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:

Administrative Announcement

7 November 2018
 
The CAN International Board has received a number of serious complaints over the past few days. The Board takes these complaints extremely seriously and will commission an independent workplace investigation.
 
To facilitate the smooth execution of the investigation and to protect the confidentiality of all parties concerned, the Board has decided to put CAN’s Executive Director Wael Hmaidan on a period of leave, with effect from today, 7 November, 2018. During this time, Dr. Stephan Singer will be the focal point for leading operations within the CAN International Secretariat to ensure operations continue uninterrupted.
 
CAN will make no further comment publicly while this investigation is underway.
 
Sanjay Vashist, Co-Chair
Safa’ Al Jayoussi, Co-Chair
On Behalf of the CAN International Board

IPCC: Watershed report shines light on radical actions needed to keep global warming to 1.5C

The IPCC’s latest scientific assessment on keeping global warming to a 1.5°C pathway highlights that massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade is critical to protect ecosystems, avoid catastrophic impacts and promote sustainable development. The political will to make this happen must inspire governments to lead  action. The report must input into the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24, resulting in a political outcome towards increased NDCs by 2020.

8 October, Incheon: Civil society groups welcome the adoption of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C (SR15) here today. The latest science clearly shows our future is incompatible with fossil fuels.

With this stark evidence at hand, governments have no excuse but to put climate action at the front and centre of their national agendas. 
The unequivocal message from this report, based on more than 6,000 independent research papers, is that every half a degree of warming matters. Limiting warming to 1.5C is necessary possible and urgent. It is the only option for a safe, prosperous and just future, especially for those at the frontlines of impacts.

The report points that a radical transfrmation is needed to decarbonise by 2050, preferably sooner, given the scale of impacts even at one degree Celsius warming.
This assessment must spur the rapid switch to renewables across all sectors in the next decade driven by advances already underway in the real economy. The political will to heed the science and lead the transformational change we need to see will determine which side of history today’s leaders will stand on.

This IPCC report must be a concrete scientific input to get a decision from the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 and influence a political outcome towards increased nationally determined contributions by 2020.   

Reactions from CAN members and partners:

“The IPCC report makes it clear: the world must come together now to take serious action to stop global warming. Developing countries are already disproportionately affected by climate change - it deprives the most vulnerable groups, particularly women and girls, from basic universal rights. CARE calls on governments, in particular, from developed countries and emerging economies, to accelerate climate action to reduce emissions now, not in 10 years. Ignoring the necessities for action that the IPCC report spells out is unacceptable.” -Caroline Kende-Robb, Secretary General, CARE International

“I fully understand the impressive needs for our countries and leaders to work towards a flourishing future, but to make sure that this future is as flourishing as we expect, we need to bear in mind that the earth has limited resources. Brothers in humanity, the Earth no longer has the time to see us negotiating indefinitely, it’s time to be attentive to its complaints and act accordingly. This Special IPCC report, entitled “Global Warming of 1.5ºC” will provide important information about the current status of climate change, as well as what the future might hold if our governments, businesses, and communities do not start implementing real climate solutions.  It’s definitely a reminder or even a distress signal for humankind survival.” - Moussa Elimane Sall, Executive Director of Plateforme Mauritanienne du Climat, Board Member & Regional Coordinator of CAN-ARAB-World

No more excuses, no more delay. That is the message this report has for the world. If we want to continue living on a planet that resembles the paradise we inhabit now, we must act immediately and without relent. Importantly, this report also tells us that we have the time and we have the means. 1.5°C is possible. So what’s holding us back from taking the action demanded of us? Short-sighted politics and the reckless self-interest of polluting industries. The science is clear and it has handed us a way forward: all of us must do all we can, all at the same time. -Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada

“Climate change has set our planet on fire, millions are already feeling the impacts, and the IPCC just showed that things can get much worse. The faster governments embrace the renewable energy revolution and move to protect communities at risk, the more lives and livelihoods will be spared.
“Every tenth of a degree of warming is a choice between life or death. We’re already witnessing the beginnings of massive displacement and a shocking rise in hunger, with women living in poverty suffering the most. It only gets worse from here.” -Raijeli Nicole, Regional Director for Oxfam in the Pacific

"Many extreme weather events in the U.S. and across the globe have been intensifying after just a one degree Celsius increase in the global average temperature. As the latest IPCC report shows us, at 1.5 degrees of warming further climate impacts will be devastating and at 2 degrees they would be calamitous. Every fraction of a degree of warming we can avoid matters. "Many extreme weather events in the U.S. and across the globe have been intensifying after just a one degree Celsius increase in the global average temperature. As the latest IPCC report shows us, at 1.5 degrees of warming further climate impacts will be devastating and at 2 degrees they would be calamitous. Every fraction of a degree of warming we can avoid matters.

“While nations offered plans in Paris to reduce their emissions, current pledges are nowhere near enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s principal goal. Even if nations live up to their commitments, the planet will still be on a path to warm about 3 degrees Celsius. This is unacceptable. If this report doesn’t convince each and every nation that their prosperity and security requires making transformational scientific, technological, political, social and economic changes to reach this monumental goal of staving off some of the worst climate change impacts, then I don’t know what will.

“Nations must now respond to the report by signalling their intention to increase their national emission reduction pledges under the Paris Agreement. At the annual UN climate talks in Poland this December, countries should commit to strengthen policies that cut global warming emissions, invest in measures to limit future climate risks, and do more to help communities cope with the climate impacts that are now unavoidable. In addition, wealthier nations that bear greater responsibility for the global warming problem need to ramp up financial and technology support for actions by developing nations, to help create a better world for all of us.” - Peter Frumhoff, Director of science and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists and a Former Lead Author, IPCC

“Science has given us a message of both urgency and hope. It has made it crystal clear that warming of more than 1.5°C would result in ever wilder extreme weather events. These in turn would expose us to greater drought, food shortages and economic devastation. The silver lining to the report is that we still have a chance to stay below 1.5°C, that solutions are within our reach and that it will help us build a safer, more prosperous Europe. The IPCC scientists are sending this message ahead of the all-important COP24 summit in Katowice this year, where governments are expected to commit to step up their climate targets. All eyes are on EU environment ministers now, who need to act on the IPCC warnings and commit to significantly increase the EU’s targets in line with a 1.5°C pathway. Staying below 1.5°C means Europe needs to drastically reduce emissions to reach net-zero by 2040 and this needs to be reflected in the new long-term climate strategy.” - Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe

“This IPCC report makes clear the world’s current trajectory of global warming due to continuously rising greenhouse gas emissions is putting us on track for a rise of 3-4 degrees or more. Australia’s health professionals are declaring this report a public health warning. With just one degree of global warming we are already seeing devastating impacts. People are dying in extreme heatwaves, food production is threatened, massive ecosystems are breaking down. Continuing our current pathway will bring further catastrophic impacts for human populations, and dramatic losses of other species.” 
Collectively, we need to more than double the efforts being made globally to avoid a ‘hothouse Earth’ that will be incompatible with human civilisation. The stakes could not be higher."
“Limiting global warming is hard, but achievable. The sobering reality however is that even 1.5 degrees is too hot. Every fraction of a degree matters. We must cut emissions to zero and draw down carbon from the atmosphere. This report emphasises this needs to happen now - not in 10, 20 or 30 years - but right now.” - Fiona Armstrong, Founder and Executive Director, Climate and Health Alliance - Australia (CAHA)                                                                                               
The Special IPCC report, entitled “Global Warming of 1.5ºC” alert us on the importance of keeping the temperature rise below 1.5ºC. The adverse effects of climate change that range from the Arctic ice melt to the natural habitat destruction and the increase of disease burden won’t be confined to a certain country or region; it affects the world as a whole. Natural disasters and health problems severity increase with the temp increase. Therefore, the difference between warming of 1.5ºC and 2ºC has devastating effects on coral reefs, water availability, sea level rise and the intensity of extreme weather conditions. World leaders should collaborate with civil society, businesses and scientists to increase intentional cohesiveness, lowering their emission, raising their ambitions, increasing their climate target and reviewing their NDCs -Nouhad Awwad, National Coordinator, Arab Youth Climate Movement-Lebanon and Board Member, Mediterranean Youth Climate Network

"The day may come when the great title is "Save people from extinction" because the whole vital system is going to the abyss, If governments and local authorities all over the world do not do everything, they can for the planet that is our home. To this day, in our country, we see great words and plans on paper, but we are not actually doing the role that is imposed on us so that we do not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is also dangerous, specifically government and supporting agencies they must work with the most vulnerable communities in rural and remote areas, with the poor, women, refugees and others, and should listen to more realistic programs drawn from the harmony between these communities and groups with their environment and climate.
Talanoa dialogue is an important tool and event to observe and measure the abilities, the capacities and the main challenges that face those people to work with them closely in the future. This is an important for the biosphere to maintain its different characteristics and recover." - Hala Murad, President, Dibeen for Environmental Development, Jordan, Member of Arab CAN-Network

“0.5 degree seems small but will have a tremendous impact, especially on the lives of vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. These countries are already being hit by the consequences of climate change and lack the means to adapt. Whether people there live on an island or in (semi-)arid areas, climate change has already affected their lives severely. The report shows it is still doable, but the time to act decisively and together is now. And it will take a joint effort from governments, businesses, financial institutions and citizens to make the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, and inclusive economy.

