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CAN Position: Implications of 1.5C & Zero-Carbon Goal by 2050 on Public Finance Institutions, June 2017

Key Message and Recommendations

Under the Paris Agreement, 196 countries agreed to align financial flows with a pathway towards low-GHG, climate-resilient development. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda aim for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and infrastructure by 2030. This CAN position paper outlines the role of public finance institutions (PFIs) such as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in supporting countries in the zero-carbon, climate-resilient transition. The paper urges that:

  • Public finance must be transformational, catalytic, inclusive and responsive;
  • PFIs must apply precautionary principles in assessing the climate and development impacts of their policies and projects avoiding harm to people, nature and economy;
  • PFIs must provide policy, technical and financial support to help countries transform their energy sectors to sustainable, efficient systems that prioritise energy access;
  • PFIs must cease by 2020 direct, indirect, ancillary infrastructure and policy support for upstream and downstream fossil fuels, GHG-intensive projects, nuclear, large bioenergy and hydropower when more cost-effective and less damaging alternatives exist;All PFI investments must meet strict environmental and social development criteria and be assessed through a pro-poor, inclusive, climate-resilient and gender-responsive lens;
  • All PFIs, beginning with OECD countries in 2017, should report annually on their progress in scaling back support for fossil fuel-related transactions.

This paper identifies a number of opportunities for PFIs:

  • MDB country strategy revision processes provide an opportunity to integrate Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies (LTS) for zero-carbon development under the Paris Agreement;
  • Policy reforms lending can be strategically influential to usher in urgently-required energy and infrastructure sector policy reforms;
  • Strengthening oversight over their financial intermediaries’ compliance with environmental and social frameworks, as well as gender and energy policy provisions would significantly reduce impacts on ecosystems and society by PFIs;
  • The results framework for PFI energy investments could incorporate outcome indicators for alignment with the 1.5°C goal and the 2030 Agenda SDGs;
  • All PFIs should initiate reports to present pathways for their operations to contribute to sustainable energy and development commitments of their stakeholder governments.

CAN calls on all PFIs to produce pathways to 1.5°C and Agenda 2030 for their respective operations by 2020 based on a synthesis of scientific advice and an assessment of social and economic development needs.

Note: This position paper is supported by more detailed analysis in a companion document.

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G20 Issue Brief: Long-term Strategies, February 2017

The Paris Agreement calls for countries to formulate long-term low-GHG emission development strategies, in line with pursuing efforts to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5ºC. With the 2016 adoption of Agenda 2030, countries are also beginning to implement policies to fulfil the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Long-term strategies create a framework within which the implications of short-to-medium-term decisions that impact both greenhouse gas emission trajectories and development pathways can be coherently planned and adjusted where necessary. Developing and implementing these strategies ensures alignment with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, in a way that fosters increased prosperity for citizens, reduces the risk of locking-in unsustainable and high-emission infrastructure, and will help to avoid stranded high-carbon assets.

Careful long-term planning also provides an opportunity to maximize socio-economic benefits, such as cleaner air and water, improved security for jobs and energy access, and better health. If well done, these strategies can identify such opportunities, as well as challenges, open a space for democratic consultation on these implications, and secure a just transition for workers and communities which depend today on a fossil-based economy. 

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Civil society warns UN Security Council climate change a driver of conflict, hunger and poverty

 

[New York – United States] – February 15, 2013 – Climate Action Network-International (CAN-International) today warned a special event for United Nations Security Council members at the UN headquarters in New York that climate change was a critical driver of poverty, inequality, instability, and conflict which would ultimately affect us all.
 
Wael Hmaidan, director of CAN-International, told the meeting, convened by Pakistan and the United Kingdom, that the situation demanded an unprecedented commitment to collective action to drastically reduce these climate-driven risks which were already being experienced, first and foremost, by the poorest and most vulnerable within our societies.
 
“We are gravely concerned by the prospects for mass displacement of people within States and across borders driven directly by climate impacts like sea level rise, droughts, desertification, biodiversity loss and indirectly by its impacts on food and natural resources,” Hmaidan said.
 
“We recognise that the decision to leave one's home and community is often the result of multiple factors, but that climate change impacts are often a critical driver, he said.
 
For example, the thousands of people who were displaced from Somalia into neighbouring countries in 2011 were not primarily fleeing conflict, but in search of food in the wake of drought.
 
Tim Gore, from Oxfam International, also present at the event, said that nowhere can this climate risk be more clearly seen than in the global food system.
 
