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:

CAN demands the immediate release of CAN members and all activists illegally detained in Belarus

9 September 2020: Over the weekend, on 5 and 6 September, people in civilian clothes abducted several activists in Belarus, who included members of Climate Action Network in the country. The abductions and detention followed their participation in peaceful political protests. CAN believes in the right to freedom of expression and supports people’s right to peacefully protest for social and political justice in Belarus.

We demand the immediate release of all those being detained illegally, including:   

Andrey Egorov, who was abducted by unidentified people on Sunday, 6 September, during a peaceful protest. He is currently awaiting his trial in Jodino prison.
Egorov is a political scientist and activist. He is chairman of the Coordination Committee of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, member of the Green Network Council and a member of the Coordination Council initiated by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Irina Sukhy, who was abducted by people in civilian clothes from her house before the start of a mass protest on Sunday, 6 September. She was detained in the infamous Okrestina prison. Following a false court case, she is being detained in the prison for five days.
Sukhy is one of the most prominent environmental activists in Belarus. She is chairwoman of the Green Network Council and a representative of the NGO EcoDom, which leads a campaign against the Ostrovets Nuclear Power Plant.
Sukhy’s apartment was raided by representatives of law enforcement agencies who refused to introduce themselves and failed to produce papers justifying the search. The raid and abduction were carried out in the presence of Sukhy’s 93-year-old mother.

Anastasia Zakharevich, who was abducted from a store by people in civilian clothes on Saturday, 5 September. She was charged with participating in an unauthorized mass event and has been sentenced to seven days in prison. Zakharevich is a journalist with Green Portal, the Green Network Media Resource.

Climate Action Network strongly supports the demands of the Belarusian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, the Green Network Coalition of Environmental Organizations and the NGO EcoDom for: 

  • The immediate release of all political prisoners who have been abducted and detained for participating in peaceful protests, including our CAN colleagues.

  • An immediate end to the violence and repression by law enforcement agencies, and swift justice for all those who have been harmed by these repressive actions. 

A proactive position in political protests, including in the fight for environmental protection, is an inalienable and legal right of citizens. If the exercise of these rights are met with violence and repression from the government, civil society will unite and seek justice.

“The attacks on peaceful activists in Belarus who are fighting for their freedom and a better future for their country is a horrible violation of human rights. We cannot build a just and sustainable world without ensuring that the rights of activists are protected. Governments who use repression against their own peaceful citizens cannot deliver on climate and justice demands of the people. This is the time to stand in solidarity with the brave activists in Belarus.”- Olga Boiko, CAN EECCA coordinator   

“It is absolutely unacceptable that our colleagues are kidnapped on the streets and in their own homes, harassed, imprisoned and subjected to legal proceedings that have nothing to do with the law and human rights. An unprecedented lawlessness and violence is now taking place in Belarus, which threatens the entire European community and the very institution of human rights in Europe and the world. If we, the EU and the UN do not respond appropriately, we will not be able to cope with the crisis of democracy and the climate crisis in the future, which will be extremely dangerous for all, without exception, people on the planet” - Svetlana Romanko, Managing Director, 350.org in the EECCA region

“Sustainable development of society, in principle, is impossible without respect for human rights, without the right to vote and without the right for citizens to determine the society of their choice and be responsible for decisions. The rude and unjustified detention of our colleagues in Belarus shows how dangerous the existing regime is for people who are demanding a comprehensive, democratic and truly sustainable development of their country, regardless of whether they work in ecology, politics or journalism.” - Maria Falaleeva, Climate Policy Expert, Belarus

“It is appalling to see all these human rights violations, arbitrary arrests of civilians, journalists and activists happening at Europe's doorstep. They constitute a serious blow to European values, including freedom of expression and gathering. The EU must condemn the attacks perpetrated by the government on activists and take urgent steps to support Belarusian civil society in order to protect the rule of law and democracy across all of Europe. This should include applying sanctions to the Belarus government.” - Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network, Europe  

CAN members in solidarity with colleagues in Belarus:

1.  Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network International 

2.  “Little Earth”, Tajikistan

3.   Miriam Talwisa- CAN-Uganda

4.  “Ecodefense”, Russia

5.  350.org in the region of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

6.  "Gamarjoba", Georgia

7.  “Khazer” Ecological and Cultural NGO, Armenia

8.   PF "Social and Environmental Fund", Kazakhstan

9.   Youth Environmental Center, Tajikistan

10. “Friends of the Baltic”, Russia

11. Scientific and Intellectual Club “Dialogue of Generations”, Georgia

12. Olga Senova, Russian Socio-Ecological Union (Friends of the Earth Russia)

13. Simonov Evgeniy, Rivers without Borders Coalition

14. Andriy Martynyuk, Executive Director, “Ecoclub”, Ukraine

15. Ecological Center "Dront", Russia, Nizhny Novgorod

16. “Ecoaction”, Ukraine

17. Alofa tuvalu, France

18. Aatika Patel, Project Survival Pacific, Fiji

19. Fatima Ahouli, CAN Arab World

20. Irina Fufaeva, Green World, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

21. Alexey Grigoriev, coordinator of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union Forestry Campaign

22. Igor Babanin, Recycling Expert, Russia

23. Sadie DeCoste, co-coordinator of CAN working group on Adaptation and Loss and Damage, UK/Canada

24. Energy Mix Productions, Ottawa, Canada

25. Abibinsroma Foundation Ghana 

26. Alliance for Empowering Rural Communities (AERC-Ghana)

27. AirClim Sweden

28. Olga Vesnyanka, journalist, media trainer, Kiev, Ukraine

29. Lina Zernova, Co-Chair of the Environmental Journalists Guild of the St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region Journalists Union, Russia

30. Mikhail Yulkin, Founder and General Director of CarbonLab LLC, Moscow, Russia

31. Vladimir Levchenko, ENWL

32. John Englart, Climate Action Moreland/CANA, Australia

33. Union of Concerned Scientists

34. Andrey Laletin, Friends of Siberian Forests, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

35. Anara Alymkulova, Executive Director, Public Foundation “Institute for Sustainable Development Strategy”, Kyrgyzstan

36. Public Association "MovGreen", Kyrgyzstan

37. Mt. Zion Community Outreach, Inc.

38. Evgeniy Kolishevsky, Executive Director of the public organization “Voice of Nature”, Ukraine

39. Arevik Hovsepyan, Head of NGO “National Water Partnership”, Armenia

40. Tatiana Tymochko, Head of the All-Ukrainian Ecological League, Ukraine

41. Olena Pashchenko, coordinator of the All-Ukrainian Children's Union "Ecological Warta", Ukraine

42. Gulshan Akhundova Chairwoman Woman Development Future Public Union, Azerbaijan

43. Elena Kolpakova, Head of the Water Program of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union

44. Svetlana Slesarenok, Black Sea Women's Club, Ukraine

45. Elizaveta Merinova, co-chair of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union

46. Michael Malcom, People's Justice Council, United States of America

47. Moritz Nachtschatt, GM Protect Our Winters Austria, Austria

48. Oil Change International

49. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe

50. Environmental Justice Foundation

51. Carbon Market Watch

52. Climate Action Network Tanzania

53. ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System, Portugal

54. Both ENDS, The Netherlands

55. Energy Watch Group, Germany

56. Fiona Ryan, Cairns Climate Action Network (Australia)

57. Green Transition Denmark

58. Morgane Créach, Director of Réseau Action Climat, France

59. Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation, Poland, Warsaw

60. Catalina Gonda, FARN, Argentina

61. Climate Action Network South Asia

62. Anthropocene Alliance, United States

63. Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center, Boston, MA USA

64. Environmental Defence Canada 

65. Deutscher Naturschutzring e.V. (DNR)

66. Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light (MN, USA)