This is why we call for an unprecedented shift in these systems by speeding up our adoption of renewable energy solutions and promoting food systems built on diversity, soil health and zero-waste. Even if we manage to halt climate change at the 1.5°C threshold, change is already happening. That’s why we need to support local communities to adapt to climate change and to become more resilient. Governments must live up to their commitment to balance climate finance and deliver adaptation support to developing countries. Now is the time to be better safe than sorry!” - Carol Gribnau, Program Director Green department, Hivos

The IPCC has warned in all its reports that climate change will lead to adverse impacts on natural and human systems. IPCC Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C” gives strong insights why the 1.5°C aspirational target of the Paris Agreement should be taken very seriously; as climate threshold concludes that the risks for human well-being and livelihoods, ecosystem, food and water security, which are already serious today, will be critically higher at 1.5°C, and projected for further increase with every level of additional emission.
For the Arab Countries, despite the variation in climate action, but none of them adequately prepares for 1.5°C-consistent pathways and its associated risks. The key message for now is the urgent need of scaling-up NDC. Yes, there are institutional and procedural challenges, but there is also a hope a close this gap. In our region, climate change agenda hasn’t yet become the priority to bring the country on track of a 1.5°C-consistent pathway, including managing the climate risks. The majority of policy-makers still doesn’t see climate change as a threat, and most of them are not well aware of its consequences. The concept of sectoral interdependence should be mainstreamed when designing policies for mutually interdependent sectors. - Hamzeh Bany Yasin, Climate and Energy Policy Program Manager, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

The fossil fuel age has to end: that’s the message of today’s report. To have any chance of avoiding the chaos, droughts and rising tides of 1.5 degrees or more of global warming, we must massively and speedily transform our society to kick our fossil fuel addiction. "The EU must do its fair share, beginning with completely stopping funding for fossil fuels and switching to 100% renewables by 2030. Currently Europe is far off track.

"A safer, fairer and cleaner fossil-free Europe is possible, and communities are showing us the way – from resisting dirty energy projects everywhere, to installing community owned renewable energy schemes."This is a climate emergency - for many around the world preventing climate catastrophe and temperature rises exceeding 1.5 degrees is a matter of life and death. Only radical system change offers a pathway towards hope and out of despair. We want a just transition to a clean energy system that benefits people, not corporations." - Jagoda Munić, Director of Friends of the Earth Europe

"Based on the results of excellent scientific work in the last years the IPCC shows in its Special Report on 1.5°C that and how the ambitious 1.5°C-goal of the Paris Agreement can be achieved.To arrive at the necessary net zero emissions before 2050, the IPCC scenarios show that strong emission reductions until 2030 are needed. This means that NDCs have to be strengthened and that industrialised countries like Germany must decide soon to phase out coal until 2030." - Manfred Treber, Climate and Transport Adviser, Germanwatch

"We are living in an urban era, and the 1.5-degree target can only be reached if local and regional leaders work with citizens to adopt sustainable lifestyles and build robust frameworks to ensure city efforts are supported and coordinated across all levels of government. The release of the IPCC report coincides with the adoption of the Global Research and Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science and a year in which all levels of government and climate stakeholders are coming together through Talanoa Dialogues to shape climate policy. This moves us in the right direction. With this, urban climate science will play an increasingly important role in shaping climate action, integrating sustainable urban and territorial development into climate policy and supporting a global transformation to achieve the 1.5-degree target.” -Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability

"The IPCC Report underlines the need for all governments to step up the climate ambition of existing targets so they align with the Paris Agreement and support the achievement of the SDGs. Every country must put a date on phasing out fossil fuel emissions and subsidies so that we can achieve net zero emissions not later than 2050.- Farhana Yamin, CEO, Track 0

“Climate action is all about opportunities for health: decarbonising our lives is entirely possible and will make this world a healthier, more prosperous and sustainable place. Ensuring a limit of 1.5 degree Celsius instead of 2 would mean less health-threatening extreme weather events, chronically ill people, less hospital admissions, less deaths and less financial burden on our societies.” - Anne Stauffer, Director for Strategy and Campaigns at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

“The IPCC report clearly demonstrates that we can still limit temperature increases to 1.5°C and thereby avoid entering a climate era unprecedented in human experience. To do so, we must act with urgency to bring about deep emissions cuts. Governments at this December’s UN climate negotiations must sign up to increasing their climate ambition by 2020: to not do so would be a dereliction of duty towards all humanity, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and to all life on earth. Not every pathway to achieve the goal is sustainable, however: governments must also choose to avoid false solutions, like geoengineering, to the climate threat and instead promote approaches that safeguard and promote a better quality of life for all.” - Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s Global Lead, Climate Change

“The report highlights the urgent need for support to poor and vulnerable countries. The EU and its member states must live up to the promises about climate finance, and especially scale up the support to adaptation, which until now has not been prioritised. There is no time to waste!”  - Mattias Söderberg, Senior Advocacy Advisor, DanChurchAid (Denmark)

“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires a radical change that we must undertake soon. We must completely shift to renewable energies following the principles of equity and sufficiency. The food sector needs to move towards agroecology and guarantee the right to food for all. The whole economy should embrace a post-growth model and Europe should lead the way in this, if wanting to prove climate leadership in meeting its international commitments.”  - Giulia Bondi, Climate Justice and Energy Officer, CIDSE

“The new IPCC report reaffirms the need to step-up climate action if we are to cap the global temperature rise under 1.5°C. The consequences of a 1.5°C warming would still be significant and will impact millions of lives. The successful fulfilment of this commitment relies on us, as a collective, to take the appropriate decisions and translate those into action as soon as we can. Let's also not forget that effective climate action brings about positive spill-overs to efforts aiming to reduce inequalities worldwide. Youth will be bearing most of the consequences of inaction. Now is the time to act!” - Sofia Kabbej, Advocacy Director, CliMates (youth network)

“The science in the IPCC report on 1.5°C speaks for itself. Staying under 1.5°C is now a matter of political will. Burying our heads in the sand cannot be contemplated as an option any longer. The climate crisis is here and already impacting the most vulnerable and the least responsible for creating it. The only way to achieve it is to stop all fossil fuel extraction and redirect the massive resources currently spent on the fossil fuel economy towards the renewable energy transition.” Payal Parekh, Programme Director, 350.org

“Every half-a-degree matters to people and nature - this is the reality of our warming world. The report is a call to action to accelerate the low-carbon transition needed across all sectors such as energy, transport, and food. Without rapid and deep cuts to global carbon emissions we face more severe impacts to ecosystems, from coral reefs to Arctic sea ice, putting more vulnerable communities and wildlife at risk. We expected tough negotiations on this landmark report and we are happy that governments have delivered a good reflection of the underlying science. Current country pledges to cut emissions are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C and you can’t negotiate with science.” Stephen Cornelius, WWF Chief Adviser on climate change

“The Special Report clearly shows the urgency of the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C. We’re already seeing serious impacts at 1°C. The science is clear that 1.5°C degrees will mean more droughts, floods and other extreme weather, and that the impacts will be even more catastrophic at 2°C degrees.

