Tag: Mitigation

Letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - CAN responds to Japan's draft INDC

CAN's 900 members wrote to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today, urging him to scale up his country's draft intended nationally determined contribution towards the Paris agreement. 

See attached and below.



Dear Mr. Shinzo Abe,

On behalf of CAN, the largest network of NGOs working to keep the climate safe, I am writing to express concern from around the world in regard to the draft intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) towards the Paris agreement being considered by Japan. 

From its role in the forging of the Kyoto Protocol, to its commitment to Fast Start Finance, it can be said that Japan was a leader of climate action with a savvy and sophisticated economy geared to reap rewards from the efforts to address climate change. 

But those days now appear to be firmly in the past. Japan’s proposal, just announced today, to put forward at target of reducing emissions by around 26% on 2013 levels relegates it to that of a laggard on climate issues.  With this bare minimum target, Japan has not presented a credible plan to shift its economy from reliance on climate change-causing fossil fuels to renewable energy. This means the country will become increasingly exposed politically and economically to climate change.  Instead of putting forward a bold commitment, Japan has engaged with a slight of hand - changing base years - in an apparent attempt to make its offer look more appealing than it is. The world community is not fooled. 

By clinging to an outdated model of energy generation which gives utilities too much control and continuing to rely on inflexible nuclear and coal for “baseload” power, the country appears increasingly at odds with the momentum that is building towards a phase out of fossil fuels and the explosive growth in the renewable energy industry, even though it has all the ingredients to become a winner in a decarbonised world.  It is clear, Japan is being overtaken by key rivals, such as the US and China, on climate in advance of the Paris negotiations this December and who are standing ready to scoop up the benefits of accelerating the transition to renewable energy. By failing to send a strong message to the international community, Japan’s ideas on how to forge the Paris agreement will fall on deaf ears.

But it is not too late. Your government has the chance to review the draft and make a contribution that will unlock the benefits of action for the Japanese people and it’s economy. Therefore, ahead of the G7 meeting in Germany this June, CAN calls on Japan to set a target of over 40 per cent emissions reductions based on 1990 levels.  Only such a target will start to restore the country to a position of leadership on climate and spark the investment in renewable energy which the country’s people are calling for. 

Prime Minister Abe, we hope you hear this call and look forward to further exchange views on these issues.



Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

Climate Action Network-International - on behalf of its 900 NGO members.









安倍晋三 内閣総理大臣殿











Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

Climate Action Network-International - on behalf of its 900 NGO members.



Report: Co-Benefits of Climate Action

More jobs, fewer deaths and money saved from fuel imports. That’s what the climate action commitments laid out by the EU, US and China will deliver to their nations, according to a study by NewClimate Institute, and commissioned by Climate Action Network. 

The new study calculates that as well as helping reduce climate change risk, the steps outlined in the plans for these three economies will mean a total of almost 1 million new jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 113,000 people who will no longer die prematurely thanks to reduced air pollution, and huge savings from avoiding the high costs of imported fossil fuels. 

What’s more, scaling up their commitments to be in line with the transition to economies powered by 100% renewables by mid-century will mean unlocking even more benefits for these nations. More ambitious plans would collectively create around 3 million jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 2 million people who would otherwise fall victim to deadly air pollution, and would save around US$520 billion from avoided fossil fuel imports per year. If all countries took climate actions at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2degC threshold, beyond which scientists predict climate change to spin out of control.

Read the full report for more or contact Ria Voorhaar at rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org 


Global Civil Society Responds to Japan’s New 2020 Target

Japan announced its new 2020 emissions reduction target today at the UN climate negotiations in Poland. While parties are negotiating to raise the level of ambition during this year’s meeting, Japan has now abandoned their 25% reduction target from 1990, and proposed 3.1% increase compared to 1990 levels.

