Tag: Latin America

CAN Intervention: SBI Closing Plenary SB40s, 15 June, 2014

Climate Action Network Intervention in SBI Closing Plenary, 15 June 2014 

Delivered by Alejandra Watanabe of WWF Peru

SBI Closing Intervention

In Spanish: 

Muchas gracias Co Chairs

Soy Alejandra Watanabe, y hablo en representación de Climate Action Network.

CAN quisiera utilizar esta oportunidad para enfatizar la participacion "crucial e integral" de la sociedad civil en estas negociaciones, incluyendo el acceso de los observadores a las negociaciones de la COP. En estas intersesionales estamos particularmente preocupados por el sistema de recuperación de costos propuesto para la los eventos paralelos. Estos eventos son una de las pocas oportunidades que tenemos los observadores para compartir diversos puntos de vista, presentar investigaciones actuales y soluciones innovadoras que contribuyen con ideas y generan momentum positivo en las negociaciones. La oficina de enlace de observadores de la Secretaría de la CMNUCC desempeña un rol vital en la facilitación de este compromiso.

CAN quiere hacer un agradecimiento especial a las Partes que han defendido los principios democráticos de apertura y transparencia y esperamos que la Secretaría retire la propuesta de recuperación de fondos  de USD1000 por cada evento paralelo. CAN espera trabajar conjuntamente con la Secretaría para que se respeten los procesos adecuados y así encontrar un camino que ayude a mejorar, en lugar de reducir, nuestra participación. Debemos encontrar una solución que reconozca que se deben ser asignar recursos adecuados para la participación de los observadores como parte de las funciones básicas en el sistema de la CMNUCC. A los observadores se nos debería permitir jugar nuestro rol en la lucha contra el cambio climático para asegurar que juntos podamos alcanzar la victoria. 

 

In English

Thank you Co Chairs.

I am Alejandra Watanabe speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

CAN would like to use this opportunity to reemphasize the “crucial and integral” participation of civil society in these negotiations, including access of observers at COP negotiations. At this intersessional CAN has been particularly alarmed about the proposed cost recovery system for side events. These events are one of the few opportunities that observers have to share diverse views and to present current research and innovative solutions that contribute ideas and positive momentum to negotiations. The observer liaison office of the UNFCCC Secretariat plays a vital role in facilitating this engagement.

CAN would especially like to thank the Parties that have stood up for the principles of democratic openness and transparency and we are encouraged that the secretariat has removed the proposal of cost recovery of USD1000 per side event. CAN looks forward to a meaningful engagement with the secretariat that respects proper processes so that we can find a way forward that helps enhance, rather than diminish, our participation. We must find a resolution that recognises that adequate resources should be allocated to observer participation as part of the core functions of the UNFCCC system. Observers should be allowed to play our role in the fight against climate change to ensure that we can achieve victory together.

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Colossal Fossil for Australia’s New Government

This year’s Colossal Fossil goes to Australia. The new Australian Government has won its first major international award – the Colossal Fossil. The delegation came here with legislation in its back pocket to repeal the carbon price, failed to take independent advice to increase its carbon pollution reduction target and has been blocking progress in the loss and damage negotiations. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

Canada is dishonored with a special Lifetime Unachievement Fossil Award for its long-standing efforts preventing this process from making a sufficient contribution to the fight against climate change. As long as Canada and the Harper Government puts their addiction to the tar sands first, Canada will continue to be a Fossil champion.

Canada’s record is in indeed unsurpassed – it is the only country in the world to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. And it did not event meet its pitifully lowered emissions reduction target announced in the lead-up to the Copenhagen COP. Canada’s stance is also rubbing off on other countries at the negotiations. Following Canada’s Kyoto “lead,” Japan abandoned its own 2020 target, and when Australia proposed to cut its carbon price, Canada cheered instead of staging an intervention. Canada you truly are a climate laggard... again... and again.

Singapore slinks to first Fossil for stingy stance on 2015 deal

The first place Fossil of the Day goes to Singapore for strongly opposing the inclusion of the clear elements of a roadmap to the comprehensive global climate action planned that needs to be agreed in 2015. The island city-state is blocking the development of framework to fairly divide climate action between countries. Furthermore, Singapore is promoting weak language in the text on the post-2020 carbon pollution reduction commitments, preventing national actions being integrated in a rules-based multilateral system. Despite being a member of AOSIS, Singapore is blocking progress towards the 2015 deal because of their unwillingness accept they must contribute to the solution.

Second place Fossil goes to U.S.A. We have been hearing that the Americans came here with a mandate to play a constructive role in the negotiations, which is not currently being reflected. They are blocking progress on a Long Term Finance pathway as well as an agreement on the relationship between the COP and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which are critical issues for developing countries. The U.S. is also being difficult around the establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage, which was agreed at COP 18 last year. This is complete backtracking and a betrayal to the millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world.

