Other Blog Posts

Fasting leaders urge Heads of State to show courage on climate

During the last week prominent fasters representing secular and religious communities all over the world have come together to write letters to Heads of States. They are challenging these Heads of State to demonstrate leadership to tackle climate change at the upcoming UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014. 
 
The letters have been published in various news outlets and on social media. You can download copies of the letters below, please feel free to share with your various networks. For any questions on the letter, please contact ehickson@climatenetwork.org 

New economics report urges leaders to phase out fossil fuels

major new report launched today by economic experts in New York City shows how a swift transition to a low-carbon society will unlock a raft of benefits for communities, businesses and governments while reducing the risks of dangerous climate change. The report from the New Climate Economy is called “Better Growth, Better Climate”, it comprehensively dispels the myth that climate action comes at the cost of people’s living standards and calls on government and business leaders to urgently phase-out fossil fuels.

The message ringing out from every page of this report is that there are no strong arguments left to justify sticking with outdated fossil-fuels. As such, the authors call for all countries to aim for a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuel power generation by 2050. These economic experts call for high-income countries to commit now to end the building of new unabated coal-fired power generation and asks middle-income countries to limit new coal plant construction now and halt new builds by 2025.

The report is based on a year-long study conducted by research institutes the world over, from China, India, the US, Brazil, Korea, Europe and Africa. The findings are being spearheaded by leading names in finance, business and politics who argue they provide compelling evidence that world leaders should urgently ramp up the low-carbon transition to unlock a cleaner, healthier society run on renewable energy which can also limit the impacts of climate change.

The report findings substantiate this argument by showing that as well as reducing climate risk, phasing out fossil fuels and cutting carbon will mean new and better jobs, cleaner air, improved health, lower poverty and more energy security. The economic minds behind the study use the building of climate smart cities as an example. They argue that cities that are better connected and more compact with good public transport links will save the world more than US $3 trillion over the next 15 years and significantly improve quality of life.

New Climate Economy emphasise that the low carbon transition is already well underway. A growing number of successful businesses, cities and countries are actively lowering climate risk, while creating jobs and healthier, happier communities. Thanks to rapid technological innovations and fresh investment in infrastructure unlocking the benefits of climate action is more affordable and feasible than ever, according to the authors.

The report urges government and business leaders to seize the day. Between now and 2030 US$90 trillion will be invested in cities, land use and energy infrastructure around the world and the investment choices made now will shape the future - will locking us into either a low- or a high-carbon society. The authors dismantle the argument that a clean energy future costs more to achieve and they even lay out a neat policy prescription to help leaders along the low-carbon pathway.

These include:

  • integrating climate change into core economic decisions and accelerating the low-carbon transition;

  • a strong, lasting and fair international climate agreement;

  • phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels and agricultural inputs and incentives for urban sprawl;

  • introducing strong, predictable carbon prices;

  • substantially reducing the costs of low-carbon infrastructure investments;

  • scaling up innovation in key low-carbon and climate resilient technologies;

  • making connected and compact cities the preferred form of urban development;

  • stopping deforestation of natural forests by 2030;

  • restoring at least 500 million hectares of lost or degraded forests and agricultural lands by 2030;

  • accelerating the shift away from polluting coal-fired power generation.

This report, dubbed “Stern 2.0”, comes just days before hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets at more than 2,000 events in 150 countries around the world to show their support for a low-carbon transition. This comes also as more than 120 heads of state gather in New York for the UNSG Climate Summit.

The summit is a chance for world leaders to re-engage with climate change at the highest level and pledge the commitments that will speed up the transition away from fossil fuels that is already underway, driven by communities, businesses and investors who see the benefits of a clean energy future. It is a chance for government leaders to begin realising the vision outlined in this report.

Climate change and poverty: why action is needed

A set of Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed next year offer a vital opportunity for the international community to tackle the way that climate change is driving people into poverty, saysa new report.

