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:

UN climate talks in Bonn get into procedure, while momentum for action reaches new heights

 
Climate Action Network News
View this email in your browser
 UN climate talks in Bonn get into procedure, while momentum for action reaches new heights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bonn, Germany - Monday, August 31, 2015Today marks the start of the week-long UN climate negotiations in Bonn, as negotiators continue to make progress before meeting in in Paris in December to finalise a comprehensive and universal climate agreement. This agreement should protect people from climate risks and signal the end of the fossil fuel era.
 

On the opening of the talks, CAN members made the following comments: 

“Political momentum building outside the climate negotiations is putting pressure for greater progress inside the climate talks. All the efforts of people – through the declarations, mobilisations and actions  - must translate into a meaningful deal being agreed in Paris. And while the UNFCCC is one but site of struggle for climate justice, it is an important one. We need to capitalise on the Paris moment to reflect the urgency and secure a climate-safe future.”
-Tasneem Essop, WWF

"It has long been clear that the submitted and expected INDCs won't add up to the level of commitment needed to prevent catastrophic global warming. As a result, the agreement in Paris needs to be structured to scale up action. Key to this acceleration of ambition are commitments made every five years towards a long-term goal on mitigation. That goal needs to lead to a phase out of fossil fuels and deliver 100% renewable energy by mid century." 

-Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace

"Finance is one of the core missing pieces from the draft agreement here in Bonn. The silence around financial commitments after 2020 is deafening, and the growing public finance gap in the existing commitments is not sending the political signal that developing countries need. Developed countries must understand that accounting tricks alone and political declarations will not solve the bigger climate finance issue. Even French President François Hollande, host of the talks in December, has acknowledged that climate finance is key to any agreement in Paris. The recipe for predictable public finance, particularly when it comes to adaptation needs, needs to be established in the core agreement. The nuts and bolts may come later, but the principles need to be anchored by December." 

-Alix Mazounie, RAC France

CAN is not currently planning to host a press briefing tomorrow, Tuesday September 1, but for a one-to-one interview with our spokespeople, please contact  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org.

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 

 
Organization: 
Related Event: 

Webcast Media Briefing: CAN outlines expectations for UN climate talks

Bonn, Germany - Monday, August 31, 2015: Expert observers will brief reporters on their forecast for the week-long UN climate negotiations which get underway in Bonn today.

The session opens as we move closer to the major meeting in Paris in December which must finalise a comprehensive and universal climate agreement that should protect people from climate risks and signal the end of the fossil fuel era.  

Open questions include how the negotiations will absorb the momentum building towards the agreement, which has seen, for example, the leading lights of the Muslim community issue a declaration calling for the Paris agreement to speed up the transition of 100% renewable energy and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff commit earlier this month to decarbonise the country's economy.
 

To ask questions of the panelists, email rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org or Tweet @CANIntl. 
 

Who:

  • Tasneem Essop, WWF

  • Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace

  • Alix Mazounie, RAC France

• When: Monday August 31, 11amCEST

• Where: Room Nairobi 4, World Conference Centre Bonn, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2, 53113, Bonn (UNFCCC accreditation required to attend).

• Webcast: The press conference will be webcast live here and available on demand afterwards: http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/bonn_aug_2015/channels/press-room-3

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

Tags: 
Organization: 
Related Event: 

Islamic Climate Declaration calls for fossil fuel phase out

Istanbul, Turkey - 18 August. Islamic leaders from 20 countries today launched a bold Climate Change Declaration to engage the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims on the issue of our time.

Adopted by the 60 participants at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium, (Istanbul, 17-18 August) the Declaration urges governments to deliver a strong, new international climate agreement in Paris this December that signals the end of the road for polluting fossil fuels by creating architecture that will give us a chance of limiting global warming above pre-industrial levels to 2, or preferably 1.5, degrees Celsius.

The Declaration presents the moral case, based on Islamic teachings, for Muslims and people of all faiths worldwide to take urgent climate action. It was drafted by a large, diverse team of international Islamic scholars from around the world following a lengthy consultation period prior to the Symposium. It has already been endorsed by more than 60 participants and organisations including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon. The Declaration is in harmony with the Papal Encyclical and has won the support of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace of the Holy See.

