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:

COP23 update: Progress on negotiations and outcome on agriculture

14 November 2017, Bonn: Speaking at a Climate Action Network press briefing today, Li Shuo, Greenpeace East Asia, reiterated the feeling that the first week has been smooth overall. “The Talanoa Dialogue discussions have gone well. Negotiations over transparency have gone surprisingly well, producing a good informal note and moving into substantive discussions. Discussions of the global stocktake lost some time in procedural back and forth, but also produced an informal note this morning. The notable exception is talks over nationally determined contributions, where there are worrying signs; a 180-page note suggests numerous and complicated points of disagreement remain as ministers arrive to begin the more political process in week two.

 

He was asked if there has been progress on the question of pre-2020 actions, where vulnerable countries have been pressing for attention to immediate action – including outstanding commitments from Annex I countries under the expiring Kyoto Protocol; rich countries prefer to focus on the incoming Paris Agreement.

 

“Substantively, there are genuine concerns from developing countries that a lot of previous commitments have not been fully respected or effectively delivered, things such as finance, technology, and capacity-building. So a very important task here is to find a way to accommodate those concerns in an appropriate manner,” Li said.

 

“On the political side, I think it is very important to address those concerns in relation to other parts of the bigger package. The desired outcome out of COP 23 is that we find appropriate solutions on pre-2020 on the one hand, but also to give a very strong forward-looking message, for example on the Talanoa Dialogue, and also prepare a very solid ground for the Paris Rulebook.”

 

But if the Northern countries and the global South are at odds over pre-2020 actions, their negotiators have found common ground in another potentially difficult area: agriculture. Agriculture is an important sector both because it contributes as much as one third of total greenhouse gas emission, and because it is of vital importance for food security, economies and livelihoods in most of the Global South

 

Teresa Anderson, ActionAid said, “It's been important for the UNFCCC to make progress in a way that could work in the interests of developing countries as well as the interests of the whole planet. There's been debate for a long time about whether this discussion should focus on adaptation or whether it should focus on mitigation. It's been very complex, and very tense.”

 

It’s now been agreed that talks under the Subsidiary Body of Scientific and Technological Advice can be translated into action and implementation, and thus enable the UN system to provide more strategic support for vulnerable countries as well as address highly polluting agricultural systems and practices.
 

“There is now a concrete opportunity to look into adaptation issues and we can also keep in mind how to bring down dangerous emissions from agriculture. And as civil society, we hope that the discussion will move forward into being about the tools and methodologies and real-life solutions that can help agriculture to become more resilient and less polluting,” said Anderson.

Elsewhere, Climate Action Network has been exploring unconventional options for meeting SDGs and Paris Agreement commitments, said Stephan Singer.
 

Christoph Bals, Director, Germanwatch, shared news from a court in Hamm, Germany, of a victory for climate action in a landmark legal case – Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a Peruvian farmer, is suing the German utility company RWE for costs to protect his home from a glacier that is now melting due to climate change. Today’s decision established the legal basis for companies like this – one of a hundred corporations responsible for the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gas emissions – to be found liable for its contributions to climate disasters that threaten people like Luciano.
“It’s a huge breakthrough. It's a precedent, because in more than 50 countries, we have exactly the same clause in the civil law that this court case is built on, the nuisance clause. And this will have effects not only in Germany, but all over the world,” said Bals.

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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, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830 or Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email hkilani@climatenetwork.org
 

Week two of COP23: civil society reps call for the reality of climate impacts to be brought into negotiating rooms

 

“Talanoa Dialogue must be designed to increase ambition”

13 November, 2017, Bonn. The beginning of the UN climate conference's second week marks a transition as negotiators make way for ministers to begin the real political process. There has been a push by the Fiji presidency for openness and transparency in the Talanoa dialogue, including input from both governments and non-state actors. So far, there is mixed progress on the work programme – negotiations over issues of transparency going well, while there are sharply polarised positions over national contributions to limiting global warming.

On the vital question of finance – for mitigation and adaptation, as well as for loss & damage – things are not going smoothly.

Tracy Carty, Climate Change Policy Advisor, Oxfam GB, said: “We need a work programme that will explore sources of finance for loss and damage, because that's currently a massive gap. Unlike adaptation and mitigation, which have the 100 billion commitment, there are currently no sources of finance for loss and damage.

