Tag: Bonn UNFCCC

Week two of COP23: civil society reps call for the reality of climate impacts to be brought into negotiating rooms


“Talanoa Dialogue must be designed to increase ambition”

13 November, 2017, Bonn. The beginning of the UN climate conference's second week marks a transition as negotiators make way for ministers to begin the real political process. There has been a push by the Fiji presidency for openness and transparency in the Talanoa dialogue, including input from both governments and non-state actors. So far, there is mixed progress on the work programme – negotiations over issues of transparency going well, while there are sharply polarised positions over national contributions to limiting global warming.

On the vital question of finance – for mitigation and adaptation, as well as for loss & damage – things are not going smoothly.

Tracy Carty, Climate Change Policy Advisor, Oxfam GB, said: “We need a work programme that will explore sources of finance for loss and damage, because that's currently a massive gap. Unlike adaptation and mitigation, which have the 100 billion commitment, there are currently no sources of finance for loss and damage.

Carty said it appeared that developing country governments are resistant to committing more public money for badly needed climate finance, but pointed out that there are innovative sources of funding that would not come from the public purse, including levies on shipping and aviation or on the carbon majors, a group of one hundred large corporations that are responsible for the major share of emissions.
“At the moment, those carbon majors are off the hook. Nobody is looking at what's their contribution. If they were to pay their share and their responsibility for the damages that's been caused because of the impacts of climate in parts of the world, what would that look like? How much would it look like? So this process needs at a minimum to start to explore those kind of options and there are many,” said Carty.

Talanoa Dialogue

Reminding us that COP23 is presided over by a vulnerable country already experiencing severe climate impacts, Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid, said we have a unique opportunity to bring the reality of climate change into the negotiations. This has not happened through the first week but needs to happen in the second week.

“There is an opportunity for the ministers coming in to grasp and help deliver that important gift to the vulnerable countries who are suffering first and worst, it would be advancing loss and damage, particularly support to be able to implement the actions and activities that are needed.
[Vulnerable countries] got a mechanism in 2013;  they got an article in Paris; but those two don't deliver the actions and activities that are needed. They need to be translated so that they can be able to implement loss and damage.”

Turning to the Talanoa dialogue, Adow reminded everyone that this is the new name for working on an established principle to ratchet action and ambition upwards, and called for Fiji to retain a role right through the end of this COP and into 2018 when the Paris Agreement comes into force.

“What will be critical, now that this dialogue has been set up, is for the Fijians to be given a leading role next year so that they can be able to help deliver on the promise and the vision they've set out.  It's not something we can leave in the hands of the Polish alone, and so in this second week, we need to be able to strengthen hand of the Fijians so that they can play a role [… ] on an ongoing basis so we can effectively design the dialogue to be able to increase ambition.”

US engagement

Asked about the seemingly mild treatment of the US despite the Trump administration's declared intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, responded that the US negotiators have in some places continued with constructive engagement, but in others show problems linked to new administration's hard line: loss and damage and finance which may become sharper as the ministerial phase of the conference begins.

“There's also a recognition that there are major elements of American society – states, business, mayors, universities and others, represented by the We Are Still In initiative – that are doing their best to meet America's emissions reduction obligations under Paris with or without Donald Trump. And I think that message has been well-received.
“The problem is of course is that they are not representing that same kind of initiative on the finance side of table, and making up for Donald Trump's refusal to meet the remaining two billion dollars of the Green Climate Fund pledge and proposing deep cuts in other areas of US climate finance. So yes on the domestic ambition, that's making up some of the damage caused by Donald Trump, but on the finance side it's a different message than what we're hearing. We're hearing the US is taking a pretty tough line on finance and on having loss & damage be a standing agenda item in this process.”


Mohammed Adow said that he would like to see a strategy used to deal with Trump Administration intransigence brought into the climate negotiations.
“When the US blocked the climate outcomes in the G7 and the G20, we effectively ended up with a G6 climate outcome and a G19 climate outcome. And so on loss & damage, if the US continues to block, I think it will be about time the rest of the world basically noted the US blockage, but moved on and gave effectively a proper process that is going to consider how climate finance for loss and damage is going to be mobilised.