The Declaration calls for a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels and a switch to 100% renewable energy as well as increased support for vulnerable communities already suffering from climate impacts. It can be seen as part of the groundswell of people from all walks of life calling for governments to scale up the transition away from fossil fuels. Wealthy and oil-producing nations are urged to phase out all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. All people, leaders and businesses are invited to commit to 100% renewable energy in order to tackle climate change, reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

Amongst keynote speakers at the Symposium were three senior UN officials - from the UN Environment Programme, the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Secretary-General’s climate change team. Presentations were also made by scientists, NGO leaders and academics. Also attending were religious leaders from many other faith traditions.

That the Symposium was held in Istanbul is significant - just two weeks before the Paris Summit, for the first time in history, the G20 summit will be organized by the presidency of Turkey, a country with a majority Muslim population.  Leaders from the world’s largest 20 economies will gather in an  attempt to reach agreement on how international financial stability can be achieved. The economic implications of climate change and the huge amounts of subsidies given by G20 countries to the polluting fossil fuel industry will also be on the agenda.

Reactions:

“On behalf of the Indonesian Council of Ulema and 210 million Muslims we welcome this Declaration and we are committed to to implementing all recommendations. The climate crisis needs to be tackled through collaborative efforts, so let’s work together for a better world for our children, and our children’s children.” - Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema

“I am proud to be associated with the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change released in Istanbul today. As a Muslim I try to follow the moral teachings  of Islam to preserve the environment and help the victims of climate change. I urge all Muslims around the world to play their role in tackling the global problem of climate change.” - Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of Institute of Environmental Studies

“The basis of the declaration is the work of world renowned islamic environmentalists, it is a trigger for further action and we would be very happy if people adopted and improved upon the ideas that are articulated in this document.” - Fazlun Khalid, Founder, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences

“It is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.” - His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City

“A clean energy, sustainable future for everyone ultimately rests on a fundamental shift in the understanding of how we value the environment and each other. Islam’s teachings, which emphasize the duty of humans as stewards of the Earth and the teacher’s role as an appointed guide to correct behavior, provide guidance to take the right action on climate change.” - Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

“Civil society is delighted by this powerful Climate Declaration coming from the Islamic community, which could be a game changer, as it challenges all world leaders, and especially oil producing nations, to phase out their carbon emissions and supports the just transition to 100% renewable energy as a necessity to tackle climate change, reduce poverty and deliver sustainable development around the world.” - Wael Hmaidan, International Director of Climate Action Network

You can find photos available for use under creative commons license here, please credit Islamic Relief

Calls from the Declaration below, full version of the Declaration here:

3.1 We call upon the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Kyoto Protocol taking place in Paris this December, 2015 to bring their discussions to an equitable and binding conclusion, bearing in mind –

·       The scientific consensus on climate change, which is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate systems;

·       The need to set clear targets and monitoring systems;

·       The dire consequences to planet earth if we do not do so;

·       The enormous responsibility the COP shoulders on behalf of the rest of humanity, including leading the rest of us to a new way of relating to God’s Earth.

3.2 We particularly call on the well-off nations and oil-producing states to –

·       Lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible and no later than the middle of the century;

·       Provide generous financial and technical support to the less well-off to achieve a phase-out of greenhouse gases as early as possible;

·       Recognize the moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the earth’s non-renewable resources;

·       Stay within the ‘2 degree’ limit, or, preferably, within the ‘1.5 degree’ limit, bearing in mind that two-thirds of the earth’s proven fossil fuel reserves remain in the ground;

·       Re-focus their concerns from unethical profit from the environment, to that of preserving it and elevating the condition of the world’s poor.

·       Invest in the creation of a green economy.

3.3 We call on the people of all nations and their leaders to –

·       Aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere;

•       Commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible, to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities;

·       Invest in decentralized renewable energy, which is the best way to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development;

·       Realize that to chase after unlimited economic growth in a planet that is finite and already overloaded is not viable. Growth must be pursued wisely and in moderation; placing a priority on increasing the resilience of all, and especially the most vulnerable, to the climate change impacts already underway and expected to continue for many years to come.

