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 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?”

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Hala Kilani

Senior Communications Officer,

Climate Action Network

E-mail: hkilani@climatenetwork.org

Tel: +961 3 567 928

 

People promise to take to the streets as world leaders leave UN climate talks with no plan for climate crisis

15 December 2019, MADRID: The UN climate talks concluded today in Madrid with governments showing no signs of addressing the climate emergency. 

Bogged down by bad faith negotiations that put politics and fossil-fuel interests above people and the planet, many countries — fronted by the United States, Australia and Brazil — once again exposed their apathy to the suffering of millions and a willful rejection of the science. The gap between what people are demanding, what the science says we need for a climate-safe future and what our leaders are willing to do is widening as emissions rise, fossil fuel production expands and impacts escalate. 

Major emitters failed to show how they plan to increase ambition by 2020. Rich countries reneged on the promise to provide finance for loss and damage. With no agreement on carbon market rules, we reiterate that any rules decided next year must secure environmental integrity and protect human rights. Anything less than this is unacceptable.

Earlier this week, hundreds of climate activists engaged in a peaceful but loud protest close to the plenary halls as ministers dragged their feet on negotiations. It is deeply concerning that observer groups faced severe retaliation for demanding climate justice even as lobbyists and fossil fuel representatives roam the UN halls freely.

We now enter a ‘decade of ambition’ that must see transformative policies to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Governments cannot ignore the groundswell of public opinion demanding an urgent response to the climate crisis. We have seen the will of the people, especially the youth, and it will continue to assert itself. In 2020, well ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we need to see updated and enhanced climate targets from all national capitals that respond to the climate crisis.

Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network Europe, said: “During COP25, the EU has repeatedly said it wants to lead by example. To prove its sincerity and leadership to implement the Paris Agreement, the EU needs to substantially increase its 2030 climate pledge in the first months of 2020. The window of opportunity to achieve the 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement is closing rapidly.”

Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Australia, said: “This is a time of climate emergency back home — with bushfires raging for three months, six people have died, 720 homes have been destroyed, beautiful national parks and their wildlife burnt. Yet still the Australian Government has sought to weaken its climate ambition, and drag the ambition of the whole Paris Agreement down to its level. This is not acceptable to the Australian people, thousands of whom took to the streets this week demanding that the government take climate change seriously. The Government have not heard the last from us, we will persist in demanding climate justice.”

Gavan McFadzean, Climate and Energy Program Manager of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said: “With devastating drought and wildfires raging across Australia, never has there been a wider chasm between what climate damage is inflicting on our planet and the embarrassing lack of urgency shown by the Australian government at these international climate talks. Under Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, Australia was either missing in action or worse, campaigning for special treatment in order to reduce its ambition even further, by being the only country to access Kyoto carryover credits to meet its meagre 2030 Paris target. The backdrop to Minister Taylor’s Madrid visit was the scathing independent assessment of Australia’s performance, scoring zero out of one hundred on climate policy effectiveness and slipping even further down the overall country rankings to 56 out of 61.”

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said: “Governments need to completely rethink how they do this, because the outcome of COP25 is totally unacceptable. This COP exposed the role of polluters in politics and the youth’s deep distrust of government, while climate blockers like Brazil and Saudi Arabia, enabled by an irresponsibly weak Chilean leadership, peddled carbon deals and steamrolled scientists and civil society. We need systemic change that people can trust, and there have been some early signals from the EU and the most vulnerable countries this week that this is possible. Decision-makers now need to go home, regroup and think about how to move forward as we head into a critical 2020.” 

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) said, “Inside the halls at COP25 countries seem to have forgotten about the urgency of the climate crisis as they failed to take the necessary steps to raise ambition for greater climate action. The climate crisis is a human rights crisis. Failure to act urgently and place human rights at the core of climate action will be measured in human livelihoods, human rights violations, and human lives. On Article 6, despite the pressure to deliver the only remaining part of the Paris Rulebook at COP25, several Parties refused to trade human rights and environmental integrity for carbon markets in Madrid, resulting in the decision being punted to COP26. This delay was the only responsible way forward today. Now, Parties must ensure that when rules are adopted for the Article 6 activities they safeguard human rights and indigenous peoples' rights, guarantee public participation, and ensure access to justice so as to uphold the integrity of the Paris Agreement at COP26.”  

Chema Vera, Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “The world is screaming out for climate action but this summit has responded with a whisper. Instead of committing to more ambitious cuts in emissions, countries have been arguing over technicalities. Responding to the climate emergency, poorer nations spoke with one voice to demand funds for the loss and damage. Wealthy nations have used every trick in the book to stall progress and avoid paying their fair share. Now more than ever, it is vital that people across the world keep up the pressure on governments to deliver more ambition.” 

