UN climate talks flounder on key issues: common time frames, finance for loss and damage and human rights in carbon market rules

7 December 2019

07 December 2019, Madrid Spain: As the first week of the COP25 UN climate talks wraps up, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing today to highlight key issues where the negotiations are stuck- on ambition and common time frames, loss and damage, and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets mechanism.

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor (Climate, Biodiversity, and Ocean), Greenpeace East Asia:

“We arrived here in Madrid with clear climate science and climate impacts around the world. A typhoon hit the Philippines creating huge losses and damage for some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Last night we had a historical march here around the streets of Madrid which demonstrated that the climate emergency did not go unnoticed by the people on the streets. COP25 needs to deliver a clear and strong signal that demonstrates that there is political resolve that would bridge the profound ambition gap in front of us. 

One technical issue we are having difficulties with for the past week is the issue of common timeframes. It is closely linked to ambition and deals with how long NDC commitment should be – it is one of the very few unresolved issues in the Paris Agreement rulebook. CAN is advocating for a single 5-year commitment period, to reflect the latest climate science and avoid locking in low ambition and work in a synchronized manner with the Paris Agreement ratchet mechanism. Country blocs such as AOSIS, Least Developed Countries and the African group support this position, and this is a fairly straightforward issue at the COP.  We are disappointed by the lack of progress that we observed in the room. We note the lack of position with the EU which is one of the primary reasons that we are not able to make progress over the past few days.”


Sadie DeCoste, Climate Action Network Working Group Coordinator, Loss and Damage:

“On loss and damage, yesterday we saw a draft decision text which countries will use to deliberate and reach a decision on what should be done to improve the Warsaw International Mechanism’s work on loss and damage. As far as developing countries positions, we’ve seen a strong call from a great majority of developing countries for finance to deal with the impacts of loss and damage. For countries such as the Bahamas, hurricane Dorian caused substantial loss and damage from months ago, neither finance for adaptation nor insurance or private sector support can do nearly enough to deal with the scale of the climate-induced catastrophe. Yet, developed countries have not appeared to support the call for specific new finance to address loss and damage, they prefer to talk about better collaborating with existing stakeholders. This is despite the fact that their lack of progress on reducing emissions has caused an increase in severe climate impacts like hurricane Dorian.

AOSIS and other developing countries are calling for finance for loss and damage on the top of their agenda in the negotiations, some developed countries recognize that but they need to step up and meet that challenge.”


Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Climate & Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law: 

“On Article 6, we have seen a week of highly technical negotiations and there have been some technical progress on streaming the Article 6 text which is expected to come out today and be discussed. All the contentious issues and potentially harmful policies that risk undermining the Paris Agreement are in the text.

It's the responsibility of all the countries in the room and the Chilean Presidency to really make sure to not just agree on rules for Article 6. They need to agree on good rules that will help ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement, both the environmental integrity and the social integrity, and that it results in an overall reduction of emissions.

We are seeing signs of some language on human rights being obliterated from Article 6 by India China the Arab group and to some extent Brazil. This is a red line and there can be no carbon market rules without social safeguards.” 


#### ENDS ####


Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN




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