·       Set in motion a fresh model of wellbeing, based on an alternative to the current financial model which depletes resources, degrades the environment, and deepens inequality.

·       Prioritise adaptation efforts with appropriate support to the vulnerable countries with the least capacity to adapt. And to vulnerable groups, including indigenous peoples, women and children.

3.4 We call upon corporations, finance, and the business sector to -

·       Shoulder the consequences of their profit-making activities, and take a visibly more active role in reducing their carbon footprint and other forms of impact upon the natural environment;

•       In order to mitigate the environmental impact of their activities, commit themselves to 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible and shift investments into renewable energy;

•       Change from the current business model which is based on an unsustainable escalating economy, and to adopt a circular economy that is wholly sustainable;

•       Pay more heed to social and ecological responsibilities, particularly to the extent that they extract and utilize scarce resources;

•       Assist in the divestment from the fossil fuel driven economy and the scaling up of renewable energy and other ecological alternatives.

3.5 We call on all groups to join us in collaboration, co-operation and friendly competition in this endeavour and we welcome the significant contributions taken by other faiths, as we can all be winners in this race

وَلَكِن لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُم فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ

He (God) wanted to test you regarding what has

come to you. So compete with each other

in doing good deeds.

Qur’an 5: 48

If we each offer the best of our respective traditions, we may yet see a way through our difficulties.

3.6 Finally, we call on all Muslims wherever they may be  –

  • Heads of state
  • Political leaders
  • Business community
  • UNFCCC delegates
  • Religious leaders and scholars
  • Mosque congregations
  • Islamic endowments (awqaf)
  • Educators and educational institutions
  • Community leaders
  • Civil society activists
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Communications and media

to tackle habits, mindsets, and the root causes of climate change, environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity in their particular spheres of influence, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him),and bring about a resolution to the challenges that now face us. 

Civil Society Reactions: Global Sustainable Development agenda finalised in New York

August 3 - New York: The world has updated its to do list to drive solutions to our biggest problems - poverty, inequality and climate change - after the new Global Sustainable Development agenda was finalised in New York on Sunday in preparation for ratification by world leaders at a major UN summit in September. The agenda, which includes a landmark set of 17 goals, acknowledges for the first time that countries need to address climate change as a developmental challenge, decoupling growth from environmental degradation. Governments will need to raise their ambition to start delivering on these goals by producing a universal and legally binding Paris agreement on climate this December to shift to a low-carbon economy.

For the first time, these global goals acknowledge that the world can’t deal with these crises in isolation, said David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK. "We can – in our generation – stamp out extreme poverty and achieve sustainable development. But with climate impacts already hitting the most vulnerable people hardest, it’s clear that we will not meet these global goals unless we take decisive action on climate change, get an ambitious and universal climate agreement with legal force in Paris and manage to address the existing emissions gap – as rightly acknowledged by the post-2015 summit outcome document agreed at the UN in New York yesterday.” Nussbaum said. “That’s why we welcome the newly minted post-2015 sustainable development framework, which features climate action as a headline goal, as well as it running through many other goals like a green thread. The new framework recognises that addressing climate change and eradicating poverty are profoundly connected.”

“Many countries will need to drastically alter policies in favour of people and planet if they take this new to do list for the planet seriously. To tackle poverty and dangerous climate change, we must urgently end the fossil fuel era and deliver 100% renewable energy for all" said Daniel Mittler, political director of Greenpeace International. "These goals will mean nothing unless governments at the Paris climate summit complete the task and agree to phase out fossil fuels and switch to 100% renewable energy for all by 2050.”

The Sustainable Development Agenda has laid the groundwork for such a signal, according to Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network International. “In New York, this week governments have failed to acknowledge the need to have ‘a world free from harmful emissions', which is needed to address the climate challenge, but there was a strong recognition that there is a need to follow more ambitious emission reduction pathways to stay below 2 or 1.5 degrees temperature rise. Beyond these temperatures economic development will become severely hampered.”

Neil Thorns, director of advocacy at CAFOD, welcomed the progress that these new goals represent in relation to the MDGs understanding of our shared responsibility to care for our common home. “Pope Francis’ powerful statements recently have reminded us that we must stand in solidarity with the poorest people and the environment, and that we must phase out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy to do this. The goals alone are not a solution to our world’s problems but a stepping stone we need to build on in the climate talks in Paris and through meaningful implementation of these goals over the next 15 years. This is our responsibility for present and future generations.”