Carty said it appeared that developing country governments are resistant to committing more public money for badly needed climate finance, but pointed out that there are innovative sources of funding that would not come from the public purse, including levies on shipping and aviation or on the carbon majors, a group of one hundred large corporations that are responsible for the major share of emissions.
“At the moment, those carbon majors are off the hook. Nobody is looking at what's their contribution. If they were to pay their share and their responsibility for the damages that's been caused because of the impacts of climate in parts of the world, what would that look like? How much would it look like? So this process needs at a minimum to start to explore those kind of options and there are many,” said Carty.

Talanoa Dialogue

Reminding us that COP23 is presided over by a vulnerable country already experiencing severe climate impacts, Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid, said we have a unique opportunity to bring the reality of climate change into the negotiations. This has not happened through the first week but needs to happen in the second week.

“There is an opportunity for the ministers coming in to grasp and help deliver that important gift to the vulnerable countries who are suffering first and worst, it would be advancing loss and damage, particularly support to be able to implement the actions and activities that are needed.
[Vulnerable countries] got a mechanism in 2013;  they got an article in Paris; but those two don't deliver the actions and activities that are needed. They need to be translated so that they can be able to implement loss and damage.”

Turning to the Talanoa dialogue, Adow reminded everyone that this is the new name for working on an established principle to ratchet action and ambition upwards, and called for Fiji to retain a role right through the end of this COP and into 2018 when the Paris Agreement comes into force.

“What will be critical, now that this dialogue has been set up, is for the Fijians to be given a leading role next year so that they can be able to help deliver on the promise and the vision they've set out.  It's not something we can leave in the hands of the Polish alone, and so in this second week, we need to be able to strengthen hand of the Fijians so that they can play a role [… ] on an ongoing basis so we can effectively design the dialogue to be able to increase ambition.”

US engagement

Asked about the seemingly mild treatment of the US despite the Trump administration's declared intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, responded that the US negotiators have in some places continued with constructive engagement, but in others show problems linked to new administration's hard line: loss and damage and finance which may become sharper as the ministerial phase of the conference begins.

“There's also a recognition that there are major elements of American society – states, business, mayors, universities and others, represented by the We Are Still In initiative – that are doing their best to meet America's emissions reduction obligations under Paris with or without Donald Trump. And I think that message has been well-received.
“The problem is of course is that they are not representing that same kind of initiative on the finance side of table, and making up for Donald Trump's refusal to meet the remaining two billion dollars of the Green Climate Fund pledge and proposing deep cuts in other areas of US climate finance. So yes on the domestic ambition, that's making up some of the damage caused by Donald Trump, but on the finance side it's a different message than what we're hearing. We're hearing the US is taking a pretty tough line on finance and on having loss & damage be a standing agenda item in this process.”

 

Mohammed Adow said that he would like to see a strategy used to deal with Trump Administration intransigence brought into the climate negotiations.
“When the US blocked the climate outcomes in the G7 and the G20, we effectively ended up with a G6 climate outcome and a G19 climate outcome. And so on loss & damage, if the US continues to block, I think it will be about time the rest of the world basically noted the US blockage, but moved on and gave effectively a proper process that is going to consider how climate finance for loss and damage is going to be mobilised.

“We cannot afford to have the rest of the developed world hiding behind the US and I think we have to make the distinction between a country, in this case the Trump administration, that has already announced its withdrawal, and the rest of the world collectively moving forward – and on finance for loss & damage and on finance for adaptation but also having a clear process to ratchet up ambition we have to make that distinction.

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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, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830 or Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email hkilani@climatenetwork.org
 

 

“ #WeAreStillIn coalition gives us reason to hope for a new generation of climate leaders in the US”

9 November 2017, Bonn: The press briefing began by addressing the (Republican) elephant in the room: the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, WWF, said the #WeAreStillIn coalition – which includes mayors, governors, business leaders and college presidents, American Indian tribes, faith leaders and more, representing some 130 million Americans – remains committed to climate action and an international agreement to take climate action forward.

“The message they are bringing is a message of hope. It's a message of action. The stories that #WeAreStillIn will be sharing in the coming days are stories of actions they are taking in the United States, stories of the social and economic benefits – in addition to climate ones – that are accruing to their constituencies. And stories of what more can be done in the United States and how they want to play a part in the transformation.”