Saudi Arabia wins the third place Fossil of the Day. Saudi Arabia wants to introduce the issue of “Response Measures” into the 2015 agreement. Response Measures is the about how countries like Saudi Arabia would be compensated for any loss in oil sales if the world decides to reduce the use of fossils fuels to solve climate change. It would be surprising to many to see Saudi Arabia asking governments for financial compensation when they have one the highest GDPs in the world for selling the substance that caused climate change in the first place. But Saudi Arabia is not interested in financial compensation. They just want to poison the negotiations. They are not fooling anybody.

Ray of the Day goes to Chile. The Alliance of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (AILAC) has proven itself to be the gold standard in civil society engagement, moral integrity and simple logic by championing youth in the ADP and putting forward Intergenerational Equity. 

Equity: Building With Brazil

No one will be surprised to hear that the Brazilian Proposal – which is to say Brazil’s move to reintroduce its classic 1997 analysis of historical responsibility – has been a bit controversial. But as a proposal to kick off a formal work program on Equity Indicators, Brazil’s move should be welcomed.

Historical Responsibility, after all, is a keystone Equity Indicator. In fact, it is one of five – Ambition, Responsibility, Capability, Development Need and Adaptation Need. Any serious attempt to operationalize equity must take them all into due and proper consideration.

Not that this will be easy. While it’s clear that there can be no acceptable road to climate stabilization that doesn't take into account both responsibility and capacity, and both development and adaptation needs, it’s equally clear that there’s no precise agreement on the meaning of these terms.

Reasonable people can disagree about the proper definitions of responsibility and capability, and the relationship between the two. Which is exactly why we need an expert process to study the proper formulation of equity indicators, and why that debate must be mainstreamed into the ADP.

We’re long past the point where historical responsibility, taken alone, can usefully stand for the overarching problem of climate equity. And this is why Brazil’s reintroduction of its old proposal – though helpful – is also a bit limited.

The real challenge before us is to find a new approach to equity, one that’s actually robust enough to be helpful when evaluating pledges. And this requires an entire set of core equity indicators, not just historical responsibility.

And there is really no choice but to take this challenge head on. We finally have reached an important moment: all agree that equity cannot be ignored. Ambition cannot be achieved without equity, and equity is beyond our grasp without ambition.

The way forward must include an open exchange on equity indicators, one that clarifies the trade-offs, builds consensus and prepares the ground upon which Parties will soon make pledges of action that are both strong and fair.

So we welcome Brazil’s proposal on historical responsibility. Responsibility alone is not a sufficient basis for meaningful equity review, but Brazil’s proposal provides a well-considered starting point and responsibility is a necessary pillar of any such review.

The challenge now is to build upon Brazil’s proposal, expand it into a larger process designed to clarify the core, measurable characteristics of pledges, assessing the extent to which they are fair enough to pass muster in the challenging years ahead.

 

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Brazil Goes in Reverse

There was rather astonishing news from Brazil this week. A report by the National Institute for Spatial Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - INPE) reveals that deforestation in the Amazon region has increased by 28% from August 2012 to July 2013. This is the third largest rate of deforestation ever registered.

The real number is surely larger if you take into consideration cloud cover -- and that the bad guys on the ground are getting smarter and cutting the forest in a greater number of ever smaller areas.
Although the Minister for the Environment is trying to put the blame on the States that make up the Amazon region, we are hearing that it’s really the Federal government that  bears the major responsibility.

For years, Brazil has showcased deforestation in these meetings as the main component of its voluntary mitigation commitment/promise. But the new forest law the government pushed through Congress last year included major concessions to the agro-business lobby.

And to be clear, no other sector of the Brazilian economy has contributed to emissions reductions – ever. So greenhouse emissions are on the rise everywhere. The momentum from the very substantial reductions of forest emissions in recent years is being reversed by Brazil’s accelerated economic growth plan and the return of increased deforestation.

Although the Environment Minister emphatically denies that the government has reduced the budget to combat deforestation, the former President of INPE resigned last year out of frustration with the lack of resources and ever-increasing restrictions on investments. Monitoring of the Amazon region will continue, he said, but it will not improve: “The system is full of holes.”

The head of the Brazilian delegation made two important points in a press briefing the other day. First, he said that Brazil would honor its commitment to reduce deforestation because that commitment has now become law. Second, Brazil insists that those developed countries historically responsible for creating the climate problem must take the lead.