“The good news is that 1.5°C is still achievable, but only if we acknowledge that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
“Next week ActionAid, along with colleagues in the CLARA network, will release a report showing the huge potential for the right kind of action in the land sector to help meet the 1.5°C goal. Transforming to sustainable production methods, changing diets, protecting forests and safeguarding the rights of indigenous peoples would make a much greater contribution to the 1.5°C goal than has previously been recognised. Addressing harmful consumption patterns must be a key part of the picture.
“The barriers to staying under 1.5°C are not technical, but political. Governments of polluting countries must take home the message that they need to re-order their priorities and take much more action if they are going to keep their citizens and planet safe.”
“Relying on large-scale negative emission technologies would be a dangerous gamble we must not take.  While some negative emissions are needed, betting on unproven and harmful technologies to remove huge amounts of emissions from the atmosphere in the future. If these technologies do not work at the hoped-for scale, it will be too late to undo the damage. The world will have locked in additional warming and related impacts.
“We strongly oppose the use of Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, or BECCS. This technology is both unproven to work at scale and relies on the myth that bioenergy is carbon neutral, meaning it won’t offer any real climate benefit.

A climate pathway that puts land needed for food and forests over to BECCS would mean betting on unproven and harmful technologies to remove emissions from the atmosphere in the future, sacrificing the very people the 1.5°C goal was supposed to protect. That BECCS remains one of the main negative emissions technologies considered in climate pathways is unacceptable.”
“We’ll have a far better chance of making the 1.5°C goal if we take action to avoid emissions now by pursuing solutions that we already know can work, such as transforming our food systems and diets, and halting deforestation.” -Kelly Stone, Senior Policy Analyst, ActionAid USA

“The IPCC report is a sobering reminder that we’re still not on track to achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.  If we’re serious about keeping global warming well below 2 degrees and striving for no more than 1.5 degrees, we cannot afford further delay.”  “In addition to making deep cuts to global emissions, we need to increase efforts to remove carbon from the atmosphere. The best way to do that is to protect, restore and sustainably manage our forests, grasslands and wetlands.” - Will McGoldrick, Global Climate Strategy Director, The Nature Conservancy

“This new report makes it clearer than ever that we’re in the race of our lives. Our fate – and the fate of our children – is in our hands. We can make decisions that protect our communities, our children, and future generations, or we can pass on a world far different and more damaged than the one we inherited. It’s time to cut climate pollution, make clean energy abundant and accessible to all, and protect the world’s tropical forests that store enormous amounts of carbon. As the report makes clear, the stakes could not be higher. Even as President Trump seeks to take the U.S. backward, the rest of America – and the rest of the world – is moving ahead. The clear benefits of limiting global warming laid out in this report should inspire us to double down on our fight to provide a safe planet for our children and future generations.” -Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate at Environmental Defense Fund

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

 

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IPCC 1.5°C Report: “With evidence from science, governments will have nowhere to hide”

The report, expected to serve as a 'rescue plan for humanity',  will show 1.5°C is the new 2°C in terms of impacts and provide detailed signposts for policymakers on pathways to limit warming to 1.5°C   

[Listen to the full recording of the briefing]

04 October, Incheon: Civil society representatives at a press conference here by Climate Action Network highlighted the significance of the discussions underway in South Korea on the most definitive scientific assessment on climate change by the IPCC on the 1.5°C temperature limit as enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
The report will provide detailed signposts that can guide policymakers on pathways to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The summary for policymakers, currently under negotiations, is expected to be approved on 8 October and will summarise the nearly 1000-page report.

This report comes at a time when the world is witnessing extreme weather events that are causing wide-scale destruction with alarming consequences even at 1°C warming. Every half a degree matters and the current collective climate commitments, which put us on a 3°C warming pathway, are nowhere near scaling down to a safe zone of 1.5°C. 
The 1.5°C goal is a lifeline for those on the frontlines of impacts and is critical for the protection of fragile ecosystems many of which will be irreversibly lost even at 2°C warming.

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International, said:

 “We must remember Parties requested this report in 2015 and they must own it. This IPCC report is set to outline a rescue plan for humanity. It will shine a light on what needs to happen and what we’ll suffer if we fail to act quickly enough. Those leaders who stand up, listen to the science and take action will be remembered as the moral authorities of their time. Given the evidence from science, countries must raise their national climate targets in line with a 1.5C pathway."

"We need new climate leadership. This report is not about politics, it is a scientific report and we need leaders who are guided by science. Governments really will have nowhere to hide with this evidence.”

She added she was hopeful and inspired by people taking action locally and climate justice groups such as in the Philippines demanding more from their governments.

Christopher Weber, Lead Scientist, WWF Climate and Energy Programme, said:

"New science shows that in many ways 1.5°C is the new 2°C in terms of impacts we are seeing and what we can expect. Delivering on the 1.5°C will require massive transformations in our societies which will only get harder and riskier the longer we wait and  if we fail to increase climate ambition in the near term."

"The IPCC report will provide clarity to governments and the most important underlying message is that to reach the 1.5°C temperature limit we need rapid and deep decarbonisation by 2050 but preferably by 2040 across sectors and specifically in our energy and land use systems. The difference between 1.5°C being feasible or not feasible is in many ways down to mpolitical will."

Raijeli Nicole, Regional Director, Oxfam in the Pacific, said:

“The countries most vulnerable to climate change are boldly leading and we only have to see the declarations from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Fiji to increase their nationally determined contributions, on the sidelines of the recent One Planet Summit in New York. We ask that other countries step up ambition.

Speaking from the Solomon Islands, she added that the IPCC report must be a concrete scientific input into the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24, which is at its heart is about an open and honest conversation and identifying the barriers to climate action. “This is not aspirational talk, it (the Talanoa Dialogue) must consider the report seriously and use it as a tool that we can all work with collectively.”

“Also, it is not just the energy sector we need to focus on but all sectors (maritime, aviation, land and agriculture) and how they can be managed with interactions between adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development to keep us in the 1.5°C zone.”

While the speakers could not comment on the content of the draft report under discussions and the political dynamics at play in the negotiations, they all reiterated that politics cannot come in the way of science and every half a degree matters in this race against time with climate change.  

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About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
 
For more information: contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Coordinator, Climate Action Network International; email:
dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp (Indian number) +918826107830  and call (US number) +19292782829

 

Civil society organisations react as Bangkok climate talks conclude

9 September, Bangkok: As climate talks end in Bangkok, civil society organisations acknowledge that while there has been progress on the negotiating text for the Paris Rulebook it has been uneven. Substantive issues on finance and differentiation, among others, still hang in the balance. To reach an ambitious deal in Katowice, which includes a strong rulebook, finance and stronger commitments to ambition by 2020, political leaders must talk to each in the next few months to infuse trust into climate discussions.
 
Thousands of people in over 90 countries on every continent came out on the streets this weekend to demand that governments tackle climate change. On Monday, the UN Secretary General António Guterres will make a plea to act on the climate crisis that is ravaging entire communities and hundreds of mayors, CEOs and citizens will pledge their commitment to the cause at the Global Climate Action Summit in California this week. The IPCC Report on 1.5C, which will feed into the Talanoa Dialogue, will heighten the drumbeat for action. This must be loud enough to spur the Polish Presidency to lead diplomatic efforts on all fronts as hosts in Katowice.               

 

CAN members react:

  • "The planet’s alarm bells are ringing; just this year we’ve endured deadly heatwaves and floods, devastating wildfires, and record high temperatures.  Unfortunately, climate negotiations are still taking baby steps when they should be sprinting towards solutions.
    Finance to developing countries-- to both help them cut their greenhouse gas emissions and to support poor communities vulnerable to extreme climate shocks—remains a critical, unresolved issue. If developed country governments don’t step up by the time COP24 kicks off in December, they risk putting the Paris Agreement in jeopardy."  Tracy Carty, Climate Policy Lead, Oxfam
     
  • “We have fortunately avoided going off the cliff edge. Governments have empowered the co-chairs to turn the progress made so far into a more solid basis for negotiations in Poland. It is now vital for the co-chairs to change the course of the negotiations from diplomatic doldrums towards a win-win approach and craft middle ground options that the whole world can get behind at COP24” - Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid
     
  • “The Paris Agreement is on the brink. Developed countries are going back on their word and refusing to agree clear rules governing climate finance. If they remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purse strings, this treaty may collapse. We have a mountain to climb before the next climate summit this December. Finance ministers must now step in and deliver on the promises made in Paris.” - Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate, ActionAid International
     