She said she hoped the participation of these US subnational actors would give the international community confidence in the new generation of US climate leaders.

To a query on the position of this alternative delegation at the climate talks, Panuncio-Feldman pointed to measures that subnational actors are already taking, such as New York City's newly green building standards or Walmart's adoption of energy efficiency and renewable power.

“We know that the actions that need to be taken need to be accelerated right now and need to be built further into future in a way that contributes to a transformation of the American economy. But I think that the very concrete and real examples that you're going to hear in coming days are very pertinent to the pre-2020 conversation and show that there is commitment and muscle in the United States to take action on pre-2020 now.”

Camilla Born, E3G, then gave a summary of the status of negotiations under way at the COP. She said negotiators are now reaching the limits of their mandates and outlining the political issues that ministers will take up in the week ahead.

“We're making lots of progress on the technical and process aspects of these discussions. We're flagging up some more political elements that don't fit within a negotiator's mandate and moving more to a conversation that needs to be between ministers in the coming week.

She said good progress has been made with technical questions relating to the rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement. She also said that the issue of pre-2020 actions had been raised and that the Fiji Presidency must now consider how to play a constructive role on issues and agenda points that have been raised.

Asked about the relative silence on the important question of finance for adaptation, Born responded that finance is certainly being discussed, though largely at a technical level. She said she sees positive signals ahead of  next year's ministerial dialogue on finance which will squarely address this issue.

“Some of the most exciting conversations on this topic have been around some of the work that the  multilateral development banks are doing to try to prevent funding of dirty projects within their portfolios, and move their funding much more effectively into projects which support climate action – and which have multiple other benefits in fulfilling these organisations' missions and mandates.”

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

About CAN
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable le

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COP23 update: Calls for China to step up leadership ; German funding to adaption fund welcomed

7 November 2016, Bonn: On the second day of the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, speakers at the Climate Action Network press briefing welcomed a positive early announcement of funding, encouraged China to fully assume the leadership role it's been signalling, and again stressed the urgency for beginning a process to set out clear and effective rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement by the end of this COP.

Li Shuo, Senior Climate & Energy Policy Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, said that China is making real progress on climate action and signalling its intent to take a newly active role in climate diplomacy. “We see that many in Beijing see that America's difficulty is actually China's opportunity. China has made it very clear that it will honour its Paris Agreement [commitments], and in fact is on a trajectory to overachieve both the 2020 and 2030 climate targets. Over the past few months, we are also seeing very bold actions from China, and a transformation of China's approach when it comes to international climate diplomacy.”

Li pointed to China's embrace of renewables and phasing down of coal-powered generation, its establishment of the Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action alongside the European Union and Canada, and the strong message emerging from its 19th party congress, in which it for the first time described itself as wishing to be a leader in international climate governance.

Adaptation Fund

Jan Kowalzig, Senior Policy Adviser Climate Change, Oxfam Germany, began by welcoming his country's announcement that it will give 50 million euros for the Adaptation Fund and a further 50 million for the Least Developed Countries Fund. “The announcement of new finance so early in the conference is an invitation to other developed countries to follow suit,” but Kowalzig stressed that these amounts are not nearly enough.

“We need to make sure that these welcome pledges are not used to cover up what's going on: Germany is currently not on track to meet its mitigation targets. It's going to miss them by a wide margin. The German government has pulled the brake on renewable energy expansion over the past four years. It has not done anything to address emissions in the transport sector. In fact, Germany is one of those that constantly opposed ambitious fuel emissions standards in Brussels. And it has missed the opportunity to start the phase out of coal.”

He expressed concern that talks in Berlin over forming a coalition government currently include three parties who are opposed to Germany meeting its Paris Agreement commitments.

“In many countries governments or ministers are not acting as they should be. We need a complete phase out of fossil fuels and as soon as possible. As I said, Germany is sometimes still portrayed as a climate leader, as a country that's ambitiously engaging in climate action and turning its energy systems to renewable energy... but this is not the case.

And it's not the case in many other countries, and that makes it even more important that we engage much more also in movement building with citizens.”

Non-state actors must drive progress

Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute, agreed that action is needed from players other than national governments.

