“Just transition and ambition are two sides of the same coin”

Katowice, 5 December 2018: Speaking at a press conference today, representatives from Climate Action Network (CAN) spoke on the need for a just transition that is built on social dialogue where transformative change towards a low-carbon future is not at the cost of exacerbating existing social inequality and removing social safety nets.
Highlighting the importance of a genuinely fair transition from fossil fuels to renewables, Lucile Dufour, International Policy and Development Adviser, Climate Action Network, France said:

“Just transition and ambition are the two sides of the same coin. While countries need to respond to the latest available science and scale up their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) by 2020, maintaining global warming to 1.5C degrees will only be possible if the conditions are met to take everyone on board in a just and fair manner.”

Dufour pointed out that citizens everywhere do want climate action as they are rising everywhere and demanding countries to step up but it is governments that are failing to respond to people’s asks by implementing a transition that does not address social challenges, reduce inequalities and advance climate action at the same time.

“Recent developments in France are just one example on how not taking into consideration just transition can hinder the effectiveness of climate action,” Dufour said.

The decision by the French government to freeze the fossil fuel taxes for the next six months will hinder France’s ability to step up its climate ambition.

“By doing so the French government fails to respond to the social crisis but also fails to implement climate action that is socially acceptable. Fossil fuel taxes are key to accelerate climate action, we call on French government to learn from its mistakes” Dufour said.

Polish civil society called on the Presidency of COP24 in Katowice to lead on ambition by ensuring a dialogue on the Rulebook and on Just Transition highlights the importance of enhanced ambition to keep warming to 1.5C in line with the Paris Agreement.

“We call on (want) Katowice for being remembered as a response to the IPCC 1.5 report and not only an outcome on the Rulebook,” said Oskar Kulik, WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) Poland.

Speaking on finance and support, including for loss and damage, Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid International, emphasized the centrality of finance to ambition, finalization of the rulebook and tackling impacts. The $100 billion is the minimum required to implement the climate plans put forward by developing countries. Implementing the plans also requires keeping with Article 9.5 of the Paris Agreement on financial predictability. Developing countries need to know when, how and source of the money to plan accordingly.

“Article 9.5 is about accountability and transparency. It is not there is no real money and if there is no real money there is no real action,”

He said, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said we need $500 billion every year by 2050. “So, $100 billion is just the bare minimum that we need to unlock ambition to also help people who need to deal with climate impacts,” Singh said.

He said that the negotiations are stuck whenever developing countries request support.

Tackling impacts or loss and damage is wrongly projected as a developing countries issue and there is no progress on finance in the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage.
Ocean acidification, melting of the arctic and desertification are impacting developing and developed countries alike.

“We need solidarity, we need the entire global community to come together to solve this global challenge. We are not seeing this spirit and the momentum required,” Singh added.

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