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 110 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

Contact: Mark Raven, CAN International, email: mraven@climatenetwork.org, phone: +90 53626 88406

Tags: 

CAN reacts as Finance for Development Conference closes in Addis Ababa

ADDIS ABABA, JULY 16, 2015:  Financing for Development Conference closed in Addis Ababa today with the release of an outcome document summing up governments’ thinking on how to generate and manage the funds necessary to allow countries to develop sustainably. The conference comes ahead of two big summits - the first in New York in September and the second in Paris in December - which seek to forge international agreements which eliminate poverty, reduce inequality and fight climate change.
 
Aïssatou Diouf, coordinator Climate Action Network West Africa, said from Addis: 
 
"With climate impacts hitting home around the world and the solutions to the crisis in our grasp, what’s missing from this outcome is a strong call to richer countries to stop using flatlining Overseas Development Aid to meet the climate finance commitments they made in 2009: $100 billion a year by 2020. 
 
It's time to start facing the hard truth: for Paris to deliver, donor countries need to come clean on existing commitments and provide increased public climate finance once the new agreement comes into effect in 2020. Ministers meetings in July should be looking into the solutions to scale up climate finance without diverting aid away from education and health: the upcoming EU-Financial Transaction Tax and EU-ETS reform provide us with two amazing opportunities."
 
To interview a CAN expert on the ground in Addis Ababa, please contact Ria Voorhaar - rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org - +49 157 3173 5568
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org   
 
 

CAN responds as China launches climate action plan towards Paris agreement

China has lodged its climate action commitment towards the new climate agreement which is due to be signed in Paris this December.

The pledge included a commitment to slash the carbon intensity of its economy between 60-65% by 2030 based on 2005 levels with the aim of peaking pollution levels by around 2030. China has also committed to increasing its national share of low carbon energy to 20% by 2030. 
 

CAN members made the following comments:

“China has only ever been on defence when it comes to climate change, but today’s announcement is the first step for a more active role. For success in Paris, however, all players – including China and the EU – need to up their game. Today’s pledge must be seen as only the starting point for much more ambitious action. It does not fully reflect the significant energy transition that is already taking place in China. Given the dramatic fall in coal consumption, robust renewable energy uptake, and the urgent need to address air pollution, we believe the country can go well beyond what it has proposed today.” Li Shuo, climate analyst Greenpeace China

“This is the first major developing country emitter to set a total emissions peak target. In doing so, China has committed to both global climate security and to a transformational energy transition at home. We emphasize the importance of the fact that China has made commitments beyond its responsibility as a developing country. But we hope that China will continue to find ways to reduce its emissions, which will in turn drive global markets for renewable energy and energy efficiency.” Samantha Smith, Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader, WWF.

"It is clear that the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) which was lodged by China today is a serious step forward for the country's transformation to low carbon and climate resilient development. Already a world leader in renewable energy, the government has announced it will roll out as much low carbon energy as the entire US electricity system by 2030. While the plan is indeed a strong effort, it should be viewed as the floor upon which additional efforts will be built. There are early indications that the country could exceed the targets it has set for itself. Bold actions are required from all levels of governments as well as from the indispensable private sector and civil society. China's commitment towards the Paris agreement is an important milestone on the way to Paris and can catalyse stronger action from the rest of the world." Bi Xinxin, coordinator CAN China. 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

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

Civil Society Reactions: Papal Encyclical for Climate Action

Vatican City, Italy - June 18, 2015 -  NGOs have today welcomed Pope Francis' strong moral case for people and leaders to tackle climate change delivered in today's historic Papal Encyclical.

In a rare open letter that will shape Catholic teaching, His Holiness Pope Francis laid out our moral imperative to “care for our common home” and end the inequalities which are driving interlinked problems of climate change and poverty. Pope Francis is the latest and most high profile voice to join a long list of people, from scientists, business leaders, economists, labour leaders and youth, who understand that taking action on climate change and empowering poorer countries to develop sustainably is both morally and economically right. The fossil fuel industry is increasingly the sole and isolated voice opposing the groundswell of momentum for action. 