Wael Hmaidan, Director of CAN International said in a statement, “Japan's new targets are outrageous. This will have a serious and negative impact on the negotiations. Withdrawing from climate action is like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change such as the Philippines.”
Civil society was expecting more from the world’s third largest economic country, but instead they are racing to the bottom.
According to Japanese Climate Action Network spokesperson, Kimiko Hirata “Stopping nuclear power is not a legitimate reason for lowering their target. There are countries putting ambitious targets shifting their energy source from nuclear to renewables.”
To abandon the 25% emission reduction target and put forward a target with increased emissions is a betrayal to the international community. One of the most important issues at this year’s negotiations is to address the gap between the mitigation pledges of Parties and the emission reduction needed to keep the average global surface temperature rise to 2℃ from pre-industrial levels.
Another problematic country at these negotiations has been Australia, which tabled legislation to repeal their price on carbon.

Australian civil society is taking to the streets on Sunday to oppose their government’s announcements.

ON DEMAND WEBCAST of  'COLOURFUL STUNT' DURING PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE:  http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongres...

Contact:  Ria Voorhaar, Email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, +49 157 317 355 68.




CAN's Submission to ADP2 - Increasing Short Term Ambition

Despite the governments of the world agreeing that warming needs to stay under a 2C threshold, not enough is being done to achieve this goal. Carbon pollution needs to be drastically reduced and emissions need to peak by 2015. Read CAN's submission to the second workstream of the ADP of the UN climate negotiations below. 


Local tourism, Dar es Salaam port under threat from rising seas

Tanzania’s two major sources of income - tourism and trade - could be hit hard by climate change, according to a new report released by the World Bank today. 
The report, Turn Down the Heat - Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience - takes an in depth look at what climate change means for Sub Saharan Africa. It compares the impacts on the region if warming continues at its current rate with impacts if governments successfully limit average global temperature rise to 2° Celsius.
While not removing the risk altogether, if temperature rise is kept under 2 degrees Celsius, and comprehensive plans to adapt communities to climate change are put in place, many of the worst impacts can be avoided.
However, even at 2°C, the sea could rise 70cm in Tanzania by the later third of this century, wreaking havoc with the port infrastructure at Dar es Salaam. The port, which serves not only Tanzania but its landlocked neighbors such as Uganda, Congo DRC, handles 95 per cent of the country’s international trade and is responsible for more than 10 per cent of the city’s GDP.
Also threatened by sea level rise, together with an expected increase in flooding and extreme weather events like cyclones, are Tanzania and Kenya’s coastal tourism infrastructure such as hotels and resorts - another key source of income for the region. 
According to the World Bank, most coastal areas have already reported an increase in yearly damage from tropical storms and floods. Additionally, Coral Reefs in Tanzania’s Indian Ocean are particularly vulnerable to bleaching - another drain on tourism income.
The jewel in Tanzania’s crown, Mt Kilimanjaro, is also expected to lose tourists as the mountain’s glacier continues to disappear as a result of the rapidly warming world. 
Across Sub Saharan Africa, poverty reduction efforts and economic growth could potentially slump in the region as crop yields drop and water access problems are exacerbated, Sixbert Mwanga, of Climate Action Network Tanzania, said.
“This report highlights the threat the climate change poses to the hard won gains in development we have made in this region in recent years,” Mwanga said. 
“Africa needs support from the international community to adopt a low carbon approach to development that is compatible with meeting the human rights and needs of its growing population.”
Climate change of 2°C will lead to worse health for many people across Sub Saharan Africa. An increase in undernourishment, childhood stunting, malaria and other diseases could impact the ability of children to receive an education.
Climate Action Network is calling on Tanzanian government to map a socio-economic transition plan to a low-carbon economy and community. “The government needs to secure a climate-resilient future for the people of Tanzania.”  
About CAN
Climate Action Network Tanzania (CAN-Tanzania) is a national network of over 65 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
For more information, please contact: Sixbert Mwanga, Coordinator CAN Tanzania 
Phone: +255717313660 

Only Fools DON’T Rush In (to a Low-Carbon Future)!

Sometimes in life it pays to be contemplative. One should do one’s research before buying a house (who wants to live in a flood zone made more vulnerable by climate change?) or getting married (imagine if s/he is secretly a climate sceptic or a bottom-up advocate!) or starting a family (OK, so maybe that doesn’t always happen, but you get ECO’s point). Considering options to increase the level of ambition, however, is NOT one of those issues. The options are clear. The task now is their immediate implementation.

