CAN Submission for the First Input Phase of the Global Stocktake

CAN, as a UNFCCC constituency, has the mandate and legitimacy to fully participate in the Global Stocktake (GST). Civil society plays an integral role in not only identifying the challenges but providing the solutions, but also represents those facing the lived reality and experiences of climate change. Testimonies and stories throughout this submission will show how local communities, Indigenous Peoples, women in all their diversity, children and citizens are facing climate change and already implementing solutions at their local level, ensuring the GST hears and considers these perspectives.

To ensure an effective, inclusive, and comprehensive global stocktake, this submission focuses on four key issues which are particular priorities for CAN-International. By shining a spotlight on these under-addressed topics, this submission intends to raise their profile in the GST and encourage technical dialogues to further reflect on these. All relevant resources are available in the final Resources section.

Executive Summary

Despite progress made to date, there remain immense gaps to fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement. Global CO2 emissions must at least halve this decade from 2019 levels to limit warming to 1.5ºC accompanied by significant emissions reductions of other GHG. Yet, even with the 2030 NDCs submitted by last year, emissions are projected to be approximately double from 2010 by 2030 as required for 1.5°C. 

At the same time, rapidly worsening climate impacts everywhere are proof that we have entered the era of rapidly intensifying loss and damage (L&D). Total adaptation finance in 2019 only amounted to US$ 20.1 billion, and yet adaptation costs in developing countries are expected to reach $500 billion (£363bn) by 2050. 

An order of magnitude greater in public and private finance is required to unlock the pace and scale of action demanded by the climate crisis (at least an eightfold increase to meet the estimated $5 trillion needed annually by 2030), not least with respect to the continued under-delivery against the $100bn climate finance commitment. These represent investments that benefit biodiversity, air quality, living conditions and are lower than external costs of fossil fuels of almost $US 6 trillion per year.

The Global Stocktake is the core of the Paris Agreement’s ambition mechanism. It should drive ambition on all three Paris goals and reflect on their state of affairs, but must also seek to identify ways to address existing gaps for reaching the Paris goals. In doing so, considerations of equity, social and gender justice, intergenerational justice, the protection and promotion of human rights, just transition, and environmental integrity should be at the front of mind. Successful climate action prioritises the needs of the most vulnerable, and holds those who caused climate change accountable. It positively contributes to sustainable development, and to the reduction of both poverty and inequality, whilst addressing the nature crisis, protecting ecosystems and biodiversity. Ambitious action on sustainable climate change solutions in line with the Paris Agreement will not only reduce health impacts, but offers health co-benefits including cleaner air, healthier diets and improved physical activity. To achieve this, fossil fuels must be phased-out fast, while dangerous, harmful and questionable climate solutions should be avoided such as nuclear power, geoengineering, and unsustainable biomass use.

This is how CAN International sees the GST as a improvements and solutions provider on the following topics that are still facing challenges to be fully covered and implemented in climate policies and strategies:

On loss and damage

  • The GST can scope capacity gaps to help countries mobilise efforts to address L&D.
  • The GST should include a holistic assessment of information on all contributing factors to L&D. It must be reported as an outcome indicator for the Paris Agreement and could be established quickly using existing global risk databases
  • Ensure coordination between UNFCCC, UNDRR and the SDGs. The Sendai Framework Monitor and progress on delivering the SDGs can inform the GST by highlighting data gaps and needs.
  • The GST must link with the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD) to monitor the effective delivery of technical assistance by the SNLD.

On the phase-out of fossil fuels

  • COP26 called for the phasedown of unabated coal and the phaseout of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The GST should assess the trajectory, measurement and definitional credibility of the language in this paragraph. In addition, the GST could offer clarity in communication and reporting modalities such as NDCs.
  • International bunker fuels burned in maritime shipping and air transport emissions should be included in the GST.
  • The GST is also the best opportunity to showcase the alternatives to fossil fuels, such as renewable energy or energy efficiency and conservation.

On the protection of natural ecosystems to stay within 1.5°C warming

  • The GST is an opportunity to assess progress on the implementation of the Paris Agreement’s ecosystems provisions, and to identify the risks, damages and perverse incentives for biodiversity and natural ecosystems associated with current mitigation efforts, rules and definitions in the UNFCCC.
  • Current GST proposals do not consider an assessment of Parties’ progress in implementing Article 5 of the Paris Agreement and this urgently needs to be included, as mandated by 19/CMA.1 paragraph 26(a).
  • It is crucial that the GST assess the adequacy, loopholes and perverse incentives arising from accounting and rules in the LULUCF sector – including the magnitude of unaccounted emissions – and suggest ways for Parties to overcome them.
  • The GST must assess the extent to which Parties are aligning climate and biodiversity action, as well as highlight the key knowledge and policy gaps that are needed for coherent and integrated near and long-term planning.

On the consideration of human rights protection and public participation in the construction and implementation of NDCs

  • The GST is an important instrument to recenter our collective understanding of the role that human rights and social inclusion principles should play at the core of effective climate action.
  • In addition to the principles of equity and best available science, the GST should therefore review climate action in light of human rights and broader social principles, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples, public participation, gender equality etc.
  • The GST can’t be an equitable process if it is not inclusive: Indigenous People, women, youth and other populations should be represented at every step.

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Download file: http://CAN-GST-Submission_February-2022.pdf

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