  • A lot of work remains as we leave Bangkok tonight. All countries will need to do their bits to lead us towards a successful COP24. German Chancellor Angela Merkel must explain by COP24 how she will materialize her promise of doubling the German climate finance and announce a contribution to the Green Climate Fund. The coal commission must deliver first results to prove that Germany is serious about mitigation action. Also, the EU must send the strong signal of enhancing the current 2030 climate target. - Rixa Schwarz, Team Leader International Climate Policy, Germanwatch
     
  • “Market negotiations have suddenly jumped forwards in Bangkok, but countries are heading into a heavy fight at COP24. Some seem to have accepted the fact that markets as they exist today cannot continue, but we’re still navigating in very risky territory. The threat of agreeing on catastrophic rules for post-2020 markets is still very real and frightening.” - Gilles Dufrasne, Policy Researcher, Carbon Pricing, Carbon Market Watch
  • “The negotiation text is not exactly a piece of art, but at least we now have a basis for making much needed compromises at COP24. When ministers arrive at the COP in Katowice they must do their part of the job: increase mitigation, ambition, and make sure more finance is provided to poor people who suffer from the harmful impacts of the climate crisis. It is however very disappointing that no country seems to take on a leadership role and try to forge the compromises. The EU should seriously consider stepping in as the union has previously been able to play a bridge-building role. At present they don’t play this role and it creates a vacuum.” - John Nordbo, Head of Climate Advocacy, CARE Denmark
     
  • “These talks have been beset with tension and parties have wrestled with reaching a balanced proposal on the Paris rulebook. Progress has slowed, leaving the heavy lifting for COP24. A leadership deficit is the root cause of this slow pace and needs to be immediately addressed. The upcoming California Climate Summit, New York UN Climate Week and Pre-COP must now be leveraged to unlock contentious issues like finance and differentiation,” - Taehyun Park, Greenpeace East Asia Global Climate Political Advisor
     
  • “South Asian countries are keen to lead the revolution towards renewable energy, but the region is being repeatedly hit by disasters. With our public resources constantly diverted to coping with impacts, climate talks must provide the climate finance needed to make the transition to renewables a reality." - Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA)
     
  • "Delegates worked day and night but ultimately made only uneven progress at the UN climate talks in Bangkok. There were advances in some areas, but to be fully on track for the UN climate summit in December, these negotiations needed to get further than just producing a 300-page thick document capturing where discussions ended up.
    It is now up to political leaders and those chairing the climate talks to ensure we have a strong, workable negotiating text heading into Katowice. Leaders across the board must get involved if we are going to reach consensus in December on how to set the Paris Agreement fully in motion. For a successful outcome at COP24, they should take full advantage of the momentum-building moments between now and then, including the Global Climate Action Summit, the Pre-COP 24 Ministerial Meeting, the One Planet Summit and the Climate Vulnerable Forum leader's summit." - Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute
     
  • “While this meeting in Bangkok has experienced uneven progress and challenges, it has given Co-Chairs the mandate to prepare a joint reflection note proposing text and the way forward. COP24 is a significant conference to finalise the Rulebook of the Paris Agreement and raise climate ambition. The Co-Chairs’ outputs, supported by multiple forthcoming events, including the release of the IPCC 1.5C report, must facilitate the convergence towards achieving an effective and productive outcome at COP24. This includes the provision of adequate climate finance to enable developing countries to make a greater shift to clean energy investments. There is no time to lose!” -Nithi Nesadurai, Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network South-East Asia
     
  • “Progress in Bangkok has been slow and significant work remains between now and Katowice. During COP24 the world will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights. Parties must take this opportunity to deliver on the vision of the Paris Agreement, that of people-centered climate action by adopting a robust set of Implementation Guidelines that integrates human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, and gender equality.” - Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)  
     
  • “The outcome of the Bangkok climate talks was uneven, and leaves much work to be done over the next three months to assure a successful summit in Katowice, Poland this December. On the core issues of forward-looking climate finance and the degree of flexibility developing countries should be given on the information and reporting requirements for national commitments under the Paris Agreement, negotiators were stalemated in Bangkok. It’s now up to the incoming Polish presidency and officials leading negotiations to find ways to bridge the deep differences on these issues and to secure agreement in Katowice on a robust, comprehensive package of rules to implement the Paris Agreement. - Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists
     
  • “We leave Bangkok with agreement on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement within reach. COP24 must achieve a broader package of outcomes, including on more ambitious climate action and commitments, climate finance and addressing loss and damage from climate change. These areas are all essential to implementation of the Paris Agreement, and governments must put the pieces in place to achieve all of them by they time they convene again in Katowice.” - Mark Lutes, Senior Global Climate Policy Advisor, WWF.
     
  • “Let’s face it we’re leaving this session still far off from a successful outcome at COP24. Progress on the rulebook will require progressive alliance to step up and build trust and ministers to give guidance that starts bridging the gap on political crunch issues around finance and differentiation.

    If the rulebook is the backbone of the Paris Agreement, then an ambition outcome is its heart and finance its lifeblood - let one fall into disrepair and the whole body is in trouble. To make healthy progress on any, let alone all of these issues will require a significant step up in diplomatic outreach on behalf of the incoming Polish Presidency and traditional bridge builders like the European Union.” - Jennifer Tollmann, Climate Diplomacy Researcher, E3G

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

 

Last stretch of Bangkok climate talks must see clarity on finance

Hundreds of thousands of people will demonstrate this weekend against political inaction on climate change even as negotiations lay the groundwork for UN climate talks in December

8 September, BANGKOK: With just two days to go until the Bangkok climate talks wrap up, the glaring void of finance is staring us in the face and threatens to erode trust in the negotiations. Some progress has been made on efforts to trim down the bulky rulebook text into a clear outline with options, but progress has been uneven.

The weekend more than 820 actions, involving hundreds and thousands of demonstrators, have been planned in 91 countries under the Rise for Climate movement even as discussions carry on in the negotiating rooms to lay the groundwork for COP24.

Committing to predictable, transparent and sustainable finance with real money for real action underpins trust in the Paris regime and is critical for averting a crisis in the months ahead. The European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and Japan must step out from the shadow of the United States and match actions with words. Support to fully implement conditional aspects of the nationally determined contributions is an integral part of the Paris Agreement and the solution to strengthen overall ambition from all countries.   

Discussions on the Global Stocktake, compliance and transparency made promising headways but developed countries must realise that without movement on finance success at COP24 will be at stake. Negotiators must feel the heat to untangle the technical issues in the next two days and provide clarity of options so ministers can’t hide behind technical complexities when they arrive in Poland for final discussions. They must feel the pressure to come good on supporting common sense rules and processes that enable predictable, transparent and impactful finance.

Brandon Wu, ActionAid USA Director of Policy & Campaigns, said: “So far in Bangkok, it looks like rich countries are making a concerted effort to avoid any conversations that would ensure they live up to their existing obligations for providing climate finance. Of course, the US is setting a bad example, but what’s especially troubling is that other governments from the EU and Norway are hiding behind the US rather than providing any real leadership. Developed countries do not seem to be negotiating in good faith, which is jeopardizing the negotiations as a whole. This not only puts a huge question mark over the possibility of achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement, but also puts the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities around the world at risk.”

"There are two things needed for the Paris Agreement to prove effective, one is a robust rulebook to translate the accord’s pledges into action, the other is finance to help poor countries deliver their national emission reduction plans and adapt to a changed climate.  In Bangkok rich countries like the UK and Canada are trying to avoid the finance element which is in danger of paralysing negotiations. It's vital that these nations stop dancing to the tune of Donald Trump which will only result in damage to the negotiations and tragedy for the world's poorest people," Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's International Climate Lead, said.

Civil society organisations call on Polish Presidency to lead diplomatic efforts ahead of  the UN climate talks in Katowice in December and work towards a comprehensive COP24 package that includes a strong rulebook and a meaningful outcome on the Talanoa Dialogue with stronger climate targets by 2020 that is informed by the IPCC 1.5C Report. The report, which is due in a month, will be a klaxon on the growing urgency of the climate crisis.