“We cannot afford to have the rest of the developed world hiding behind the US and I think we have to make the distinction between a country, in this case the Trump administration, that has already announced its withdrawal, and the rest of the world collectively moving forward – and on finance for loss & damage and on finance for adaptation but also having a clear process to ratchet up ambition we have to make that distinction.


About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830 or Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International; email hkilani@climatenetwork.org


Civil society groups set expectation for COP23: Countries must move fast to close the emissions gap and address escalating impacts

CAN welcomes the opening of COP23, hosted for the first time by a small island state. Fiji was a champion in setting the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius, and will be calling on the entire international community to step up its game to achieve this.

“This year, at the Pacific COP, we hope to highlight the urgency of taking action. We must keep fossil fuels in the ground and move towards a safe and just transition to renewable energy. We must limit warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. It is a matter of survival for many vulnerable nations around the world.

This means immediately phasing out coal and other fossil fuels. Developed countries and major polluters need to understand that their fossil fuels are the Pacific's loss and damage.

We must ensure support is provided to frontline communities already experiencing loss and damage from a problem they didn't cause.”– Genevieve Jiva, COP23 Project Officer, Pacific Island Climate Action Network

Many important decisions will only be taken next year at COP24, but from this conference, we need to make progress on how the process will work, emerging with a roadmap towards success in Poland next year.

Climate Action Network shares the key objectives of the Fiji presidency for COP23: progress in negotiating implementation guidelines, transparency over actions by parties, and defining support for vulnerable people in developing countries.

“When disasters are hitting us one after the other, we have to put a spotlight on how to deal with these impacts. First, people who are being affected need to be supported; we need to help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Second, we need to protect them from future disasters.”

Unfortunately, we not only have an emissions gap, we have an adaptation gap. We have not done enough to help people protect their lives and livelihoods.– Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid

A report released by the United Nations Environment Programme states that the gap between actions promised under the Paris Agreement and the reductions needed is still too high.

“We are only about a third of the way that we need to be on a least cost pathway to stay well below 2 degrees C, much less meet the 1.5 C temperature goal. The [UNEP] report says that if that emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the goal of holding global warming below 2  degrees C can be reached. Current commitments make a temperature looking at 3 degrees C by 2100 likely, confirming the results of several other analyses.”

“But the report also contains very good news, showing can we can take actions in the agriculture, building, energy, forestry, industry, transport as well as actions to reduce hydrofluorocarbons and other climate forcers; and that this can provide the solutions we need.

“So we have the solutions we need to the crisis we face. The question is what do we need out of this Conference of the Parties to contribute to moving these solutions forward. – Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

Bonn climate talks: Countries come together to make progress even as US position on Paris Agreement remains ambiguous

Negotiators worked through details of the rulebook, an operational blueprint that will ensure the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement

18 May 2017- Bonn: Climate Action Network welcomes the progress made in Bonn with negotiators advancing work on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Countries stayed focused on the task at hand: building on the details of the Paris ‘rulebook’, for its speedy implementation.
The most vulnerable countries have reminded us that the goals of the Paris Agreement are non-negotiable. At this juncture, we need an unwavering signal from all countries that climate action will not be relegated to a mere footnote on the global agenda.
There can be no room for confusion or backsliding on the direction and speed of travel that governments promised to embark on in Paris. At the upcoming G7 and the G20 summits, civil society call for enhanced and sustained political commitment to act on climate change to ensure a successful outcome in COP23, under the Fiji Presidency, and beyond.  

Members of Climate Action Network react at the conclusion of the Bonn intersessional:

Krishneil Narayan, Coordinator, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, said:
“Pacific islanders are determined to ensure that COP23 builds on the momentum from Paris and delivers the strongest possible outcomes for the vulnerable countries and for communities everywhere. The “Pacific COP” will be a COP for the people, not the polluters. Ensuring our survival means implementing actions that achieve the 1.5ºC temperature limit by bringing an end to the fossil fuel era; addressing loss and damage; and fast tracking the flow of climate finance into the Pacific for adaptation. Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) welcomes the progress made at the Bonn negotiations session this May. Whilst the negotiations moved at a slow pace during this session, we understand that developing the Paris rulebook from scratch is a difficult task for the negotiators. PICAN looks forward to working closely with the COP23 Presidency and the Pacific people to ensure that the Talanoa process – reflecting the true Fijian spirit of dialogue – is inclusive, participatory and transparent and leads to some concrete decisions at COP23.”

Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International, said:
Climate change impacts are hitting vulnerable populations all over the world. Almost all countries here in Bonn have made clear: Backtracking from the Paris Agreement is not an option, climate action must be ramped up! The negotiations have made moderate progress, but the spotlight will now be on the most powerful nations. When the leaders of G7 and G20 meet in the coming weeks, the world expects them to protect the climate vulnerable from climate risks and to take actions to cut emissions more quickly.”

Vitu Chinoko, Southern Africa Advocacy and Partnerships Coordinator, CARE International, said:
“SouthernAfrica is still recovering from the worst drought in 35 years, while vulnerable countries, like Mozambique and Madagascar, have been hit by cyclones. It is clear that poor populations, in particular women and girls, are already facing impacts that leave them hungry and stuck in poverty. While countries are implementing actions to adapt to these impacts, the negotiations continue to move at a slow pace, despite a fruitful exchange of ideas. We expect countries to come to COP23 prepared and committed to agree on next steps that promote learning, action, and support.”

Teresa Anderson, climate policy officer for ActionAid International, said:
In spite of uncertainty around the US' commitment to the Paris Agreement, negotiators in Bonn did not get distracted, and instead got on with the job at hand.
Writing a brand new rulebook post-Paris began with a fair amount of head-scratching. But slowly, slowly, ideas are taking shape. Negotiators have begun to sketch an outline of the rulebook, and when they come back for the next round of negotiations they'll be ready to do the colouring in."
"It's clear that developed countries' reluctance to deliver on their financial goals is infecting a number of different streams of negotiations. In discussions on agriculture and adaptation, for example, vulnerable countries' efforts to move towards implementation, were stalled by developed countries' apparent allergy to anything that has cost implications."

Li Shuo, Climate Policy Advisor Greenpeace, said:
“Uncertainty over Trump’s decision on the Paris agreement did not deter delegates here in Bonn, but instead galvanised their resolve to move ahead with climate action. In the next days and weeks we expect the shared leadership among responsive countries to grow even stronger. The new coalition of willing that is taking shape should help secure strong outcomes for climate at the G7 and G20 summits.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global Climate & Energy Practice, said:
It was encouraging to see that discussions in Bonn were not around whether or not the Paris Agreement was needed but rather about the details of its implementation. This sends a strong signal that the climate negotiations are not being paralysed by politics. Rather, negotiators engaged in the technical discussions that are required to make substantial progress by COP23 on the rules that will guide the implementation of the agreement.”

Lutz Weischer, Team Leader International Climate Policy, Germanwatch, said:
"The delegates in Bonn worked through their tasks diligently and constructively, showing that countries remain committed to the Paris Agreement. When ministers meet in Berlin on Monday and Tuesday for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, they need to send the same strong signal: The world is committed to making the vision enshrined in the Paris Agreement a reality. This requires a commitment to increase national targets as the first round of the ambition mechanism kicks in in 2018. The Petersberg Dialogue is also another opportunity where ministers from the most vulnerable countries will remind the richest countries that it is their particular responsibility to immediately cut emissions and increase support for addressing climate impact in developing countries. We expect Chancellor Merkel to fight for a strong climate outcome both at the G7 summit in Italy next week and the G20 summit in Germany in July. As the work continues towards COP23 in Bonn, it is crucial that civil society is included in the next steps of the process. Excluding our submissions and participation in roundtables is not acceptable."

Tamar Lawrence-Samuel, Corporate Accountability International, said:
“If this round of negotiations has proved one thing, it’s that governments and civil society organizations are determined to create policy to address the corrosive influence of Big Polluters. Try as they might, the industry and the Global North governments in their pockets will not be successful in suppressing our voices or undermining this movement. Around the globe, people have already made it clear: those driving this crisis have no role in making the rules designed to constrain the source of their profits. Simply put, despite bullying from corporate trade groups and the governments representing the industry’s interests, the progress made at this session ensures that a process is underway to advance a conflict of interest policy in the years to come.”  

Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid, said:
“The Bonn session was a technical meeting meant to work out the details of how the Paris Agreement will operate, and we’re pleased that the negotiators, have weathered uncertainty from the US, rolled up their sleeves and got on well with the job at hand.
Some feared that the indecision around American involvement would have rattled the negotiators, but on the contrary, they have actually shown their resolve and recommitted to the Paris Agreement.
The upcoming meetings, especially the G7 and G20, will be important for preparing the ground for the COP23 summit and will heighten the political pressure for major economies, including the US, to stay on course. They will hopefully send a strong signal to the world on their unwavering support to implementing the Paris Agreement.”

Camilla Born, Policy Adviser, E3G, said:
“From negotiation rooms in Bonn, to phone calls between Beijing and Paris, one message was clear - the Paris Agreement is irreversible. Regardless of the US' ambiguous position, negotiators made steady progress piecing together the finer points of the rulebook. Now attention turns to the G7 and G20 as pressure grows in capitals to deliver the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.”

Jan Kowalzig, Senior Policy Adviser Climate Change, Oxfam said:
“The Paris Agreement is stronger than Donald Trump. Despite his threat to leave the agreement, all other countries have begun crafting the rulebook for the implementation of the landmark climate deal, and will continue to do so at the UN climate summit later this year. World leaders must now use the upcoming G7 and G20 summits to send a strong message to the US president that pulling out of the Paris Agreement will damage the United States, politically, diplomatically and economically."
“Yet there must be no mistake: Current ambition to reduce dangerous greenhouse gas emission remains woefully inadequate. We’re still heading for global warming of 3-4°C with disastrous consequence for millions of people around the world living on the frontlines of climate change as droughts, storms and floods threaten their homes, their harvests and their livelihoods. At the same time, rich countries keep shying away form significantly increasing funds to support poor countries adapting to the worsening impacts.”

Sébastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said:
Unabated by the political posturing of the US government, the climate negotiations continued to progress in Bonn towards the development of practical guidelines to assist governments in translating the Paris Agreement into concrete action. The role of civil society in climate policy was a central issue in Bonn as negotiators and NGOs considered practical approaches to ensure that climate policies are informed by indigenous knowledge and promote gender equality. We are however disappointed that governments did not commit to high standards of transparency when the negotiations next resume. The climate conference in November offers an unique opportunity to stress the urgency of climate action as it will be the first time a small island state is called upon to preside over the negotiations. We hope that Fiji will be able to bring new momentum to this process - in particular in the lead up to the review of collective ambition next year.


About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830





Experts react as UN climate negotiations close

May 26, Bonn, Germany - Expert observers from Climate Action Network have responded to two weeks of UN climate negotiations as they draw to a close today. Civil society reflected on progress during the session and also on what needs to happen over the coming months, ahead of COP 22 in Marrakesh this November, to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement and boost short-term climate action.

“As Donald Trump takes evasive action to insure his golf course against climate impacts, governments and businesses, with far more at stake than the 18th green, are putting in the hard yards to accelerate the drive for 100% renewable energy, to build prosperous economies for the future.” said Wael Hmaidan, Director at Climate Action Network International

"In Bonn the countries have discussed the need for entry into force in a rapid manner. It is necessary that Parties take action back home to ensure that ratification happens swiftly, and in a manner that facilitates increase of ambition and with rules developed to ensure transparency and accountability of climate actions." said Vositha Wijenayake, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Climate Action Network South Asia

"The first week of negotiations post-Paris began with fits and starts. However, Parties managed to agree on an APA agenda and the hope leaving Bonn remains that COP 22 will be the Action COP. However,  because of the inadequacy of ambition in current INDCs, Marrakesh needs to make sure that the path is set for the facilitative dialogue in 2018 in order to ramp up ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C." said Tina Johnson, Policy Director at US Climate Action Network

