Press Releases

CAN is an important, critical voice in the international climate policy process. The network’s regular press briefings and commentary help journalists and their audience make sense of what can be a baffling process, even to those who have been covering it for years.

CAN helps coordinate and amplify the communications work of its 850 members around major international climate processes. CAN also provides an important capacity building role for some members interested in boosting their communications efforts.

You can find a range of our latest resources and releases below:

Climate Action Network responds to the Green Climate Fund pledging conference

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) "pledging conference" has ended today in Berlin with USD9.4 billion being pledged in support climate action in developing countries.

New, significant pledges were made by  Italy (USD313mn) and the UK (USD1.1bn), as well as an updated amount from Norway (USD130mn). Even developing nation Mongolia tabled USD50,000 adding to efforts announced earlier this year by Mexico and Peru. This  has left developed countries who refused to step up to their obligation, such as Australia, Austria, Belgium and Ireland, increasingly isolated on the world stage.  There were expectations that Canada and Poland would put money on the table today but they didn't make the deadline for the conference.  

While it is disappointing that the the total amount heading for GCF coffers falls just short of the unofficial target of USD10 and well under the USD15 billion in contributions for the initial phase that developing countries have asked for, it is good news that the GCF can now get down to its real work -  supporting efforts of countries around the world to scale up the roll out of renewable energy, adapt communities to climate impacts and develop sustainably. 

Wealthy countries, who have been responsible for causing climate change, have an obligation to put money on the table to help poorer countries take climate action. Doing so will help to build trust between countries as we near a new international agreement to limit climate change due in December 2015 in Paris.  USD10-15 billion to be spent over four years may sound like a lot, but it's just one third of the amount made available after the Copenhagen Summit, in the "Fast Start Finance" period. And with all countries now expected to take climate action under the new international agreement due next year, this fund needs to support climate projects in over 100 nations over four years.

The work does not stop here. Countries who haven't yet put money on the table for the GCF have until the major UN climate negotiations of the year get underway in Lima next month to step up. Those that have already pledged can confirm there's no strings attached to their commitments. To encourage more pledges, countries can decide to include financial support for climate action as part of their national contributions towards the new international agreement.

What's more, the GCF has to keep growing in size, but also in transparency and effectiveness. By the time the new international agreement on climate change is slated to come into effect in 2020, it should command a significant portion of the USD100 billion a year in climate action financing rich countries committed to back in 2009.  To get there, countries will need to put together a  climate action finance pathway - requiring some innovative thinking, new sources of money, and a plan to scale up existing sources such as an annual target under the new agreement.

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International Media Briefing: What to Expect from COP20 in Lima

This Tuesday, November 25, experts from Climate Action Network will brief media on expectations for the major UN climate change negotiations of the year, called COP20, due to get underway in Lima, Peru on December 1st. 

This year climate change has rocketed back to the top of the political agenda. Now, can governments harness the momentum, from unprecedented numbers of people taking to the streets in support of scaling up climate action, to make substantive progress on an outline for national climate action commitments and the new international agreement due in Paris next December?  

Off the back of blockbuster reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and UNEP, which underscore the need to phase out fossil fuels entirely to keep climate change within an agreed threshold, can governments in Lima accelerate the ongoing transition to renewable energies and smarter use of power?
 
What: Civil society experts outline political expectations for the major UN climate negotiations of the year, COP20 in Lima, Peru. 

WhenTuesday, November 25 

  • Call 1 - 9am GMT - 10am Paris - 11am Johannesburg - 2.30pm New Delhi - 5pm Beijing - 8pm Sydney
  • Call 2  - 15pm GMT - 7am San Francisco, 10am New York - 13pm Sao Paulo 

Who: 

Call 1: 

  • Sam Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF
  • Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Change Advisor, Christian Aid

Call 2: 

  • Liz Gallagher, Climate Diplomacy Programme Leader, E3G
  • Sam Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative, WWF 
  • Jan Kowalwig, Climate Change Advisor, Oxfam Germany

Join:

You can join the teleconference online here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number: 855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested.

From the US or via Skype, dial (+1) 855-534-4477 - no PIN required. 
A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here:https://www.uberconference.com/international If your country is not listed, and you cannot join via internet browser, please contact us. 

