Tag: East Africa

CAN Pre-COP Workshop 2011 Announcement

Climate Action Network-International is excited to inform that as part of our ongoing efforts under the Southern Capacity Building program, a "Pre-COP Workshop" will be organized for developing country CAN members in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 19th to 21st October 2011.  About 50 participants will be attending the workshop.

This event is primarily for civil society members in developing countries, and aims to strengthen and work towards a common southern civil society voice within CAN and like minded organisations in the lead up to COP 17.  The event will be building upon the similar and successful pre-COP workshop held last year in Mexico City, which roughly 50 CAN members and partners attended.

We are very excited to be planning this workshop in collaboration with a large variety of CAN members and partners, whose financial support is not only making this event possible but also whose engagement we believe will bring richness to the discussions.  Thus far, we have received commitments of support from the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Bread for the World, Greenpeace International, WWF-International, Oxfam International, the Norwegian Environment ForUM, the Development Fund, the Southern Voices Program consortium and CARE Denmark. We’d like to thank these organizations and partners for their interest in supporting this event!

Main Objectives:
1. Provide space for southern CAN members and other stakeholders to work on a common and unified southern voice for greater influence at the Seventeenth Conference of Parties in Durban.
2. Strengthen the South–South dialogue and discussion in order to support the CAN-International policies to have impact in the climate negotiations through broader understanding and knowledge base.
3. Strengthen and reinforce the connections between the southern civil society members to continue dialogue and strategize for future advocacy and actions in their respective country and regions.
4. Have dialogue and interaction with African governments and/or the African Union.

Program Design
The full focus of the program is on policy framing and influencing the outcome in COP17. Attention will be given to major areas such as: UNFCCC processes, thematic issues discussion (e.g. low carbon development, adaptation, etc.), and institutional strengthening and sharing of country/regional experiences focusing on policy advocacy in the Global South.

Who will Attend?
Developing country CAN members and partners having policy experiences especially related to the UNFCCC process (national, regional and international) are invited. Selected participants will do a preparatory work on their respective national/regional policies before attending the workshop.  And these participants are also expected to share the outcomes of the pre COP workshop once they go back to their home country or regions in order to ensure information is disseminated to wider stakeholders. Participant selection will be inclusive of different regions from the where gender, organisational, country and regional balance will be considered.
 

CAN Intervention, AWG-LCA Closing plenary, 7 October 2011 (English)

 
CAN intervention
Closing AWG-LCA Plenary
Panama, October 7, 2011
 
Delivered by Sandra Guzmán, CEMDA
 

Thank you Mr Chair
 
I am speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.
 
To get to the deal we need in Durban, we have some advice for some of the countries present
here:
 
EU: You know what you have to do. The KP is in your hands
Australia and New Zealand: Get off the fence. Commit to a Kyoto 2nd Commitment Period.
Japan, Canada, Russia: don’t destroy our only legally binding multilateral treaty.
LDCs and AOSIS: stay strong. we stand in solidarity with you
US:  
     o Come with a mandate to reach agreement on long-term finance in Durban.  
     o Agree to a common accounting system based on the KP rules.
BASIC - your domestic climate leadership can shape the future climate regime we all need.
This is your time!
Africa: Durban is your COP, it is your moment, fight for the agreement you need.
 
To you all: Address the gap in ambition between your pledges and what the science requires.  
Be prepared to come to Durban TO ADOPT THE SECOND COMMITMENT PERIOD OF THE KYOTO
PROTOCOL and AGREE ON A MANDATE FOR A legally binding outcome in the LCA.  IT is time to
bring A SENSE OF URGENCY to these negotiations... IN DURBAN, YOU WILL GAIN A LOT IF YOU
GIVE A LITTLE.   

Thank you Mr Chair
 
 

 

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Human Misery, if Business as Usual at Panama Climate Talks

Isaac Kabongo speaks about adaptation in Africa

Isaac Kabongo
Executive Director
Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)
Uganda

The United Nations declared that 11.5m people currently need humanitarian assistance across East Africa and many more could join them. The BBC reported that millions in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa face dire food shortages due to the worst regional drought for decades. On Tell Me More today, Al-Jazeera English correspondent, Azad Essa, told host Michel Martin that "in a word, the situation is quite horrific." The Horn of Africa region is now full of environmental refugees who do not have real hope in this real world. Their hope could be in the climate talks in Panama City that represent the best and last chance to get climate change negotiations back on track and prepare for a legally binding agreement at COP17 in Durban, South Africa.