67. Carsten Brinkmeyer, Denmark 

68. Polish Ecological Club Mazovian Branch, Poland

69. Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania,United States 

70. Najibj Bahsina, Morocco

71. EKOenergy ecolabel, Finland and International

72. Christoph Stein, Spain

73. PUSH, Sweden

74. Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist

75. Friends of the Earth Europe

76. New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light

77. Earth in Brackets, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

78. Salote Soqo: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), Massachusetts, USA

79Environmental association “Za Zemiata” / Friends of the Earth Bulgaria

80. Jean Su, Energy Justice Director, Center for Biological Diversity, United States

81Harri Hölttä, Chairman Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Finland

82Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

83. Centar za ekologiju i energiju, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 

84. Director of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Network Trust, Zimbabwe

85. Abibiman Foundation

86. US Climate Action Network (USCAN)

87. Meera Ghani, ECOLISE

88. András Lukács, President, Clean Air Action Group, Hungary

89. Friends of the Earth, US 

90. Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Australia

91. Alejandro Aleman, Regional Coordinator, CAN Latin America

92. Gloria HSU, Climate Coordinator, Taiwan Environmental Protection Union

93. Caroline Bader, GreenFaith+ Living the Change, Germany

94. Eco-union, Spain

95. Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

96. Dr Mario Caffera Soc. Amigos del Viento, Uruguay, CAN-Latin America member

97. Isatis M Cintron, Latin America Coordinator, CCL. CAN member

98. Anne Barre, Women Engage for a Common Future

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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CONTACT:
Olga Boiko, CAN EECCA coordinator, olhaboiko206@gmail.com  
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, Climate Action Network dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org  / whatsapp +918826107830

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries fighting the climate crisis. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK, EASTERN EUROPE, CAUCUSUS & CENTRAL ASIA (EECCA)
CAN EECCA supports civil society organisations in their work on climate policy and renewable energy. CAN EECCA comprises 53 NGOS in 11 countries in the region, including in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. More information on https://caneecca.org/

 

G20 financial and political support for fossil fuels rises amidst Covid19 crisis

 

Campaigners from around the world condemn expansion of fossil fuel projects as data shows twice as much public money goes to fossil fuels than to clean energy in economic recovery packages by 20 richest countries 

 [ Listen to a recording of the press briefing + Slides from the presentation ]

 

15 July 2020: Grassroots campaigners at a press briefing yesterday by Climate Action Network, organised together with 350.org, OCI, IISD and GGON, said political leaders of the richest countries are squandering this ‘moment of reckoning’ by failing to ensure a just and sustainable recovery from this crisis.

New data from the Energy Policy Tracker launched today shows that the world’s 20 richest countries, who together account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have committed more than $USD 150 billion* of public money to support fossil fuels since the start of the Covid19 crisis this year.

The continued expansion and public funding for fossil fuels in the next months is not only a disaster for the climate but is increasing poverty and inequality, harming Indigenous Peoples and communities of colour and driving species-extinction, deforestation and displacement.

As the world grapples with a health emergency, a looming economic recession and the climate crisis, finance ministers of the G20, who are meeting this weekend, must lead by action - not just words - and use this year to drastically change the course of the global economy away from this dangerous dependence on fossil fuels towards investments that are in line with ambitious and updated climate targets.
 
Quotes from the speakers and other organisations:

“The COVID-19 crisis and governments’ responses to it are intensifying the trends that existed before the pandemic struck. National and subnational jurisdictions that heavily subsidized the production and consumption of fossil fuels in previous years have once again thrown lifelines to oil, gas, coal, and fossil fuel-powered electricity. Meanwhile, economies that had already begun a transition to clean energy are now using stimulus and recovery packages to make this happen even faster.” -Dr. Ivetta Gerasimchuk, IISD expert and Energy Policy Tracker project lead

“The EU is throwing fuel on the fire while presenting itself as a champion of climate action and human rights. It is pumping billions of euros of public money and political support into dangerous projects like the Eastmed-Poseidon pipeline, which would transport gas from between Israel and Cyprus, via Greece, to Italy. This would exacerbate geopolitical tensions, strengthen oppressive regimes, destroy the local environments and communities’ livelihoods, and of course be a climate disaster. Over 50 organizations from along the route of the pipeline demand that the EU stop spending a penny more on the Eastmed-Poseidon and that public money is spent on just and renewable energy solutions instead.”  -Naomi Kreitman, Gastivists Network

The fossil fuel industry is ravaging the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique, including financiers and transnational corporations from many of the G20 countries. The gas rush has already been fuelling human rights abuses, poverty, militarization, corruption, violence, social injustice and environmental destruction. In addition, climate science shows us clearly that gas cannot be an option for the future of our planet. The climate crisis will have severe consequences for Mozambique, such as the two catastrophic cyclones which hit us in 2019. Stop the gas exploitation in Mozambique now!” - Daniel Ribeiro, Justiça Ambiental (Friends of the Earth Mozambique)

“The recent announcement of auctions in 41 coal blocks in India - part of a slew of new policies to revive the Indian economy - pose a serious threat to our communities and the global fight against climate change. The expansion of coal through commercial mining means increased land grabs, deforestation and displacement of Indigenous People. The displacement of forest and rural communities during this coronavirus pandemic threatens not only the loss of our livelihoods, land, culture and identity but also exposes tribal communities, who have been protected in the forests, to the coronavirus now ravaging towns and cities, where many will be forced to migrate.” - Ashish Birulee, co-founder, Adivasi Lives Matter, Indigenous People’s Movement, India

Gulf Coast communities in the USA are mobilizing to stop the construction of three fracked gas export terminals that would unleash climate-polluting emissions, destroy sacred Indigenous lands, and threaten marginalized people's health and safety. This proposed expansion would also increase oil and gas drilling in West Texas' Permian Basin, forcing the region to become a fossil fuel extraction colony for overseas markets. Years of public opposition, divestment campaigns targeting banks, and legal action have delayed the fracked gas export projects until next year, and we will not stop fighting until these projects are canceled for good.”
- Bekah Hinojosa, Gulf Coast Campaign Representative, Sierra Club, USA

“Despite being a country extremely vulnerable to climate impacts, Bangladesh is on track to build 29 coal plants with a total capacity of 33,200 MW. Chinese investments represent the majority of the proposed coal power capacity - 18,000 MW across 15 projects. The UK -and Japan-based companies are involved in three proposed coal projects each. We urge rich G20 countries to cease supporting coal and invest instead in renewable energy that will allow Bangladesh to establish itself as a low-emission country, to protect our people and our future from the effects of the climate crisis.” -Sohanur Rahman, Fridays for Future Bangladesh