“It's not just government acting, it's acting together also with non-state actors. So business has a role to play; at the subnational level, cities and provinces also have also a role to play. And I think we're going to see over the next two weeks, how we can actually leverage opportunities that we have missed in the past two years. What is really important is to seize opportunities to really capitalise on what can be done in including the changes in technology.”For Dagnet, the key elements to be resolved by these talks include: agreeing on the modalities of reporting; agreeing on how to ensure this reporting is credible to build trust; agreement on the accounting rules; and how to take stock of our collective effort.

“On the Talanoa dialogue, I think there's two contextual issues to bear in mind. First of all, we're here in the aftermath of unprecedented climate disasters over the past month. We're only a day from the fourth anniversary of anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan.

“We can only stress that we have just two years left according to science, two years to really prevent irreversible impacts

which would result in loss and damage so severe that even the best solidarity package, the best support would fail to get us where we need to be or to effectively support the most vulnerable countries.

“This makes mitigation a kind of down payment, for loss and damage and therefore the mitigation and the means of implementation to get the right pace, to accelerate reduced emissions is focus of dialogue.”

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Please contact: Dharini Parthasarathy, CAN Senior Communications Coordinator, dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org or whatsapp +918826107830

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

 

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Civil society groups set expectation for COP23: Countries must move fast to close the emissions gap and address escalating impacts

CAN welcomes the opening of COP23, hosted for the first time by a small island state. Fiji was a champion in setting the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, and will be calling on the entire international community to step up its game to achieve this.

“This year, at the Pacific COP, we hope to highlight the urgency of taking action. We must keep fossil fuels in the ground and move towards a safe and just transition to renewable energy. We must limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. It is a matter of survival for many vulnerable nations around the world.

This means immediately phasing out coal and other fossil fuels. Developed countries and major polluters need to understand that their fossil fuels are the Pacific's loss and damage.

We must ensure support is provided to frontline communities already experiencing loss and damage from a problem they didn't cause.”– Genevieve Jiva, COP23 Project Officer, Pacific Island Climate Action Network

Many important decisions will only be taken next year at COP24, but from this conference, we need to make progress on how the process will work, emerging with a roadmap towards success in Poland next year.

Climate Action Network shares the key objectives of the Fiji presidency for COP23: progress in negotiating implementation guidelines, transparency over actions by parties, and defining support for vulnerable people in developing countries.

“When disasters are hitting us one after the other, we have to put a spotlight on how to deal with these impacts. First, people who are being affected need to be supported; we need to help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Second, we need to protect them from future disasters.”

Unfortunately, we not only have an emissions gap, we have an adaptation gap. We have not done enough to help people protect their lives and livelihoods.– Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid

A report released by the United Nations Environment Programme states that the gap between actions promised under the Paris Agreement and the reductions needed is still too high.

“We are only about a third of the way that we need to be on a least cost pathway to stay well below 2 degrees C, much less meet the 1.5 C temperature goal. The [UNEP] report says that if that emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the goal of holding global warming below 2  degrees C can be reached. Current commitments make a temperature looking at 3 degrees C by 2100 likely, confirming the results of several other analyses.”

“But the report also contains very good news, showing can we can take actions in the agriculture, building, energy, forestry, industry, transport as well as actions to reduce hydrofluorocarbons and other climate forcers; and that this can provide the solutions we need.

“So we have the solutions we need to the crisis we face. The question is what do we need out of this Conference of the Parties to contribute to moving these solutions forward. – Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

PRESS RELEASE: Big Shift Global Campaign on World Bank Annuals

BIG SHIFT GLOBAL CAMPAIGN

As the World Bank gears up for its Annual Meetings this week, the Big Shift Global coalition demands that the Bank stick to its promise and follow a truly green growth pathway to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to keep warming below 1.5C.
It is unacceptable that the World Bank continues to fund fossil fuel projects two years after the Paris Agreement. 

The Big Shift is a rapidly growing movement which has united many thousands of people across the globe with a common aim – to get the World Bank to recognise that it can’t keep on funding fossil fuels when the world is about to reach the 2020 tipping point beyond which it will no longer be able to stop run-away climate change.

The campaign is bringing out two key reports tomorrow, 12 October, Thursday, to highlight how funding by development banks into fossil fuels are against their public commitments to support green growth.
These reports are by Oil Change International and E3G, members of the Big Shift coalition and are under embargo until 12 October 12 PM.