‘The Right Climate for Development: why the SDGs must act on climate change’ released ahead of the twin UN meetings for Heads of State in New York – the UN Climate Summit on 23 September and the opening of the General Assembly debate on post-2015 development on 24 September 2014.

The work is in response to the latest findings of the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that has warned climate change is a massive threat to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

“Fact is the solution to extreme poverty, climate change and environmental degradation requires an integrated response if we are to get lasting change. Often we find climate change is a common cause but it is how this manifests itself which is key: changes in climate play out through natural resources – the underlying environment that particularly people in poverty most directly depend on” said David Nussbaum, CEO of WWF-UK to representatives of the public, private and NGO sector at the launch of the report in London on 10 September 2014.

The new report, written by Christian Aid, WWF-UK, Greenpeace, Oxfam GB, CAFOD, Practical Action and CARE International, says it is now clearer than ever that without action to tackle climate change, efforts to eradicate poverty will be fruitless.

The greater plight for poor and vulnerable people caused by climate change can be already seen now. They are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, suffering the loss of their homes, jobs and crops, along with ill-health from the spread of disease exacerbated by climate change.

The report says rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as typhoons and floods – all the result of global warming – are claiming lives, destroying or damaging homes and infrastructure, reducing crop yields, and ruining employment prospects.

These impacts will only increase, it warns, if action is not taken to cut carbon emissions and support is not given to communities to adapt to the changes that they are already experiencing.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed to the Millennium Development Goals that expire at the end of 2015, must therefore include a standalone goal on tackling climate change. And they must also commit governments to robust action to support emission cuts and build the resilience of communities affected by climate change.

For developing countries which must not be deprived of the opportunity of progress, the SDGs need to signpost how progress can be achieved without adding carbon emissions. They must be a blue print for low carbon development the world over, encompassing all sectors affected by climate change, including health, agriculture urban development, energy, water access and income generation.

Specifically, the report says, the goals should:

  • Include a standalone goal on climate that will encourage all countries to follow a low carbon development pathway.
  • Take on board that most of the new infrastructure for low or zero-carbon development will need to be built or start development during the SDGs timeframe of up to 2030.
  • Recognise the many benefits increased access to sustainable, affordable, reliable and safe energy will bring to poverty reduction, education, health, women’s empowerment and sustainable livelihoods.
  • A goal already proposed on growth and employment goal should recognise the benefits that low carbon development, particularly investment in renewable energy production and energy efficiency, can have in creating decent employment.
  • And a proposed goal to ‘ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’ needs to address expressly the role that unsustainable consumption and production in richer societies plays in driving climate change.
  • Acknowledge the fact that to decarbonise electricity by up to 100 per cent by 2050, is crucial if temperature rises are to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius.

This blog has been reproduced with the kind permission of WWF International. The original is here: http://climate-energy.blogs.panda.org/2014/09/10/climate-change-poverty-action-needed/

PICAN's key priorities for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Pacific Islands Climate Action Network's key priorities for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  Apia, Samoa. September 1-4, 2014.

1. Stronger action is needed to cut emissions, in line with a global goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C

If we are to have any hope of avoiding the potentially catastrophic impacts of a changing climate, the world needs a strong, binding agreement in 2015.  The international community needs to learn from Small Island Developing States.  We are leading the way, by taking action to reduce emissions today.  All countries must act in accordance with their historical responsibility and respective capabilities. Developed countries must reduce their emissions as soon as possible, and must make far stronger commitments than are currently on the table.

Pacific island communities are already vulnerable to climate-related hazards including droughts, floods and intense cyclones.  Without world-wide action now, island communities will face ever-greater threats from changing rainfall patterns, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, salination and inundation from sea-level rise.  Island communities who grow their own food and rely on resources from the sea are especially vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, has called for world leaders to come together in New York (September 23 2014) with bold new commitments.  Pacific island countries are responding to this call for greater action.  However leaders from all States must use this historic opportunity to inject momentum into international climate negotiations and redouble their efforts to secure a global agreement.  