“After the horrific summer of climate impacts we had in Australia – bushfires burning 19 million hectares, killing 34 people and one billion animals, and forcing communities to flee to beaches to shelter as their towns burned – you would think the Australian Government would prioritise climate action in all of its planning. Sadly for our community, the government led by Prime Minister Morrison is instead talking up a “gas-fired covid recovery” and planning to prop up the coal and gas industries, despite a renewables led covid recovery generating three times as many jobs. Australians – individuals and businesses – are investing in the other direction, showing strong support for renewables, and it is time our government did too.” - Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Australia 

“We owe it to our children and grandchildren to bequeath to them a planet worth inheriting.“In this fight, giving up is not an option, losing hope is unthinkable but sitting back and watching the chaos unfold while we do nothing is the greatest evil. That is why we have to do everything in our capacity to stop the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline that threatens the livelihoods of millions of people and will also be disastrous for our environment and natural resources. Our Environment is our Future and our Future is our Responsibility.” - Joseph Masembe, Little Hands Go Green, Uganda

"The governments of Latin America will be throwing money away if they continue to support the fossil fuel industry through credit, subsidies or bailouts. In countries such as Argentina and Mexico, fostering community-led, renewable energy will clearly result in better outcomes for the economy, the climate and the most vulnerable communities. In the last few months, we have seen huge oil spills in rivers of Ecuador and coastal areas of Brazil, which harmed thousands of Indigenous and fishers. Choosing between such a dirty sector and industries that will create clean jobs amid a recession should be a no-brainer"
- Ilan Zugman, interim director, Latin America, 350.org

At this point in history it’s clear that investing in fossil fuels is as lethal to global economies as it is to life on earth. Yet G20 leaders keep lying to themselves and their citizens as they prop up coal, oil and gas with public money in the name of private financial return. In the height of hypocrisy, Canada - co-chair of the Powering Past Coal Alliance - is quietly moving to expand the Vista mine, making it one of North America’s largest thermal coal mines. Canada’s claims to international leadership are hollow as long as its national and subnational governments funnel money to polluting projects like Vista and the Trans Mountain and Coastal Gaslink pipelines. Covid-19 has revealed two truths that Canada and G20 leaders must heed: one, if we don’t kill pollution, it will kill us; and two, a healthier world is possible - we need to only choose to build it” 
- Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada

“Unusual heavy rain hit Japan last two weeks and wide areas of the west part of the country are severely damaged by floods and landslides. The government recently decided not to finance overseas coal plants “in principle”, but it contains dangerous exceptions allowing financing for “high efficient coal technologies and coal projects under consideration, which allow the coal business to run. As being a vulnerable country, Japan should face the urgency and to stop financing dirty energy.” - Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network and Representative, CAN-Japan 

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*NOTE TO EDITORS
Press release from the 14-member research team, led by IISD, on the Energy Policy Tracker, a near real-time database of governments' stimulus and other responses to the COVID19 crisis in the energy sector.

ABOUT CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries fighting the climate crisis. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

CONTACT 
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, Climate Action Network International dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org  / whatsapp +918826107830

 
 

Media Advisory: G20 countries backing fossil fuels as a means out of COVID19

MEDIA ADVISORY | SAVE THE DATE

 

G20 countries backing fossil fuels as a means out of Covid19

WHEN : Tuesday 14 July 2020 13:00 UTC / 14:00 London / 15:00 Brussels / 9:00 Washington D.C / 18:30 New Delhi [Check your time zone here]

WHERE: https://climateactionnetwork.zoom.us/j/94519473026

Ahead of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting on 18 July, Climate Action Network, with 350.org, Oil Change International, Global Gas and Oil Network and IISD, will host a press briefing on Tuesday 14 July at 13:00 UTC / 14:00 BST / 9:00 ET/ 18:30 IST

Speakers from IISD will provide a preview on the latest data from a major study by 14 organisations* explaining just how much public money G20 countries have channeled towards fossil fuels over clean energy since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic. The full and latest dataset, on a new website tracking climate and energy recovery policies worldwide, will be available on 15 July.

Frontline campaigners from the United States, EU, Canada, Australia and India will speak about local resistance movements against major fossil fuel projects amidst the changing landscape of the Covid19 crisis and an economic crisis.

[*Full list of contributing partners for the Energy Policy Tracker: IISD, IGES, OCI, ODI, SEI, Columbia University, FARN, Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft (FÖS), Legambiente, ITAM, REN21, INESC, I4CE and The Australia Institute]

 

DETAILS TO JOIN: https://climateactionnetwork.zoom.us/j/94519473026

Meeting ID: 945 1947 3026

One tap mobile +16465588656,,94519473026# US (New York)

+16699009128,,94519473026# US (San Jose)

Full list of phone numbers

 

CONTACT | RSVP

To register please email: Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, Climate Action Network dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / +918826107830

 

ABOUT CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

IEA Ministerial Summit: CAN Intervention by Dr. Stephan Singer

09 July 2020. The IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit held today virtually brought together the ministers of countries representing over 80% of global energy demand and carbon emissions, with civil society interventions including Climate Action Network (CAN) through Dr. Stephan Singer, CAN's Senior Advisor, Global Energy Policies.

Due to technical issues and time constraints during the virtual conference, the below transcript was not delivered in full but the message remains the same: governments must not offer hand outs to the fossil fuel industry, and move towards a global phase-out of fossil fuels with the help of the IEA.

Transcript:

Dear ministers, governmental and other delegates and IEA. Climate Action Network (CAN), the largest global network of civil society organisations working on all aspects of climate change, thanks you for this opportunity.

CAN strongly supports a just, green and equitable economic recovery that is socially inclusive and addresses the multiple crises the world is facing.

Ministers, governments will spend several trillion USD for the recovery. This must have at its core the creation and maintenance of a resilient and robust pro-poor health system that is also preparing societies and communities for adapting to further health crisis such as those caused by growing climate change related diseases, flooding, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

These investments must support the poor, the marginalised, the vulnerable, the jobless and those already impacted by the multiple crises. And they must be supported with policies that overcome the huge national and international inequalities of wealth. And let’s make sure that they assist clean, innovative and creative industries and practices to overcome the climate crisis, and do not support those forces that generated the mess we are in.

Ministers, we cannot go back to pre-CORONA times. 2019 saw the largest fossil fuel CO2 emissions ever, the world faces species extinction and ecosystems destruction on a huge scale.  Freshwater scarcity, food insecurity are reaching crisis levels.  About 4 million people die from air pollution each year.

CAN strongly objects to governments using the economic recovery to hand out money to any fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure industry, or to others that do not commit credibly to enhanced sustainability objectives in line with a Just Transition to meet the 1.5 C survival objective as enshrined in the ratified Paris Agreement.

And that means, Dear ministers, you should already be preparing for a global phase-out of fossil fuels by the mid-century at the latest as urged by science and the IPCC to avoid many irreversible climate impacts. CAN requests the IEA to provide you with tools needed for success by making a 1.5C global scenario central to your decisions.

CAN demands that the economic recovery shall significantly grow renewable energies, support energy and mineral resource conservation and efficiency with strong social and environmental safeguards in all sectors, shift all land use practices to sustainable ones, increase and ensure the protection of biodiverse ecosystems, and overcome energy poverty in developing countries in line with a Just Transition for all.

Finally, economic recovery programs by rich countries need to embrace international solidarity and allocate a “fair share” of the money to poorer developing countries for adaptation to health and climate change impacts, as well as support for clean technologies - and that should be much higher than the present development assistance.