Key Findings from the Reports :

  • Government-backed Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are not greening their investments fast enough. While overall spending on climate-related activities is higher than on fossil fuels, there is still a lack of progress in phasing out fossil fuel investments and increasing climate finance.
  • MDBs approved over $5 billion in fossil fuel finance in 2016, despite the Paris Agreement being reached in December 2015, analysis by Oil Change International shows.
  • The Inter-American Development Bank is a leader among MDBs, with the highest green-to-brown ratio. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank Group have emerged with the lowest green-to-brown ratio among MDBs, E3G analysis shows. From fiscal year 2015 to 2016, multilateral development bank finance for fossil fuel exploration-related activity doubled.
  • E3G analysis found that some projects reported as climate finance were in fact fossil fuel projects instead. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development provided funding to an offshore gas exploration project in Azerbaijan, the Lukoil Shah Deniz Stage II project, and counted $10m as climate finance.
  • As a first step towards phasing out support for oil and gas, both newly released briefings conclude that MDBs should stop all remaining support for coal and commit to ending finance for exploration of fossil fuels. The African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank have already excluded financing for fossil fuel exploration based on financial risks, and the other MDBs should follow suit. 

While the reports are under embargo, you can speak to the authors- Alex Doukas from Oil Change International and Helena Wright from E3G to get quotes and secure a copy. of the reports 

For any questions, please contact: Dharini Parthasarathy, Climate Action Network Communications Coordinator, Policy, Email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org Mobile US number: +1(571)-525-4222

About the Big Shift Global
The Big Shift Global is a multi-stakeholder, global campaign coordinated by organisations from the Global North and South. For a full list of organisations who are part of the campaign, read here  

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The World We Want: Civil society urges G20 leaders to step up action on global challenges

Climate change, global inequality and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals were high on the agenda of civil society’s discussions

19 June 2017, Hamburg: The Civil20 (C20) Summit concluded here today with over 300 civil society groups from around the world urging the world's largest and richest countries of the G20 to commit to firm and immediate action on global challenges like climate change, inequality and regulation of financial markets.
This comes just three weeks ahead of the G20 Summit on 7-8 July when Heads of State will be hosted by the German Presidency.  
The two-day C20 meeting, under the theme “The World We Want”, produced a Statement to advise governments on priority issues that require their joint attention.

[Read the communique from the C20 summit
Read also the policy brief on Climate and Energy]

On climate change, the Statement reiterated that the global civil society rejects the recent decision of the United States government to withdraw from the historic Paris Agreement, a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from outside and within the US. It calls on the remaining 19 countries to reaffirm and strengthen their commitment to the Paris goals by taking steps to implement it wholeheartedly.
They must do this by submitting ambitious long term climate strategies, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, setting effective and fair carbon price signals, shifting the finance flows to promote transformation and resilience and sticking to the promises to ramp up climate financing.    

Calling for a radical transformation of the current neoliberal economic system, it says: “We can no longer treat the environment, oceans and the atmosphere as though they were limitless sinks for pollution and greenhouse gases.”  

“Climate change has been at the top of the agenda across the Civil 20 Summit here in Hamburg over the last two days, where civil society groups have made it absolutely clear that they expect an ambitious outcome from this year’s G20 Leaders’ Summit. The case for acting on climate change is incontestable for the future of our planet and people, but also to make the most of the opportunities of transitioning to a sustainable future that include creating jobs, making economies more resilient and promoting security,” said Wael Hmaidan, International Director, Climate Action Network.                                    

Last week, the engagement groups of the G20, representing civil society, think tanks, foundations, women, labour and business also put out a joint statement asking countries to stand by their climate commitments despite the US withdrawal and step up ambition in the years to come.   

About the Civil20:
The C20 main objective is to facilitate a structured and sustained exchange of critical reflection and political perspectives amongst civil society in G20 countries and beyond on the G20 agenda. Read more on the Civil20 website

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, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830 or Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email hkilani@climatenetwork.org
 

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G20 Summit: A strong show of support for climate from G19 but words must translate into action

Trump isolated as world leaders reaffirm commitments to tackle dangerous climate change

8 July 2017, Hamburg: Climate Action Network welcomes the G20 summit’s commitment to strengthen climate action. This is the first time a G20 Summit has produced a detailed Climate and Energy Action Plan outlining a to-do list to jointly tackle climate change. All countries, save one, recognise that this is about protecting people’s health, safeguarding ecosystems, promoting economic prosperity and global stability.