Today's call is set to provide a massive boost to two big summits happening this year on sustainable development and climate change. Politicians have a chance to listen to their people and deliver plans to move towards a poverty-free world powered by 100% renewable energy at the UN General Assembly on the Sustainable Development Goals in September (the Pope will be speaking at the UNGA and to the US Congress) and COP21 in December.

NGOs and their allies in the faith community made the following comments:

“The coming months will be critical for decisions about development and care for the planet. We hope that politicians and decision makers will take the strong messages of the encyclical on board and that the outcomes of these international meetings will put the common interest first and be able to make the difference.”  Bernd Nilles, Secretary General, CIDSE. 

“The call by His Holy Father, His Holiness Pope Francis, reminds us that climate change is first and foremost about people. The gross and growing inequality between rich and poor has been made worse by the climate crisis. Moreover, the emissions of the rich are driving weather extremes that hit the poorest hardest. Only when world leaders heed the Pope's moral leadership on these two defining issues, inequality and climate change, will our societies become safer, more prosperous and more equal.” Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International.

“From William Wilberforce and the abolition of slavery in Britain to Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equal rights in the US and Desmond Tutu’s victory over apartheid in South Africa, Christians acting on their sense of moral duty have a history of transforming society for the better. If Christians in Europe and all over the world heed its call as many are already doing, the Pope’s Encyclical could well spark another transformation on a global scale – and Europe and the world would be a better place for it.” Christine Allen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Christian Aid 

"This beautiful and urgent call to action from Pope Francis, besides challenging our lifestyles and behaviors, has perfect timing ahead of the COP21 summit. It was Pope Francis himself who said he wanted the encyclical to influence the international climate negotiations, so now it's time for Catholics and all people of good will to mobilize and remind world leaders of the moral imperative of climate action." Tomás Insua, Movement Coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

“The World Council of Churches welcomes Pope Francis’ encyclical which catalyses what churches and ecumenical organizations have been doing for decades - caring for the earth and fighting for climate justice. By affirming human induced climate change and its impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable communities, the Encyclical is an important call to urgently act as individuals, citizens and also at the international level to effectively respond to the climate crisis.” Dr Guillermo Kerber, Programme Executive on Care for Creation and Climate Justice, World Council of Churches.

"As co-organizers of the June 28 March in Rome to St Peter's Square - Una Terra, Una Famiglia Umana - the Our Voices movement looks forward to showing that an incredibly diverse, rainbow coalition of Catholics, followers of all faiths, environmentalists and people of good will support the Pope's call for action by world leaders. The Encyclical shows that the global multifaith tide of demand for climate action is growing dramatically." Reverend Fletch Harper, Co-ordinator at Our Voices and Director at Greenfaith USA.

"Greenpeace welcomes the valuable intervention of Pope Francis in humanity's common struggle to prevent catastrophic climate change. This first encyclical on the environment brings the world a step closer to that tipping point where we abandon fossil fuels and fully embrace clean renewable energy for all, by the middle of the century. Everyone, whether religious or secular, can and must respond to this clarion call for bold urgent action." Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director at Greenpeace.

 

“We affirm Pope Francis’ moral framing of the threats posed by climate change. We have too many brothers and sisters around the world living on the edge of poverty whose livelihoods are threatened—and too many little ones in our congregations set to inherit a dangerously broken world—to believe otherwise. For too long the church has been silent about the moral travesty of climate change. Today, the Pope has said, ‘Enough is enough,’ and the Christian Reformed Church welcomes his voice.” Dr. Steven Timmermans, Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America 

“Pope Francis’s encyclical has added a moral imperative to the financial case for preventing catastrophic climate change. Carbon Tracker’s financial analysis has shown that plans to invest trillions of dollars in high-cost fossil fuel projects does not make economic sense. Pope Francis makes it clear it doesn’t make moral or ethical sense either. These fossil fuel assets that may never be burned anyway pose significant risks for investors and will impact the pension pots of millions of ordinary people,” Anthony Hobley, CEO of the Carbon Tracker Initiative

