Two crises pose serious threats to life on Earth: the climate change crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Major global intergovernmental assessments, including from the IPCC and the IPBES, have demonstrated that they are strongly interlinked. This calls for Parties to move beyond treating these separately towards integrated approaches. Both the IPCC and IPBES reports, along with an increasing body of literature, highlight and stress the importance of intact resilient ecosystems in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Indeed, nature-based solutions, with appropriate safeguards, can provide 37% of the solution to meeting the 1.5 C target by 2030 (IPBES 2019).
However, much needs to be done for this to be recognised in international action, including under the UNFCCC, CBD and SDG post-2020 agendas. This position statement sets out the scope of the crises, the potential for perverse outcomes, the opportunities in the current agreements and the steps governments need to take to jointly approach the biodiversity and climate crisis. Very often, carbon-rich high integrity ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, peatlands, mangroves and other wetlands, are under significant pressure. The consequent reduction in carbon stocks and sequestration potential, as a result of land-use change and degraded ecosystems, contributes significantly to the climate and biodiversity crises.
Germany shattered its all-time heat record for June yesterday as Parties sat in air-conditioned rooms debating how to receive the best available science on climate change. Along with Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic have issued public health warnings. India is in the middle of the worst water crisis in its history, with 600 million people facing acute water shortage and all the reservoirs dry in its sixth-largest city. Last Friday, 40.000 young people marched in the streets of Aachen to demand bold climate action and an end to coal. And just yesterday, the courts in Kenya listened, and upheld the demands by the people of Lamu to reject a new coal power project.
If this session has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no time for wishy-washy “gentlepersons' agreements” when the world is on fire. True leaders have the courage and determination to offer a credible response to the planetary emergency we face, to phase out fossil fuels and ignite the clean energy revolution with justice and equity. While we could welcome the progress made towards agreeing on the Terms of Reference of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and we appreciate your hard work, the political message coming from this conference is far from adequate.
Dear delegates, we call on you to kindly deliver the following message to your leaders back home: We are in the eye of the storm of the climate emergency. We expect your leaders, especially from big emitters, to come to New York in September for the UNSG Summit with nothing less than truly bold commitments that get us to the 1.5-degree goal. We will be there in New York, too. We will mobilize the full power of our network with more than 1,300 organizations in over 120 countries to hold your leaders accountable. We will not stop after New York, please tell your leaders to be prepared for consequences if they continue to fail the people and the planet.
With only 11 years left to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis as warned by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, arrangements of intergovernmental meetings of the UNFCCC must reflect the emergency we are in.
CAN, therefore, urges parties and the Secretariat to give priority to items related to the ambition cycle and implementation in the schedule of meetings across three key areas: support, impacts, and raising ambition.
Reflecting this emergency, we urge parties and the Secretariat to fully consider the IPCC’s remarks on how public participation contributes to effective climate action - quote: “civil society is to a great extent the only reliable motor for driving institutions to change at the pace required.”
By substantially enhancing the opportunities for participation and inputs by civil society and those most affected by the climate crisis - women, youth, indigenous peoples and communities in the front lines - will we help reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
We appreciate the opportunities for participation in this process but compared to other UN processes and other UN environmental processes it remains limited. Drawing on those examples, access to all meetings for members of civil society must be the default rule as well as the opportunity for it to effectively provide input during the meetings - including through opportunities to provide input on specific aspects of the negotiations in the contact groups so as to support Parties progress towards a consensus that contributes to effective responses.
At COP 23, Antonio Guterres stated “civil society(...) must play a crucial role” in the
transformation to a low-emission economy. We urge parties to arrange future civil society participation in this spirit.
The world has no time to waste to fully implement the Paris Agreement. Current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) unacceptably will lead to above 3°C of warming – a death sentence for many communities, species and our ecosystems.1 To respond to the climate emergency in 2019 and in accordance with Articles 2 and 4 of the Paris Agreement, Parties must enhance the ambition of NDCs to put the world on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Fossil fuels were responsible for about three quarters of all GHG emissions in 2018 and power the bulk of final energy demand, while modern renewable energy constitutes a mere 11%. A key way to raise NDC ambition is to commit to the rapid energy transformation required to cut global emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the recent IPCC 1.5°C Special Report.2 A transformational change in the production and consumption patterns of energy, including increasing energy efficiency and lowering unsustainable demand by rich countries, is pivotal to evade an ecological breakdown.3 A rapid and just energy transition hinges on unprecedented political will – to equitably shift each country’s economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Following the dramatic warnings of the IPCC and IPBES, and millions of young people refusing to accept inaction on the climate crisis, no meeting of governments on climate can be business as
usual. Progress must be achieved in three key areas: Support, addressing climate impacts and ambition.
Progress on key negotiation items is needed including strong guidelines for Article 6, building consensus on five-year common timeframes for NDCs as well as agreement on terms of reference enabling a comprehensive review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage to establish a financial arm to provide additional money to address loss and damage.´ The Long-term Finance workshop is an opportunity for parties to also discuss progress towards the GCF replenishment and build trust on the $100 bn targets. At the same time, Parties and the incoming Chilean presidency need to take full advantage of their time in Bonn to informally exchange on crucial upcoming events such as the UNSG Summit, the GCF replenishment and how COP25 can create political space to discuss enhancing ambition.
Last month, about 1.5 million youths around the world marched for bold and urgent climate action. They are leading the way, the world must follow suit.
At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, countries were unable to include guidance on Article 6 into the Paris Rulebook--except for paragraph 77(d) which stipulates how “a Party participating in cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) towards its NDC under Article 4, or authorizes the use of mitigation outcomes for international purposes other than achievement of its NDC” report on such use in the structured summary of the Paris Agreement’s transparency framework. Countries will work to finalize guidance on Article 6 with a view to delivering decision text by the end of COP25. As Article 6 is one of the last pieces of the Paris Rulebook to be completed, increased high-level engagement from Ministers is possible and they require better understanding of the political issues related to Article 6 and the technical ones that still need work in advance of Katowice. This briefing provides a topline summary of CAN-I’s positions on Article 6 and explains key outstanding technical issues.
In 2019 we only have 11 years left to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis as warned by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. Outside of the negotiations, people are declaring a state of emergency for their futures. To not fail the people who refuse to accept excuses for inaction, negotiations at SB50 must deliver significant progress and serve as a moment to build momentum to enable greater ambition in 2019.
At COP24, parties agreed largely on common guidelines for the Paris Agreement and a COP decision which clearly highlights the need to initiate national processes to enhance NDCs by 2020. However, COP24 fell significantly short in political will to tackle the emergency of the climate crisis and make concrete commitments to enhance NDCs: The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C makes clear we need to act now to cut emissions in half by 2030.
In 2019 countries need to significantly advance progress and deliver a package of ambitious deliveries in three key areas: Enhancing mitigation ambition, providing and scaling up support, and addressing climate impacts.
The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C is the first to explore the synergies and tradeoffs for climate mitigation and adaptation actions with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the report, climate change impacts and responses are closely linked to sustainable development which balances social well-being, economic prosperity and environmental protection. The SDGs, the report notes, ‘provide an established framework for assessing the links between limiting global warming of 1.5°C or 2°C and development goals that include poverty eradication, reducing inequalities, and climate action’.