The workshop on enhancing near-term ambition did highlight that many countries are moving forward with a wide variety of mitigation initiatives. This is very good.  However, as we know, it is not enough. ECO was also pleased to see a number of countries referring to some very good ways to increase ambition, ranging from upping their pledges, to phasing out HFCs or fossil fuel subsidies, to reducing black carbon, enhancing energy efficiency, protecting our forests or addressing the emissions from international bunkers (hello ICAO assembly in September!). What upsets ECO is that countries have been talking about these options for a long time.  ECO cannot imagine having to continue to talk about them all the way to Warsaw (and possibly beyond). It is time to get into the details of implementation – as the Marshall Islands put it, the “nuts and bolts” – so that, by the time the Warsaw COP comes around, countries are taking concrete decisions attached to tangible emissions reductions.
ECO thought it would be useful, albeit possibly repetitive, to outline what some of those concrete measures would be:
  • Increase those targets: EU 30%, Australia 25%, the USA – well if you agreed with so much of the discussion ECO is sure implementing those ideas can get you beyond 3%...
  • Announce new pledges – now that the pressure is off for our COP President and its friends, let’s formalise and build on the announcements made in Qatar. ECO is happy to help with press conferences and the like.
  • Start drafting that COP decision proposed by the EU to call on the Montreal Protocol to get its act together on HFCs.
  • Call your colleagues working with ICAO and get them prepared to commit in September.
  • Implement programs to address the upfront costs of renewables in order to enhance their deployment (so UK – do we have a date for the June session? ☺ )
  • Call your friends at the World Bank and get them to shift investment patterns to renewable energy and energy efficiency; the World Bank (like ECO) is adamant that we must avoid a 4°C world, and yet as Mali and Senegal highlighted, finance for low-carbon options identified in a country’s low-carbon plan is not always there, leaving emissions-intensive development as the default. This leads well into the next point.
  • SHOW US THE MONEY. That is to say, high-income countries need to support developing countries, who can do more, with more. It really is that simple.
With the numerous win-win opportunities discussed today, only fools wouldn’t rush in to a safe, clean, low-carbon future.


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You Can’t Feed Your Addiction and Break It, Too

While delegates will be discussing low emission development opportunities in today’s workshop, many of your countries are still feeding their tragic addiction to fossil fuels. You say you want to keep global warming below 2°C and to keep the door open for 1.5°C, but in fact you are consuming fossil fuels as if 4 degrees was the new 2 degrees.

The International Monetary Fund tells us thzat this addiction is costing your taxpayers USD 1.9 trillion each year in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry (FYI, for comparison, 1.9 trillion seconds is about 60,000 years!). As shown recently by the International Energy Agency, the result of this is a continuous rise of global carbon emissions each year, while we know that emissions should in fact peak well before 2015. 
The archaic, continued support for fossil fuels means that they remain artificially profitable and that low carbon alternatives such as renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are emerging much slower than they could. Let’s be honest here: you are not aiming for a 2°C world. No, in fact you are undermining the development of these low carbon opportunities, which could create local jobs and steer innovation. Instead you line the pockets of the fossil fuel dealers and encourage them to invest further in a 4+°C future. 
Just last year, the energy industry invested 674 billion dollars for more fossil fuels! However, the Carbon Tracker Initiative has shown that national governments and global markets have created a carbon bubble that will make the real estate bubble look like a blip. If Parties are really serious about avoiding dangerous climate change, nearly 70 percent of known reserves of oil, gas and coal must remain in the ground. Further investments in fossil fuels are locking us in to a carbon-intensive development pathway and making climate action more costly, while diverting investments from existing low cost low carbon solutions.
In ECO’s opinion, any new fossil fuel infrastructure puts our planet at risk. ECO therefore suggests that you stop being bipolar and start having a serious conversation here in Bonn about how to phase out fossil fuels subsidies. ECO has pointed out that this phasing out should not increase the vulnerability of people in developing countries and therefore must happen in developed countries first.
The ADP could develop ambitious pathways for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries and identify options to shift those subsidies to additional mitigation activities (allowing higher pledges by developed countries). Imagine all that you can do with these savings from phasing out subsidies! You could use this money to support climate actions in developing countries! Or, at the very least, buy ECO some very nice birthday presents (green's our favourite colour).
For developing countries, the ADP could support work to carefully switch fossil fuel subsidies into supporting clean energy access and fostering sustainable development. The ADP could also identify and discuss ways for some developing countries to pursue fossil fuel subsidy phase-out as supported NAMAs.
Being conflicted over such a serious issue can’t be good for your mental health over the long term. Best resolve it now.
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Raise The Bar or Stay Home