2. Greater commitment is needed to adaptation financing for Pacific island countries

Pacific Small Island Developing States are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Pacific women, men and young people are strong and resilient.  We are drawing on our own strengths to adapt.  But now it is time for the international community to put its money where its mouth is.  Wealthier nations have to provide adequate, additional and predictable financing to help Pacific communities adapt to a changing climate.  Global funds – such as the Green Climate Fund – must be accessible for Pacific island governments, communities and civil society organisations.  

Pacific island states are leading the world when it comes to integrating climate change adaptation into national and regional development planning.  Island policymakers have developed a regional Strategy for Climate and Disaster Resilient Development.  Integrating adaptation into existing planning, particularly around disaster risk reduction, helps to address the underlying causes of disaster and climate risk. However countries responsible for our changing climate must provide additional financing for climate change adaptation in Pacific island countries.  

Because many island communities are reliant on local natural resources, they are especially vulnerable to natural disasters and the slow-onset changes wrought by climate change. More support should be allocated to community-based adaptation measures.  Recent experience in the Pacific indicates that civil society organisations working together – in coordination with national governments – can implement effective community-based adaptation measures.  Adaptation programs must address the unique challenges faced by all community members.  Women and young people in particular have experience and skills that can contribute to adaptation solutions, but they are too often excluded from decision-making.  

 

3. Carbon emitters need to take responsibility for unavoidable ‘loss and damage’ in Pacific island states

Pacific Small Island Developing States are not responsible for global climate change, yet we will bear the greatest impacts wrought by a changing climate.  Even if drastic action is taken now to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Pacific island countries are still likely to experience significant losses, and permanent damage associated with climate change.   Countries responsible for emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere must address the impacts of their pollution. Toward that end, loss and damage mechanisms must be anchored in the text of a global agreement to tackle climate change.

 

 4. Governments need to ensure the human dignity of those affected by climate change  

Without action now to avoid drastic changes to our global climate, many island communities will face new threats that will undermine their food and water security.  Coastal communities are very likely to experience stronger storm surges, increased erosion and inundation as sea levels rise. Salination is likely to compromise groundwater resources for some atoll communities. Changing rainfall patterns will impact on coastal and inland communities, with the potential to undermine agricultural practices that have provided sustainable livelihoods for countless generations.  For some communities, the effects of a changing climate may even make their homes uninhabitable. Governments must develop strategies to protect the rights and dignity of Pacific women, men and young people who will be adversely affected by a changing climate.  Particular attention must be given to those who will be temporarily displaced, or forced to resettle elsewhere.

For Media Enquiries please contact:

PICAN convenor Shirley Laban: +685 7297617; Pacific Conference of Churches climate campaign officer Peter Emberson +685 7291464. 

Both Shirley Laban and Peter Emberson are available for interview

Vale Gaines Morrow Campbell III

The climate movement has lost one of its brightest lights. 

Gaines Morrow Campbell III, co-chair of the Climate Action Network-International Board of Directors for five years, passed away on the Fourth of May, 2014, in Brazil after a lengthy illness. 

Gaines was a long-time climate change specialist at Brazilian NGO Vitae Civilis.  Originally from Philadelphia, in the US, Gaines lived in Brazil for over 30 years. He was an oceanographer and conducted some of the first research around thermal reversal of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic in winter, while at the Physical Oceanography Department at Woods Hole Oceangraphic Institution. He lectured on environment and sustainable development issues. 

He campaigned long and hard on environment and development issues, both in Brazil and internationally.  As well as attending almost every UNFCCC session in recent times, he worked with GT Climate FBOMS, Esquel Brazil Foundation, the ANAP - Headwaters Association of Pure Waters (Juquitiba), and the Rotary Club of Juquitiba. He also coordinated  many local boards and committees in Brazil, including a three-term stint as Vice-President of the Ribeira and South Coast Watershed Committee (Bacia Hidrográfica do Ribeira de Iguape e Litoral Sul).

Climate Action Network sends its condolences to Gaines' family and friends throughout the world. We know you are now at rest in a garden as beautiful as your own. 