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

About CAN:
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

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Climate Action Network comments on the release of the UNEP Emissions Gap report

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: The release of UNEP's Fifth Emissions Gap report today has added to the growing number of voices, including those of the 900 NGOS working together in Climate Action Network, which are calling for governments to scale up climate action to achieve a phase out of carbon pollution to zero by mid-century.

Today's report comes on the back of another blockbuster report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report which was released on November 1 and endorsed by governments. It said that the only way our economies can still prosper is if we both phase out fossil fuel pollution entirely and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The UNEP report makes plain that if governments scale up climate action now, they will unlock the benefits of action for their communities, such as better public health, more secure livelihoods and a reduction in poverty.  

The concept of a global carbon budget shared by all nations - put forward by both the IPCC and UNEP - and the bold NGO call for phasing down emissions to zero by 2050 have now both been added to new draft negotiating texts for the international agreement to limit climate change due to be finalized in December 2015 in Paris.

At the major UN climate negotiations in Lima next month, governments can support these concepts in the text as way to guide collective climate action.  They can sign off on a platform that would support countries to roll out more renewable energy, invest in energy efficiency and build smarter ways of powering our lives.

In early 2015, governments will table a commitment to take climate action which will speed up the ongoing transition of our economies away from reliance on fossil fuels that drive climate change and towards 100% renewable energy - a shift more and more citizens, businesses, investors and scientists are demanding and driving.

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.

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

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China and the US offer momentum to climate action ahead of COP20

Wednesday, November 12, 2014: The tabling of national climate action commitments by the world's two major polluters, the US and China, adds welcome momentum to what will amount to our first steps in unison down a low carbon development pathway that brings us closer to a phase out fossil fuel pollution in favour of 100% renewable energy.  

Other countries should see these "game-changing" announcements by the US and China as a strong signal of commitment to the collective international effort to act on climate change as they prepare their own national plans. 

The US and China's announcement comes hot on the heels of the EU's 2030 climate target which means that countries representing more than half the world's GDP have outlined their first offers which will form the foundation of a comprehensive, global agreement to limit climate change due in Paris in December 2015. 

Of course, to take advantage of all the benefits that climate action can deliver, such as better public health, more jobs and stronger economies, China and the US can both do more. To more quickly speed up the on-going transition to renewable energy,  China can, for example, work to peak its coal consumption by 2020, while the US can put money on the table at the Green Climate Fund pledging conference next week, allowing developing countries to boost their own action. Such steps will further build confidence in national capitals as they build their own climate action plans. 

In addition, with the international community still working out the parameters of the Paris agreement, the US and China - along with all countries -  need to factor in the need to review the collective pledges once they are in order that they can be assessed for fairness and scaled up to meet the agreed threshold beyond which the climate will spin out of control. 

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, email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, phone: +49 157 3173 5568

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Governments missing link in the push for climate action as scientists deliver unequivocal evidence

November 2, 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark: One month after unprecedented numbers of people took to the streets calling for more climate action as part of the Peoples’ Climate Marches, the world’s peak body of climate scientists has issued its starkest warning yet about the choice facing humanity. 

The people have spoken, businesses demand action, investors want long term certainty and science could not send a clearer signal than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. 

With the release of the final installment of the report - ending a five year process covering 30,000 pieces of evidence and involving over 2000 scientists - the baton has now been handed to governments who need to scale up the ongoing transition from dirty to clean energy and deliver the new, global climate agreement due in Paris next year. 

Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative,  said the world’s best scientists have given us a good, clear measuring stick for what the world needs to do to combat rampant climate change. 

“It’s easy to look at what science requires and be overwhelmed,” Smith said. “But what the IPCC is really telling us is that we have an historic opportunity to secure a clean, just and safer future for the world and the people that live in it.”

The report confirms the experience of many vulnerable communities around the world: impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, ice melt and ocean acidification, are hitting home much faster than previously thought. 

Though there is a pressing need to boost support to make communities more resilient to these impacts, Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation for ActionAid International, said the IPCC warns that there are limits to adaptation. 

