Tag: Climate Action Network

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.
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


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 Submission: How to improve the Marrakech Partnership for enhancing ambition, July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking place against the backdrop of an ecological crisis. Just like the pandemic, the climate crisis has no borders and will require sustained international efforts and global solidarity.

There are no doubts that capacities and resources are being stretched as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in different regions, but countries still need to act to fulfill the tasks ahead of them in terms of stepping up climate action in the short and long-term. In a context in which global climate meetings are being postponed to protect people's health, it becomes even more critical to have stakeholders and initiatives that act to both ensure that more ambitious climate commitments are made by governments, and that civil society participation and demands pledges aren't left behind in the process.

All actions taken now, whether as part of climate ambition or as part of a COVID-19 response, should reinforce the transformational shift we need for just, fair, equitable, resilient, healthy, inclusive and sustainable societies. The inclusion, support and empowerment of civil society groups and of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities is a fundamental aspect for a just and effective global strategy to address the climate crisis and the other interrelated challenges (e.g. poverty eradication, food security, social and racial justice, and gender equality). In the light of this, the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA)needs to provide space for civil society consultation, partnerships and participation, and should, therefore, constantly work to embrace and stimulate diversity, inclusiveness, and increase in representation, meaningful participation and voice from civil society organisations, in particular in the Global South.

Paving The Way Forward at COP23

In her final blog, LDP Fellow, Fatima Ahouli gives insight into COP 23


Paving The Way Forward at COP23


The 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23), presided by Fiji, was the first COP for the newly-elected CANAW Board, and my first COP as a Regional Coordinator. With the kind support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, CANAW strategic partner, all 7 members of the Board had the opportunity to attend in Bonn and work together as a team for the first time.


Since last August, preparations for COP23 were the focus of the CANAW Board’s work, as well as my own as an LDP and as a Regional Coordinator. This was an exciting and challenging time.

In addition to my usual coordination tasks with our partner and the participants on the logistics, I have had an important role, along with the Board and the CANI secretariat, in coordinating and preparing the agendas for the different meetings and events that the Board and CANAW members needed to attend during the COP23.


In the first week of COP23 we had to quickly organise ourselves, our daily schedules and understand the workings of the conference to make best use of our time and energy. The COP is an extremely busy place with a lot going on. This year the conference was spread across two zones which were 1½ km apart, added an interesting dynamic to ensuring the right people were in the right place at the right time. For me, I had to balance my work in the civil society zone, where there were some fantastic events and opportunities to meet partners and stakeholders, with attending key parts of the negotiations in the main UNFCCC building.


We started having daily meetings, where I shared the updates from the CANI daily as well as from the events that I attended. The Board members as well as the other CANAW members who were present shared their updates and views on the process and progress of the negotiations.

The Board met with 7 delegations from the Arab region (Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine, Soudan and Mauritania, Saudi Arabia), an idea that was agreed on during the daily meetings and had its implementation in the second week of COP23.