 

Please feel free to leave your reflections, memories and tributes to Gaines in a comment below. Comments will be manually approved to guard against spam. 

 

 

Side Event Report: Risks and opportunities of different scenarios for integrating climate change into post-2015

Side Event Report: Risks and opportunities of different scenarios for integrating climate change into post-2015
 
Hosted by: CAFOD, CAN International, Beyond2015, UN Millennium Campaign
9 January, 2014

 
French Development Minister—lead UNFCCC negotiator, Pascal Canfin
·      Top priority of the French now because hosting COP21 in Paris in 2015

·      Want to set a positive mood for success in Paris on climate

·      Don’t want to export all the problems and obstacles that are still unsolved in the COP process to the SDG discussion—otherwise counterproductive

·      Discussing SDGs and a new development pattern without discussing climate change is nonsense a

·      At the beginning of the century for the World Bank climate change wasn’t an issue—the issue was how to fight poverty and climate change was out of the scope.  Now they launched a report and 4 degree warming – main threats on food security and other issues is climate change

·      2 dangers in the process-the first is to duplicate and export the UNFCCC problems

·      second danger is to forget about climate in the SDGs

·      Do we want an SDG on climate? French view—the only agreement that we have on climate so far is to keep global warming under 2 degree warming.  If we are able to take this on board and not to open how to make this happen, why not have an objective on climate?

·      If we have a proper objective on climate, which is 2 degree target, there will be targets and indicators on which there is no agreement.  If we go down this line, we are going to export the issues of the UNFCCC

·      The best option: the climate objective of 2 degree in the broad vision of the whole purpose of the SDG process and to see taking this into account what odes it mean to have a world of below 2 degrees warming in terms of transportation, agriculture, urbanization, etc—using the SDG process that gives substance to things outside of the COP process.  Using the complementarity of the process more than the overlapping areas

·      SDG process objective by objective would focus on how to implement the 2 degree objective in terms of cities, agriculture, transportation, energy etc

 
Ronald Jumeau, Climate change Amb to Seychelles

·      Cannot be a successful post-2015 agenda and set of SDGs without successfully tackling climate change

·      A weak climate agreement in 2015 will cripple if not doom attempts to have a truly effective post-2015 framework

·      The SDGs and agenda won’t mean a thing if the SIDS aren’t even around to benefit from them or achieve them

·      There cannot be sustainable development without survival and there can’t be survival without tackling climate change

·      How do we do this without being accused of encroaching on the UNFCCC negotiations?

·      It’s understandable for the people in the post-2015 process to be wary of how climate change can be included in the agenda because of the UNFCCC political issues

·      AOSIS feels that they can’t place all the hopes in the formal negotiations as of now—informal alliance with LDCs on this.  So the climate agreement in 2015 won’t be ambitious enough so there has to be some thinking outside the silos

·      Climate change conference in Durban – approached negotiating partners outside of the formal negotiations to see what countries can do before 2020 to increase mitigation ambition and take urgent and effective action outside of the negotiations themselves? To increase what countries are already doing?

·      No formal obligation to adopt negotiation pledges there already exists a range of policies and technologies that countries are using cost-effectively to reduce emissions – many actions have benefits for adaptation, reducing pollution, fiscal stability and competitiveness etc.  If we can scale up these actions it can help increase ambition in the negotiations

·      Can’t you translate these actions into the formal agreements?

·      Energy—large emissions from fossil fuels –every country in the world seems to have embarked on or a plan/strategy for renewable energy as part of national and collective actions to tackle climate change.

·      Found a willingness with negotiating partners to see how countries can help each other enhance and replicate what countries are already doing or willing to do in transportation, energy, buildings etc

·      We are not waiting for a climate agreement to take action, we are acting now but we need help doing it (MOI). So if we tackle these MOI issues now, it will help the negotiations later. 

·      Would bring in civil society/academia/private and public sector—opens a door for governors and mayors

·      Danger of bringing in the attitudes from the other negotiations into the post-2015 process, but even major emitters which are reluctant to make or increase commitments under the formal process, even they wanted to talk about this.

