Tag: Mitigation

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 Submission: Future of the IPCC

Scientific intelligence is key to understanding the facts and challenges of human induced climate change. For CAN, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most authoritative scientific body on these issues, because there is no other body whose methodologies guarantee a scientific quality of any comparable level as the IPCC.

Science is a strong driver for progress in the UNFCCC negotiations.

The First Assessment Report of the IPCC (FAR) previously led to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC), the Second Assessment Report (SAR) to the Kyoto Protocol, and the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) helped to mobilize the public and 120 heads of state on a global scale for COP 15 in Copenhagen, which was expected to produce an important climate treaty. Furthermore, the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) should now prepare for an effective outcome of COP 21, in Paris.

Based on these experiences, CAN considers the work of the IPCC essential for the UNFCCC and strongly supports the establishment of a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). Some adjustments stimulated by the lessons learnt during AR5 could further improve the products of the IPCC. 

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CAN Intervention: ADP Closing Plenary SB40s, not delivered, 15 June, 2014

 

This written intervention is submitted by the Climate Action Network to the final plenary of ADP2.5.

This session began on a high note with positive signals coming out of two major emitters.  During the session, we heard over 60 countries expressed support for the idea of a phase out of greenhouse gas emissions.  These are encouraging developments, however, as the now inevitable ultimate collapse of sections of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet remind us, all countries need to be going further, faster.  We expect - and we need - more positive signals and firm new commitments coming out of September’s Ban Ki-Moon Summit, COP20, and through to the March 2015 deadline for post-2020 contributions. 

In Lima, Parties will need to agree on the upfront information required for their post-2020 contributions as well as the process by which those contributions should be assessed.  We are concerned that some Parties do not think such an assessment is necessary.  CAN believes warming should be limited to 1.5°C.  The commitments made in Paris must be consistent with such a temperature goal.  We will conduct a civil society review to ensure that proposed contributions - both mitigation and financial - are adequate and equitable.  At a minimum, an official space within the ADP should be created for civil society and research organisation to present the outcomes of their assessments in June 2015; in addition to the question and answer sessions we expect Parties to hold regarding their contributions.  Parties will also need to agree on a deadline for resubmitting contributions prior to COP21 should these prove inadequate.

To enable such an assessment, proposed contributions must be quantifiable, comprehensible, comparable and reproducible and this should be reflected in upfront information requirements.  For developed countries, there must be no backsliding from the Kyoto approach with multi-year carbon budgets based on common metrics.  This type of commitment should be expanded to a broader group of countries, including all in the OECD.  Finance is also a core element of the upfront information requirements.  It is an integral part of fair share for developed countries and, in the post-2020 context, for those with comparable levels of responsibility and capability.  The upfront information requirements should also include an agreed list of equity indicators which Parties should use to explain why their proposed contributions represent an ambitious and adequate contribution to the glob­al climate challenge.  To avoid locking in low levels of ambition, all contributions must have a common end date of 2025, while Parties should also indicate their emissions pathways over the longer term in 2030, 2040 and an ultimate phase out of fossil fuel emissions in 2050.

In Paris, Parties have to commit to phasing out fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future for all by mid-century.  In order to achieve these goals, we need to act now.  Lima must capture progress under workstream two and Parties must agree to concrete measures to reduce emissions.  The technical expert meetings should continue beyond 2014 until we have closed the gap.

We look forward to a productive session in October.  Much remains to be done to ensure ambitious outcomes in Lima, Paris and beyond.

Thank you Co-Chairs.

 

 

Happy Global Wind Day

  • Global wind power has already crossed the 300 GW mark. Installed capacity now equals the capacity of all power plants in South and Central America!
  • The wind industry provides 650,000 jobs worldwide.
  • Wind power is cheap and ready to go. In Australia, power can be supplied from a new wind farm at a cost of AU$80/MWh, compared to $143/MWh from a new coal plant.
  • EU citizens pay €2 every day for the EU’s fossil fuel imports.

Wind power

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ECO’s Climate Summit expectations

As the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit approaches, we are sure Parties, investors and businesses are wondering how to pack their bags and appropriately prepare for New York this September.

ECO would like to help. We know that Parties sometimes struggle with long lists of things they need to prepare. There is a regrettable tendency for some Parties to forget what they have already packed interventions in their bags already, or to wear old items of clothing in the hope that we don’t notice that it’s just the same old thing refashioned.

However, without any kind of a list to work from, ECO is concerned that Parties will arrive in New York completely not dressed appropriately for the occasion. Hot air and vague promises are not going to provide the cover needed at the summit. So here is what ECO recommends that Parties should pack for the Climate Summit:

1) New measures to scale up investment in, and deployment of, renewable energy and energy efficiency. This will to help fill the pre-2020 mitigation gap, but will also help you to pledge your support for a just transition to a fossil-free and 100% renewable future by 2050.

2) Then, if you are committed to a just transition, you will want to come to New York with substantial pledges for the Green Climate Fund and a commitment to increase the overall scale of climate finance.

3) And obviously, becoming fossil free means sending a strong signal that the age of coal is over. That means announcements from the US and China (inter alia) on domestic limits to coal use (going beyond current plans), the phase out of export credit and development bank finance for coal infrastructure from OECD countries, and coal divestment announcements by private sector actors.

