CAN Position: High-level principles and recommendations for transformative pathways towards "real zero" emissions, September 2020

There is hardly any carbon budget left, which means there can be no delay in action. Emissions must decrease as fast as conceivably possible in rich countries, followed by likewise unprecedented rapid reduction rates also in poor countries – enabled by significantly enhanced support from richer countries for climate mitigation, resilience building, adaptation and Loss and Damage provisions.

The IPCC 2018 special report on 1.5°C estimates the remaining carbon budget for a 67% chance of keeping below 1.5°C global average heating to 420 Gt from 2018 onwards. This only corresponds to 8,5 years at current global emissions levels. The UNEP Emissions Gap report concludes that there will need to be 7.6% yearly reductions globally to have a decent chance (67% probability) to keep below 1.5°C by 2100 while still allowing for higher temperatures (overshooting) before that. With no overshooting and less risk acceptance, global reduction rates must be much higher.

For countries with higher capacity and historical responsibility for having caused emissions, the rate of yearly GHG reductions would clearly need to be significantly higher than this global average rate (likely somewhere between 10 and 20% per year), and including scaled-up contributions of climate finance toward mitigation in poorer countries.

The climate crisis is all about what we do now – immediate behavioural and lifestyle changes to reduce consumption, particularly by the rich and powerful; immediate regulations, bans of dirty infrastructure  like coal power stations, standards and policies; immediate planning and investments in renewables, and energy and resource efficiency solutions in all sectors in order to have them play out over coming years and decades to move to 100% renewables, ideally well before 2050. There is no scope for delay.

CAN Statement on the UNGA: A confluence of crises that requires the strongest levels of multilateral cooperation and international solidarity

CAN Statement for UNGA and NY Climate Week

Just Reboot: building social and environmental resilience 

" A confluence of crises that requires the strongest levels of multilateral cooperation and international solidarity"  

September 21, 2020 

This year the UNGA and Climate Week will take place in a very different context. Last year’s UNSG summit saw a dedicated focus to climate change backed by massive public momentum. In contrast, this year’s UN meetings will take place online amidst a historic global pandemic. But the ecological and climate crisis has not abated. In fact, it has become worse with record-breaking climate disasters affecting every part of the world. Added to this, the global economic and social crises, an outcome from the pandemic, has exposed staggering inequalities within and among countries. This is an unprecedented confluence of crises that requires the strongest levels of multilateral cooperation and international solidarity.   

As governments try to solve the massive job losses within their countries and salvage their economies, they must ensure that all post-Covid19 recovery is Just and sustainable. This means that all public spending and public policies through economic stimulus packages must take a long-term view to stop the climate crisis.

However, more than eight months into this pandemic most governments, particularly the richest 20 economies, have actually committed $205 billion to fossil fuel energy compared to $135 billion to clean energy. High-emitting sectors have stood first in the line for bailouts and emergency loans rather than social protection programmes for workers and the most vulnerable in society.  

Climate Action Network* calls on all world leaders, CEOs and decision-makers who gather virtually this week to recognize the interconnections of these multiple crises and use this opportunity to put climate action at the heart of commitments and discussions to secure an inclusive and green future.

CAN joins like-minded organizations in calling for the establishment of a UN Summit on Just and Environmentally Sustainable Global Recovery as early as possible in 2021.

Specifically, we ask that: 

  1. Major emitters step-up and show climate leadership starting by committing to climate ambition and finance in line with principles of equity and fair-shares. Well into 2020, it is noteworthy that vulnerable and developing countries have shown more climate leadership in this regard (i.e. Jamaica, Rwanda).
  2. Governments engage civil society at every stage in the development and implementation of national climate policies geared towards addressing the needs of  the most vulnerable. 
  3. The climate emergency requires ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which must serve as the backbone of economic recovery in the coming years. It is critical that major economies submit their NDCs this year in line with a 1.5C degree pathway and outline how they align with economic recovery packages.  
  4. Record-breaking climate disasters around the world serve as a daily reminder that the poor and marginalized are at the forefront of the climate emergency. Efforts to build resilience and adaptation must be a high priority for governments.  
  5. The international community needs a collaborative process to measure human wellbeing in an adequate way. Gross Domestic Product, while useful in some ways, is biased and narrow. We need to create a functional and science-based indicator for people's well-being.
  6. Rich countries must honour their climate commitments, including by providing their fair share of climate finance to poor countries, including the USD100 billion by 2020.
  7. With rising impacts, Loss & Damage requires urgent and increased political attention and additional finance through specific international mechanisms.
  8. All economic stimulus packages henceforth must be aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the 1.5C degree goal. 
  9. Governments and the private sector should invest in a Just Transition away from the production and use of fossil fuels, embedding this within the investments for the economic recovery plans.
  10. Developing and poor countries deserve a better international fiscal deal. A global agreement on debt relief and cancellation in line with financial solidarity interventions and co-responsibility should be initiated immediately.

We demand that global leaders act in line with science with a human-rights based approach by listening to and prioritising the demands of young people, Indigenous People and local communities.

*About CAN
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1300 civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in over 130 countries working to stop the climate crisis. 


CAN Southeast Asia: Statement to the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) by Civil Society Constituencies in ASEAN Member States

This statement outlines the expectations of civil society constituencies in ASEAN member states of ASEAN Parties to the UNFCCC for the period to COP26 and beyond; it incorporates the voices of vulnerable and marginalised communities on the frontlines who are directly facing the impacts of climate change, including women and indigenous peoples. Please click here for the statement.