·      Warsaw decided to accelerate this initiative by launching a technical process on how this could be done. In the UNFCCC process—they are looking at it from a sustainable development angle.

·      Not a question of if it should be done but it should be done.  But how do we do it? Based on AOSIS’ experience on getting people to think outside the siloes. 

 
Olav Kjørven—Special Adviser to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
·      Strongly agree with Minister when made the point that it is naïve to think that the things that can’t be resolved in the UNFCCC process can be solved in another when many of the same people show up

·      Lots of scope for significant synergy when we go beyond looking at the UNFCCC process in a narrow sense (Workstream 2 in the ADP)

·      Option 4 in the options paper: (based on science), is probably not realistic at this point.  What should it look like if scientific knowledge were to reign supreme. We need to work further on option 4, not because it’s necessarily realistic, but we need to strive for this.

·      Option 3 is interesting to discuss because with the mainstreaming (option 1) and this, it could help things progress – build flexibility in the UNFCCC framework with a placeholder approach

·      Critical to frame the climate related goal language in developmental terms (has to be a about dev and reducing poverty and increasing good conditions for people all over the world)—none of the proposals have so far done this

·      Have to force ourselves to think more about where we want to be in 2030 than where we are now in terms of political realities.

·      Post-2015 agenda really is about where we want to be in 2030 and long term

 
Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN International:
·      In November OWG session on energy—had a side event for this paper and there was a lot of skepticism, but this week there is more positive energy for the paper and how climate change should be reflected – should really look at this and realize that political will does change

·      Having climate change part of the development agenda is key

·      Ministries of Environment are often in charge of climate change and it doesn’t become very high on the agendas, because it’s not development in that regard.  Having part of the development movement moves it higher up the agenda

·      Want to continue working on a new draft of the paper based on the discussions this week and hopefully finalize a new draft in the next month or so

·      The narrative option is not enough—basically only having climate change in the narrative.  Important to have it in the narrative but not enough.  Helps it not just be an environmental issue to redefine it as a developmental issue

·      Option 1: climate proofing of goals—address climate change in the goals.  What we already sort of have consensus on because most people agree that we cannot have goals without addressing their sustainability and climate change.  Urbanization goal has to address CO2 and GHG emissions.  Lowest common denominator

·      Options 2 -4 for a climate goal. 

·      Options 3: using existing agreements for a goal—keeping 2 degrees warming that’s already been agreed upon by UNFCCC.  Problem with this goal is that the Summit for post-2015 is 7 weeks before COP21 so whatever ends up in the SDGs might not be relevant depending on what comes out of Paris. 

·      Option 4: most ambitious and based on science –provides increased momentum

·      Civil society is looking at a phaseout of GHG emissions goal—doesn’t have to be a year, but a goal provides a vision of how we want society to look like. Includes elements of what the OWG Co-Chairs said about not being threatening etc. How we want to develop towards a future.

 
Frederick D’Souza, Caritas India Director:
·      Different views of climate change – some people believe it’s normal, some believe it’s caused from only natural disasters, and some believe it’s from humans

·      In India see the impacts of climate change

·      For all our needs there is enough—development should be based on a need, not greed. 

 
 
Discussion
·      No risk of losing binding commitments

·      Governments have to come to the UNFCCC and say their positions and try to reach agreement—mandated by the UN that they have to meet and have a legally binding commitment.  Phase-out would be voluntary and a vision and would provide room for growth

·      Planetary boundaries—one is the climate and CO2 but so many issues and not sure that putting them all together would be helpful.  Ex. Oceans, climate and other ones are so interlinked and if climate change alone is creating all this discussion, it would be even worse if you lumped them together

·      SIDS are always out there pushing the envelope and if there’s a way to get away with it, this is out.  AOSIS has never been shy about this stuff.

·      The reason SIDS are pushing the workstream 2 and things outside the formal process is to get stuff done and countries to commit to things in the parallel process and show that they’re already doing it.