In Uganda, the impacts of climate change are continuing without serious interventions to help vulnerable communities to cope. The recent emergence of landslides in areas without such history is leaving communities isolated, their survival networks and social structures weakened. On March 2 2010 over 358 people were killed by landslides at Nametsi Village, Bududa district, in Eastern Uganda. Landslides killed more 50 people in Bulambuli district, towards the end of August 2011 in Eastern Uganda.  This is a region hit by drought, with many requiring food aid following the lack of April-May rain, these torrential rains, flooding and landslides are crippling the ability of communities to overcome poverty. Climate change impacts are making it even worse for communities to meet their needs and the government of Uganda to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), reduce poverty, and enhance human development. For us in Uganda, the parties attending the climate change talks in Panama City should come up with a text on long-term finance, which should be easily accessed by vulnerable Countries like Uganda.

Environmental protection is necessary to prevent climate change disasters in many countries from getting worse. In Panama City, measures must be taken to accommodate the needs of environmental refugees through expanding finance, technology, and capacity building commitments to developing countries. There is also need by parties to strengthen counting rules and methodologies to eliminate loopholes and explore innovative approaches to close the mitigation gap. Developed countries, therefore, should increase the ambition of their mitigation commitments unconditionally because of their historical responsibility.  The Kyoto Protocol should be extended to the second commit period and attempts should be made to desist from failing to reach a legally binding climate change regime in Durban, South Africa, in December at the final UN Climate Talks of 2011. It is also important to note that the cost of inaction in clear and the future of the next generation is at a crossroad.

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Getting the Durban Deal Done

ECO has been clear in its call for a three-part outcome in Durban: adoption of a strong second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol; a mandate for negotiation of a more comprehensive and ambitious longer-term climate regime based on both scientific adequacy and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities; and a package of decisions facilitating near-term action on all four building blocks of the Bali Action Plan and implementation of the Cancun Agreements.

Let’s make something else clear: building a long-term structure for fair and effective international action on climate change is important, but what really matters is meaningful action supporting peoples and communities already suffering the negative effects of climate change, and collective emission reductions at the scale and pace needed to avert even more catastrophic impacts in the future. The best legally binding treaty instruments in the world don’t amount to much without emission reduction ambition in line with the science and financial resources commensurate with the need.

 Coming out of Panama, there has been some progress in developing draft text on many of the elements of the Bali Action Plan and the Cancun Agreements.  But the prospects for linked agreements on extension of the Kyoto Protocol and the negotiations on a longer-term legally-binding instrument are not bright, absent significant changes in the negotiating positions of a number of key countries.  Let’s look at them in turn.

 EU.  Fair or not, the EU holds the key to the Durban outcome.  If the EU does not come to Durban with the clear goal of adopting a second commitment period (not some fuzzy political commitment) the Kyoto Protocol will wither and die.  On Thursday, the EU laid out a clear set of elements for negotiations over the longer-term treaty that would assure that a KP second commitment period is a bridge to a more comprehensive and ambitious legal framework. EU environment ministers need to be careful not to set overly stringent conditions for such negotiations when they meet next Monday in Luxembourg.  

 Australia and New Zealand. While the view from atop the fence is nice, these countries need to get off of it and make clear they are ready to join with the EU, Norway, and others in embracing a second KP commitment period.

 Japan, Russia, Canada.  These countries claim they are bailing out of Kyoto because it doesn’t cover a large enough portion of global emissions.  They need to come to Durban prepared to reconsider their position if agreement can be reached on launching negotiations on a longer-term treaty regime, or risk being perceived as multilateral treaty-killers, not treaty-builders.

 US. The one developed country that stayed out of Kyoto, in part because the Protocol didn’t include major developing countries, claims it is willing to enter into negotiations on a new legally-binding instrument.  But it has set very stringent conditions for the launch of such negotiations, while acknowledging that these conditions almost guarantee no agreement on a negotiating mandate in Durban.  Meanwhile, the US is struggling to meet its already inadequate emissions reduction commitment, and has been reluctant to discuss ways of meeting the $100 billion by 2020 annual climate finance goal its president committed to in Copenhagen.  At the very least, the US must contribute to such discussions in Durban, not attempt to block them.     

The LDCs and AOSIS. The moral power of the most vulnerable countries needs to be heard, highlighting both the existential crisis they face and the reprehensible failure of those responsible for the problem to face up to it.  These groups support both the extension of the KP and a mandate for negotiation of a new legally-binding instrument; they must continue to work together in Durban to achieve both of these goals.

The BASIC countries.All four of these countries are leaders in taking domestic actions to limit their emissions growth as their economies continue to rapidly develop.  Their leadership is also needed on the current fight to preserve a rules-based multilateral climate treaty regime.  They should certainly continue to demand a second Kyoto commitment period.  But they should also call the US’s bluff, by indicating their willingness to negotiate a more comprehensive long-term treaty regime including binding commitments for all but the Least Developed Countries, as long as it’s truly based on principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibility.              

 All countries must come to Durban prepared to negotiate in a spirit of compromise if we are to achieve the ambitious package of decisions needed to address the mounting climate crisis.  Ministers must take full advantage of their time together before Durban, at both the pre-COP ministerial consultations and the likely pre-Durban meeting of the Major Economies Forum, to explore constructive solutions to the current roadblocks to such a package of decisions.  Then in Durban, they must work actively under the guidance of the South African presidency to bring the deal home.  Their citizens need – and expect – nothing less.