Unfazed by the US' intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the G19 stand united, supported by allies in numerous cities, regions and businesses, to forge ahead with a safe and clean future for all. Civil society expects all countries to build on this momentum. We call on them to implement the Paris Agreement, come prepared to assess their collective progress in 2018 and trigger a process to ratchet up climate ambition by 2020. As the next hosts of the G20, civil society supports Argentina in taking forward a progressive climate agenda.

Members of Climate Action Network react to the outcome from the Summit:

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Practice: “Despite US pressure, world leaders at the G20 Summit showed they are serious about creating an equitable transition to a decarbonized world by by sending a strong signal on the Paris climate agreement.  The Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth attached to the Communique is the most detailed climate to-do list we have ever seen from the G20. Now it’s about taking concrete action within and between countries, building on existing efforts by business, cities and civil society and amplifying those through true governmental leadership.”

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe: “We welcome the continued commitment of our leaders to the Paris Agreement. The adoption of the Climate and Energy Action Plan is a clear indication that the world’s largest economies are well aware that action is urgently needed to make the zero carbon transition happen.The next step is obviously to move from commitment to action, by raising the level of ambition of the Paris pledges, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and providing support to those most vulnerable to climate change impacts.”

Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator for CARE International:“CARE welcomes the G20 leaders’ greater attention to the climate crisis. The clear commitment by 19 of the G20 members to implementing the Paris Agreement is an important signal, but it requires greater action, immediately, to live up to the group’s responsibility. The endorsed Action Plan on Climate and Energy for Growth, though by far not sufficient to tackle the climate crisis, can help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Alongside much stronger and more rapid emission cuts through shifting away from fossil fuels, this must prioritise greater efforts and support to protect vulnerable people, especially poor women and girls, from climate disruption and the human suffering it creates.”

Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch: "The G20 has passed the first part of the Trump Test on climate. 19 leaders in Hamburg stood united in their commitment to the Paris Agreement and its swift implementation. President Trump tries to undermine the Paris Agreement, but instead he has further isolated himself. His objective to sell American fossil fuels to the world received a hard reality check at the G20. In the Communiqué, even the United States accepted a commitment to a global transition towards low-greenhouse gas emission energy systems consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes  SDG 7 which aims to substantially raise the share of renewables and double the improvement rate for energy efficiency by 2030. The future belongs to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The second part of the climate test will come at home. For Germany this means agreeing on a planned phase-out of coal and a transition strategy for the transport sector."

Alex Doukas, Senior Campaigner, Oil Change International: "Rightfully, other G20 leaders put Donald Trump in the corner for a time out over his absurd climate change denial. They deserve credit for standing united behind the Paris Agreement. Yet talk is cheap, and unfortunately the G19 failed to take action to demonstrate that they’re serious about climate action by actually ending handouts to the fossil fuel industry, instead of once again offering the same tired ‘commitment’ backed by little action. All fossil fuel subsidies must end by 2020 - a crucial step that civil society groups, major investors, and big insurers are all pushing for." 

Sasanka Thilakasiri, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam: “With the other 19 members firmly defending the Paris Agreement as ‘irreversible,’ President Trump’s stubborn insistence on propping up the fossil fuel industry leaves him isolated and stuck in the past.“

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists: “The G20 summit provides another powerful demonstration that the rest of the world is moving ahead with climate action, leaving President Trump isolated following his ill-advised decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Other leaders understand that climate change threatens the prosperity and wellbeing of their citizens, and are eager to capitalize on the tremendous economic opportunities offered by energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.

“The Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan—endorsed by all the other countries attending the summit—provides a roadmap for implementing and strengthening the commitments that countries made in Paris, as is needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Adoption of the plan, along with the declaration by all other leaders that the Paris Agreement is ‘irreversible,’ shows that President Trump’s ‘fossil fuels forever’ agenda is failing to get any traction, no matter how hard he tries to cling to it. President Trump may have forced inclusion of language in the communiqué on access to and use of fossil fuels by threatening to block the whole text if he didn’t get his way, but that will do nothing to slow the accelerating shift away from polluting fossil fuels towards a global economy powered by clean, renewable energy.”