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About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
 
For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Coordinator, Climate Action Network International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org , whatsapp/call on +918826107830

Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Countries Forging Ahead with Implementing the Marrakech Vision on 100% Renewable Energy

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Countries Forging Ahead with Implementing the Marrakech Vision on 100% Renewable Energy

New York, 17 July 2018: Today, two years after the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) shook the work by announcing a bold vision to achieve ‘100% domestic renewable energy production as rapidly as possible while working to end energy poverty and protect water and food security,’ the Forum under the Presidency of Ethiopia and in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) and Climate Action Network (CAN) is bringing that vision to life by convening the first CVF Energy Dialogue focussed on implementation of the 100% renewable energy vision.

Attended by more than 30 members of the Forum and various partners who are in support to the CVF long-term vision, the Dialogue is being held alongside the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UNHPLF) currently underway in New York. It aims to mobilize the necessary technical capacity, resources and partnerships to complete the energy transition. The discussions are focussing on taking stock of the current situation and considering how CVF members may progress the renewable energy agenda together.

In 2018 the UNHLPF is considering progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7, notably to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This is of particular relevance to CVF countries where access to modern energy services is an enormous challenge despite it being the backbone of development and prosperity (UNDP 2009). As renewables become cheaper, there is a unique opportunity for CVF countries to transform their energy systems and reap the fruits of the various co-benefits that renewables provide in terms of economic growth, jobs and health. In transitioning to renewables, CVF countries would immediately benefit from modern energy access, socio-economic gains, combating climate change and building resilient societies.

According to UNDP, the International Energy Agency and other international organizations, 1.1 billion people are still without electricity and 2.8 billion currently suffer from lack of access to clean cooking facilities.

QUOTES

Ethiopia Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister the Hon. Dr Gemedo Dalle

“We are extremely excited about this decisive moment. It proves that we are adamant to concretize what we promised two years ago and we hope that other countries will be at least faithful to what they committed to in Paris in 2015. We are doing this to save ourselves but also to prove that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is feasible and beneficial. We are also moving forward with the right partners so we are sure to win on all levels. Ethiopia has prioritized the 100% RE vision during its chairmanship of the CVF, and we commit to continue prioritizing this vision through our engagement in the Forum.”

Ethiopia Water Irrigation and Electricity the Hon. Minister Sileshi-Bekele

“This is an important historical milestone for us as we move into materializing the Marrakech vision on 100% renewables. We strongly believe that 100% renewables are our only hope to build resilient societies and fight climate change while at the same time develop soundly and steadily. We believe also that with the right partnerships this leap of faith will be successful and provide an unbeatable paradigm that will build the necessary confidence in renewables that will allow others to rapidly follow suit.”

HE Ms. Amatlain Elizabeth Kabua, Permanent Representative of the Marshall Islands to the UN

"We support the goal of this meeting - to take stock of the current situation and discuss, with partners here today, how to proceed.  At the UNFCCC in Marrakech nearly two years ago, the CVF committed to strive to meet a goal of 100 percent domestic renewable energy production as soon as possible, while also working on other policy goals, such as ending poverty.  Also, as very vulnerable countries, we also have a dual challenge - to boost renewable energy and also work towards climate resilience.

A major political driver behind this energy commitment is also to try to encourage the efforts of larger nations who are not in the CVF - to not just say it but do it - and to send a message that “if we can do it, so can you”.  But to be successful, our discussion must go beyond words. Today we want to focus on action, to “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”.

Adnan Amin, Director General, IRENA:

“CVF Vision 2050 provides a compass for a prosperous and resilient future for its members, powered by indigenous renewable energy sources which provide an immense opportunity to leapfrog to a sustainable energy future, while unlocking substantial socioeconomic benefits and meeting long term climate objectives.  We applaud Ethiopia for making renewables a high priority in its leadership of CVF and look forward to working with the incoming chair, the Marshall Islands and the CVF members, as well as other like-minded partners, to support this remarkable initiative.”

Rachel Kyte, CEO and Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All:

“CVF member countries face the dual challenge of undergoing a renewable energy transition that is also climate resilient in light of increasing occurrence of the devastating effects of climate change. We commend these countries for their leadership and providing an example all countries must follow as a global community to achieve sustainable energy for all.”

Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director, Climate Action Network:

“There is a consensus among all key businesses, cities and other non-state actors that 100% renewable energy is a must to tackle climate change. We are all ready to support  CVF countries in their pursuit of this vision in these crucial times where climate change impacts are deeply felt yet renewable energy is a sure bet to lead us to growth, more jobs and a modern world. We are eager to accompany and see these countries move forward in all areas towards clean, advanced and reliable energy systems and societies as well as prosperous economies and secured access to energy, food and water.”

END

 

Notes for editors

Founded in 2009, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is an international cooperation group comprised of 48 developing nations from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific working to tackle global climate change through collaboration on common goals, communications and the sharing of expertise and experience. In August 2018, the Marshall Islands will assume the Chair of the CVF following the tenure of the Ethiopia.

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The Announcement of the Climate Vulnerable (CVF) Summit Gives New Hope that the Paris Agreement on Climate will be Implemented

Patricia Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit and Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said "The Forum is a clear demonstration of how and why the world needs to address the climate challenge. Not only have its member nations adopted some of the most ambitious climate targets to date, but their exposure to the realities of extreme weather events are a constant reminder of our shared responsibility to step-up the pace of action.”
Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and incoming Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), today announced the first ever carbon-free online Summit of world leaders on 22nd of November 2018. This announcement gives new hope that we will attain a critical decision by all countries to step up ambition at the next climate talks in Katowice, Poland this coming December. This decision is a critical outcome that the Climate Action Network (CAN) and its partners have been working towards as 2018 is a key year and dubbed as the “Step Up year” or “trigger year”. It is the first important test of the Paris Agreement and the ratchet up mechanism constituting its core. For the Paris Agreement to reach its goal of keeping warming below 1.5C, countries must revise, update and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every five years. The next round is 2020. But for countries to come prepared to submit new NDCs in 2020 they need to start the process with national consultations as early as January 2019. 

The CVF Summit comes after key international moments including the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and the release of the Special Report on 1.5C by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the GCAS non-state actors will demonstrate what they are doing to curb emissions and keep warming in check and the release of the IPCC report is expected to tell governments that they need to do a lot more to reach the temperature goal of 1.5C, otherwise vulnerable countries and cities will suffer and face an ill fate. Warming beyond the limit set in Paris will threaten global security and the economy. The report will tell governments
that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is the only road to salvation and to achieve optimum health, prosperity, jobs and security. The CVF Summit will come to stress this and it would be the time when at least 50 governments will demonstrate to the world that climate solutions exist, are possible to adopt and economically productive.
The CVF Summit is the moment of leadership everyone has been waiting for and for this reason all climate stakeholders welcome and support it. 

The announcement of the first virtual climate summit President Heine was met with strong support from political leaders around the world. The Heads of Government-level event will build increased support for the safeguard of those most vulnerable to growing climate change dangers by promoting inclusive dialogue and driving enhanced ambition for climate action. 

Heads of State and Ministers from non-CVF countries, as well as heads of inter-governmental agencies, applauded President Heine’s initiative, including: 

  • H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France
  • H.E. Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs & Climate, Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • H.E. Miguel Arias Canete, EU Commissioner
  • H.E. Edmund G Bown Jr, Governor of California, USA
  • Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC
  • Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  • Ajay Mathur, Member, PM Council of Climate Change and Director General, TERI, India
  • Emily Farnworth, Head of Climate Change Initiatives, World Economic Forum

READ THE PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM

READ REACTIONS FROM WORLD LEADERS

Reaction from CAN members and partners:

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 
“President Heine will help carry the torch of climate action from this year’s Global Climate Action Summit to the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Poland this December.”

Hoesung Lee - Chair of the IPCC:
"The IPCC is working hard to complete the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, to be released in early October subject to approval. As IPCC Chair I am delighted to hear that the Climate Vulnerable Forum is organizing its first carbon-free summit in November. I hope that our report will provide a valuable scientific evidence base for your discussions, as well as informing the negotiations at COP24 a couple of weeks later."

Patricia Espinosa, Co-Chair of the Global Climate Action Summit and Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change:
"The Forum is a clear demonstration of how and why the world needs to address the climate challenge. Not only have its member nations adopted some of the most ambitious climate targets to date, but their exposure to the realities of extreme weather events are a constant reminder of our shared responsibility to step-up the pace of action.”

Winnie Byanyima - Oxfam International Executive Director:
"The countries least responsible for causing climate change are taking matters into their own hands. They are showing the rest of the world the way to fight climate change. This is the true spirit of the Paris Agreement, and the kind of leadership that people on the front lines of extreme weather demand."