"After a slow start, the climate negotiations in Bonn picked up pace this week, and the path to a successful climate summit in Marrakesh this November is clearer than it was two weeks ago.  But there is much work ahead if we are to get the meaningful actions that are needed to start to close the substantial gap between the national commitments now on the table and the much greater level of ambition needed to give us a fighting chance of meeting the temperature limitation goals in the Paris Agreement.  We also need to ramp up support for efforts to help vulnerable countries deal with the mounting impacts of climate change that are ever more evident all over the world.  On both of these fronts, leaders, ministers, and negotiators alike need to summon the political will to back up their strong words in Paris with real action in Marrakesh." said Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at Union of Concerned Scientists

"There has been painfully slow progress on key issues at the SB44 session in Bonn making it necessary to hold more meetings before the next Conference of Parties in Morocco. Raising adequate climate finance and carving out necessary rules and modalities to bring the Paris agreement into force must be the highest priority for all negotiators from now to November." said Sanjay Vashist, Director Climate Action Network South Asia

“The G7 Ise-Shima summit held in Japan is a great opportunity to maintain political momentum and accelerate negotiation on the Paris Agreement. However as the only G7 country to promote coal at home and the biggest coal financier internationally, Japan nearly fails to deliver strong message on climate. This looks likely to be remembered as the summit at which Japan missed the chance to capitalise on momentum for change and left it to China to lead the world on renewable energy.” said Kimiko Hirata, International Director at Kiko Network

“During the past two weeks in Bonn, we saw that the Paris spirit is still alive, but the implementation of the new climate deal remains a huge challenge. There has been some progress in helping vulnerable countries and people adapt to the  dangerous impacts of climate change, but more focus must be given to local gender-equitable adaptation plans and programmes. When countries meet at COP22 in Marrakesh, we expect to see a clearer roadmap for scaling up financial support for adaptation, and for addressing unavoidable loss and damage.” said Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International

“Marrakesh needs to be seen as the Renewables COP.  It offers an enormous opportunity to shift the conversation from grand political rhetoric to the implementation of short-term concrete actions which will keep the agreed temperature goals of 1.5°C and 2°C within reach. In Marrakesh countries must support the urgent need for more renewable energy in developing countries. There are exciting enterprises like the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Solar Alliance which were launched in Paris and are building on the global need for renewable energy.” said Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor at Christian Aid

“When countries next meet at COP22 in Marrakech, they need to make serious headway on the rules of the new climate regime and give the necessary teeth to the Paris Agreement. But above all, Marrakech needs to be all about action. Last year’s summit in Paris saw several promising renewable energy initiatives launched and today leaders from three developing country groups, representing over 90 countries, made a strong call for global action on renewable energy in Marrakesh,” said Jens Mattias Clausen, Senior Climate Change Adviser at Greenpeace Nordic.

“This year average global temperatures were more than 1°C higher than before the industrial era – and we have had 7 straight months of record breaking global heat with widespread climate change impacts. As temperatures soar, vulnerable people and ecosystems will have to adapt more drastically and rapidly, but they will also face impacts that go beyond the potential for adaptation. That's why negotiators need to urgently resolve the issue of adaptation and loss and damage to ensure that the necessary support will be delivered to help those that are least responsible but facing the worst consequences.” said Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Global Adaptation Expert for WWF International

“Millions of the world’s most vulnerable people are already facing the disastrous impacts of climate change. Yet, adaptation has been short-changed. COP 22 needs to pick up the unfinished business from Paris. At COP 22, developed countries must present a roadmap to show how they will deliver their $100bn a year promise, and adaptation finance must me a core component of this roadmap.” said Armelle Le Comte, Advocacy Officer for Climate and Fossil Fuels at Oxfam France

“Countries’ agreement to a 1.5°C temperature goal at the Paris talks was a step forward but this week’s next round of talks did not see a realistic conversation about what emissions pathways should look like. It’s extremely dangerous to assume that technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can be used to commit to the 1.5°C target and solve the climate problem. We know that such proposed solutions require massive and unfeasible amounts of land that will compete with food in an already hungry world. If we are to stay under the 1.5°C goal we must be brave and address the elephant in the room – how we reduce our out of control consumption in a world with limitations." said Teresa Anderson, Climate Change Policy Officer at ActionAid


Contact: Tierney Smith, GCCA, email: tierney.smith@tcktcktck.org, phone: +447545255955

About CAN: Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org 



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