Even as CO2 concentrations are about to break the 400ppm threshold, fresh climate disasters are announced all over the planet, and carbon prices are collapsing because of lax targets on par with BAU, countries have apparently come to the UNFCCC ADP meeting in Bonn with nothing to offer.

Developed countries seem to be looking off in the distance beyond 2020, with images of universal participation and bottom-up national pledges dancing in their heads. Mundane issues like what has to change in the next 6 years and 8 months to stay below 2 degrees are apparently the farthest thing from their minds.
Parties are in Bonn to get down to work on two tasks – raise pre-2020 ambition and craft the next legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas pollution –  potentially the most significant global treaty that will ever be negotiated. Delegates should be mindful of the fact that that your work this week and over the next few years will secure you a place in the history books.
Whether the legacy you leave behind is positive or abysmal depends on your creativity, commitment, negotiating skills and sheer hard craft. In short, you will have to be prepared to pull out all the stops. Our planet deserves no less. 
Although negotiating a fresh climate deal for a new decade and beyond, Parties also need to address the less sexy issue of the yawning gap between the pledges that are currently on the table and the effort required to limit global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Neither objective should be ignored to the detriment of the other.
Take heart from the fact that the more we achieve in terms of closing the gap over the next 6 or so years, the lighter that workload will be. And it would augur badly indeed if Parties entered into a new climate agreement with a huge ambition deficit. 
One place parties can start making progress this year is on international transport. After failing to get any text in discussions under the Bali Action Plan, this year Parties can make a fresh start, by reaching agreement under the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization on a fast track to implementation of market-based measures for international maritime transport and aviation that can put a price on emissions from these sectors.
The ADP must take up this issue and ensure that these sectors make their fair contribution to global efforts to control emissions and generate finance for climate action in developing countries.
Action is needed on many fronts. As yesterday's opening statement by AOSIS laid out, “this is about political will.” Developed countries must have the will to take real action on curbing the continual increase in global temperatures or, let's face it, a new global deal won’t meet our agreed goal of staying below 2°C. So, developed country Parties, best shape up or head home.
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Mothers of Ambition

Plato observed in The Republic that necessity is the mother of invention.  Parties, he was speaking about you.  Humanity formed the State to enable the conditions for sufficient food, shelter and security.  Today we face an unprecedented challenge – how will we respond? 

At this early stage in developing the global climate agreement in 2015, “ambition” dominates the agenda – and for good reason. The IPCC’s forthcoming AR5 will shine a bright and unyielding light on the planetary emergency we now face.  
It’s not just about the need to close the emissions gap. While those 11 gigatonnes will help the atmosphere, they won’t break the back of the politics to get us below 2°C.  What is required is for collective agreement to dramatically change the course of human development with the climate clock ticking. So it’s simple: the 2015 deal must deliver ambition compatible with a below 2°C trajectory.  
There is a sense in some quarters that a top-down method to achieve that kind of ambition is out of reach politically, so a bottom-up approach will have to suffice. But these underachievers are missing the point.  Either they wilfully ignore the fact that climate change will ravage the globe and its inhabitants, or they think Plan B[ottom-up] can keep us out of harm's reach of unavoidable climate change. But Plan B isn’t working.  After all, despite floods, droughts, fires and the vanishing Arctic sea ice, developed country commitments have hardly changed since Copenhagen and the Green Climate Fund still has no money.
For those of us, like ECO, who defend the legally binding regime, we get pinned as idealists.  But ECO begs to differ. You are the idealists. We are the realists. We know what is needed to avoid dangerous climate change and to keep us on a below 2°C trajectory.
Of course, these bottom-up actions are helping, but it’s not enough. Moreover, those proactively promoting Plan B[ottom-up] are neglecting the investors and businesses that require a strong signal from governments to shift their assets. And ECO knows that a strong signal doesn’t mean a “yeah, I can do that, for sure”.  Nope, it needs a legally binding, long-term commitment for governments to decarbonise their economies. 
So ECO wants to see everyone behave in our new (albeit temporary) accommodation here in Bonn. And in particular on equity.   ECO would like to see here in Bonn the development of a strong equity framework that provides both context and metrics to measure progress.  We are seeing notable progress in refining that framework, anchored firmly in the Convention and the foundational, but dynamic, concepts of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and equitable access to sustainable development. But progress is not yet completed, and Parties must stay focused on achieving a shared understanding on equity.
While necessity is the mother of invention, invention, in this case, requires a top-down regime.
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The Doha Decisions

