Tag: Adaptation

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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Cancun Building Blocks - Oct 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 intervention: Joint high level segment of COP and CMP - statement from observer organizations, COP20, Dec 11, 2014

Thank you Honorable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates,

My name is Mariela Rumiche and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

In September, the climate change movement made history, and yesterday in Lima thousands of people told world leaders we need to see real world action now to prevent irreversible climate impacts.

Here in Lima, governments must show clear and tangible progress on an agreement that will be finalized in Paris, which must be fair and equitable and accelerate the ongoing transition away  from dirty fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

That transition must begin now; in order to meet 1.5°C we cannot delay action until 2020.

Adaptation and Loss and Damage are equally important. From the typhoon in the Philippines to impacts in my home country of Peru people are suffering from the impacts of climate change already.

Finance is key to deliver on mitigation and adaptation. 10 billion dollars, although a good start, is clearly inadequate to address the challenges we are facing in the near term. Also here in Lima, we must agree for a roadmap until 2020 to reach the absolute minimum 100 billion dollars in new and additional public finance.

Thank you Honorable Ministers and Distinguished Delegates

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CAN Intervention: CAN, CJN, Gender, YOUNGO, TUNGO joint intervention in ADP Ministerial, COP20, Dec 10, 2014

I am Lidy Nacpil of Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, and from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice. As a Filipina, the fight against the climate crisis is a fight for the survival of our people not in the future but now.  The only solace we can get from the annual visits of super typhoons exactly at the time of the Summit of the Conference of Parties is the hope that our tragedies will somehow move governments into more ambitious, more just and fairly shared global actions to confront the climate crisis.

The fight against the climate crisis is a struggle for the rights of peoples across the globe. And it is the people those who stand up for their rights --the rights of workers, the rights of women, the rights of youth, the rights of the poor, the rights of communities, the rights of indigenous peoples –--  they are the people who are targeted, harassed, and killed for standing up,  speaking out, and resisting the system that drives the climate crisis  

Ministers, you must recognize this fundamental fact -- that to avert climate catastrophe, you will need all voices and all hands and that you must do more, here at the UNFCCC but also at home - to protect, respect, fulfill the human rights of all to fully and effectively participate in all levels of decision making

One of the outcomes of the ADP negotiations must be much greater commitments by governments to protect rights-defenders. And we expect the Paris agreement to include clear and direct reference to the need for responses to climate change to advance gender equality and respect, promote and fulfill human rights.

Any agreement that will protect future generations must contain commitments to immediate action with a long term perspective. It must recognize that our planet is held in trust for future generations thus Intergenerational equity is a key principle in tandem with equity between people today.

Intergenerational equity and this obligation to the future means that we must have a long term goal of limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5C.  We demand that the world begin to immediately phase out fossil fuel and other dirty and harmful energy projects.  We demand a just transition to 100% renewable energy systems as quickly as possible, that are community owned and deliver energy to the 3 billion women and men without access to enough energy for lives of dignity.

We urge parties to make INDCs in accordance with a cost-benefit analysis of climate change that does not discount our future, while addressing gender equality and human rights.

It is because of the rights of women and men that we demand that the Lima decision addresses all aspects of the climate crisis - not just emission cuts. We expect a decision that mandates all countries to make “intended contributions” on adaptation, finance, technology, and capacity building that are gender responsive and include social and environmental safeguards. It’s only through focusing on these issues at the highest level that the needs of impacted women and men will be addressed.

Mitigation commitments of developing countries but be discussed together with finance and technology transfers without which we cannot possibly hope to see the scale of transformation the world needs. Without adequate, gender responsive, safe finance and technology transfers we cannot ensure a swift complete transition and neither a just transition - one that provides decent, lasting, safe and well-paid jobs, one that does not leave the workers out in the cold.