Statement from Greenpeace International: “The G19 held the line, defending the Paris Agreement against Trump’s backward decision to withdraw, but that is not enough. The G19 should have committed to accelerate the transformation away from coal, oil and gas. If Paris was the starting point, Hamburg must sow the seeds of much greater ambition. “Millions of people suffering from the impacts of climate change are demanding urgent action to end the age of coal, oil and gas. To put words into action, the G19 must now accelerate the clean energy transition and set sail from Hamburg with an agenda of change. “Merkel, as G20 host, helped secure a united G19 outcome, but she must now lead the way at home and end Germany’s reliance on coal by committing to a socially just coal phase-out by 2030.”

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid, International Climate Lead, said: “After this G20 summit, there’s no doubt that the world’s largest economies are taking climate action seriously. The message from world leaders in Hamburg is clear: Donald Trump’s isolationist stance on climate policy is simply not going to derail plans to implement and advance the Paris Agreement.
“The US President’s weak attempts to capsize the climate movement have failed: he is now marooned on a political island of his own making, with his head buried in the sand. Meanwhile the rest of the world is moving ahead, having outlined a comprehensive Climate and Energy Action Plan which allows them to get on with the business at hand – the transition to a green economy.
“The G19 have collectively sent a strong signal that they’re committed to implementing and advancing the Paris Agreement, and that they’re working together to deliver better growth, prosperity and stability.  They have proven that the global evidence-based values which bind us together, and which allow us to confront global challenges, are secure.”

Vladimir Chuprov, Head of the Greenpeace Russia Energy Program: "The G20 has retained the climate agenda and commitment to the Paris Agreement - this is the main result of the Summit," In Russia a powerful lobby has been formed and is actively working to counteract the Paris Agreement ratification. The decision made in Hamburg gives us hope that in the near future Russia will begin to withdrawal from oil and coal dependence and will start subsidizing non-fossil energy, as well as energy and resource-efficient technologies and renewable energy."

 

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, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830

Related Event: 

The World We Want: Civil society urges G20 leaders to step up action on global challenges

Climate change, global inequality and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals were high on the agenda of civil society’s discussions

19 June 2017, Hamburg: The Civil20 (C20) Summit concluded here today with over 300 civil society groups from around the world urging the world's largest and richest countries of the G20 to commit to firm and immediate action on global challenges like climate change, inequality and regulation of financial markets.
This comes just three weeks ahead of the G20 Summit on 7-8 July when Heads of State will be hosted by the German Presidency.  
The two-day C20 meeting, under the theme “The World We Want”, produced a Statement to advise governments on priority issues that require their joint attention.

[Read the communique from the C20 summit
Read also the policy brief on Climate and Energy]

On climate change, the Statement reiterated that the global civil society rejects the recent decision of the United States government to withdraw from the historic Paris Agreement, a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from outside and within the US. It calls on the remaining 19 countries to reaffirm and strengthen their commitment to the Paris goals by taking steps to implement it wholeheartedly.
They must do this by submitting ambitious long term climate strategies, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, setting effective and fair carbon price signals, shifting the finance flows to promote transformation and resilience and sticking to the promises to ramp up climate financing.    

Calling for a radical transformation of the current neoliberal economic system, it says: “We can no longer treat the environment, oceans and the atmosphere as though they were limitless sinks for pollution and greenhouse gases.”  

“Climate change has been at the top of the agenda across the Civil 20 Summit here in Hamburg over the last two days, where civil society groups have made it absolutely clear that they expect an ambitious outcome from this year’s G20 Leaders’ Summit. The case for acting on climate change is incontestable for the future of our planet and people, but also to make the most of the opportunities of transitioning to a sustainable future that include creating jobs, making economies more resilient and promoting security,” said Wael Hmaidan, International Director, Climate Action Network.                                    

Last week, the engagement groups of the G20, representing civil society, think tanks, foundations, women, labour and business also put out a joint statement asking countries to stand by their climate commitments despite the US withdrawal and step up ambition in the years to come.   

