Secretariat and the Network.” 

South African born and based, Ms. Essop has significant experience in the climate movement. She has held various senior government positions in South Africa. She was a global climate policy and strategy leader for environmental NGO WWF International. Most recently, she was the founding director of an NGO in South Africa, focusing on energy democracy. Her vast management and leadership experience includes convening and building consensus around common goals amongst stakeholders from government, labour, business and communities, building collaborative partnerships, working in virtual teams across cultures, and building strong organisational governance, with an emphasis on finance.

For further information contact:

Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, emaill: hkilani@climatenetwork.org, WhatsApp: +9613567928, Or
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, WhatsApp: +918826107830 

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

Open Letter By Climate Action Network to the Government of Chile

30 October 2019

H.E. Mr. Sebastián Piñera      

President of the Government of Chile,
La Moneda Palace,
Calle Moneda,
8320000 Santiago
Chile                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Dear Mr. President,

Climate Action Network (CAN), a network of more than 1400 civil society organisations present in over 130 countries, expresses its deepest concern at the recent heavy-handed response of the Chilean government against the widespread displays of discontent by citizens in the country. We take note that the President has announced that Chile will not be hosting the UNFCCC COP, as well as that the State of Emergency is being revoked. Notwithstanding these developments, we remain concerned with reports of continued intimidation and threats against civilians and we will remain vigilant about the actions of government even in the absence of the COP. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have been denied their right to demonstrate peacefully, been threatened, jailed, abused and lost their lives during this time of crisis.

The demand for climate justice and solidarity is fundamentally about the protection of human rights and a demand for a better quality of life for all.

The repressive actions by the government, not only goes against all obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Treaties such as the right to freedom of assembly, but is also alarming since Chile has signed the Geneva Pledge on Human Rights and Climate Action and, in addition, also the Presidency for COP25. The preamble of the Paris Agreement states that “Parties, should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights.”  The government’s reaction towards the recent social protests put into question the credibility of the Chilean government to act in accordance with global agreements it has signed and does not inspire confidence in the Chilean government’s ability to provide leadership on this as the COP Presidency.

CAN urges the government of Chile to take immediate, meaningful and sustained measures to ensure that human rights are respected, people are protected and are able to execute their right to assembly and express their grievances without threat. 

In addition, we call on the government of Chile to release all people who have been unjustly arrested during the protests and to establish an independent investigation into the loss of lives during this period with the view to hold all those responsible to account and take legal measures accordingly. Furthermore, we suggest that the government should find a meaningful and peaceful resolution in the interest of all citizens in Chile through a genuine, participatory and inclusive process.  

Over the last 30 years, CAN has actively participated in and contributed to the work of the UNFCCC, promoting climate action and ambition. We recognise that Chile is vulnerable to climate impacts and is particularly affected by droughts, while at the same time the economy of the country is driven by extractive industries to the detriment of social and environmental justice. As an international network of environmental NGO’s, we would want to be reassured that in its implementation of climate action, the Chilean government will respect the call in the preamble of the Paris Agreement as outlined above. We believe that respect for human rights and justice is an important foundation for climate ambition. 

While the COP will no longer be held in Chile, we understand that the government will continue to hold the COP Presidency, and so we expect exemplary climate and social leadership from you. In this regard we call on you to do the following:

  • Immediately sign the Escazú Agreement and submit the Agreement to the National Congress as a matter of urgency, as a clear signal of wanting to protect the rights of environmental defenders and social activists.
  • Respond positively to the new social pact by engaging all citizens, civil society, workers and other stakeholders in key policy making and planning processes, to achieve a socially, environmentally and economically just transition.
  • As a first step this can include announcing the closure of the coal power plants currently operating in highly polluted areas and the termination of the “sacrifice zones” as also recognised by the national congress and the Supreme Court.
  • Advance social justice by ensuring access to clean drinking water, especially in response to the drought.
  • Commit to implementing the recommendations of the 1.5 IPCC report in the links between sustainable development and climate change that can ensure social justice and environmental sustainability.

We trust that the crisis in Chile will end imminently and that the necessary steps are taken to transition towards a more socially and environmentally just society and economy. 

CAN wants to place on record its deep commitment to the principles enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Human Rights Treaties and will throw its full weight behind ensuring these principles are manifested fully within the UNFCCC process and by all Parties who are signatories to this Convention. 