If you arrive at the Summit with all of this in your suitcase, then you will be the talk of the town as all your clothing choices will make a climate fashion statement that the world will applaud about your determination to achieve a strong climate agreement in Paris and stop climate change.

Thanks in advance from ECO. We can’t wait!

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Tony Abbott’s plan: surreal and catastrophic

Australian Prime Minister Abbott's fossil fuel celebration tour got even more surreal yesterday when he donned a cowboy hat in Texas. Abbott also offered up his long term view on the prospects for coal — he believes that it will fuel human progress for many decades to come.  Meanwhile, here in Bonn, delegates were treated to a glimpse of what the world would look like if Abbott’s dystopia came to pass.

The topic was the melting of Antarctic ice sheets and the latest scientific findings that melting in massive areas of the polar region has recently passed a tipping point. Much of the Western Antarctic ice sheet is now melting and likely to contribute to devastating sea-level rise, a catastrophic consequence.

Abbott had better hold onto his hat tightly while riding the coal-power bull. He may be shouting “Yee-haw” in Texas at the moment but this crazy ride can only end with floods of tears. 

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Assessing the assessment phase discussion: part II

ECO thinks that the ADP has a pretty simple job in designing the next phases of the INDCs process. After completing the information requirements, we simply need an  INDCs assessment phase, as pointed out by AILAC and Palau. The first step of the assessment phase is - you guessed it- all parties submitting INDCs by March 2015. This could not be simpler, really.

March 2015 is only around the corner. Parties need to start preparing their INDCs from the moment they get home. While they make their preparations, Parties should remember that mitigation contributions alone will not pass the assessment test. Both mitigation and finance contributions are necessary to shape an acceptable INDC for a wealthy country. ECO welcomes Mexico's clear statement in this regard and reminds developed countries about their responsibility to play a leading role on finance.

Scaling up INDCs during the assessment phase may be a frightening idea for some Parties. ECO has just the thing to cure that phobia: produce ambitious INDCs in the first place and, if these still fall short of the level of action required, complement increased emission reduction targets with other types of contributions. For example, in the assessment phase, an absolute emissions reduction target as an initial NDC can be strengthened by additional efforts to scale up renewable energy and/or energy efficiency. ECO believes that such an approach would allow the assessment phase to lead to scaled-up NDCs through an approach based on environmental integrity and ambitious climate action, while allowing for the necessary flexibility.

ECO reminds Parties that this first assessment phase before Paris is just the initial step. It needs to be followed by a second ratcheting phase during which an agreed mechanism will be used to further scale up ambition based on science driven adequacy and an equity outcome oriented review.

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CAN Position: Long Term Global Goals for 2050

Climate Action Network calls for phasing out all fossil fuel emissions and phasing in a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all, as early as possible, but not later than 2050.

Climate change is here, now, and is a matter of survival. The recently released Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes the impacts of climate change on the planet, people and nature in much more detail and with even more robust science.  Some present and projected future impacts, such as those on food security, sea level rise or ocean acidification, are occurring with more intensity than previously anticipated. These impacts will be disruptive for all countries; especially for the global poor and vulnerable peoples.

The agreement to be reached at COP 21 in Paris must signal the end of the fossil fuel era and an accelerated transition to a 100% renewable energy future for all by 2050.  The cornerstone of this legally binding agreement must be ambitious mitigation commitments and actions from all countries, the nature and stringency of which will vary depending on their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC).

In order to achieve deep emission reductions, action needs to start now with peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2015. This is extremely critical for long-term climate stability. Any delay in peaking will make achieving the lowest levels of warming even more challenging, will substantially increase costs of mitigation and adaptation efforts, and may necessitate the need for environmentally and socially questionable technologies to be deployed in order to reduce emissions. While near-term emission reductions are necessary to keep the door open to limiting warming below 1.5°C, long-term emission pathways are critical to its achievement.   Therefore, in addition to ambitious near-term action, Paris must also outline a vision for a carbon emissions-free future in the form of a binding long-term goal. 

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The Saudi Top 20

Don’t sell yourself short, Saudi Arabia, under any definition you’re important! During Wednesday’s ADP session on the information required for INDCs, Saudi Arabia suggested that only the world’s top 20 emitters should worry about offering mitigation contributions to a Paris Protocol. The rest of the world, they said, should focus on adaptation, as their emissions are “minuscule”. ECO already debunked the “minuscule” argument yesterday. Nothing is minuscule when you’re phasing-out fossil fuel emissions. And you can’t very well achieve the ADP’s purpose of “ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties” if 80% of Parties don’t mitigate. However, when you look at the countries in the top 20, Saudi has created quite the problem with its creative approach – it’s on the list, any way you slice it. As ECO digs deeper into this Saudia Arabia-style differentiation, things become more and more curious. Someone call Norway; tell them to toss out their reductions target of 40%. Switzerland? Who needs its 20% target? On the other hand, ECO wonders whether Saudi Arabia has contacted its fellow Like-Minded Developing Country group members (China, India and Iran) to break the news that they should join Saudi Arabia in doing most of the mitigation effort! Back in the real world, it is clear to ECO that we need all countries to do their fair share of mitigation in the post-2020 period. Rather than arbitrary cut-offs, each country should show why its proposed contribution is both adequate and fair — based on an agreed list of equity indicators. ECO gives Saudi Arabia an “A” for creativity, but an “F” for failing to protect the vulnerable.

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