The conference is not over – there is still time to show this commitment, to show that you listen to your people,  to show that you do hear the almost twenty thousand people marching in central Lima today. You can still take a decision here to see climate change as more than just emission cuts but also about  the rights of women and men. You can still take the decision to include adaptation, finance and technology as mandatory elements of your contributions to the future agreement.

We also urge you to put the issue of pre-2020 actions at the top of your agenda in Lima.  Targets in 2025 will be too late if we continue with the weak proposals for the next six years - you face a political and physical imperative to drastically change direction on immediate climate action.  We must move away from a talk shop format and transform the pre-2020 process into solutions-based collaborative forums that look to the needs of women and men for greener jobs, energy access, clean and healthy communities, and control over their own energy systems. All these are possible if there is commitment at the highest level to seeing real outcomes on pre-2020 action, and ensuring transfer of finance and technology.

We also demand a commitment to revisit and revise ways to scale-up your 2020 targets until you bring them into line with what science and justice requires. We demand an agreement on a finance roadmap that shows when, how, and how much finance will be available to tackle climate change in the South. And we expect discussions on clear and concrete proposals to start a global energy transformation away from the fossil fuel era, and into renewable energy. All of these issues are on the table, and actions on these issues are being called for - by the science, back in your capitals, out there in the streets, and in here.

The climate crisis is about real people -- women and men, girls and boys – across the globe.  Their rights, their survival, their future should guide your decisions in Lima.

Australia displays willful ignorance on scope for climate action

  

This is getting bizarre. Australia wins the Fossil of the Day Award...again! Is it lack of sleep? Is it the heat? Ministers are arriving and we are supposed to be getting serious but Australia is getting silly. They are making some very telling statements at this COP, statements that slip into the realm of willful ignorance, and that is why they get today’s fossil.

Here in Lima, Australia is saying that they don’t understand the concept of a “long-term temperature limit”. Have they ever put food in the oven with the heat raised to high? Or more seriously, have they bothered to read the World Bank’s Turn Down the Heat report? This outlines very clearly why we need to prevent long-term temperature rise above 1.5C or 2C, which countries have agreed to. 

Continuing their slapstick approach to these negotiations, Australia has also stated it doesn’t really understand the idea of “global solidarity” either. Has anyone on the Australian delegation seen a photograph of the earth from space? If not, then here’s a newsflash for them: we live in a single biosphere and we rely on communities all around the world for our security, food and health - we are all in this together when it comes to climate impacts. 

We all do silly things, but not all the time. Now is the time for Australia to shape up and take these negotiations seriously. Perhaps they should take a short course on the Cancun agreement on the global temperature threshold. Then, after Lima, their delegation and Prime Minister could visit some of the vulnerable islands off the coast of Australia or the drought and wildfire-stricken districts in their very own country - to learn why we need to weed out free-riders and act in global solidarity to tackle climate change.

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Rich countries wobble over explicit request to scale up climate action at COP20

December 6, 2014, Lima, Peru: As another brutal super typhoon bares down on the Philippines, developed countries at the UN climate negotiations in Lima (COP20) have baulked at specific measures that would have them scale up climate action now.

Tasneem Essop, head of advocacy and strategy for WWF International’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative said negotiators came to Lima riding a wave of optimism and hope.

“ After a few days of false starts, countries have rolled up their sleeves and are getting to work, but unfortunately, the negotiators don’t seem to want to get their hands dirty. They seem to have forgotten that they are here to solve a planetary emergency,” Essop says. 

“In particular, efforts to cut emissions before 2020 – when science says emissions must peak to avoid the worst consequences of climate change - have completely fallen off the political radar. Negotiators here are fixing the fire alarms while the building burns.”

In negotiations yesterday, the EU, Canada, the US, New Zealand and Australia deleted detailed references in the draft text related to a review or a revisit of their existing commitments in the pre-2020 period, with the excuse that it was covered in the Warsaw agreement. 