Event Invitation: Thinking outside the silos - different scenarios of integrating climate change into post-2015

Thinking outside the silos: different scenarios of integrating climate change into post-2015

Date: 9 January 2014

Time: 1.15-2.30 pm

Location: Conference Room E, UN HQ, New York

This side event during the 7th session of the Open Working Group on SDGs will investigate different options of integrating climate change into the post-2015 framework.

Climate change is an existential threat that will continue to disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable people and places, impacting negatively on those least responsible for the climate crisis. Without addressing the causes
of climate change and all its impacts, comprehensively, goals on eradicating poverty will be ineffective, even in short term, and fail to ensure sustainable development.

During this side event, the panellists will discuss the risks and opportunities of different scenarios for integrating climate change and how this can impact on other UN processes, including the UNFCCC process. A newly published paper
put together with the support of Beyond 2015 and CAN-International, two major global NGO networks involved in climate change and post-2015, will serve as the basis for the discussion. The panel will be followed by questions and
answers from the floor.

Panel
- Pascal Canfin, Minister for Development, France
- Ronald Jean Jumeau, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic Seychelles to the United Nations
- Olav Kjorven, Special Adviser on post-2015, UNDP (TBC)
- Frederick D’Souza, Director, Caritas India
- Wael Hmaidan, Director, CAN-I

Chair
Corinne Woods, Director, UN MC

This event is supported by the Government of France

Contact: Bernadette Fischler, CAFOD, bfischler@cafod.org.uk

Increase your AMBITION, not your EMISSION

Henriette Imelda
Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

As COP 19 ended, I have to admit that it does not deliver the things that I would expect it to. Some say I probably have more expectations than the others. I have so much faith on the ADP track, as since it was first launched in Durban, I see quite some progress on the process. But then again, the result of the ADP in COP 19 does not really fulfill my expectations, where I’m expecting more clarity on a pathway to increase the ambition in pre-2020 period. The fact is, there is nothing promising in the text; at least not to increase the ambition, but rather it opens more opportunity to increase emission.

The most interesting part is as ADP open-ended consultations were (supposedly) always open for the observers, the fact was all the meetings became partially closed. Partially closed means that the open-ended meetings suddenly closed to observers because of the room capacity. I have never in my life been attending a COP where observers have to stand in line, waiting for their turn to be in an open-ended consultation. Where’s the room for NGO participation then? Probably some Parties just don’t want to be awarded fossil.

Although the results were not as I expected, I still have belief in this multilateral process; that it would finally come up with ambitious and concrete activities that could safeguard the world from the destructions caused by climate change. The current available multilateral process such as the UNFCCC is the only media for the whole countries in the world, to together sit and reflect, to achieve one goal; the ultimate goal of the Convention.

Now that Parties have gone back to their own countries, the battle would be in the domestic work. For developed countries, how to convince the domestic government to put more pledges in terms of finance and emission reductions, despite of the economic crisis or domestic politics that seem not in favor of such ambitious actions (at least this was their greatest worry and excuse of not putting any pledge). But, having concrete actions today, would result in a lower cost of actions for tomorrow, rather than to do that in the next years. Increasing the use of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency measures domestically will be one good and feasible choice to be done by developed countries at this point. Or reforming the existing production side of fossil fuel subsidies, will be a great example. Not only that the money can be used for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy activities to be conducted, but by reforming the fossil fuel subsidies will give more favor to energy efficiency measures as well as the renewable energy activities. Having said that, this will cause emission reductions.

For developing countries, there are so many things that need to be done domestically. Ensuring that there are healthy environment which enables all climate change related activities to be conducted, will be the most important one. Getting the domestic policies to be mainstreamed with the issue of climate change will be one big homework for developing countries.

COP 19 may be over; but the real homework lies in each individual countries. Winning the heart of parliament at home for instance, to get a positive political mandate from the government in the international fora, is definitely the greatest battle of all. But that’s where the ambition should start from; from the political will to achieve the ultimate goal of the Convention, with developed countries as the leading Parties just like what the Convention states.