Climate Action Network

Climate Action Network reacts to the decision by Chile to withdraw as host of COP25

[ In Spanish below ]

30 October 2019: Climate Action Network (CAN) has noted the decision by the Chilean government not to host the UN Climate Summit COP25 that was scheduled to take place between 2 and 13 December in Santiago de Chile.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Chile in their ongoing pursuit to hold their government accountable and to improve the lives of all and not just a few. Social justice is at the core of fighting the climate and ecological crisis. We support the Chilean Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC) who wish to keep a space open to advance dialogue and progress on environmental issues in Chile.

“The mobilizations that we are seeing in Chile and other countries in Latin America are clear evidence of the need to implement transformational changes of the current development paradigm towards a new model of development based on social justice and environmental sustainability which can be clearly achieved by implementing the proposals of the IPCC 1.5°C Report," said Alejandro Aleman, Climate Change officer, Centro Humbold, Nicaragua and Coordinator for Climate Action Network Latin America.

CAN has been deeply concerned by the heavy-handed response of the Chilean government towards civil discontent and protests in recent weeks and the deployment of force in suppressing the free movement and assembly of people. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends, and colleagues of those who have been denied their right to demonstrate peacefully, been threatened, abused and lost their lives during this crisis. 

The network is concerned that by not hosting this COP, this could open the way for continued or escalated repression of the Chilean people. We urge the government instead to use this opportunity to build a peaceful and inclusive resolution to the crisis as the foundation for a new social pact.

"Irrespective of where and when COP25 takes place, we will continue to pay close attention to the situation in Chile to ensure that the overarching principles of social justice and human rights are protected, especially also in the COP,” said Tasneem Essop Interim Executive Director of Climate Action Network International.  

Social injustice and the climate crisis have a common root cause and climate justice and solidarity is fundamentally about the protection of human rights and a better quality of life for all.

This decision to reschedule COP25 must not detract from the political urgency to address the climate crisis and the need for countries to substantially increase their ambition by 2020 on all fronts- from accelerating emission cuts and the shift away from fossil fuels to 100% sustainable renewable energies, to addressing harmful climate impacts including through increasing financial support to vulnerable communities. These are essential ingredients for climate justice. Postponing the COP must not be used as an excuse to delay this. We urge the UNFCCC Secretariat and the new COP25 host country to ensure that COP25 is accessible and inclusive in all aspects.

Also read the open letter to the President of Chile

---------

Spanish version

Climate Action Network reacciona a la decisión del gobierno de Chile de suspender la COP25

Octubre 30, 2019: Climate Action Network (CAN) ha tomado nota de la decisión del gobierno chileno de no hospedar la Cumbre de las Naciones Unidas COP25, que estaba programada para tener lugar del 2 al 13 de diciembre en Santiago de Chile.

Nos solidarizamos con el pueblo de Chile en su búsqueda constante para que su gobierno rinda cuentas y mejore las condiciones de vida de todas y todos y no únicamente las de unos pocos. La justicia social está en el centro de la lucha por el clima y por la crisis ecológica. Apoyamos a la Sociedad Civil Chilena para la Acción Climática (SCAC) que desea mantener un espacio abierto para avanzar en el diálogo y el progreso en temas ambientales en Chile.

"Las movilizaciones que estamos viendo en Chile y otros países de América Latina son una clara evidencia de la necesidad de implementar cambios transformadores del actual paradigma de desarrollo, de forma tal que transitemos hacia un nuevo modelo basado en la justicia social y la sustentabilidad ambiental, lo que puede lograrse claramente mediante la implementación de las propuestas del Informe 1.5°C del IPCC", dijo Alejandro Alemán, oficial de Cambio Climático del Centro Humboldt de Nicaragua y Coordinador de Climate Action Network en América Latina.

En CAN, hemos estado profundamente preocupados por respuesta del gobierno chileno ante el descontento civil y las protestas de las últimas semanas, así como por el despliegue de la fuerza para reprimir la libre circulación y reunión de personas. Extendemos nuestro más sentido pésame a las familias, amigos y colegas de aquellos a quienes se les ha negado el derecho a manifestarse pacíficamente, a quienes han sido amenazados, abusados y perdido sus vidas durante esta crisis.

A la red le preocupa que, al no ser Chile el país anfitrión de esta COP, se continúe o empeore la represión contra el pueblo chileno. Instamos al gobierno a que aproveche esta oportunidad para construir una solución pacífica e inclusiva a la crisis como base para un nuevo pacto social. 

“Independientemente de dónde y cuándo se lleve a cabo la COP 25, continuaremos haciendo seguimiento a la situación en Chile para asegurarnos que los principios generales de la justicia social y derechos humanos son protegidos, especialmente en la COP,” comentó Tasneem Essop, Directora Ejecutiva interina de Climate Action Network International.