Jennifer Morgan - Greenpeace International Executive Director
"This Summit is a call to action for the world's leaders to step up and prove that they've heard the voices of the world's vulnerable and that they too will act with the responsibility and urgency demanded of them,” 
“It puts the biggest polluters to shame that the countries who will be hit hardest by climate change are also the ones leading the fight against global warming. Other countries need to wake up and act because our collective fate will be sealed by the actions taken today.” 

Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute:
“As the world faces growing impacts from climate change, we must listen to voices of the most vulnerable. The members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum have demonstrated their commitment to take action that will help spur the world to step up ambition by 2020. The summit in November should provide a much-needed jolt of momentum heading into the global climate talks in Poland. There’s no doubt that accelerating climate action is in all countries’ interests. We need more action by all to achieve the vision put forward by the Paris Agreement.”

Esther Watts, Country Director of CARE International in Ethiopia:
“Climate change is a major development challenge in Ethiopia. How the country and, its diverse peoples, communities, and households respond to the multi-faceted impacts of climate change determine Ethiopia’s prospects for growth and transformation, gender equality, and livelihood resilience and sustainability. Recognizing this, the Government of Ethiopia, CARE and other development partners have been making considerable efforts to respond to climate change impacts. The CVF summit will be an important opportunity to raise awareness of climate actions taken, and to trigger further cooperation to scale them up.”

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility:
“It is the poorest and most vulnerable countries that are hit the hardest from climate change. At this critical time, we all need to raise our climate ambition and the GEF is committed to transformational change. We all share one planet in common, and in its new four-year investment strategy the GEF puts a strong emphasis on financing for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The CVF Leaders’ Summit is an important opportunity to accelerate action towards a low carbon future.”

Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“The IFRC welcomes the announcement of the CVF Summit as an opportunity to bring greater attention to rising climate risks that are affecting the most vulnerable communities in the world. The impacts of climate change are here, now, and we will continue to see devastating humanitarian consequences unless urgent action is taken. For this reason we look forward to the Summit resulting in increased ambition, solidarity and urgency to build resilience and achieve all the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Tomás Insua: Executive Director - Global Catholic Climate Movement:
"The poor and future generations most suffer the consequences of climate change, even though they least contribute to its causes. Plain and simple, this is an issue of justice. The nations that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis are calling for us to act, and our faith tells us that standing with them is a moral opportunity. Loving our neighbors is a courageous act. In response to Pope Francis' call, we are committed to making the choices today that will step up our ambition and keep us below the 1.5 degree threshold."

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF’s global climate and energy programme:
“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our world, threatening the delicate web of life that sustains ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Our leaders have the power to change this, to be part of history as we shift to a low-carbon world. This starts with increasing climate action reflected in individual country climate plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). So the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit is a welcome initiative, coming at just the right time. In this year of stepping up climate action, world leaders need to be bold, to act now and at scale, to help ensure that they keep the promise of a 1.5°C degree world alive.”

May Boeve 350.org Executive Director
"This is a powerful call to action that must resonate around the world. With their commitment to reach 100% renewable energy, climate vulnerable countries are leading the way to a fossil free future. Their bold actions put to shame the delay and denial we see from so many rich countries like the United States. The message from the Climate Vulnerable Forum is clear: if you're still building fossil fuel projects, you're endangering the very survival of these nations. No matter where we live, the climate movement stands in solidarity with all vulnerable communities who are on the frontlines of this crisis. Together, we can end the age of fossil fuels and create a just and sustainable world for all.”

######

For more information, contact Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN
International; email: hkilani@climatenetwork.org, Tel: +961 3 567928, skype: halakilani

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

 

Climate Action Network welcomes the declaration by 23 nations to step up their climate ambition

21 June 2018: Climate Action Network (CAN) welcomes the declaration by 23 nations to step up climate ambition. The declaration, issued on the sidelines of a week of ministerial meetings on climate change, underscores the urgency for countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020 in line with the Paris Agreement; put in place long-term strategies to reach net zero emissions; and secure the support and investment to ensure effective implementation.  

Countries now need to walk the talk. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on 1.5 degrees C, due to be released in October, is likely to confirm that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C is feasible, but hard to achieve. This makes it essential and urgent for all countries to join these front-runners and step up to enhance their NDCs by 2020. The process requires adequate finance to flow to countries that need it to establish the necessary infrastructure for a green and carbon-free economy.

Signatories to the declaration include Argentina, Britain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Spain and Sweden.

Positive signals also came from the EU Commission, which announced it would be in a position to increase ambition.

However, around 200 nations collectively made a promise to their citizens in 2015 as part of the Paris Agreement to ratchet up their commitments and targets every five years. This declaration signals a step in the right direction, but many more countries should now similarly indicate they will fully implement the Paris Agreement and enhance their NDCs by 2020.

These initiatives are important to drive both strong momentum for a positive conclusion of the Talanoa Dialogue and a strong outcome at the upcoming UN talks in Katowice, Poland. 2018 is a very important year to trigger the process of NDC revision by all countries. The political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue needs to result in a strong and universal decision as the first stock-taking exercise of countries' efforts since Paris was agreed in 2015.

Indeed the 2019 United Nations Secretary-General Climate Summit is an important milestone but all countries need to commit as early as December 2018 at the UN talks to prepare the ground nationally for raised and updated NDCs by 2020. The countdown has started and if countries start reviewing their NDCs right after COP24, that still only leaves one year to complete the process; that time is needed for multi-stakeholder engagement to build comprehensive and inclusive NDCs involving all actors of society. Governments will only succeed if people are on board.

Quotes:

Fernanda Carvalho, Climate and Energy Policy Manager, WWF International:
WWF strongly welcomes the step taken by the 23 countries that have signed the declaration but, with the window of opportunity to keep global warming to 1.5°C fast closing, we also need others to act fast.  We need rapid and deep cuts to global gas emissions and, as state and non-state actors step up, we urge other countries to enhance and revise their NDCs by 2020.

David Waskow, International Climate Director, World Resources Institute:
“This declaration shows that countries understand the urgency of climate action and are actively looking into making bolder commitments. This is exactly the sort of leadership that we need ahead of the UN climate talks in Poland this December.
“While the IPCC's Special Report on 1.5 C will be released in several months, the latest climate science already shows that the risks of inaction are dire and every fraction of a degree matters. 2018 is the year for governments to step up and commit to enhancing their national climate commitments, with actions such as greater investments in renewable energy, protecting forests and reducing energy waste.”

Wael Hmaidan, CAN Executive Director:
“It is great to see these 23 governments joining the global call to step up climate action. The transition to 100% renewable energy is an economic opportunity for growth and job creation. Now, we need to see if the remaining countries are able to step up their climate ambition and enhance their targets as well by the next climate talks in Poland."

Wendel Trio, Director, CAN Europe:
“This declaration comes at the right time and is a much needed call to scale up climate action from incremental to transformational. It proves that a growing number of countries, including from Europe, recognise that more action is needed if we are to keep the objectives of the Paris Agreement within reach. European countries need to make sure that by the UN Secretary-General Summit in 2019 they are ready to present a new 2030 climate target in line with the commitment to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C”

For more information, contact Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email: hkilani@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +21650405757

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

 

PRESS RELEASE: Negotiators make progress in Bonn but ministers have their work cut out for success at Katowice

Clear signals and commitments on finance can unlock ambition and instill trust to advance work for a strong Rulebook

Bonn, 10 May: As talks wrap up here, countries must have a laser focus on advancing discussions towards a strong Paris Rulebook. A fair, robust and transparent Rulebook must inspire confidence among countries to step up and commit to enhanced national climate targets by 2020. To unlock the ambition cycle, which is at the heart of the Paris Agreement, we need to see meaningful progress and clear commitments on finance.

While discussions here have been substantive, tangible progress on specific areas need political intervention. The Polish presidency has a great responsibility to steer this through in the coming months with other countries. High-level ministerial meetings such as the G7 leaders’ summit, the Ministerial on Climate Action and the Petersberg Dialogue must unblock political differences ahead of the additional session in Bangkok in September.
The Talanoa Dialogue is a promising start towards fostering trust and breaking down boundaries in an unconventional setting. It showcased the substantial commitments from cities, businesses and community organisations on tackling climate change.  
It is important that this is translated into a clear political process. Talanoa has been and continues to be about raising ambition. The format inspired discussion between countries not as negotiating blocs but as one of people to people. Listening to each other and assessing the situation is the first step towards finding common ground for solutions to ramp up ambition and the support that is needed to do so.
The Fiji Presidency has kickstarted this innovative process. The Polish Presidency must take up the baton and work with all countries towards a political outcome for stronger national targets by 2020.  