About the Civil20:
The C20 main objective is to facilitate a structured and sustained exchange of critical reflection and political perspectives amongst civil society in G20 countries and beyond on the G20 agenda. Read more on the Civil20 website

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, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830 or Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email hkilani@climatenetwork.org
 

A new approach to climate narratives research in the Global South: findings from pilot project in India

Renewables are the clean energy source that will free us and our children from disease and dependence on imports. Relying on the abundance of nature, renewables draw energy from the sun, water and the
wind to provide us and our children health, self-reliance, prosperity and modernity while restoring harmony and natural balance.
This is how one of the solutions to climate change can be effectively communicated in India and possibly similar countries. This was revealed in ground-breaking research conducted in India to test language and
messages on climate change.

Funded by the Minor Foundation, the Global Narratives Project is a message testing research project run by Climate Outreach and Climate Action Network International (CAN-I). The
project pilot was delivered in India, with the collaboration of Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA).
This qualitative research methodology goes beyond the traditional focus group format and asks searching questions about people’s values, identity and hopes for the future.
“The Movement needs to step up communicating Climate Change to people. Many audiences still didn’t grasp what climate change is, if they did they would be losing sleep over it,” said CAN-I Director Wael
Hmaidan. “Climate change is science based and communication around it should also be evidence-based. We hope that these narratives derived from research can improve climate change communication in
several countries, not just India.”

To communicate 100% renewable energy, the report guides communicators to provide evidence that the transition is achievable. In the context of India, people were skeptical because their experience with
renewables was marred with poorly designed small-scale projects like solar cookers. To overcome this skepticism, communicators must demonstrate the feasibility of transitioning to 100% renewables with
success stories while stressing the fact that it is a rapidly improving technology, continuously becoming cheaper, more effective and reliable. The project consisted in training a group of people from civil society organization members of CANSA to test narratives and messaging through narrative workshops with local audiences following a standardized script to test values, identity and attitudes. After receiving the training, the six local partners - Centre for Environment and Communication, Change Alliance, Inseda, Centre for Environment and Education, Development Alternatives and Indian Youth Climate Network - ran 16 narrative workshops with 154 participants.

“The findings were remarkable”, said CANSA’s Program Manager Santosh Patnaik. “Contrary to common perceptions that have guided climate communications in the past, people in India disliked terms such as
‘dirty energy’ to describe fossil fuels and rejected the idea that they should wait for solutions to come from other countries. They accepted personal responsibility and said that joint action that emphasizes
togetherness is guaranteed to lead us to solutions.” “The findings also pointed to the need to embed national pride and identity in climate communication, emphasizing that India is capable of overcoming climate change as it is doing for poverty, and can rely on its own resources and does not need help from the outside. The people with whom the narratives were tested also rejected blame games and words like ‘justice’ pointing to the fact that we might need to change the labels we usually adopt such as ‘climate justice’,” he added.
The Indian pilot provides a proof of concept: that national level organisations can conduct qualitative research using a rigorous methodology to a high standard with limited resources and relatively quickly.
Ideally, the Global Narratives method would be replicated and further developed in other countries. Ultimately, the ambition is that all people, in every country, are able to relate to climate change through
language that speaks to their distinct concerns, values, and cultural identity such that they can understand the issues and feel motivated to take action. This project is the first step towards that wider ambition.
“Everybody has a right to be heard on climate change, and a right to understand it in terms of their own values”, believes Climate Outreach Project Director George Marshall. “But the existing communications
research is hugely unbalanced and enormously favours the developed world, especially the United States. This then shapes public engagement by scientists, environmental organisations and the United Nations,
which all project the values of the Global North. Our programme was the first time that anybody had tested different climate messages in India and, even on this small scale, shows the enormous potential
for shaping a distinctly Indian narrative around climate change and renewables.”
More findings are outlined in the reports attached that are currently being disseminated widely within the climate and communications community. 
If you would like to find out more about the project and the results, please join our webinar on 20 June at 3pm BST. Click here to register for the webinar

The project reports are available below:
http://www.climatenetwork.org/publication/communicating-climate-change-i... and
http://www.climatenetwork.org/publication/global-narratives-climate-chan...
 

For more information, contact:
Hala Kilani
Senior Communications Officer campaigns - Climate Action Network
Email: hkilani@climatenetwork.org Tel: +961 3 567928
Senashia Ekanayake
Communications Officer, Climate Action Network South Asia
Email: senashia@cansouthasia.net Tel: +94772525823
Leane de Laigue
Head of Communications, Climate Outreach
Email: leane.delaigue@climateoutreach.org Tel: +44 1865 403 334

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