CAN Intervention – COP 12 – 7, Nov, 2006
Time is of the essence. The scientists who first brought the issue of climate change to our attention are beginning to show signs of panic. This issue is running away from us, and as you have seen in this workshop, we simply have no time left to dither and delay. The impacts of climate change will get much worse unless urgent action is taken, and taken quickly. For many regions, the scale of unavoidable changes in the next few decades will likely exceed the limits of adaptation possibilities. If we do not act now, what is unavoidable will likely become catastrophic.
CAN – AWG intervention CMP2
7 Nov 06
On behalf of the Climate Action Network, thank you Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to provide input to this important discussion.
Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen.
Time is of the essence.
The scientists who first brought the issue of climate change to our attention are beginning to show signs of panic. This issue is running away from us, and as you have seen in this workshop, we simply have no time left to dither and delay. The impacts of climate change will get much worse unless urgent action is taken, and taken quickly. For many regions, the scale of unavoidable changes in the next few decades will likely exceed the limits of adaptation possibilities. If we do not act now, what is unavoidable will likely become catastrophic.
Before us now is the challenge of agreeing to emission cuts commensurate with the threat of global climate change. If we are to avoid dangerous climate change, we need keep average global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, global emissions will need to peak well before the end of the next decade, and decline thereafter. This means that industrialized countries will need to reduce their emissions by at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020. As the Stern review shows, the damages associated with climate impacts are orders of magnitude greater than the costs of mitigation. Any delay significantly raises the costs of both.
Parties must recognize that an analysis of global emissions pathways, with reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the issue of cumulative emissions, are essential to the deliberations on commitments beyond 2012.
It must also be said that the current lack of demonstrable progress of some countries tends to undermine faith in this process. There is a clear need for Annex 1 to show leadership. Those whose good faith is no longer clear – and we name Canada here, as its present government has walked away from its Kyoto obligations – must revisit their positions for the common good of humanity and the planet. Those who seek to lead must do so: the time has come for the European Union to come out into the open and talk the talk and walk the walk, and do this well before Finnish Saunas become a place to go and cool down from the mid summer heat…
To establish a sound scientific basis for these negotiations, CAN is seeking intensive one-year analysis phases under both Article 3.9 and Article 9. We know that the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group must be connected to work on the Article 9 review, which should include exploring and elaborating the obvious links between the two processes. And we have read the submissions and know that some do not want any Article 9 review at all; or if there is one, it should be a moment in time, with a further date to be set, perhaps once the irreversible has taken place.
In CAN’s opinion, the Chair’s list is a good, comprehensive assessment of the issues that need to be discussed as part of the post 2012 process. The necessary science is already in the literature and can readily inform this analysis. It is, therefore, not necessary to wait for the publication of the final version of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment.
The analysis phase must set the stage for the agreement of a negotiating mandate for a comprehensive post-2012 agreement at COP/MOP 3 in 2007. The outcomes of the Dialogue must also inform this mandate. The negotiations should result in a single coherent agreement to be agreed in 2008, with commitments adequate to address the enormity of the climate challenge. This end date is needed in order to avoid a gap in commitment periods.
Finally this meeting should adopt an ambitious work plan, in accordance with the scale and the urgency of the threat of climate change to people and the planet, which lays the groundwork for deeper, absolute binding emission reduction targets for Annex I countries. In 2007 Annex I Parties should come prepared and put numbers for such targets on the table.
Thank you Mr. Chairman