The IPCC report on 1.5°C this October will be important to accelerate political momentum. The report must inform the Talanoa Dialogue process in 2018 and drive in the urgency of action that is needed: to ramp up ambition by 2020 and to deliver on finance.

Even as the impacts of climate change become increasingly devastating, the outcome from Suva Expert Dialogue to discuss finance to address loss and damage last week was disappointing. The next round of discussions must outline a clear path to mobilise money to address loss and damage ahead of the Warsaw International Mechanism review in 2019.

Members of Climate Action Network react to the Bonn intersessional

Sven Harmeling, Global Lead on Climate Change Advocacy, CARE International Climate Change & Resilience Platform: "Despite some technical progress in Bonn, climate change impacts will not wait for slow-paced government negotiations. Without stronger political leadership, it will be an uphill battle to achieve the major milestones envisaged for COP24 in Katowice, Poland, particularly on the Paris Rulebook. The heat is on for developed countries to increase finance for vulnerable people in developing countries to minimize and address loss and damage. Countries with high CO2 emissions need to undertake additional measures to reverse continued emissions’ growth and limit climate disruption to 1.5°C.  It is essential that climate ambition not fall behind commitments made in the Paris Agreement.

Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid: “This gathering in Bonn was always going to be a very technical meeting and the technical negotiations around the rulebook have actually progressed largely as expected. But what has become clear has been the need from poorer countries for much stronger signals that the funding they have been promised to implement their emissions reductions plans will be delivered. The radio silence on money has sown fears among poor countries that their wealthier counterparts are not serious about honouring their promises. This funding is not just a bargaining chip, it is essential for delivering the national plans that make up the Paris Agreement.  For the Paris Agreement to be a success we need the Katowice COP to be a success. And for the Katowice COP to be a success we need assurances that sources of funding will be coming.”

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy advisor, Greenpeace: The Paris Agreement cannot be a one-off achievement which is left like a trophy in a box to be admired but never acted on. The box needs to be unlocked, it needs to happen in 2018 and the key to that is trust. Trust has to be built at a ministerial level through exchanges on important issues such as differentiation and finance. In the months before Bangkok, ministers must engage to start a dynamic process that leads to a robust rulebook and much greater ambition.

“The architecture is there for ambition to be raised, the Talanoa Dialogue, which has led to a real spirit of cooperation, getting beyond the finger-pointing to remind everyone that we all share the same planet and we all need to do more to protect it. The mood created by Talanoa has to start delivering tangible results in the form of enhanced national targets, and we look forward to the EU and China taking an early lead on this.

Mark Lutes, Head of Delegation, WWF: “We have seen steady, if uneven, progress in the negotiations. Pieces are falling in place for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. This is evident both with the rules, and closing the emissions gap. But finance is key to getting a good outcome in Katowice. Meeting the $100 billion commitment and getting a signal by COP24 for the upcoming Green Climate Fund funding round will be vital if countries are to collective agree to present more ambitious climate plans by 2020.”

Krishneil Narayan, Climate Change Consultant, Fiji and the Pacific Islands Region: “As a Fijian, it was wonderful to see the Talanoa Dialogue off to a positive start. The important task, however, is to now translate these stories into a meaningful way that ramps up ambition for turning around the climate impacts. With the addition of another round of talks scheduled for Bangkok in September, countries and all involved in the climate talks, including the non-state actors must focus to ensure that we are able to deliver a strong and effective Paris Rulebook at COP24 in December. The Paris Agreement recognized Loss and Damage as the third pillar of climate action but it is still facing difficulty in finding a space for itself in these talks. Implementation of the entire Paris Agreement in a holistic manner means also addressing loss and damages. Countries must ensure the meaningful inclusion of Loss and Damage in textual negotiations at Bangkok. Perhaps more Fijian kava-fueled zest needs to be injected into the formal negotiations sessions itself to help negotiators guide the future course of action.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada: “Negotiators came here to work and have achieved measured progress in Bonn. The addition of a session in Bangkok signals Parties’ intention to get the job done in 2018. Doing so will require not only a tremendous amount of technical work in the coming months; getting the job done also necessitates strong political will that capitalizes on a series of upcoming moments to secure the Paris Agreement and show that countries are committed to implementing and strengthening it. These moments include Canada’s G7 leaders’ summit, the Petersberg Dialogue, and the Ministerial on Climate Action - hosted by the EU, China, and Canada. The global community will be looking to Canada here to back up its narrative of climate leadership with tangible results.
Through these events, Ministers will have to deepen their understanding of how to land an outcome at COP24 that best serves the implementation of the Paris Agreement and sends the political signals necessary to work through sticky and complex issues. It will also mean a concerted effort to demonstrate that donor countries will deliver the financial support required to unlock ambition. We talk a lot about leadership in this space and leadership will always be necessary. But what I’m looking for in 2018 is conviction. Conviction from countries to do what it takes to hold true to their Paris promise of protecting the world’s most vulnerable and holding average temperature rise to 1.5°C.”

Hannah McKinnon, Director, Energy Futures and Transitions, Oil Change International: “What is currently on offer in these negotiations isn’t cutting it. Countries have been negotiating for decades without ever getting serious about tackling fossil fuel production. It is time to embrace climate leadership that says ‘no’ to approving and financing new fossil fuel projects, and demand that the wealthy fossil fuel producers who have committed to action, begin an equitable and just managed transition off of oil, gas, and coal production.”

On climate finance, Harjeet Singh, Global Climate Lead, ActionAid International: "The issue of finance underpins so many different parts of climate negotiations, because poor countries simply can't cover the triple costs of loss and damage, adaptation and mitigation on their own.
But with developed countries refusing to move on finance, lots of pieces are still unfinished. This is holding up the whole package, which is supposed to be finalised at the end of this year. Issues are piling up, and it's a dangerous strategy to leave everything to the last minute.
Finance is too important to be used as a bargaining chip. If we're to see any progress on the so-called 'Paris rulebook', wealthy countries need to provide real money for climate action."

On the Talanoa Dialogue, Teresa Anderson, Climate policy officer, ActionAid International: "What was special about the Talanoa Dialogue was that it allowed people to engage with each other as humans with hearts, rather than as governments with agendas. People genuinely cried at each others' stories of climate impacts. This was a powerful first chapter in the Talanoa story.
But we need to remember that the original purpose and mandate of this process was not emotional release.  The world agreed that a process to take stock of efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C would take place in 2018. Now all eyes are on the Fijian and Polish presidencies to map out the political phase over the course of the year.
The next round of negotiations in Bangkok, as well as the upcoming IPCC special report on 1.5°C are key opportunities for countries to assess the need for action and finance, so that they can announce increased climate commitments at COP24 climate talks in Poland at the end of the year."

Camilla Born, Senior Policy Adviser, E3G: Negotiations went better than expected. Parties showed they are serious about delivering the Paris Agreement so in Bonn they got down to serious business. The next challenge is to mobilise the political will to get the COP24 outcomes over the line in Katowice. This won’t be easy but the Polish Presidency has the chance to up their game and make the most of moments like the Petersburg Dialogue, MOCA and the UN General Assembly.
‘With negotiations now moving to text the pressure is on the likes of EU, China and Canada to come good on the universality of the Paris Agreement at the MOCA even whilst the US is for now missing in action’

Tracy Carty, Climate Policy Lead, Oxfam International: “Bonn sent a concerning message on finance – the options on the table are not enough, and the risk of gridlock at COP24 is high.  For developing countries raising mitigation ambition, NCD implementation, dealing with increasingly ferocious climate impacts all come back to finance.  Finance they need and have been promised. Developed countries need to get serious about the need to improve predictability of climate finance and put new commitments to real money on the table by COP24, including for adaptation and for the Green Climate Fund.  They also need to be prepared to commit to fair and robust rules for the $100 billion commitment that are due to be agreed in Katowice.”