“This means that in some cases floods, cyclones, sea-level rise and drought will be so extreme that people can no longer cope with them,” Singh said. 

“That is why developing countries have been demanding meaningful ways to support those communities battered by the climate change impacts that they have not even caused.”

To avoid the worst impacts, the IPCC spells out the need to phase out carbon pollution entirely in favour of a scaling up of the transition to clean energy.  The report says switching our investments to renewable energy in the next few decades will be cheaper than paying a rapidly growing bill for  "severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.” 

Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace climate policy advisor said there had been a huge breakthrough in the affordability and effectiveness of renewable energy as well as technologies for smart energy use since the last IPCC report in 2007. 

“Let’s face it - the science is in and it’s game over for fossil fuels,” Kosonen said. “The IPCC spells out the benefits of scaling up the transition to renewable energy, such as affordability, better public health and more jobs.”

“What started with a decade of coal will be known as the century of renewables -economics and co-benefits are on their side, while the opposite is true for nuclear and carbon capture and storage,” she said.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists said early next year, governments must put forward their climate action commitments towards an international agreement to limit climate change due to be signed in Paris, in December 2015. That agreement must signal a collective decision by society to end the fossil fuel age and to embrace the dawning renewable energy era.  

“The world's scientists could not have made it clearer: to avoid truly devastating climate impacts, we must move rapidly to phase out our use of polluting fossil fuels,” Meyer said.

“Political leaders now face a choice: they can either put policies in place to achieve this essential shift, or they can spend the rest of their careers dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster,” he said. 

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

Audio available on request

Media Advisory: NGO experts to brief reporters on the Synthesis of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report

On Saturday, NGO experts will brief media under embargo on the synthesis of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report which governments have been finalizing in Copenhagen this week. 

Speakers will decode the key findings into plain English, pull out the major themes and outline the implications for politicians as we move towards a comprehensive climate action agreement between all countries, for which this report will be the scientific underpinning.

Date and time: Saturday, November 1, 3pm CET  which is 2pm GMT and 10am EST. 

Please note information from this briefing is embargoed until 11am Copenhagen time time (10:00GMT) on Sunday November 2 when the IPCC report will be formally launched.

Location: 

The Copenhagen Island Hotel Conference Rooms, Kalvebod Brygge 53 DK-1560 København V,  across the road from the IPCC venue, the Tivoli Convention Centre. 

To Join via Webcast:

To join the teleconference, please join online here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number: 855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested. A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here:https://www.uberconference.com/international

If your country is not listed, and you cannot join via internet browser, please contact us. 

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Governments at Bonn climate talks apparently lose memo on people’s support for climate action

Bonn, Germany  - Saturday, October 25, 2014: Growing momentum for climate action has not been transferred from the streets of New York, where last month 400,000 people marched together, to the halls of the UN climate negotiations this week, according to Climate Action Network’s members.   

Christian Aid’s Mohamed Adow said: “The scientists have spoken - the climate is changing, it’s caused by us, and we have the solutions. Economists have confirmed the transition to a low carbon economy has multiple benefits.” 

“The people have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers to  support accelerated climate action, but governments in Bonn have not taken these cues,” Adow said. 

Governments - who gathered for the final session before the major talks of the year in Lima get under way on December 1 - missed an opportunity to shift gears in negotiations towards the global Paris agreement on climate change due at the end of next year.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists said: “"we're leaving Bonn with not much more clarity than when we arrived on how we will get the key decisions needed in Lima to confront the threat of climate change."  

“From floods and droughts to hurricanes, typhoons, and heat waves, the world is already suffering from the consequences of our past inaction.  Countries must bring more to the table in Lima than the least common denominator, if they are to build the climate-friendly future that their citizens deserve, and are increasingly demanding," Meyer said. 

The mood of the meeting was affected by the release of the European Union’s new climate action targets for 2030 on Friday. According to Greenpeace’s Head of Delegation, Martin Kaiser, unless national legislation and regulation is put in place, the continent will effectively forgo the opportunity to phase out coal use by 2030. 

“This decision is not in line with a scaling up of the transition towards 100% renewable energy which scientists have said is vital if we are to secure a safe climate. For ordinary Europeans, this decision will mean that many will remain unnecessarily dependent on dirty sources of power with all the security, health and cost implications that this brings.”