Thank you

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About Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

Tags: 

COVID19 stimulus packages must accelerate energy transition to avert climate crisis - global renewable energy report

16 June 2020. The REN21 Renewables 2020 Global Status Report (GSR) launched today is a stark reminder that despite the growth of renewables in some sectors and in some countries, the world is not on track to avert climate breakdown.

Cutting emissions by half by 2030 and curbing pollution to keep warming below 1.5°C requires rapidly switching to renewables, alongside efforts to strengthen energy efficiency in all sectors.

The report confirms that while switching to renewables has increased in a few countries (mainly in the electricity sector), overall sectoral transformation remains dismal. Renewables in the electricity sector have grown significantly in recent years, primarily in relation to wind and solar and currently amounts to around 27% of total energy use. The power sector consumes only a small proportion of total energy use, at around 18%. Only 3% of global transport is powered by renewables despite the sector consuming 32% of total energy. Similarly, the cooling and heating sectors are still primarily powered by fossil fuels.

According to the International Energy Agency, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown of activities have resulted in an estimated 8% reduction in carbon emissions this year. To sustain this rate of decline beyond the pandemic and avert destructive warming, we need to radically shift energy systems in all sectors to renewables and improve energy efficiency. The economic recovery and stimulus packages by governments to offset the impact of the current economic crisis should reflect this shift.

The report confirms that the social and economic advantages of shifting to renewables must form the bedrock of policies in a post COVID-19 world.

Quotes

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) International, said:
"Yet again, the REN21 assessment of the status of renewables tells us that governments are not listening to the science and acting on what is needed to address climate change by cutting emissions, transforming economies and providing clean air, jobs and healthy living for their citizens. While people struggle to deal with the impacts of multiple crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, inequality and climate change, governments are busy developing and implementing economic stimulus packages and industry bailouts that will lock-in deadly fossil fuel economies for decades to come. This year's REN21 assessment should be a wakeup call and should galvanise government action across the world. They can do this immediately through using their economic stimulus packages to invest in renewables instead of fossil fuels.”

Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor Global Climate Science and Energy Policies, CAN International, said:
“While renewables are growing, their increase is much too slow worldwide. To address climate change effectively, annual investments have to triple in this decade and energy efficiency improvements have to double each year in all economic sectors.”

Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe, said:
“Governments need to support the European Green Deal and ensure the recovery out of the current crisis increases investments in renewable energy with the aim of making the European energy system 100% renewable. For this to happen, we need to remove all barriers to energy savings measures and further renewables deployment and we have to do that at an incredibly speedy pace.” “Starting from now, we can and should increase roughly three-fold the contribution of renewable energy sources by 2040. Reaching the Paris Agreement’s objectives without an unprecedented growth of renewables will be very difficult”, added Wendel Trio.

Jean Su, Director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Energy Justice Program and Co-Chair of CAN International’s Energy Group, said:
“It’s a failing to our planet if we miss this unprecedented opportunity to tackle the climate, racism, and COVID pandemics plaguing the world at once. The mass deployment of clean and renewable energy is vital to ensuring an enduring future and ending the fossil fuel era that has put profit over people and the planet for too long.”

Contact:
Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, Climate Action Network
Email: hkilani@climatenetwork.org
Phone: +9613567928

About Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

India and Bangladesh brace for Cyclone Amphan amidst coronavirus lockdown

20 May 2020: Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall in India and Bangladesh around 16:00 local time on Wednesday 20 May 2020 bringing heavy winds and severe flooding that threatens lives and property.

Preparations are in place to shelter large numbers of people even as both countries grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. India has initiated one of the strictest lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus which has led to the displacement of millions of daily wage migrant workers- many bound to towns and villages in eastern India. The compounding risks of increasingly severe climate impacts amidst this pandemic highlights the multiple risks of vulnerable people already suffering displacement, food insecurity and job losses on an unprecedented scale.

Statements:

“With Cyclone Amphan, the 'disaster season' starts in Bay of Bengal. This year many more people will be affected because of the reverse migration due to COVID19 lockdown and the loss of livelihoods. Thousands of workers have returned back to their native villages tired, disappointed and with no security. Disaster response in India and Bangladesh will fall short of its capacity, with more people to be evacuated and social distancing rules to be maintained.”
- Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia   

“Cyclone Amphan could be utterly devastating for the poorest and most marginalised people in Bangladesh and India, who are already battling the threat of Covid-19. Heavy rains, flooding, the destruction of homes and farmland, will increase the likelihood of the virus spreading, particularly in densely populated areas like the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. It will also undoubtedly increase the number of lives and livelihoods already lost to this pandemic. 

“Now more than ever we must double our efforts to support the poorest communities currently facing a triple threat of hunger, disease and extreme weather. 

 “Covid-19 must act as a wake-up call to governments about the need to protect climate migrants and to ensure that climate resilience is built into long term response plans.”
- Sara Almer, Humanitarian Director, ActionAid

“Cyclone Amphan which is about to hit Bangladesh is going to compound the COVID19 pandemic as well as lockdown and social distancing measures. While Bangladesh has an enviable system of cyclone warning and cyclone shelters, it will be almost impossible to practice social distancing in those shelters.”
- Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University Bangladesh

When I turned one year old, a Bay of Bengal super cyclone had just killed 140,000 people. Since then, Bangladesh has made massive gains in managing cyclone risks and cutting down on the loss of life. But one thing hasn't changed -- the poorest are still abjectly vulnerable to cyclones, Covid-19, and everything in between. Cyclone Amphan is the perfect example of how interconnected our crises are -- with the poor having to cram into crowded cyclone shelters and put themselves at risk of catching the virus. Our solutions must be interconnected too, with a renewed and urgent commitment to end extreme poverty once and for all.
- Risalat Khan, Social Justice Campaigner from Bangladesh

“Here in Kolkata, I am in the path of Cyclone Amphan. I feel more vulnerable than before with the combined threat of coronavirus and the impacts of Cyclone Amphan.”
- Rushati Das, CAN South Asia

##########ENDS#######

Contact:
Sanjay Vashist, Director, CAN South Asia | email: sanjay@cansouthasia.net / whatsapp +919910096125

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International | email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

About Climate Action Network South Asia
Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA) is a coalition of over 150 civil societies organisations working in 08 South Asian countries to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change in a manner that promotes equity and social justice between peoples, sustainable development of all communities and protection of the global environment. CANSA has been at the forefront of representing the southern perspectives at international climate negotiations and undertakes inter-governmental, regional, and national actions. 

About Climate Action Network International
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

CAN reactions to the postponement of COP26 to 2021

 

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network:

“At this moment, all our efforts are focused on fighting the Covid19 pandemic. Governments must prioritise the health, safety and jobs of their citizens. Under these circumstances, we acknowledge the necessity to postpone the Bonn climate session to later this year and COP26 to 2021.

“Let us remember this pandemic is taking place against the backdrop of an ecological crisis- one that threatens the lives of millions of people and will exacerbate the risks we already face. Just like a fast-spreading virus, climate change has no regard for borders. If one country is not safe, no country is safe. The postponement of the climate talks does not mean a postponement of climate ambition. This does not let governments off the hook — we will continue to hold them accountable to deliver renewed climate ambition for the equitable and just transformation of societies. If there is anything that this Covid19 crisis has taught us, it is that now more than ever we need sustained international efforts to build a safe and resilient future.”

Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa:

“The postponement of the Bonn meeting and subsequent adjustment to the COP26 date is a sensible step. It doesn’t make sense to bring people from every country together in the middle of a pandemic. Although these postponed meetings are important they are not the entirety of climate action. Postponing them does not mean postponing climate action. Country delegations should use this extra time to ensure the economic response to Covid-19 doesn’t entrench the climate crisis, but instead accelerates the transition to a zero carbon world. Before the pandemic countries were failing to deliver quick enough emissions reductions and support for the vulnerable. This delay, combined with the economic recovery investment being devised, gives leaders the opportunity to revise their climate plans. Economies in the rich north must not be kickstarted with dirty investment that will lead to climate suffering in the global south.”

Anna Vickerstaff, Senior UK Campaigner, 350.org:

“While the pandemic has forced international climate diplomacy to drastically slow down, climate action must remain high on the political agenda this year. The coronavirus outbreak is throwing into sharp relief how the current system is failing the most vulnerable and generating multiple crises, including climate breakdown. Social justice, community-led solutions, equity and workers' rights must be at the centre of any government actions to tackle both these crises.” 

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader, WWF International Climate & Energy Practice:

“Under the circumstances, the decision to postpone both the annual mid-year UN climate negotiations and COP26, is unavoidable. Our collective priority must be to put health and lives first which is why we must treat COVID-19 seriously.

“But climate action must remain a non-negotiable global priority. That means we must also focus on creating low-carbon job opportunities and increasing our societies’ economic and ecological resilience. This means countries must continue their work to step up ambition to tackle the climate crisis in a socially fair way, by decarbonizing economies and energy systems, increasing nature-based solutions and addressing unsustainable agriculture and deforestation, including through any economic recovery effort. It is especially vital that countries align all recovery and stimulus packages with climate science.
“There are important and specific opportunities for job creation in the net-zero economy in labour intensive sectors such as digital infrastructure, insulation and energy efficiency, sustainable public transport, solar PV deployment in cities and ecosystem restoration, among others. 

“The current alarming situation we are facing also underlines the need for urgent action to halt the imminent loss of lives from the climate crisis and to rebalance our relationship with nature. We are all on this planet together. Countries are stronger working together, and international cooperation based on creating socially, economically and ecologically resilient societies is the best option to resolve present and future crises such as COVID-19 and the global climate crisis.”

Harjeet Singh, Global Climate Lead, ActionAid:

“Climate disasters won’t stop for the Covid-19 crisis. But we can’t address the climate emergency if distracted governments adopt half-measures in order to stick to a schedule. Current climate plans put the world on track for a catastrophic 3 or 4 degrees of warming. In these uncertain times, a postponement of COP26 gives governments more time to increase their climate pledges.
“The coronavirus outbreak will hit the poorest and most marginalised the hardest, those who are already facing food shortages and who are on the frontline of the climate crisis. 
“But the pandemic also proves that if there is political will, dramatic actions can be taken, trillions of dollars can be mobilised and people will accept inconvenience and strong government interventions, if it means protecting millions of lives. It shows the level of ambition that must be applied to the climate emergency.” 

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International:

“The Covid-19 response has to be resilient for our health and climate. The goal of governments now is to care for their citizens, stabilise and rebuild — and they must do so in a way that creates a just and climate-safe world, because environmental health and our own well-being are dependent on each other. COP26 being put on hold should make governments double down on their efforts to ensure a green and just way forward in handling this health crisis and the climate emergency. Going back to ‘business as usual’ is completely unacceptable: this pandemic shows there are huge lessons to be learned about the importance of listening to science and the need for urgent collective global action.”

Sébastien Duyck, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law:

“The UNFCCC decision to suspend COP26 is necessary to prioritize the health and safety of communities in the face of COVID-19. Even though the meeting has been postponed, climate action remains essential and we cannot stop in the face of a pandemic. The long-term health and safety of communities around the world also remain at risk due to climate change. Governments must continue to ensure their policies to accelerate a transition away from fossil fuels are guided by sustainability and that they promote the economic and social rights of the most vulnerable.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy & Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists:

“The UNFCCC has made the right decision to postpone the climate talks scheduled for June and November. This is a time for all leaders to heed the advice of science professionals, and to take immediate actions to safeguard the health and economic wellbeing of their people.
“Global warming emissions are at record levels and impacts are increasing every day; climate change won’t pause even for a pandemic of epic proportions. It’s vital that the postponement of these negotiating sessions not slow down national and international efforts to accelerate climate action and build a safer, more resilient world. This means shifting investments away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources and enhanced energy efficiency, rapidly reducing emissions to ensure we reach net zero by midcentury, and providing adequate funding to help those countries and communities already enduring devastating climate impacts.

“The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is showing that the nations of the world can come together to tackle global challenges, and that the policy landscape can shift quickly when there is sufficient political will. This should give us hope as we move forward in the fight to tackle the global crisis of climate change.”

Rachel Rose Jackson, Director of Climate Research & Policy, Corporate Accountability: 

“Today’s announcement to postpone the climate negotiations cannot be misinterpreted as a delay in climate action or the international collaboration needed to deliver it. While public health must be the priority right now, the unfortunate truth is that any delay in action, albeit necessary, will mean those enduring the worst impacts of climate change now risk having to wait even longer for already overdue real solutions and finance they so desperately need and are owed.
“Big Polluters are already leveraging this deadly pandemic to advance their agenda, from billion-dollar bailouts to deregulation, and one of the greatest risks of this decision will be that Big Polluters will also use this delay to further undermine climate policy at the national levels and further erode ambition around the globe.

“Vitaly important issues are at stake and the demands from millions of people calling for real and just action are stronger everyday. We can and must address this pandemic in a way that truly transforms the systemic injustices that have also given rise to climate emergency. The work in front of us is more important now than ever.”

David Tong, Senior Campaigner, Oil Change International:

“Postponing COP26 and interim meetings is the right call to protect public health. But while these meetings are delayed, climate action must accelerate. The global response to the COVID-19 health crisis and its economic fallout will help define our response to the climate crisis in the years and decades ahead. Trillions of dollars will be needed to build a resilient economy through this crisis. We must ensure investment packages directly aid people and workers, rather than bailing out big polluters like the fossil fuel industry. The need for systemic change is clear — which means investing in people and the clean energy economy, not propping up fossil fuels and the energy systems of the past.”

Kimbowa Richard, Programme Manager, Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development:

“Postponing COP26 and other meetings due to the global concern on COVID-19 is a wake-up call, as climate change (emergency!) is more complex than we know. For example its linkage with human-induced degradation of nature that has resulted in increased occurence of zoonotic diseases is now more clearer. This calls for more global ambition, coordination and responsibility to address climate change and wider environmental stewardship.”

Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director, Oxfam International:

"This pause is understandable in light of efforts to stop the pandemic we all now face. But this should not mean pausing our vital efforts to respond to a climate crisis that is already threatening lives and pushing millions of people deeper into hunger and poverty.

"The UK, as host of the summit, can keep global momentum going by working with countries worldwide to commit to bold economic stimulus measures that will reduce carbon emissions as well as accelerate the recovery from coronavirus. Steps taken now to reshape the economy and clean industries of the future cannot wait.