“Droughts or floods can wipe out entire harvests, as we have seen in recent years in Pakistan, in the Horn of Africa and across the Sahel. And when extreme weather hits major world food producers – like last year’s droughts in the US and Russia – world food prices rocket. This presents a major risk to net food importing countries, such as Yemen, which ships in 90% of its wheat,” Gore said.
 
“The food riots and social unrest seen in the wake of the 2008 food price spikes were not a one-off phenomenon, but a sign of the risks we face through our failure to feed a warming world. With major producers either suffering or barely recovering from extreme heat and drought, combined with world cereal stocks falling again, world food security remains on a knife-edge.
 
Hmaidan said governments need to dramatically scale up public investments to help communities and countries adapt to the changing climate as well while at the same time ramp ing up international efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions to prevent much greater harm.
 
“Adequate preparation for permanent loss and damage inflicted by climate change, including the establishment of a new international mechanism under discussion at the UNFCCC and the recognition of new rights for climate-forced migrants is required,” Hmaidan said.
 
Contacts
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 700 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
 
For more information, please contact Climate Action Network-International communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 157 3173 5568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org
 
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CAN Submission: Cancun Building Blocks, October 2010

THE POST-COPENHAGEN ROAD

A fair, ambitious and binding deal is needed more urgently than ever. Climate science is more compelling by the day. Impacts are coming harder and faster. Disastrous flooding in Pakistan, heat waves and forest fires in Russia and hottest recorded temperatures around the globe, amongst other devastating climate-related events, all point to the need for urgent action. Levels of warming once thought to be safe, may well not be, 1.5˚C is the new 2˚C. 

Negotiations Post-Copenhagen
Copenhagen was a watershed moment for public interest and support for climate action – and people have not lost interest. More people in more countries than ever have put their governments on notice that they expect a fair,
ambitious and binding global deal to be agreed urgently. Trust-building is essential after the disappointment of Copenhagen. Developed country leadership must be at the core of trust building efforts. Countries must show
their commitment to the UNFCCC process by driving it forward with political will and flexible positions, rather than endless rounds of repetitive negotiations. Many countries are troublingly pessimistic for Cancun, and are working to lower expectations. While others, including countries most vulnerable to climate change, maintain high expectations.

Challenges ahead of Cancun
There are many challenges to getting a full fair, ambitious and binding deal at Cancun, including:

  • Lack of a shared vision for the ultimate objective of the agreement, and the equitable allocation of the remaining carbon budget and emissions reduction/limitation commitments;
  • Sharp divisions on the legal form of an eventual outcome;
  • Failure of the US Senate to pass comprehensive legislation this year; and
  • Current economic difficulties facing many countries, which make it difficult to mobilize the substantial commitments to long-term climate finance needed as part of any ambitious agreement. 

Positive moves afoot
However, more and more countries, both developing and developed, are stepping up their efforts to pursue low-carbon development and adaptation, despite the absence of an international agreement. This can be seen in a variety of ways:

  • Investments in renewable energies have continued their exponential growth, increasing to 19% of global energy consumed;
  • Progressive countries are working to move the negotiations forward;
  • There is a growing perception that low-carbon and climate-resilient development is the only option to sustainably ensure the right to development and progress in poverty reduction. 

So, what does a pathway forward look like?

Firstly we must learn the lessons of Copenhagen. The “nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed” dynamic from Copenhagen could mean that nothing would be agreed in Cancun. An agreement in Cancun should instead be a balanced and significant step toward reaching a full fair, ambitious & binding deal at COP 17 in South Africa. This will require parties to work together in good faith to create sufficient gains at Cancun, and a clear roadmap to South Africa. This paper outlines how that could be achieved. 

CAN Position: Climate and Biodiversity, June 2019

 

Two crises pose serious threats to life on Earth: the climate change crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Major global intergovernmental assessments, including from the IPCC and the IPBES, have demonstrated that they are strongly interlinked. This calls for Parties to move beyond treating these separately towards integrated approaches. Both the IPCC and IPBES reports, along with an increasing body of literature, highlight and stress the importance of intact resilient ecosystems in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. Indeed, nature-based solutions, with appropriate safeguards, can provide 37% of the solution to meeting the 1.5 C target by 2030 (IPBES 2019).

However, much needs to be done for this to be recognised in international action, including under the UNFCCC, CBD and SDG post-2020 agendas. This position statement sets out the scope of the crises, the potential for perverse outcomes, the opportunities in the current agreements and the steps governments need to take to jointly approach the biodiversity and climate crisis. Very often, carbon-rich high integrity ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, peatlands, mangroves and other wetlands, are under significant pressure. The consequent reduction in carbon stocks and sequestration potential, as a result of land-use change and degraded ecosystems, contributes significantly to the climate and biodiversity crises.