“What this COP needs is a consistent and explicit reminder of the actions required in now. Any deal that doesn’t address an emissions peak before 2020 is a sure fall into a quicksand of deadly climate impacts. We cannot sacrifice a scientifically and equitably sound deal for a weak political outcome in Paris.”

In a further threat to climate action, China, among others, is pushing back on creating a strong and transparent assessment of national climate contributions toward the new agreement due in Paris at the end of next year. 

With Typhoon Hagupit making landfall in the Philippines, one year after the devastation wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the reality of the climate threat - and the need to help vulnerable communities deal with the crisis - could not be easier for all to see. 

Voltaire Alferez, national coordinator, Aksyon Klima Philippines says, “In the face of worsening impacts, like sea level rise, we do not want sympathy or pity, we want solidarity and action for those of us in vulnerable countries. We need this process to deliver.”

Julie-Anne Richards, manager international policy, from the Climate Justice Programme says after the Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines during the Warsaw climate negotiations last year, a new mechanism was established to help communities deal with climate impacts to which they cannot adapt - this is the so-called Warsaw Mechanism for Loss and Damage.

“It’s not possible to adapt to losing your family in a typhoon. It’s not possible to adapt to your island home going under water," Richards says. "It’s not possible to adapt when your farmland becomes a desert. These are examples of loss and damage, and they show why loss and damage is so important for vulnerable countries – who want assurance that they won’t be left to suffer." 

Under the loss and damage mechanism, which many countries want as a stand-alone pillar of the Paris agreement, wealthy countries need to mobilize support for climate vulnerable states. However, there are concerns that countries, led by the US, pushed back on ensuring adequate representation of vulnerable countries  on the committee managing the mechanism.

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Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International in Lima on 963 961 813 or +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org,  

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CAN Intervention in the COP20 SBI Closing Plenary, 5 December, 2014

Thank you Chair,

I am Carmen Capriles speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The IPCC has made it extremely clear that the "limits to adaptation" exceed with greater rates and magnitude of climate change. Already there are several examples of impossible adaptation to intolerable and unavoidable risks such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, and loss of territory and biodiversity.

We need to take appropriate steps here in Lima to quickly operationalize the mechanism. First and foremost, let us establish The Executive Committee by agreeing on its composition and modalities of the Warsaw International Mechanism. The ExCom should mirror the composition of the Adaptation Committee as suggested by developing countries and particularly, a representative from the SIDS and LDCs should be included.

The 2 year work plan, based on the proposal by the initial Executive Committee should be adopted here but there is a clear need to include and strengthen its financial and technical support aspects. The 2015 agreement needs to be informed by the latest scientific analysis, which has been endorsed with high confidence by all countries. CAN demands that loss and damage due to reaching the limits of adaptation should be captured explicitly as a separate element in the agreement.

Thank you.

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CAN Intervention in the COP20 SBI Opening Plenary, 1 December 2014-not delivered

Thank you Co-Chairs,

I am Neoka Naidoo speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

IPCC AR5 highlights the urgent need to scale up adaptation and that limits are being surpassed. There has been notable progress related to the institutional set up for adaptation and loss and damage. The roadmap for developing countries to reduce vulnerability of their populations through the development of National Adaptation Plans is getting clearer. The recent pledges for the Green Climate Fund have provided a much needed boost, though the money must actually flow.

However, needs on the ground are much higher than what is currently on the table.  The expected 4 degree increase by the end of the century, according to the current emission reduction trajectory, paints a devastating picture for poor people and ecosystems. In Lima, Parties must ensure that adaptation becomes a central and integral element of the 2015 agreement including a link between expected levels of global temperature increase based on collective mitigation ambition and the support provided to poor countries and communities, recognizing human rights. We also expect progress with regard to support and guidelines for non-LDCs to prepare National Adaptation Plans.

Efforts to operationalize the loss and damage mechanism must be undertaken through the adoption of an ambitious 2 year work plan with both technical and financial capacity to address loss and damage affecting vulnerable populations, countries and ecosystems.

Thank you.

 

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