So considering all this, here are some questions for Brazil:
• If reduced emissions from deforestation is now a law, who is to be accountable?
• What does Brazil intend to do to reverse this dangerous trend?• Given these developments, what leverage does Brazil have to bargain for more ambition in reducing the mitigation gap in the 2015 agreement and post 2020 implementation?

The world needs Brazil to be a protagonist in the battle against Climate Change.

But it seems that Brazil is stepping back further and further from the front lines and into the muddy post-logging trenches.

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Mónica López Baltodano speaks intervenes on loss and damage

I am Mónica López Baltodano and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

Last year in Doha, all countries decided that institutional arrangements such as an international mechanism on loss and damage would be established at the climate conference in Warsaw. There shouldn’t be a U-turn on that now and all parties (and let me stress ALL parties!) should come forward and engage constructively here in Warsaw. The International mechanism must be established here with agreement on key functions, while modalities can be detailed in 2014 so that the mechanism can be operationalised by 2015. We have a precedence of Green Climate Fund, wherein the fund was established and the modalities were developed later.

It is important to mention that the proposed International Mechanism on Loss and Damage is not just about developing financial measures to address climate change impacts that cannot be adapted to. It is also about generating knowledge and finding new ways to deal with non-economic losses such as loss of biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, human mobility, cultural heritage, ancestral burial sites etc.

As I speak here, the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is sending us a harsh reminder that there can't be any further delay in intensifying our efforts to tackle mounting loss and damage. Tackling loss and damage is about climate justice. Those who are mainly responsible for climate change must act. It is about protecting people, their livelihoods and most importantly their human rights and dignity.

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2014. A year full of challenges, big time!

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera, CANLA

In Bonn GRULAC endorsed Peru’s nomination as COP host for 2014. In the last day of negotiations, Peru’s Minister of Environment himself notified Parties about Peru being the COP 20 presidency. This is great news for Latin America; and the COP will certainly bring a lot of focus on the issues that concern the region.

But 2014 is not just another year, COP 20 will not be a transitional COP, neither something to diminish. Many international climate events will mobilize media attention, people, citizens and politicians to ramp up ambition in the year (2014) countries should present targets on both mitigation and finance. Besides the regular intersessional and ADP sessions, UN General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon, called world leaders to meet for highlighting the urgency of decisions in this matter (in 2014). Venezuela on the other hand proposed to host the traditional ministerial Pre-COP, but they have decided to do things differently and to invite all Civil Society to participate in a non-traditional manner. The list of important events in 2014 concludes with the FIFA World Cup in Brazil ,which will have all attention from all around the world, especially the attention of Brazilians.

With all this happening around Peru as the COP Presidency and with so many milestones to be achieved, there is a very interesting challenge ahead. Finance pledges have to be on the table, and mitigation pledges have to be clear. Also a legal architecture of the new legal instrument should be approved in Lima, Peru by th end of 2014; this is key.

Peru has a good potential as a facilitator, and many coutries are expressing their support, we will have to see how Peru manages the pressure and how constructively countries work to let Peru conduct successful meetings in a year full of expectations.

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Diversity is the word


Photo: IISD

Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis
Fundación Biosfera, CANLA

Following the Latin America and the Caribbean regions in the UNFCCC negotiations is sometimes difficult. The region has numerous and diverse countries; Brazil and Mexico are large countries that have larger economies and then countries like Haiti and Nicaragua are on the other end of the spectrum, with a big range of middle income countries in between. While Spanish is the main language, Portuguese, English, Dutch, and French are spoken in some countries as well.

Nevertheless, Latin America has always dreamed about Latin American Unity, a very ambitious desire to become one united continent with one voice and one common objective: a better life, but in our own way. And here is where the problem creates division. Being such a diverse continent can not only be interesting, fruitful and rich, but can lead to differentiation and difficulties to find middle grounds and common priorities.

It is not difficult to understand. In the end, it is what happens in any international arena, when different countries want to reach agreement on different issues. But Latin America is different, there is this sort of desire to get unity, because of the history our countries share, the same independence and sovereignty feelings, and this is probably what produces frustration when an agreement is not reached.

But not all is frustration, nor impotence facing a Latin American Unity. In this intersessional, GRULAC agreed easily to endorse Peru's nomination as COP 20 Host and Venezuela's nomination for Pre-COP 20 Ministerial meeting. This issue brought a new air of collaboration for the region, as all parties agreed to truly support each other and give a Latin American flavour to the year 2014. For Latin American countries It is very important to work together, support each other and contribute together to the global work that is being undertaken. What can be more encouraging than promoting climate action in a region that is young, positive and resilient. Hopefully the Latin rhythms, the sun, and the landscapes can inspire everyone to work together for what the world needs to achieve in 2014 on climate action.

 

 

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