In Lima, countries have to decide what they should include as part of their climate action commitments towards the Paris agreement which they need to put on the table early next year. They have to work out a meaningful way the UN process can contribute to countries scaling up climate action before the Paris agreement comes into effect in 2020. 

Tasneem Essop, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC says,  “There has to be a sense of urgency and we need parties to move from talk shop mode to negotiation mode, and we can only do this if we can start negotiations on the first day of the Lima COP. To coin a phrase from the People’s Climate March in New York last month – to change everything, we need everyone. The time is now, the place is Lima and we are the people and leaders who must act once and for all to curb runaway climate change. This is a moment that will go down in history. We must be on the right side of history.”

Governments can show they mean business before arriving in Lima by putting money on the table for developing countries to take their own climate action, at the Green Climate Fund’s pledging conference in Berlin next month. 

With 2014 on track to be the hottest year in history, it’s time for negotiations to feel the heat. Scientists will bring compelling evidence of the need to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy to governments’ attention in Copenhagen next week as they sign off on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s synthesis of its Fifth Assessment Report. 

Contact: Ria Voorhaar, Climate Action Network, on: +49 157 3173 5568, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

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Statement on UNSG's Climate Summit by Climate Action Network and the Global Call for Climate Action

The UNSG's Climate Summit today contributed to the growing sense that the fossil fuel era is ending and delivered some momentum towards an international climate agreement to be signed in Paris next year, according to civil society groups organized in two major networks.

A small but growing number of countries joined UNSG Ban Ki-moon and actor Leonardo diCaprio to confirm the need to speed up the switch from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy, such as Samoa, Tuvalu, Costa Rica and Denmark. Other countries, like Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia and Iceland pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050. 

While the Summit produced positive signals and some money on the table for climate action, many governments came to New York today to merely restate what they are already doing. As the almost 700,000 people who joined the Peoples Climate marches over the weekend know, what they are already doing is not nearly enough. 

"Leaders in New York, including US President Barack Obama, acknowledged they can no longer act against the will of the people. And on the weekend, the will of the people was made profoundly clear. Mums and dads, people of faith, progressive business leaders, union members and youth - all are already taking action in massive numbers, and they expect Heads of Government to join them and do more, now." Climate Action Network director Wael Hmaidan said. 

"Government leaders have the choice to lead the orderly transformation of our societies or to end up on the wrong side of history."

China should be commended for signaling its intention to peak emissions as soon as possible. Such moves along with more ambitious actions by the US - which President Obama hinted at -  could accelerate negotiations towards the global climate agreement due next year. We now need them to translate their positive rhetoric into concrete commitments – carbon cuts and climate finance for the world’s vulnerable nations.

Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Change Advisor Mohamed Adow said, "those countries that are hawking old goods today have to go back to their capitals with a renewed determination to get their countries on the right path with the words of the Marshall Islands', Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner ringing in their ears, who said in the opening ceremony on behalf of civil society "We deserve to not just survive. We deserve to thrive."

Contact:

About CAN and GCCA

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

The Global Call for Climate Action is an international network of diverse non-profit organizations working to mobilize civil society and galvanize public opinion in support of climate action. More at: www.tcktcktck.org

Further statements here

Greenpeace

WWF

Neighbours must do their share: Pacific climate network

Pacific civil society groups are extremely disappointed Australian and New Zealand leaders will not join island neighbours at a global climate summit in New York this week.

Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) convenor Shirley Laban said the decision by Tony Abbott and John Key not to attend the UN Climate Summit, on September 23, was ‘alarming and disheartening’.

Organised by UN chief Ban Ki Moon, the summit is intended to provide momentum for a global pact to tackle climate change, with an agreement expected to be finalised in Paris next year. More than 120 world leaders, including US president Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron, will be attending the climate meeting.

Leaders from almost all Pacific island countries will be attending, and demanding strong commitments from polluting nations.  Australian prime minister Tony Abbott will also be in New York this week to attend a special UN security council meeting on terrorism.  However he has ruled out attending the Climate Summit.