"The Pope’s moral call to protect the environment and humanity is backed by science. Pope Francis has hit the nail on the head by connecting the climate crisis with its root causes of huge consumption, massive inequality and destruction of ecosystems. As he says, real solutions need to be based on equity, justice and morality." Harjeet Singh, Climate Policy Manager for ActionAid International

“Climate change will be felt mainly through water – too much in times of flood, too little in times of drought, and in many places increasingly saline or polluted. Though the world’s poorest have done least to contribute to this global catastrophe, they are the most vulnerable to climate change and least able to cope. As the world’s temperature rises, basic needs for water – including drinking, cooking, washing, sanitation and hygiene – must be given priority, to ensure the health and well-being of those most vulnerable, and to make communities more resilient to climatic changes. Developed world support to help least-developed countries adapt to the new realities will be essential.” Louise Whiting, Senior Policy Analyst, Water Security and Climate Change, WaterAid UK

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

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

Civil Society Reactions: UN Climate Negotiations close in Bonn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bonn, Germany - June 11, 2015 -  NGO observers called out the juxtaposition between growing real world momentum for a 100% renewable energy world and the slow pace of the UN climate negotiations which close in Bonn today.

In the negotiations toward a new global climate agreement due to be signed in Paris this December, countries will agree that the the co-chairs in charge will produce a new draft for senior politicians to review. This will allow them to tackle crunch issues over the coming months before talks resume in August. The co-chairs will also set forward initial ideas about how a Paris package covering finance, mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage should be structured. And after difficult negotiations, all countries have come forward with proposals to achieve more ambitious and immediate emissions cuts over the next five years - another key element of the Paris package. A work program on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation also closed, providing guidance to those working in the field.

CAN members made the following comments:

“The reality is that we need much faster progress on the post-2020 negotiations, that we need to ramp up what we are doing already, that we cannot ignore that impacts are already hitting people everywhere, and that the solutions, from falling renewable energy prices to low carbon transport are out there, waiting to be scaled up.” Jaco du Toit,  climate change officer, WWF

“The text which will make up the Paris agreement is like a lens we’re all looking through to a safe and secure world.  At the moment it’s a bit grubby and hard to see through. The co-chairs of the negotiations on the Paris agreement need to go away and give it a good clean so that leaders can see what needs to be done." Mohamed Adow, senior climate change advisor, Christian Aid

"All around the world, we are witnessing a groundswell of climate action -- from companies, governments and financial institutions. Now there is a clear path for our leaders to make the necessary, bold decisions in the coming months that will ensure historic international action on climate change." Jake Schmidt, director of international program, Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The Luddites of climate action in the coal and oil industry should take note of the signals coming from G7 and progressive business leaders.   The negotiators in Bonn should take note too, and make more rapid progress in the upcoming formal and informal meetings.  The Paris climate protocol should accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels, building in new commitments from major emitting countries every five years,  so that we can achieve the vision of 100% renewable energy by 2050." Martin Kaiser, head of international climate politics, Greenpeace 

"From floods and droughts to hurricanes, typhoons and heat waves, the impacts of climate change are increasingly evident all over the world. The world expects an agreement in Paris that accelerates the shift away from a global economy based on polluting fossil fuels towards one based on clean renewable energy sources, and that helps vulnerable communities deal with climate impacts.  Ministers and national leaders must actively engage with each other over the summer to provide the political guidance that will enable their negotiators to pick up the pace when they return to Bonn in late August." Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Negotiators avoided a show-down over crunch issues like finance and increasing near term emissions cuts, but they are only delaying the inevitable. A clearer mandate from Heads of State and ministers is needed to ignite the talks and ensure key questions are answered. Upcoming events like the Financing for Development meeting in Addis, the UN General Assembly in New York or the G20 in Turkey offer the perfect opportunity for high level political signals to be sent. Political leaders need to give a clear steer on how to address the inadequacy of current emissions reductions pledges, but also on the urgent financial support needed for the most vulnerable countries and populations." Jan Kowalzig, climate change policy adviser, Oxfam

"The conclusion of the work program on reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation provides a little more clarity on safeguards reporting and the importance of promoting the multiple benefits that forests provide, but it is minimal. Now all eyes are on finance and implementation, and we will have to be vigilant in tracking whether safeguards are actually respected on the ground." Niranjali M. Amerasinghe, director, climate & energy program, Center for International Environmental Law

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

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

Copyright © 2015 Climate Action Network - International, All rights reserved. 