La injusticia social y la crisis climática tienen una causa común, así mismo, la justicia y la solidaridad climáticas tienen que ver fundamentalmente con la protección de los derechos humanos y una mejor calidad de vida para todos.

La decisión de reprogramar la COP25 no debe desmerecer la urgencia política de abordar la crisis climática y la necesidad de que los países aumenten sustancialmente sus niveles de ambición para 2020 en todos los frentes, desde acelerar la reducción de las emisiones y el paso de los combustibles fósiles a energías renovables 100% sostenibles, hasta abordar los efectos nocivos del cambio climático; incluso, mediante un mayor apoyo financiero a las comunidades vulnerables. Estos son ingredientes esenciales para la justicia climática. El aplazamiento de la COP no debe utilizarse como excusa para retrasar este proceso. Instamos a la Secretaría de la CMNUCC y al posible nuevo país anfitrión de la COP25 a que garanticen que la COP25 sea accesible e inclusiva en todos los aspectos.

-----------------ENDS---------------------

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

Green Climate Fund pledging summit: Civil society groups react to outcome

Pledges now add up to $US 9.7 billion but countries must continue to fill the coffers through the replenishment period to meet the needs of vulnerable people and for global efforts to tackle climate crisis

25 October, Paris: The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Pledging Conference concluded here today with pledges now totaling US$9.7 billion.
By doubling on their initial contributions to the GCF, a handful of developed countries signaled they are ready to take responsibility in tackling the climate emergency but the vast majority of contributor countries should have come to the table with much more.

In particular: Canada, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerand, New Zealand, Austria and Belgium failed to deliver their fair-share and must bridge this shortfall as a matter of urgency. They must use the UN climate meeting COP25 in Santiago in Chile this December as an opportunity to do so.

By their decision to withhold funding to the GCF, the governments of the United States and Australia have turned their backs on the world’s poorest and have once again isolated themselves in global efforts to respond to the climate emergency.

This US$9.7 billion for the next four years will allow the GCF to continue pursuing its mandate by funding adaptation and mitigation projects in developing countries to support the most vulnerable communities.

Millions of people, particularly in the developing world, are already facing the limits of adaptation. While the overall funding needed to transform our societies to avert climate and ecological breakdown runs into trillions of dollars, every dollar matters in the worsening climate emergency. We urge countries to continue to generously fill the Fund through the entire replenishment period.

As we enter a milestone year in implementing the Paris Agreement in 2020, we must renew global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Fair, transparent and predictable finance is hardwired into principles of equity and is critical to unlock conditionalities in national climate plans and ramp up climate targets in 2020.   

Quotes from CAN members and civil society partners

Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe:
“Several European countries set the bar high and threw real money on the table. This is a good start but in no way adequate to meet the needs on the ground. Countries who pledged below their fair share and failed to live up to their obligations must urgently top up their contributions. All European countries who have not pledged so far need to put money on the table as soon as possible, to help the poorest countries scale up their climate targets in 2020.”

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development and GCF Active Observer for Developing Countries:
“We need to remind many governments we are in a climate emergency. We know it, we live it, and many in the South barely survive the devastating impacts of the crisis we did not create. While we welcome this new set of contributions to the Green Climate Fund, we would like to remind developed countries of the US$ 100 billion annual target they have committed to. The amount pledged as of today is very far from the $100 billion and much much farther away from what is actually needed to finance urgent climate actions in developing countries that are needed not only by people of the South but by the whole world.

For years, we as CSO Active Observers in the GCF, have been calling developed country governments to meet their obligations, raise their ambitions and scale up their contributions. They should at least double their pledges at the GCF Replenishment process. It is outrageous and unjust that some governments, like the US and Australia, refuse to acknowledge their fair share of obligations and pledge to the Green Climate Fund. In stark contrast, they continue to be heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry.  They are even asking developing countries to contribute, shifting  the responsibility to those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis."

Armelle Le Comte, Oxfam International:
“The pledges made today send an important signal that wealthy countries should help the developing world face the growing perils of climate change. It is particularly encouraging that a range of countries including Norway, Sweden, Germany, the UK or France will double their contributions compared with the previous financing phase. This allows the fund to continue its important mission to assist developing countries in adapting to worsening climate impacts.

“However, it is appalling that Australia and the US have failed to provide any funding at all, and many other nations have announced pledges well below their fair share. Millions of people around the world are already facing hunger, homelessness and extreme poverty because of the climate crisis. Oxfam urges wealthy countries that have not pledged anything or remain far below their fair share to increase their contributions ahead of the COP25 climate summit in December.”