Ms Laban said Abbott’s decision not to attend the summit sent a strong message to island neighbours that Australia was not serious addressing global climate change.

‘A changing climate presents a clear and present danger for Pacific island countries,’ said Ms Laban. ‘If Australian and New Zealand leaders refuse to do their share to address the issue, they send a very poor signal to the global community. Pacific communities will reap the devastating consequences of their failure to act for generations to come’.

In recent times conservative governments in both Australia and New Zealand have distanced themselves from crucial international climate negotiations, and have rolled back support to help island states adapt to changes that are already understood to be unavoidable.

Pacific island countries are already among the world’s most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Every year island communities face the threat of droughts, devastating floods and intense cyclones.  Climate change looks set to increase the risks.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggests a changing climate is likely to lead to changing rainfall patterns, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching.  Coastal communities are also likely to experience stronger storm surges, increased erosion and inundation as sea levels rise, and salination is likely to compromise groundwater resources.

Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said Pacific island states were sounding a warning to the rest of the world.

‘Our experience as the “canaries in the coalmine” must finally be understood by the international community and acted on’, said Mr Malielegaoi.

Ms Laban echoed the call for polluting nations to take action now to curb emissions.  She also said wealthy nations needed to do more to help island communities adapt to a changing climate.

‘Funding for adaptation, including from the Green Climate Fund, needs to be accessible to Pacific communities and civil society organisations, said Ms Laban. ‘Because we are at the frontline of climate change, more support must be allocated to community-based adaptation measures’.

She said a global agreement to tackle climate change should include commitments to address the irreversible damage that is likely to occur in Pacific island states.

‘We are not responsible for climate change, yet we will bear the greatest impacts of a changing climate,’ said Ms Laban. ‘Even if drastic action is taken now to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Pacific countries are still likely to experience significant losses, and permanent damage.  The countries responsible for emitting greenhouse gases must take responsibility for the impacts of their pollution’.

The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) brings together civil society actors in Pacific island countries advocating for climate justice.  PICAN is a regional network of the global Climate Action Network (CAN-International).

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Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN)

For Media Enquiries please contact:

P: +678 25786.  M: +678 7772306

Shirley Laban is available for interview

 
 
 
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Conservative Crowd Count: 310,000+ Join People’s Climate March in New York City

Contact: media@peoplesclimate.org, +1- 917-719-6672

Conservative Crowd Count:  310,000+ Join People’s Climate March in New York City, Over Half A Million Join Rallies Around the World 

NEW YORK - September 21, 2014 -- An official count conducted at the People’s Climate March in New York City showed that over 310,000 people participated in the largest climate rally in history--more than tripling pre-march estimates of 100,000. Around the world, over half a million people joined 2800 events in 160 countries. 

“We said it would take everyone to change everything -- and everyone showed up,” said Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

Shattering expectations, this official attendee count makes the People’s Climate March New York City’s largest social demonstration in the last decade. Well above the 80,000 who attended the 2009 march at the Copenhagen climate talks, the 310,000 attendees at today’s demonstration have set world history just days before a UN Summit bringing world leaders together to discuss tangible action on climate change.

“People around the world are tired of waiting for our politicians to act,” said Payal Parekh, Global Managing Director for 350.org, one of the organizations coordinating the global day of events. “From the islands of the Pacific to the streets of New York City, we’re demanding action, not words. We’re showing what real leadership looks like.” 

Marches around the world also exceeded expectations with more than 30,000 people taking to the streets in both London and Melbourne and over 25,000 in Paris. Thousands also marched in Delhi, Rio, Paris, Barcelona, Jakarta and beyond. In most places, the People’s Climate march was the largest demonstration on climate change to date. 

In addition, at last count, 2,129,060 people around the world had also signed onto a petition calling for world leaders to take bold action at the UN Climate Summit this week. 

“With hundreds of thousands marching in over 2,500 protests worldwide, this is by a long way the largest climate mobilization in history. It's a wake up call to politicians that climate change is not a green issue anymore, it's an everybody issue,” said Ricken Patel, the executive director of Avaaz, who delivered the petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 1:00pm this afternoon on the march route. 

Learn more at www.peoplesclimate.org.

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