Organization: 

G7 puts the end of fossil fuels on the global agenda, now for more action to get us there

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bonn, Germany - June 8, 2015 -  Climate Action Network (CAN) members commented today on what the groundbreaking call to decarbonise the global economy this century coming out of the G7 meeting means for UN climate negotiations. 

The UN climate talks currently underway in Bonn are designed to push forward a new global agreement on climate change due to be signed in Paris this December.

The first week of talks made slow progress, but proceedings received an injection of energy today when all countries acknowledged the need to speed up the pace and called for the co-chairs managing the discussions to work on a new draft of the agreement.

CAN members made the following comments:

"The G7 leaders today declared that the global economy must be decarbonised this century if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This is yet another signal that the end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable, and the dawning of the age of renewables is unstoppable. Now G7 countries must increase the ambition of their domestic climate plans, so as to do their fair share of meeting this global goal.  Meanwhile, in the negotiations here in Bonn, countries today acknowledged the need to step up the pace of efforts to craft a streamlined, manageable text that outlines clear options for the post-2020 climate agreement due to be adopted in Paris this December.  There was an unprecedented, united call by countries -- the likes of which I have not seen in my 26 years of following this process -- for the co-chairs who are managing these negotiations to put forward their own draft text later this week. This is essential to enable ministers meeting in Paris next month to give political guidance on key issues in the negotiations, such as ambition, fairness, transparency and finance." Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy, Union of Concerned Scientists.

"The course is right, but more speed, ambition and specific actions are needed. Developing countries are ready to move fast and far on renewables, but they need finance and technology from rich countries to do it. We need to see more of these concrete commitments for immediate action. We also want to see them shifting investment towards low-carbon technologies in their own countries." Samantha Smith, leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

"Elmau delivered. At the close of the G7 discussion today in Elmau the vision of a 100% renewable energy future is starting to take shape while spelling out the end of coal. The heavy lifting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel will begin when she returns to Berlin and has to present a plan for complete phase-out of the dirtiest energy source, coal. Then she would live up to her name as the ‘climate chancellor'."Martin Kaiser, Greenpeace international climate politics lead.

"Heading into the G7 summit Chancellor Merkel’s announcement that Germany will double its climate finance contribution to $4 billion was big news for the developing world. We saw this as a positive benchmark that could have been a game-changer. Unfortunately, other G7 leaders missed the opportunity during their summit in Elmau to reach the bar set by Germany. Their acknowledgement of the need to provide climate finance after 2020 was an improvement on previous positions but we urgently need a roadmap to the pledged $100billion. These countries still have plenty of opportunity between now and Paris to step up to the plate." Anoop Poonia, CAN South Asia 

"Japan clearly tried to play a spoiling game at the G7, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership shone through. The experience should prove to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that his position on climate and coal is at odds with the rest of the leaders. He should reconsider its position in run up to the Paris Climate Talks in December." Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.  

"G7 leaders still aren't spelling out how they will keep their $100bn promise by 2020. They've failed to commit to increase public funds, which is a vital foundation for success in Paris at the end of the year. Developing countries need a credible financial roadmap, not a set of accounting tricks. Thankfully Angela Merkel has bucked the trend. Her pledge to double climate finance from Germany has set the bar for the others - now the rest must follow suit. Currently rich countries provide just 2% of what poor countries need to adapt to a changing climate." Tim Gore, Oxfam policy lead climate and food.
 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from over 100 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.www.climatenetwork.org  

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

Organization: 

Abe Government set to waste lives, money and jobs with poor climate plan

Monday June 8, 2015 - Elmau, Germany: New analysis released at the G7 summit currently taking place in Germany confirms that major economies stand to gain massive benefits as the result of their latest climate action pledges, with laggards Japan and Canada bucking the trend due to their weak plans.

The NewClimate Institute report released today shows that a Japanese plan in line with a pathway to 100% renewable energy by 2050 would give the country a healthy workforce thanks to cleaner air, new jobs in a booming renewables sector, and huge savings resulting from avoided fossil fuel imports - three things that Japan desperately needs in its current economic malaise. 