"Governments are right now showing they are ready to cooperate. They should avoid repeating the same mistakes that were made after the 2008 global financial crisis when stimulus packages caused emissions to rebound."

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change & Resilience, CARE International:

“In light of the severe disruptions and human suffering due to the COVID-19 crisis, this decision seemed unavoidable. Minimizing the Coronavirus’s adverse impacts in the next few weeks, in particular on marginalised and poor women and girls, will rightly absorb governments full attention. But it is also clear that governments have repeatedly confirmed that urgent action is required to avoid a complete climate breakdown, in particular by richer countries. Postponement of the COP26 conference should not mean postponement of strong action on climate justice. In our collective efforts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, we must ensure we accelerate rather than undermine achievement of the Paris Agreement.”

Josianne Gauthier, Secretary General, CIDSE:

“The change of date of a climate summit is understandable in the current circumstances but that doesn't mean though that we are forgetting urgency and ambition to address the climate crisis. The current pandemic is showing once again that the current system as it is is not able to tackle today's global challenges. We were living in a state of emergency even before COVID19 and returning to that "normal" is not an option: now policies should be put in place to rebuild societies that are able to address all these interconnected crises, economies that truly put people and planet before profit.”

Nick Mabey, Chief Executive Officer, E3G:

“Moving the timing of COP26 is a responsible decision to protect health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we must urgently tackle the health crisis and its social and economic ripple effects, we can’t forget that the clock is still ticking in the race to stop climate change. As the world moves to recover from COVID, building climate cooperation through a rescheduled COP26 will be part of the new global effort needed to limit multiple future global crises.”

Dr. Richard Dixon, Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland: 

“Given the worldwide health dangers of coronavirus, it is understandable that the UN climate negotiations in Glasgow have been delayed.  Every effort must be made to save lives and protect the vulnerable who will suffer the most in this crisis. However rich countries must not use the delay in the talks to delay taking urgent action on reducing emissions and providing climate finance for developing countries. Because the climate crisis is very urgent, COP26 needs to take place in the first half of 2021 and COP27 should still happen as planned that autumn. The climate talks should go ahead as soon as it is safe to hold them, but it is essential that they do so on the basis that global south nations are able to fully attend and demand the action necessary to deal with the climate emergency. This means full access for global south nations, experts and activists.”

Jamie Williams, Senior Policy Advisor, Islamic Relief Worldwide:

“Delaying  COP26 is a necessary response to this horrific crisis.  When we welcome the world to Glasgow in 2021 we expect governments to have begun to take action urgently before future crises unfold — whether in public health or the climate emergency.  More than ever we need to work together to reduce the risks, protect citizens, encourage community-level resilience and take drastic measures to transform priorities and economies in the face of the climate threat. Climate action must remain high on the political agenda this year as governments prepare to protect and rebuild communities. At the COP next year we expect to come together in sombre reflection with a determination that resources and attention are directed to building sustained ecological and social resilience, putting people before profit. These must especially involve women and children, people with disabilities, the elderly and people living in extreme poverty who suffer first and most when catastrophe strikes.”

Ken Berlin, President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project:

“The health and wellbeing of all citizens must be first and foremost in the minds of all climate activists during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we fully understand the decision of the UNFCCC’s COP Bureau representatives to postpone both the June climate negotiations and November’s COP26 in Glasgow. 

"The scale of the COVID-19 public health crisis is a sobering example of the urgent need for worldwide cooperation to find and advance solutions to our greatest global challenges, including the climate crisis. During this postponement, it is critical for nations to enhance their climate ambition by significantly strengthening their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions justly and fairly, as required by the Paris Agreement. We urge governments to use this time to further align their own decision making with the will of their citizens, who have shown that they support climate action, including expanding progress on clean energy, transportation, and agriculture, as core principles of relief and recovery efforts. By doing so, we can achieve a cleaner, healthier, and better future and ensure that the world that we want emerges from this crisis to help us avoid the next.”

Bridget Burns, Director, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO):

“The COVID-19 crisis has forced us to rethink our work and our timelines for in-person dialogue and decision-making, but the climate crisis remains a critical, life-altering, game-changing global challenge as well. As we reorient toward a 2021 COP, we recognize this is the time for true transformation, continuing our work undeterred.  This moment is calling for a just recovery. We must begin by building resilience as these interlocking crises come to a head: a crisis of capitalism, of colonialism, of corruption, of placing profit over people's health, and of planetary well-being. We must recover by rebuilding towards an equitable, livable, feminist future for all."

 

 

‘Empty words and collective failure’: Japanese NGOs react to new NDC

30 March 2020, Tokyo, Japan: In the face of the climate crisis, we have no time to delay action. The Japanese Government had a choice between showing ambition to lead and succeed or settling for the false comfort of empty words and collective failure. Sadly, the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that Japan submitted today is very much the latter. This failure will cost us all dearly.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy with the potential to catalyze, and benefit, from a rapid transition to clean energy. Prime Minister Abe still has the chance to invest in a green economy and be the leader who tackled the climate crisis. He, however, appears to be content to settle for a low target and policies that continue to fund coal. This is firmly taking us down the path to economic and environmental ruin. Japan should not slow down climate action even amidst the Covid-19 global fights. It must revisit and strengthen the plan swiftly in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement. - Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network, Representative, CAN-Japan

It is extremely disappointing that the Japanese government submitted the NDC without any upward revisions. As a signatory country of the Paris Agreement, Japan should recongnize the goal indicated by IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degree Celsius -that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 45% by 2030. As the fifth largest emitter in the world, Japan should take its responsibility and lead towards a decarbonized society instead of showing a bad example to other countries that are considering reductions very seriously.

While the world is phasing out coal, Japan’s addiction to coal is watering down the efforts being made by the rest of the world and being a burden in meeting global goals to tackle the climate crisis. Coal fired power plants are losing profitability and sticking to coal will not only damage the long-term economy in Japan but also sustainable development of developing countries by locking them in a high carbon economy system. The vast impacts of the climate crisis have already been apparent, and what we need now is to immediately start national debates with transparency and raise the ambition followed by concrete actions. - Takayoshi Yokoyama, Team Leader, 350.org Japan

日本政府が温室効果ガス削減目標を、引き上げずに国連に提出したことに失望を禁じえません。我が国はパリ協定の署名国として、2030年までに温室効果ガスを45%削減すべきという、IPCC1.5℃特別報告書にある目標を尊重し現在の目標を引き上げるべきです。また、世界第5位の排出国の責任を果たし、日本は目標の引き上げを検討中の他の国々に悪い見本を見せるのではなく、脱炭素社会に向けて世界をリードすべきです。

とりわけ世界が脱石炭に舵を切っている中、いまだに国内外で石炭を推進し続けていることは世界の努力に水を差し、世界の目標達成の足かせとなっています。経済的にも合理性を失いつつある石炭火力発電に固執することで、高排出の経済システムを温存し、長期的に国内経済や途上国の持続可能な発展を阻害することに繋がりかねません。気候危機の影響は目に見える形で顕在化しつつあり、今求められていることは、一刻も早く、透明性の高いプロセスにおいて国民的議論を経て、目標を引き上げ、行動に移すことです。- 350.org, 日本支部代表 横山隆美

Japan missed another opportunity to show leadership for decarbonization but instead sent a completely wrong signal to the international society implying it is ok not to enhance ambition at this crucial moment. No, this is NOT OK in the face of a climate crisis. Submitting an unchanged NDC now for the sake of meeting the nine- twelve month deadline has no legal basis and possibly discourages other countries efforts to seriously consider enhancing NDCs. The government should have listened to the positive voices expressed in the statement by Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), which was signed by 248 organizations including business companies, local governments and other non-state actors who urged the government to enhance its NDC. The only possible remedy now is to start an open and transparent process to discuss how to (NOT whether to) enhance its NDC with a clear time schedule. - Naoyuki Yamagishi, Leader, Climate and Energy Group, WWF Japan

--------------------####---------------------
Contact:

Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network/ Representative, CAN-Japan
email: khirata@kikonet.org

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN
email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830

 

About CAN-Japan
CAN-Japan, the national node for Japan, works with CAN-International on international activities and with domestic NGOs to advance international negotiations and, strengthen domestic climate change policies that support sustainable energy choices, as well as to develop domestic activities that strengthen foreign climate policies.