Liane Schalatek, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Washington, DC and GCF CSO Active Observer for Developed Countries:
While the Paris pledging conference in 2019 delivered slightly more than the Berlin pledging conference four years ago during the initial resource mobilization just weeks before the COP21 delivered Paris Agreement, it is probably not enough to give developing countries the confidence to significantly raise their ambition in revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for COP26. Granted, mostly European countries had to try to make up for the absence of the United States and Australia this time around, and some countries like Sweden or Norway contributed commensurate with a fair share. But financial ambition to match the ambition in climate action needed looks different.
With more than US$ 15 billion in project proposals waiting in the GCF pipeline, a doubling of the overall IRM available funds should have been possible -- and maybe it still is. It is therefore important for those countries that have sat the Paris meeting out, or that have disappointingly under-pledged (such as Canada, Portugal or the Netherlands) to realize that they have the responsibility and opportunity to come back, and to come back bigger, during the first replenishment period until the end of 2023, and to also invite new, first time contributors. The Paris pledging conference must be only the starting point, and not the stopping point. 

A consideration of what is a fair share pledge by developed countries for financial inputs for GCF-1 must be matched by equity and fairness considerations in discussion about who should benefit most from the mobilized GCF finance. Equity must complement impact, scale, quality and efficiency as guiding benchmarks for programming under GCF-1. Therefore, a four-year strategic plan for the GCF must commit to pursue best practices for human-rights centered, inclusive, gender-responsive climate investment approaches that pursue multiple benefits combining climate and development objectives.

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International:
“The 10 billion USD pledged today at the Green Climate Fund Replenishment Conference will provide substantial support to the most vulnerable countries and can help advance gender justice. This is urgently needed in light of the growing harm caused by the climate crisis. However, this amount needs to be increased to at least USD 15 billion so that developing countries can address the climate impacts caused by the inaction of the rich. Countries who have failed to double their previous contributions must step up now. And countries, like the US, Australia, and Russia, who remain silent, must no longer neglect their responsibility and commit to help poor countries address the climate emergency.”

Eddy Pérez, Climate Action Network Canada:
“The Green Climate Fund today has been able to achieve, without the help of the US and Australia and with a little help from countries like Canada, an important outcome by getting rich contributor countries to pledge 10 billion USD for the GCF’s first replenishment. These funds are essential to help developing countries enhance their NDCs and shift economies in order to limit global warming to 1.5oC. Canada’s recent elected government has committed itself to acting to respond to the climate emergency and that it will be its main priority in the coming months. Canada should use COP25 to announce that it intends to revise its contribution to GCF and at least double it.” 

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Advisor, Climate Action Network France:
“Thanks to the USD 9.7 billion committed today, the Green Climate Fund will keep playing its key role in supporting the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. A few contributor countries, including France, lived up to the challenge by doubling their promise to the fund. But with growing impacts of climate change all over the world, we still expect every single contributor country do its fair share by supporting the transition towards 0 carbon and resilient societies in developing countries. Ahead of COP25 and by 2020, we urge them to scale up their finance commitments in order to meet the USD100 billion target. These efforts will be critical to unlock ambition at the scale needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Executive Director, ActionAid USA:
“The USD 9.7 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund will allow the fund to continue its important work but is nowhere near the level of ambition that is needed. Although several countries doubled their previous contributions, many others did not step up. The United States and Australia, in particular, are falling short on their obligations to provide climate finance to developing countries.  

With scores of people dead from massive flooding in South Asia and from devastating cyclones in Mozambique and Southern Africa – this year’s climate disasters are the new normal in vulnerable countries. These countries need immediate support from the international community, at an order of magnitude greater than what is currently on the table. We are in a climate emergency and these funds are desperately needed to cope and recover from the impacts that are already happening, and to transition to just, climate-friendly economies.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL):
"The $9.7 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund today as part of the first replenishment process was an important step; however, it is far below the amount needed to address the climate crisis. While several countries demonstrated their commitment to the Fund by pledging more than they did four years ago, even many of these are far from their fair share.  And then you have real laggards like the United States and Australia that have completely shirked their responsibility by refusing to pledge any money at all. The climate crisis demands urgent, ambitious action and the funding necessary to undertake it. Today’s pledging conference was merely the first moment in the replenishment process, and countries should take every opportunity, including at COP25, to make a pledge or to increase the ones made today.”

-----------------ENDS---------------------

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

AttachmentSize
PDF icon press_release_-_gcf_25102019.pdf200.81 KB

Pages