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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Following decision 1/CP.25, paragraphs 31 and 33, the Climate Action Network welcomes the request to the SBSTA to convene at its 52nd session a dialogue on the relationship between oceans and climate change and the invitation to submit inputs to inform the dialogue.
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on the planet and the most important carbon sink1. Its waters provide food and livelihoods for a significant percentage of the world's population, making it a key factor in enabling millions if not billions to adapt to climate change. The findings of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) clearly highlight how the climate crisis is impacting the ocean and reducing its ability to mitigate climate impacts and to provide the ecosystem services required for humans to successfully adapt to climate change. But despite the ocean's importance in solving the climate crisis, the ocean has largely been ignored during climate discussions. The upcoming dialogue has the potential to reverse this trend and for the importance of oceans in climate action to be fully recognised.
We must urgently address the climate emergency and bring the world in line with a 1.5-degree Celsius pathway through ambitious and just climate action. However, the undue influence of industries who’s profit-making depends on activities that harm the climate, pose a major obstacle in advancing climate ambition. In direct contravention of the mandates of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the fossil fuel, big forestry and agribusiness industries, amongst others, drive the use and expansion of emissions-intensive products. They use their accreditation and access to the UNFCCC processes to distract from the level of ambition needed and advance proposals that instead of bringing us fully in line with the goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement and UNFCCC, protect their profits above all and serve their private interests. They also block progress, fund climate denial, muddy political narratives and question scientific consensus on climate change publicly.
The UNFCCC has yet to address the issue of conflicts of interest in regards to the role of engagement with non-Party stakeholders. It is in the UNFCCC’s interest to ensure that strong policies that address and manage the risk for conflicts of interest and draw on best practice is put in place. Agreeing on a process to address these issues is an essential step towards ratcheting up ambition in line with what is necessary to achieve the Convention’s objectives.
In light of the above, Climate Action Network (CAN) recommends that the UNFCCC should:
- Adopt an appropriate definition of ‘conflict of interest’, and a rigorous conflict of interest framework that
- prevents entities with private interests from unduly influencing or undermining national and international climate policy;
- strengthens the procedures for admission of observers within the UNFCCC and its instruments; and
- draws on established international precedent in a manner that is appropriate for the UNFCCC context.
- In the absence of a process to develop policies to address conflicts of interest and to not undermine the objectives of the UNFCCC any further, the UNFCCC should stop inviting industry trade associations and other entities which represent and/or are beholden to the interests of polluting industries to present their views during the UNFCCC negotiation process, workshops or other events.
2020 is a decisive year - it marks the start of a decade of climate ambition and it starts now. We need to focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the closing of the emissions gap. This is what your citizens are asking you to do and assess you against at the end of this year. The 18th Informal Meeting on Further Actions Against Climate Change is a first moment to respond to that unprecedented urgency. and must be used as a moment to send strong and credible signals that countries are committed to delivering enhanced, transformative, just and fair NDCs.
Climate Action Network prepared this briefing outlining expectations for 2020 with the intention of supporting parties at this Meeting and expects countries to discuss and send clear signals for how they will increase their national climate targets by COP26; implement a robust climate agenda in line with the long term goals of the Paris Agreement; and develop a resilience framework responding to the needs of the most vulnerable countries.
CAN has followed these climate negotiations since they started in 1991 and never before witnessed such a disconnection between what the science and the people demand and what governments are delivering. We witness an almost complete absence of ambition and urgency from all large emitters. And then to hear that one country blocked language on addressing these gaps is obnoxious. The arrogance to block progress while leaving the Paris Agreement is treacherous.
Furthermore, this COP has failed to provide new and additional finance to support those people suffering from climate-induced loss and damage and the increasingly dramatic impacts of the climate crisis.
On rules for Article 6, Climate Action Network applauds all those who stood strong on environmental integrity and social safeguards, including human rights and indigenous peoples rights. However, we are gravely concerned by the exclusion of vulnerable countries from key negotiations and call on future presidencies to ensure full inclusiveness.
But as governments screw up, people rise up. COP25 has not delivered, but we will return stronger in 2020 - we will rise and unleash unprecedented movements if governments keep failing the people and the planet. We are closing ranks with the unions, the climate justice movements, the indigenous peoples, faith communities and the youth.
This COP has failed the people and the planet. People power, climate justice!