About Climate Action Network
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

 

Japanese NGOs urge Prime Minister Abe to substantially increase national climate targets following a public consultation

Citizens' inputs must encourage Japan to reduce emissions by at least 45-50% , from 1990 levels, by 2030 . The government's plans to allow new coal-burning power plants to be built across the country is in total contradiction to the Paris Agreement goals, says CAN-Japan 

5 February 2020, Tokyo, Japan: Japanese non-governmental organizations under Climate Action Network Japan held a press conference today calling on Japan’s government to substantially increase its national climate targets in line with the science and to cease all new fossil fuel production. 

With only nine months to go to COP26, the annual UN climate talks in Glasgow, UK, speakers at the briefing reiterated that current national climate targets are abysmally low. They urged the government to hold a public consultation to enhance the country’s nationally determined contributions in an inclusive and effective way and to lead on global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Despite UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asking countries, particularly developed countries, to end their addiction to coal and cease building new coal power plants, Japan is set to build 22 new coal plants over the next five years. This move will undermine the transition to a zero-carbon future and lock in dangerous emissions for decades to come.

As a member of the G7, the international community expects Japan to lead on climate action: to stop funding fossil fuels; to submit national climate targets prior to COP26 year that live up to the UN’s call for countries to urgently close the emissions gap; and to support developing countries to implement and update their climate plans. 

Read the full statement from CAN Japan 

View the full Press Conference  

Quotes from CAN Japan members and CAN Executive Director

Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network/ Representative, CAN-Japan
Japan's current greenhouse gas emission target for 2030 is a mere 26% reduction from 2013 levels. This is totally insufficient to combat the climate crisis we face. Japan has been lagging behind in climate action for years and causing increased carbon dioxide emissions by producing coal power in Japan and overseas. It is crucial for Japan to review its position and raise its 2030 target to at least 45-50% reduction from the 1990 level and 2050 target for net zero to be in line with the Paris goal. This needs to be fully reflected in the enhanced nationally determined contribution (NDCs).” 

Naoyuki Yamagishi, Climate and Energy Group Leader, Conservation Division, WWF Japan
In the midst of increasing concerns about climate crisis, resubmitting a nationally determined contribution without enhancement not only reaffirms Japan’s regressive stance on climate action but also sends a completely wrong and discouraging signal to many countries now going through the processes of considering revisions of NDCs for higher ambition.
The government needs to listen to the voices from more than 220 sub national organizations, which signed on the statement by Japan Climate Initiative calling on the government to enhance its national climate targets.”

Taka Yokoyama, Leader, 350.org, Japan
Taking a look at movements of global financial institutions, there is an apparent trend towards low-carbon society as recently announced by Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. Japan should get ready for the decarbonized society to be competitive in the global market. The government of Japan is responsible to support the readiness, which is to enhance nationally determined contributions to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius goal by cutting carbon dioxide emissions by half by 2030.”

Isao Sakai, member of Fridays For Future, Tokyo, and a high school student
We demand a more ambitious NDC target which complies with the Paris Agreement for the future of all people including we, the youth and future generations, who must live in the world that politicians have the power to create.”

Tasneem Essop, Executive Director, Climate Action Network
"In this year of ambition, our eyes are fixed on major emitters and how they will address the climate emergency. We expect much more ambitious actions from Japan to contribute its fair share to reducing global emissions, addressing impacts and in responding to the urgent call by IPCC scientists to set the world on a path to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is alarming that the Japanese government continues to support the production of coal and is allowing 22 new coal power plants to be built in a climate emergency. This is unacceptable. Japan needs to urgently embark on the critical transformation its society and economy needs. Civil society will continue to mobilize and hold governments accountable and Japan is clearly in our sight."

------ENDS------

Contact:

Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network/ Representative, CAN-Japan, email: khirata@kikonet.org

OR

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN, email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org / whatsapp +918826107830  

About CAN-Japan
CAN-Japan, the national node for Japan, works with CAN-International on international activities and with domestic NGOs to advance international negotiations and, strengthen domestic climate change policies that support sustainable energy choices, as well as to develop domestic activities that strengthen foreign climate policies.

About Climate Action Network 
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on www.climatenetwork.org

 

Press Release: ´Immediately shift investments from fossil fuels into renewables and nature protection and restoration,´ civil society said to the World Economic Forum (WEF) participants.

Immediately shift investments from fossil fuels into renewables and nature protection and restoration, civil society said to government, bank and business leaders convening in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Thursday 23 January 2020: For the first time, the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risk Report identifies failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change as the greatest risk the world faces in the short and long term (10 years). 

It took the destruction of forests, farmland, animals and peoples’ livelihoods in Australia and the Amazon and a devastating year of extreme weather events including typhoons and cyclones that killed thousands and ravaged Africa and Southeast Asia for the Forum´s network of business leaders, academics and NGOs to join the chorus in sounding the alarm on the climate emergency.

Yet, key speakers at the meeting came across completely out of tune with the WEF´s main topic this year: ‘Climate change and building a cohesive, inclusive and sustainable economy’. Although the USA is the second largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, President Donald Trump delivered a re-election speech instead of focusing on what his government will do to tackle climate change, the world´s greatest threat.

Additionally, Greenpeace International highlighted in a new report that 24 banks, regularly represented at Davos, have provided US$1.4 trillion to the fossil fuel industry since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 through to the end of 2018. 

The report also looks at how pension funds and insurance companies, whose CEOs go to Davos, have been propping up fossil fuels. In response to President Trump’s speech, Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said, “It seems to escape the President that no money can be made on a dead planet - there can be no jobs, no economic growth.”

Against this backdrop, 2019 marked a series of summits that exposed the brazen lack of political will by large emitters to listen to the rising calls from scientists and people to act on the global emergency. These include the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in New York and the UN Conference (COP25) in Madrid.

Despite the highest ever carbon pollution by fossil fuels in 2018 and 2019 and three scientific reports in the last two years, delivered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), highlighting the best and newest science on potentially devastating impacts on nature and people, governments of rich nations try to muddle through. Added to that, millions of people, particularly youth flooded the streets of many cities, demanding climate and social justice to transform the present system. Yet highly polluting and rich governments still failed to deliver commitments to raise climate ambition and action to limit dangerous climate impacts.