Related Member Organization: 

Like being in a bandit’s nest!

Ange David Baimey 
Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environnement Cote d'Ivoire

One wouldn’t be able to deny it anymore, common sense in the international climate negotiations is like kindness in a bandit’s nest. Or how else is it possible to understand that, at a time when Somalia suffered from extreme events and when the Philippines continued to count their many losses, the developed countries and some countries in transitions continued to ignore the never-ending calls from people in danger?

Bad faith is growing within the climate negotiations!

The strategic and economic interests prevail over the lives of people from Nepal, Nigeria or Tanzania, and the desire to not change anything becomes the norm as COPs come and go.

Some (and I’m not one of them) saw the COP in Warsaw just as a step without anything major at stake. A “transition COP” as some said! A warm-up before the big game!

A moment of test, a moment where the developed countries would make a bitter face to dissuade developing countries to raise the bar of their demands and voice stronger recriminations. A step where, from the very first moments, developing countries had to be rebuked in their demands for equity that were seen as a one-way street, and thus as a threat for already meager finances, depleted by economic crises and recessions.

A negotiation strategy that proved to be successful for big emitters, a masterstroke that event left many actors at the end of the Warsaw COP with a feeling of success, when it really was a big failure that opens the door to further failures in Lima and in Le Bourget in 2015.

In fact, this is simple to read and already the picture is getting clearer because, if all the fundaments and principles of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are questioned, and if the IPCC’s message continues to fall on deaf ears, what else should we expect other than a bis repetita!

All these “déjà vus” continue to endanger the life of over 1 million Africans, to widen already huge gaps and to increase inequalities and social injustice. This lack of will, this this lack of lucidity, this bad faith unfortunately continue to be a shared perspective within the negotiations!

“When will this cycle of endless speeches and discussions end?” I was asked by a woman in a rural community when I came back from Warsaw. My silence was perceived as a wordless expression of my helplessness.

When indeed will the battle for economics, geopolitics and security interests end? When will 195 parties be able to find an agreement that goes beyond their differences in interests?

A Togolese friend told me during the Warsaw COP that according to a say in his village, when one puts calabashes on a stream, they end up touching each other, and then colliding with each other. This means that if 2 entities have to co-exist in a defined space, they will necessarily encounter clashes or conflicts in the course of that co-existence. But the most important thing is to make sure that this co-existence does not lead them to destruction.

This is the great story of multilateralism that we need to save at any cost to not allow all sorts of abuses to prosper and to threaten a peaceful coexistence.

 

Related Member Organization: 

In the search for positiveness

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera
Climate Action Network Latin America (CANLA)

While the final COP plenary was moving ahead with weak outcomes, many parties were leaving the room, and only counterproductive voices were making echo in the room.

Some Latin American countries, those with proactive intentions, those who see a future where everyone takes responsibility within their respective capabilities, were almost silent compared to those who tried to undermine the result of the last part of ADP and later the COP plenary itself.

It is sad to see countries not moving forward, throwing the towel (like we say in my home country). Delegates were definitely tired, we understand that. But CAN has always supported positive actions. We support action for a climate resilient world and that happens only if the ones who care about solid solutions are vocal.

Those Latin American countries who are taking responsibility must use that "moral" right to speak up. Leading by example, leading initiatives, no matter how small the economy is, how small the country itself is. It can always set the tone of conversations.

We keep listening about how weak the ambition is, how low the targets are. And I personally like to ask the innocent question, just like a kid would do: What is there to lose? Why don't you just speak up?

The final plenary had some important moments, some encouraging and some discouraging. That final plenary which started with chants encouraging delegates to give the last effort to the end to win the match of global deals.

There is nothing to lose in the match for a safer future, if others do not join, countries can do it domestically and in the end once we get international agreements, the ones that have done their homework would be ahead in the race to the future, in the race to the better, sustainable  world that we all want. 

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