Today is the day to press the reset button. The planet is shouting warning signs at us but the Conference is sleepwalking off the cliff of climate disaster. A political deal was struck in Durban and all need to stand by it.
Ministers, while you bemoan theimpending doom in high sounding high-level speeches and promise to do everything within your power to stop it, your negotiators dig in ever deeper in the back rooms of the QNCC.
The Doha deal ECO believes is still within reach would take immediate steps to improve the short-term ambition we urgently need. Your political ambitions need to be matched by targets and pledges more ambitious than the ones currently on offer.

Speaking of pledges: whatever hap-pened to the ambition of the Gulf countries to become climate leaders? What or who is holding them back? Was this the cause of the commotion at the Qatar Airways desk yesterday?
Clearly, much hard work lies ahead to close the growing gigatonne gap. This must start right away with an ambition ‘ratchet’ mechanism (KP) and plan of work with specific milestones (ADP). 

Which brings us to the most uncooperative track of all, the LCA. With 53 (!) outstanding issues, this feels like the playroom after a toddler’s birthday party. Is that what you mean by Party-driven process? Where is the leadership, who can take the reins? Surely, with good will, the spirit of compromise and some elbow grease the real crunch issues can be dealt with by ministers. And the outstanding ones can be moved forward to a suitable home before the sun sets here at Doha.

Now – no more delays, no more excuses – you must adopt strong amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that strengthen its environmental integrity by limiting hot air. To those that abandon Kyoto in search of a warmer climate: shame on you.

There are some encouraging signals that progress was made on the workplan needed to keep us on track for a fair, ambitious and binding Paris Agreement in 2015. We must of course learn from past mistakes (pssst, Copenhagen)! This workplan needs clear deadlines and milestones. We strongly recommend delivering a consolidation text by the end of next year and negotiating text at COP 20 at the latest.
Also essential to a Doha deal are concrete inclusive steps to be agreed on implementing the 'fairness' principles of the Convention in our new 2015 deal.  We need clarity on what 'equity' means for you and what it means for me?  If even the U.S. can learn to talk about it, so can we all. But talk is cheap and these ‘discussions’ need to informnegotiations starting in 2013. 

Announcements on finance are awaited from those countries that have yet to make theirs. But in order fordeveloping countries to have confidence that the $100 billion per year commitment will be kept by 2020, the LCA must close with a clear collective commitment that public finance will increase above Fast Start levels in 2013, and amount to at least $60 billion in new and additional public finance by 2015. To do otherwise is to leave the poorest communities without any assurance that they will be supported to cope with climate impacts.

Looking back in 2015 we might find the real story of the Doha climate talks was not that yet another compromise deal was struck -- a tiny step forward when step change was needed. The Doha deal must start to pave the way for the most vulnerable, the victims of climate change whose faces we saw on Al Jazeera, who are facing loss and damage this very day in their communities and cultures. You must agree today to set up and pilot an international loss and damage mechanism.

Doha may still be remembered as the place where you rediscovered your will to cooperate. Just maybe. Much like you did to save the banking sector in 2009. The planetary crisis looming over us dwarfs that finance crisis.
Ministers, delegates, today we are in your hands. You are playing for the whole planet.

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