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Drought in Ethiopia Requires Financing From Developed Countries...Do It by Durban!

Mahlet Eyassu: what is needed on climate finance this year.

Photo Credit: Manjeet Dhakal

Mahlet Eyassu
Climate Change Program Manager
Forum for Environment
Ethiopia

We are now in Panama, for the intersessional which is the last meeting before the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Durban. The 17th COP will be in Durban, South Africa, which make this a very important COP for Africa.  Africa along with Least Developed Countries and the Small Island States are the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Even though Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries that is showing a rapid economic growth, it is still being affected by drought.

At the moment the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, is confronted with recurring climate change related disasters, in particular prolonged droughts and floods. This drought is said to be the worst in 60 years. Drought is not something new for Ethiopia nor the Horn. However, it has become more recurrent and severe in the last decades.  Climate change is making the matters and problems worse for us who are under-developed.

In order to address the impacts of climate change, countries are negotiating under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In its 15th and 16th meetings an agreement was reached that developed countries will be supporting adaptation and mitigation actions of developing countries. We are now approaching the end of 2011, where the fast start finance of $30 billion for the years 2010-2012 is about to end. The other decision we have is the one on long-term finance to mobilize $100 billion by 2020. So far there are no pledges from the developed countries for the year 2013 and onwards.  That is a worry for us coming from the developing world. We have learned some lessons from the fast start finance, which is not new and not additional to the ODA, but is just relabeled as climate finance, given in the form of loans instead of grants. There is an imbalance between adaptation and mitigation with more money going to mitigation actions instead of adaptation.

Forty member countries of the transitional committee are designing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) of whose works will be presented in Durban to be approved by the Conference of Parties (COP).  However, most developed countries do not want to have any form of discussion on long-term finance which is supposed to fill this fund. With all of these climate related disasters happening in most parts of the world, especially developing countries being the most vulnerable and having no capacity to adapt, adaptation finance is very crucial for us. It is a matter of survival and should be taken seriously by others. Developed countries need to get more serious and commit themselves to discuss the sources of finance that will feed into the new fund. If we want an outcome in Durban, most discussions and texts need to happen here in Panama.

It is good to note that, developing countries at the local and national level are also working to raise funds for their adaptation and mitigation actions. In my organization back home, Forum for Environment-Ethiopia, we have started an initiative to raise funds, which can be used for some local adaptation actions. We have started implementing the green tax initiative in which 1% of our salaries are deducted every month. We have done this for the past year and have raised small amount, which has not been used yet. Now we want this to be taken up by other organizations at the country-level to show our commitments by raising more money and taking  local initiatives. We have started the process of engaging others to hopefully have a larger impact. Progress in Panama in all issues, especially finance, is very important for us to achieve something in the African COP in Durban.
 

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Breaking news: 5.8% increase in global CO2 emissions in 2010

Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.Parties, we have a problem!!!

Global CO2 emissions did a full swing after the recession, growing more than 5% in 2010, according to a report published last week by the Netherlands Environmental Protection Agency. The highest increase in the last two decades fuels the climate crisis. Without accounting for the land-use sector, global CO2 emissions reached 33 billion tonnes, a 45% increase since 1990. , driven mostly by a 7.6 % increase in coal consumption. This means the world now uses coal for a third of its energy demand – the highest share since 1970. Use of other fossil fuels soared too, with natural gas consumption increasing by 7% and oil consumption jumping by 3%. (This increase takes place mostly in the developing countries, in order to reach decent living standards.)

The report, which uses data from the Statistical Review of World Energy, shows that the growth of emissions was driven in part by economic growth in China and India, with 10% or 9% increases in 2010 respectively. While India’s per capita emissions remain fairly low, China’s 6.8 tonnes per head per year already overtake those of large historic and de-facto polluters such as France, Italy and Spain. This follows at least in part because of moving manufacturing industries into developing countries, the output of which are largely used by developed countries.

So, clearly all Parties, especially those bound by the existing commitments for emission reduction need to do their share in Durban to lay the foundation for a solution to the problem (hint, hint: KP 2nd commitment period, LCA mandate for legally binding instrument, close the gigatonne gap, operationalize the Green Climate Fund, develop the technology mechanism and a robust MRV framework). Inspiration can also be found in more and more countries - in particular in the developing world - working towards a shift to low carbon economies. While the upward spiral of emissions in China is concerning from a global point of view, the country managed to double its wind and solar capacity for the 6th year in a row. If the developed countries and other major emitters followed China’s lead and achieved similar renewable energy growth rates, along with a push for energy efficiency, the World’s prospects of staying below 1.5° C or 2°C would be much better than they are now.

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