While in 2018 the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C stipulated that limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all spheres of society, the UN Production Gap report released in December 2019 showed that governments are not committing to what they signed up for in Paris in 2015. They are, in fact, planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting global warming to 2°C levels and 120% more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.

The report makes clear that participants in Davos hold direct responsibility in tackling the climate crisis as it says that the “continued expansion of fossil fuel production is underpinned by ambitious national plans, government subsidies and other forms of public finance.” 

Ironically, in the days leading to this year’s WEF where VIPs, royalty and others flocked in private jets to celebrate the Forum´s 50th anniversary and discuss climate change in Davos, Oxfam released its Time to Care” report. The report makes clear that global wealth is increasingly founded on inequality. It concludes that just over 2,000 individual billionaires control more money than 60 percent of the world’s poorest population. This wealth is generated through the unpaid labor of the poorest women who are also on the front line of climate impacts in vulnerable countries. 

In light of all this, civil society, supported by Greta Thunberg and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, demands that the world´s most influential business and political leaders convening in Davos immediately halt investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, end fossil fuel subsidies and completely divest investment in fossil fuels.

Representatives of banks, companies, governments and other institutions currently participating in the WEF must respond to the emergency they acknowledge and build a cohesive and sustainable economy by investing in the energy transition and supporting the sustainable management of nature to achieve resilience.

The wealth owned by only just over 2,000 people is equivalent to 30 times the global annual investments into renewables. This shows how easy it would be to triple investments in renewables annually and start responding to the emergency. 

Climate Action Network (CAN) Executive Director Tasneem Essop said:

“In what is a first, the WEF Global Risk Report this year identifies climate change as the greatest global risk. This is encouraging, but we would need to see real and meaningful actions to address this risk. This would require the powerful elite; political leaders, CEO’s and other decision makers who gather in Davos, to take actions in line with the science, to heed the UN Production Gap Report, listen to the call of the people and immediately stop all investments in fossil fuel exploration and production. The WEF needs to take a stand and end the social license of the fossil fuel industry or risk losing credibility.”

Members of Climate Action Network (CAN) said:

May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org:

"Those most responsible for the climate crisis in the first place were gathered at the World Economic Forum. Because of the power and the money represented at Davos this week, we’ve seen increasingly devastating climate impacts every year. These same wealthy people have stood as a wall separating governments and any real climate action. The climate movement is breaching that wall. It is because of the power of millions of people who took to the streets that these few billionaires are now feeling the urgency of tackling climate breakdown. As we enter the new decade, we need the world to know that the fossil fuel era is over. The financiers and industry leaders would be wise to see the writing on the wall and get out of this toxic industry in their own self-interest, if not in the interest of the planet as a whole."

Gavan McFadzean, Climate Change and Clean Energy Manager, Australian Conservation Foundation:

“Australia is the third largest exporter of fossil fuel emissions, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. The emissions from these fuels are turbo-charging climate change, which has contributed to our unprecedented bushfire season. If we don’t urgently stop digging up and burning coal, oil and gas, future bushfire seasons will be even worse than this year’s devastating Australian summer.”

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International:

“The climate crisis is a harsh daily reality for hundreds of millions of people, particularly women and girls, a fact which the leaders gathered in Davos must put at the center of their actions. The increasing risk of failure to prevent a complete climate breakdown is a direct threat to us all, but particularly the poorest and most vulnerable. 2020 must become the year where true and meaningful action on emission cuts and climate adaptation substitute lukewarm rhetoric and empty promises.”

Dr Kat Kramer, Global Lead - Climate Change, Christian Aid:

“WEF participants represent those businesses and interests that have brought the world to its knees. Both the climate and biosphere are in a state of crisis and we have failed to tackle poverty. These powerful participants have the choice to break the world through continuing with business-as-usual malevolent practices. Alternatively, they can help to make a new future, one that respects planetary limits and the rights of all to thrive. This visionary future will require a rapid phase out of all fossil fuels – gas included – electrification of the global economy through clean renewable technologies and access to energy for all. It will require the rich to consume less. It will require the conservation of remaining wild places, and restoration of ecosystems that have been destroyed or degraded in rapacious search of profits. The fate of the planet and its people is in the hands of WEF participants. Will they choose to destroy or to create hope?”

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International:

"The banks, insurers and pension funds here at Davos are culpable for the climate emergency. These money men say they support the Paris Agreement, but since its signing they have been actively undermining the accord by propping up the fossil fuel industry to the tune of US$1.4 trillion dollars. The finance sector is leading us into another financial crash in the midst of this climate emergency. The regulators must do their jobs before it is too late and financial actors have to start acting now on the scientific and economic warnings."  

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid:

“Global elites in Davos are trying to disguise their lack of real climate action to reduce emissions and shift away from fossil fuels. They are trumpeting weak and false solutions such as tree planting initiatives and technologies that don’t yet exist.

Meanwhile, across our dangerously warming planet, people are already experiencing the agonising effects of the climate emergency. Bushfires continue to rage in Australia, while 45 million people in Southern Africa are facing severe food insecurity brought on by the worst drought the region has seen in 35 years. 

It’s time for the rich countries and polluting industries that have caused climate change to meet their obligations to those least responsible, but who are suffering the most. We need transformational system change and finance to tackle the crisis, not business as usual and greenwashing.” 

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director, Corporate Accountability: 

“Impacts of the climate crisis are endured daily by people on the global frontlines -- young people, communities of color, people in the Global South, women, and indigenous people. The global movement to demand climate justice is growing and inescapable — and the latest report from the World Economic Forum in Davos further forces the recognition of the grave societal impacts of the climate crisis.

But, the cheap words and greenwashing ploys that some of the world’s dirtiest corporations have issued are unacceptable. It is high time that the those most responsible for the global climate crisis be held accountable for the devastations they are knowingly driving, and high time for finance that addresses climate impacts and paves the way for real solutions. People around the world are demanding it. And we are resolved to make it a reality.”

Ronan Palmer, Director, Clean Economy, E3G:

“It’s hard to believe how tone deaf and out-of-tune Davos has been this year. It should have been a gathering of leaders to actually lead change and development, cohesion and sustainability. It turns out to be lots of words, that are just not up the scale of the real horror that has unfolded in Australia, or the creeping destruction of habitats and of livelihoods caused by Climate Change. In a year where there was at last a real political space opened up by crowds of people, of voters, of consumers on the streets looking for change, we just got more words. In the year we really need to act to save our economies and standards of living, we got no action. Davos should be better than this. The fact that it isn’t is a serious indictment of world business leaders.”

Sue Willsher, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Change at Tearfund, said:

“The fact that climate change has been highlighted as a key risk facing the world today at Davos is hugely encouraging. But the sheer lack of inaction, disguised in 'green policies' by the businesses, leaders and governments represented there, is astonishing. 

If we are to have any chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees (in line with the Paris Agreement) we need sharp and urgent cuts in emissions from governments and businesses in 2020. This includes an end to investments in fossil fuels and a switch to renewable energy.

Young people hitting the streets in their hundreds of thousands have shown us they want action on climate change and are willing to make changes in their own lifestyles, but as individuals we can only do so much. How will history judge all of us on what we have done to combat climate change?”

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Contact:

Hala Kilani

Senior Communications Officer,

Climate Action Network

E-mail: hkilani@climatenetwork.org

Tel: +961 3 567 928

 

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