But the Abe government's draft offer - also known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) - towards the new global climate agreement due in Paris this December is so insufficient that it will see - by 2030 - Japan waste 67,000 potential jobs, forfeit USD25 billion annually, and fail to save 15,000 lives each year. 

“We are calling on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take this draft plan back to the drawing board and deliver a vision for the country that taps its renewable energy potential, creates decent jobs and saves the lives of Japanese people at risk from air pollution,” says Kimiko Hirata, CAN Japan coordinator.

"The people want more action, businesses want more action - it's high time the government tries to regain the country’s lost climate leadership.”

Compared to the forecast impact of current policies, by 2030, Japan's paltry offer will create zero additional jobs in the renewable energy sector, reduce the country's fossil fuel import bill by only USD8 billion a year, and save just 1500 lives annually. That's ten times less than the co-benefits resulting from the more ambitious action plan which civil society organizations are calling for. 

As a result of its low ambition, Japan clearly loses out in comparison to its East Asian rival China. Thanks to a groundbreaking bilateral agreement with the US last year, Japan's neighbor unveiled a plan that would - by 2030 - create around 500,000 decent new jobs by 2030 and save around 100,000 lives from deadly air pollution every year. 

The report shows that Japan's G7 peers in Europe and America are - like China - set to secure more benefits from enhanced climate action, as they move faster in the ongoing transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.

The consideration of the multiple benefits of climate action can significantly influence the ambition level of national governments when formulating their national plans as it links directly to the needs of the people,says NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Höhne, author of the study.

Japan's fellow laggard at the table in Elmau, Canada, is also pitching a pathetic climate plan at the G7 this Monday. If the weak Canadian offer had been in line with a 100% renewables pathway by mid-century, it could have secured an enormous 600% increase in lives saved, and 60% more jobs in the renewables sector by 2030, compared to what it is likely to happen under the proposed plan.

“Canada’s failure to take its climate protection responsibilities seriously will hurt Canadians in the long-run, as our economy remains over-reliant on dirty oil, as our air remains more polluted than it needs to be, and because sustainable jobs in the renewable energy sector were not created,” says Louise Comeau, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada.

2015 will be the first time all countries present national climate action commitments. Some of these plans will be stronger than others, but collectively they are a signal of intent to end the fossil fuel age, to embrace the dawning renewable energy era, and to build resilient communities free from poverty and inequality.

The climate action plans by the five major economies assessed in the new report - Japan, Canada, EU, US and China - will collectively save 115,000 lives a year, put USD41 billion back in the coffers annually, and create 1 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2030.

If all these governments had presented plans in line with 100% renewables by 2050, the additional benefits of their collective actions would add up to 1.2 million lives saved per year, more than 2 million jobs created, and USD514 billion saved. 

Notes to Editors 

  • The report, Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions, was written by the NewClimate Institute - which raises ambition for action against climate change and supports sustainable and climate-resilient development through research and analysis. It was commissioned by Climate Action Network (CAN) and the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). 
  • CAN is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 
  • The GCCA is a diverse network of more than 450 nonprofit organizations in more than 70 countries with a shared goal — a world safe from runaway climate change. The GCCA harnesses the strengths of faith, development, science, environment, youth, labor, and other civil society organizations to mobilize citizens and galvanize public opinion in support of urgent climate action. 
  • You can find the full report here, and infographics based on the report here.
  • Japan has released a draft INDC which would see the country reduce its emissions by 26% from 2013 levels by 2030. WRI analysis finds this is not comparable to the efforts of the US and the EU. The analysis recommends that Japan would need to increase its proposed INDC mitigation goal to at least a 28% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 to achieve an average annual decarbonisation rate similar to that of the EU and U.S. for the 2020-2030 time period. Civil society organizations are calling for a 40% reduction on 2005 levels. 
  • Two WRI infographics reveal that the speed and scale of the emission reductions proposed by Japan and Canada lags behind those of the US and the EU

Contact 

To be connected with a spokesperson on the report, please contact:

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

Christian Teriete, GCCA, +49 176 8050 7753, email: christian.teriete@tcktcktck.org

Pages