Paula Caballero, Global Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute: “Climate negotiators kept up a good pace this week, but will be leaving Bonn with a lot more ground to cover to get to the finish line in Poland this December. At the next negotiation session in Bangkok delegates will need to maintain that same focused approach to turn the corner on the politics and policy.  

“The UN climate summit in Katowice will be the most consequential political moment for climate action since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015.  By the time the final gavel is struck, all countries should adopt an action and support package that will put the Paris Agreement fully into motion.  Success must be three-fold: finalize guidelines for implementing the Paris pact, make clear that countries will strengthen national climate commitments by 2020 and signal that support for developing countries will also continue to ramp up.

“All eyes now turn to the Polish COP presidency, who must show the forward-looking leadership necessary to drive the world to an outcome that reflects the urgency, seriousness and scale of effort necessary to tackle the climate challenge.

“The Talanoa Dialogue session was a collective reality check on the state of climate action, highlighting how far we have left to go but also the transformational solutions the world needs. The inclusive discussion was a reminder that governments cannot tackle climate change alone – they need the extra muscle of businesses, civil society and cities to turn the promise of the Paris Agreement into a reality. As a number of delegates made clear, now the Talanoa needs to lay the foundation for COP24 to signal that countries will enhance their national climate plans by 2020.  

“Leaders must demonstrate political leadership at a number of key moments this year to get where we need to go, including the Petersberg Dialogue, UN General Assembly, and the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings.”

Sébastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said: Progress towards a comprehensive set of guidelines to implement the Paris Agreement was slow but paves the way for productive negotiations towards a successful outcome at the COP-24. We welcome the fact that the draft guidance for national commitments retains an invitation for Parties to consider the relevance of human rights, the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality and a just transition. These guiding principles are necessary for reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius. Also, we have heard during the Talanoa Dialogue many governments and stakeholders highlight opportunities for increasing mitigation action. We now look forward to a strong political signal at the COP-24 calling for Parties to enhance their commitments in line with the imperative of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5.

Rixa Schwarz, Team Leader International Climate Policy at Germanwatch: „We were positively surprised how clearly the most crucial issue was discussed in Bonn: we need more ambition in order to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The Talanoa Dialogue showed that more ambition in the next years is both necessary and possible and that the countries by 2020 need to submit enhanced NDCs for 2030. A solid rulebook on implementation guidelines for comparability and transparency must provide for NDC enhancement starting next year. Progress was made on the implementation guidelines but at the following meeting in Bangkok in September a decision text must be negotiated with greater pace in order to reach decisions on robust guidelines in Katowice in December. The lack of sufficient climate finance became evident at Bonn.  Climate finance is required for developing countries’ ambition on mitigation and on managing the non-avoidable climate impacts.

The success of 2018 in international climate policy also depends on the German chancellor Merkel: she will host ministers from across the world at the Petersberg Dialogue on 18 June – a great chance to prepare a success of COP24 in Katowice. For this, Germany needs to deliver: Merkel must make sure that German greenhouse gas emissions decrease again and that the national mitigation targets are met. Also, she must take concrete steps towards realizing her promise to double Germany’s contributions to international climate finance by 2020.

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists: “All countries must come to Katowice prepared to adopt a robust, comprehensive rulebook to fully implement the Paris Agreement, and send clear signals they intend to increase the ambition of their national actions, as is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Developed countries must provide greater confidence on how they’ll meet their commitment to mobilize $100 billion in annual support for developing country actions by 2020, and actively develop strategies to ramp up assistance to the most vulnerable countries already experiencing devastating climate impacts.

“While some headway was made in Bonn on several more technical topics, sharp political differences remain on a handful of issues, especially on climate finance and the amount of differentiation in the Paris Agreement rules for countries at varying stages of development. These issues are above the pay grade of negotiators in Bonn, and will require engaging ministers and national leaders to resolve them. The Petersburg Dialogue in Berlin and the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting in Brussels, held back-to-back in mid-June, are excellent opportunities for ministers to start providing some of that leadership.

“As the incoming presidency of COP 24, Poland also needs to step up its game in providing firmer guidance on ways to resolve the crunch issues, ensuring a successful meeting in Katowice. Having hosted two previous climate summits, Poland knows what the role requires; now they need to play their part.”

Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate Policy Coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe: “Throughout this round of UN climate talks the EU has been giving positive signals about the need to revise current climate targets by 2020. The constructive role that the EU has played in Bonn needs now to be turned into a clear political statement by ministers meeting at the Petersberg Dialogue and the Ministerial on Climate Action next month. The ministers need to provide the much-needed political guidance on how to increase climate pledges, overcome political differences over the Paris Agreement rules and deliver clarity on finance by COP24. We maintain hope that the Polish COP Presidency will raise to the challenge and secure a successful outcome at COP24, despite their negative approach to climate policy at home and at the EU level.”

Jesse Bragg, Media Director, Corporate Accountability: Over the past two weeks, the issue of Big Polluters’ corrosive interference in climate policymaking once again dominated the talks. Over the course of five days, Global South governments representing nearly 70 percent of the world’s population stood steadfast and determined to reach a mandate for a conflict of interest policy.

Developing countries led by Ecuador and Cuba put forward draft recommendations which would initiate a process to address the growing problem of polluting industries undermining the talks. However, the U.S. led other developed countries in opposition. The issue will be revisited next year.

“Once again, the United States and its pro-fossil fuel allies are on the wrong side of history, putting Big Polluters before people and the planet. But this week’s results prove that no amount of obstruction from the U.S. and its Big Polluter allies will ultimately prevent this movement from advancing.

And while Global North obstructionism mired these talks in delays, obstruction and censorship, Global South leaders prevailed in securing a clear path forward for the conflict of interest movement, ensuring the issue will be front and center next year.”

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About Climate Action Network:

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Coordinator, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830

 

Bonn climate talks: Technical issues turning political as countries try to hash out clear options for Paris rulebook

8 May, Bonn: With just two days left to conclude the Bonn intersessional meetings that will set parties on course for a successful COP24 in December, countries must use the time well to advance progress on several key issues.

Alden Meyer, Director, Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists:
 “
I would say that COP24 in Katowice is probably the most critical meeting since Paris. The world will be watching to see if countries are serious about implementing and strengthening the Paris Agreement. We have a mandate to adopt a package of rules to implement the Paris agreement across a range of issues. Those rules are essential to build confidence and trust in the system and facilitate greater ambition by both developed and developing countries,” said Meyer.
“Second, we need some clear political signals and a process going forward from COP24 on ways to enhance the ambition of the nationally determined contributions that countries have submitted under Paris. We don’t’ have to wait for the IPCC special report in October to know that what’s on the table now and being implemented falls far short of what’s needed to stay on track with temperature goals that countries agreed to in Paris.
And we have to figure out how to capture the very constructive spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue groups here on Sunday going into the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue process in Katowice. “

While the Bonn meetings have seen countries engaging substantially on all fronts, actual progress on some issues is lagging. This includes the vital question of finance.

Tracy Carty: Climate Change Policy Lead, Oxfam International: “At the end of this year there is going to [need to] be agreement on finance accounting rules. It’s very technical but what we’re talking about there is the rules that will govern what counts towards the US$ 100 billion commitment and these rules really need to build confidence that that commitment will be met in a way that is fair and in a way that is robust. And one of the key things on that front is it needs to include a commitment to grant equivalent accounting. And that’s a major issue because loans make up a massive portion of climate finance. In 2016, Oxfam estimates it was around two thirds and the vast majority of that was being counted at face value not taking account of repayments or interest paid and our estimate is that essentially amounted to an overstatement of the net assistance to developing countries by around US $ 20 billion per year.”

There are still sharp political differences to be overcome that have a potential to be carried forward in upcoming ministerial moments.

Li Shuo: Senior Climate & Energy Policy Officer, Greenpeace: As negotiations enter the second week, the progress and challenges for various rulebook issues are becoming clear. In general, Bonn has managed to advance these issues, but the different features of these issues also require tailor-made solutions. Finance and NDC would benefit from higher level political attention. Transparency will require more negotiation time. Other issues such as compliance and Global Stocktake are ready to move into text based negotiations.

As the session approaches its conclusion, a way forward is needed to transition the process from a technical to a political phase. The COP Presidencies have a unique role here in steering Parties out of the technical ‘forest’ towards a clear agenda for next session and a shared vision for Katowice.”

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

 

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