CAN Submission: How to improve the Marrakech Partnership for enhancing ambition, July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking place against the backdrop of an ecological crisis. Just like the pandemic, the climate crisis has no borders and will require sustained international efforts and global solidarity.

There are no doubts that capacities and resources are being stretched as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in different regions, but countries still need to act to fulfill the tasks ahead of them in terms of stepping up climate action in the short and long-term. In a context in which global climate meetings are being postponed to protect people's health, it becomes even more critical to have stakeholders and initiatives that act to both ensure that more ambitious climate commitments are made by governments, and that civil society participation and demands pledges aren't left behind in the process.

All actions taken now, whether as part of climate ambition or as part of a COVID-19 response, should reinforce the transformational shift we need for just, fair, equitable, resilient, healthy, inclusive and sustainable societies. The inclusion, support and empowerment of civil society groups and of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities is a fundamental aspect for a just and effective global strategy to address the climate crisis and the other interrelated challenges (e.g. poverty eradication, food security, social and racial justice, and gender equality). In the light of this, the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA)needs to provide space for civil society consultation, partnerships and participation, and should, therefore, constantly work to embrace and stimulate diversity, inclusiveness, and increase in representation, meaningful participation and voice from civil society organisations, in particular in the Global South.

CAN International Policy Manual: Sustainable Policy Responses for the Aviation Sector in the COVID Crisis, June 2020

Until the COVID-19 crisis, aviation was a top-ten global emitter. While there is uncertainty regarding air traffic projections over the next year or longer, the sector’s emissions are still expected to rise dramatically by mid-century under a business-as-usual scenario. Aviation alone could consume one-quarter of the remaining global carbon budget. After decades of climate inaction. Now, many airlines are asking for tens of billions of dollars in public bailout money. If state aid is granted, it should primarily serve to protect impacted workers, to avoid major negative effects on the economy, and to continue strategically important services. Rescue operations for airlines and airports which were struggling financially before the crisis are questionable. A recent study by well-known economists Prof. Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern have rated unconditional airline bailouts as particularly poorly across all economic metrics. This briefing outlines key steps for policy makers if they intend to provide public money for airline bailouts.


CAN Submission: Review of the Doha Work Programme and the Future Work on Action for Climate Empowerment, May 2020

Climate Action Network (CAN) welcomes the opportunity to provide its recommendations for the future work to enhance the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, as well as topics for the workshop to be held during SB52. CAN is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 1300 members in over 120 countries. As its member organizations are involved on a day-to-day basis in activities related to the six thematic areas of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) at the local, national, and international level, CAN reiterates its commitment to support implementation of ACE and to work with state Parties to secure better integration of ACE into climate action.
CAN strongly believes that policy measures covered by Action for Climate Empowerment have the potential to act as catalysts for climate ambition and for a people-centered implementation of the Paris Agreement. CAN urges state Parties to adopt at the COP26 a Work Programme that is fit for purpose so as to foster effectively the implementation of these actions in order to unlock additional ambition and to promote mainstreaming of ACE across other UNFCCC workstreams and constituted bodies.


CAN Position: Fundamentals for Recovery & Economic Stimulus Packages in response to Covid-19, May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents real and immediate risks to people's health and livelihoods. 

We must not respond to this disaster in a way that could put people’s health at greater risk and worsen other crises, notably climate change. This is a transformational moment. The decisions made today will shape our societies and economies for years or decades to come. This is the same window of time we have left to take the necessary action to stem the climate crisis and limit warming to below 1.5ºC. 

The most vulnerable people already gravely impacted by the climate crisis are at risk of being pushed into further uncertainty and poverty. To minimize the harm of COVID-19, protect people, and ensure long term resilience and prosperity, governments’ reactions must be swift, people-centered and in the spirit of solidarity.

That means focusing on helping workers in all affected industries, but avoiding subsidies or bailouts that would keep or increase heavily polluting activities or infrastructure investments that lock in greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come. And it means understanding and addressing the underlying inequalities that make people especially vulnerable to both climate change and COVID-19.



CAN Briefing: Petersberg Dialogue, April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents real and immediate risks to people's health and livelihoods. What is evident from the Covid-19 crisis, and similar to the climate crisis, is the importance of listening to and acting early on scientific evidence. In emerging from this challenge and hardship, going back to business as usual is not an option. Ministershavetheopportunity and duty to increase resilience and build back better: Governments must respond to this disaster in a way that protects people’s health and makes our societies more resilient towards other crises, notably the climate emergency. Ministers must use the                         Petersberg Dialogue to send a clear message to the world: Climate action remains a                             non-negotiable global priority. 


CAN Submission: Inputs to inform the dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation related matters, March 2020

Following decision 1/CP.25, paragraphs 32 and 33, the Climate Action Network welcomes the request to the SBSTA to convene at its 52nd session a dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation-related matters and the invitation to submit inputs to inform the dialogue.
This document consists of two main parts: Part One outlines recommendations for “Modalities and Procedures” with the purpose of shaping the dialogue’s work to be effective, rigorous and relevant; Part Two incorporates a list of themes to be incorporated in the dialogue, building on CAN members’ knowledge and expertise on technical issues related to land and climate change adaptation, leading to actions that seek to maximize its potential to address the crisis.