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CAN Joint SBI/SBSTA Closing Intervention, June 2019

Germany shattered its all-time heat record for June yesterday as Parties sat in air-conditioned rooms debating how to receive the best available science on climate change. Along with Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic have issued public health warnings. India is in the middle of the worst water crisis in its history, with 600 million people facing acute water shortage and all the reservoirs dry in its sixth-largest city. Last Friday, 40.000 young people marched in the streets of Aachen to demand bold climate action and an end to coal. And just yesterday, the courts in Kenya listened, and upheld the demands by the people of Lamu to reject a new coal power project. 

If this session has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no time for wishy-washy “gentlepersons' agreements” when the world is on fire. True leaders have the courage and determination to offer a credible response to the planetary emergency we face, to phase out fossil fuels and ignite the clean energy revolution with justice and equity. While we could welcome the progress made towards agreeing on the Terms of Reference of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and we appreciate your hard work, the political message coming from this conference is far from adequate.

Dear delegates, we call on you to kindly deliver the following message to your leaders back home: We are in the eye of the storm of the climate emergency. We expect your leaders, especially from big emitters, to come to New York in September for the UNSG Summit with nothing less than truly bold commitments that get us to the 1.5-degree goal. We will be there in New York, too. We will mobilize the full power of our network with more than 1,300 organizations in over 120 countries to hold your leaders accountable. We will not stop after New York, please tell your leaders to be prepared for consequences if they continue to fail the people and the planet.

 
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CAN Intervention: Arrangements of Intergovernmental Meetings (AIM), June 2019

With only 11 years left to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis as warned by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, arrangements of intergovernmental meetings of the UNFCCC must reflect the emergency we are in.

CAN, therefore, urges parties and the Secretariat to give priority to items related to the ambition cycle and implementation in the schedule of meetings across three key areas: support, impacts, and raising ambition.

Reflecting this emergency, we urge parties and the Secretariat to fully consider the IPCC’s remarks on  how public participation contributes to effective climate action - quote: “civil society is to a great extent the only reliable motor for driving institutions to change at the pace required.”

By substantially enhancing the opportunities for participation and inputs by civil society and those most affected by the climate crisis - women, youth, indigenous peoples and communities in the front lines - will we help reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

We appreciate the opportunities for participation in this process but compared to other UN  processes and other UN environmental processes it remains limited. Drawing on those examples, access to all meetings for members of civil society must be the default rule as well as the opportunity for it  to effectively provide input  during the meetings - including through opportunities to provide input on specific aspects of the negotiations in the contact groups so as to support Parties progress towards a consensus that contributes to effective responses.

At COP 23, Antonio Guterres stated “civil society(...) must play a crucial role” in the

transformation to a low-emission economy. We urge parties to arrange future civil society participation in this spirit.

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CAN Joint SBI50 / SBSTA50 Opening Intervention, June 2019

Following the dramatic warnings of the IPCC and IPBES, and millions of young people refusing to accept inaction on the climate crisis, no meeting of governments on climate can be business as

usual. Progress must be achieved in three key areas: Support, addressing climate impacts and ambition.

Progress on key negotiation items is needed including strong guidelines for Article 6, building consensus on five-year common timeframes for NDCs as well as agreement on terms of reference enabling a comprehensive review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage to establish a financial arm to provide additional money to address loss and damage.´ The Long-term Finance workshop is an opportunity for parties to also discuss progress towards the GCF replenishment and build trust on the $100 bn targets. At the same time, Parties and the incoming Chilean presidency need to take full advantage of their time in Bonn to informally exchange on crucial upcoming events such as the UNSG Summit, the GCF replenishment and how COP25 can create political space to discuss enhancing ambition.

Last month, about 1.5 million youths around the world marched for bold and urgent climate action. They are leading the way, the world must follow suit.

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Briefing on Implementation Guidelines for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, June 2019

At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, countries were unable to include guidance on Article 6 into the Paris Rulebook--except for paragraph 77(d) which stipulates how “a Party participating in cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) towards its NDC under Article 4, or authorizes the use of mitigation outcomes for international purposes other than achievement of its NDC” report on such use in the structured summary of the Paris Agreement’s transparency framework. Countries will work to finalize guidance on Article 6 with a view to delivering decision text by the end of COP25. As Article 6 is one of the last pieces of the Paris Rulebook to be completed, increased high-level engagement from Ministers is possible and they require better understanding of the political issues related to Article 6 and the technical ones that still need work in advance of Katowice. This briefing provides a topline summary of CAN-I’s positions on Article 6 and explains key outstanding technical issues.

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