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.
· 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.