Jake Schmidt, Managing Director of the International Program the Natural Resources Defense Council, said: “World leaders dithered instead of taking stronger, critical action soon to reduce the global climate threat. They ignored dire scientific reports, worsening evidence of climate destruction and demands from millions of young people to protect their future. In Madrid, the key polluting countries responsible for 80 percent of the world’s climate-wrecking emissions, stood mute, while smaller countries announced they'll work to drive down harmful emissions in the coming year. The mute majority must step up, and ramp up, their commitments to tackle the growing climate crisis well ahead of the COP26 gathering. We will not let them abandon us to a world of endlessly rising seas, vanishing species, civil strife and rampant wildfires, storms and floods.”

 

Mattias Söderberg, Climate advisor at DanChurchAid and Head of Delegation for the ACT Alliance, said: “2019 has been full of calls for climate action. From scientists, from the youth marching on the streets, and from people and communities which have been affected by climate related disasters. It is sad, tragic and extremely disappointing to see how governments, from different parts of the world, have failed to listen. There is a climate emergency and there is no time for further delay of action. It is therefore sad to see how the climate summit in Madrid failed to deliver the success we were hoping for.” 

Nithi Nesadurai, Regional Coordinator, CAN Southeast Asia, said: "Once again most of our government representatives at COP25 have failed us by not treating climate change as the emergency facing humanity. The mediocre outcomes and non outcomes here have not helped the global community confront climate change nor provide an overarching framework which will help us advocate more for climate actions at the national level. In this regard developed countries including the USA which have historically caused the major share of the crisis we face today, must show leadership and responsibility in the coming months by increasing their climate ambition and providing finance to developing countries to revise their nationally determined contributions and implement them. Otherwise we will have to bear the consequences of more devastating climate impacts all over the world, especially by those who have least contributed to the crisis."

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director with Corporate Accountability said: “By every measure, COP25 failed to rise to the challenge of our times and to deliver for people. It’s clear, now more than ever, who’s at fault. Global North governments, at the behest of polluting industries, are attempting to completely eviscerate the Paris Agreement and the broader UNFCCC. In place of real solutions, this axis of polluters is forcing through dangerous distractions and reneging on all financial commitments and responsibilities. There is no more time for inaction. People have the solutions. The time is now for the UNFCCC and governments around the world to start listening, and for governments on the frontlines of the climate crisis to stand strong. We will not stand idly by as they sell our planet off to the highest bidder and doom millions. We will not be silenced when our words offend those they continue to protect. We will rise and realize the solutions that our world urgently needs.”

Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International, said: “COP 25’s failure to deliver a just and ambitious outcome is a reminder of the corrosive influence of Big Oil, Gas, and Coal. But the past two weeks also showcased the indomitable spirit of those fighting for climate justice for decades and the growing resolve of a new generation that will not accept half measures. We are living a climate emergency, and anything short of phasing out fossil fuel production with a just and equitable transition is scandalous. Rich and industrialised governments have once again failed to stand up to polluters, wreaking havoc on billions of lives and livelihoods. As we head into a critical year, we must look to the strength and leadership of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis and fossil fuel extraction. People-powered movements outside these halls have unstoppable momentum, and 1.5ºC is non-negotiable.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice and COP20 President, said: “Despite the efforts of the Chilean Presidency, the lack of commitment to scale up climate action by big emitting countries was too much to overcome. Their position is in stark contrast to science, rising demands from the streets and the harsh impacts already felt in vulnerable countries. We know what has to be done, and we have run out of time for backtracking or debate. 2020 must be different and we will fight even harder for people and nature. Governments will return home to face increasing frustrations from youth movements, citizens and vulnerable communities suffering from the impacts of the climate crisis, and will have to answer to them. Countries still have the chance to show they are committed to tackling the climate crisis by submitting enhanced climate pledges aligned with science as soon as possible in 2020.”

Inge Vianen, Global Leader of CARE International’s Climate Change and Resilience Platform, said: “The outcomes of COP25 are completely disconnected from the demands of people across the world to address the climate emergency. Governments from big polluting countries, like the USA, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Australia, continue down a path of dangerous inaction and are undermining international efforts to prevent the increasingly eminent climate breakdown. Nations like the EU, China, and India must now seize the opportunity to take leadership to ensure all countries cooperate and deliver improved national climate plans. Lack thereof would risk global surrender to the climate crisis and failure to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.”

Gilles Dufrasne, Policy Officer with Carbon Market Watch said: “After two weeks of negotiations, discussions on carbon markets took such a bad turn that seeing no agreement was actually a relief. We came here asking for urgent action and several countries only offered accounting tricks and cover for climate inaction. These loopholes are nothing but a way of cheating the planet and betraying the people.”

Carlos Rittl, executive secretary of Climate Observatory, in Brazil, said: “Once again, the COP has put process before people and the planet. With the effects of the climate crisis worsening all over the world, some governments in Madrid went as far as withdrawing the expression ‘climate emergency’ from the COP decision. In a depressing turnaround from the cooperative spirit that gave us the Paris Agreement, in Madrid the usual suspects were joined by new blockers, like Brazil. The ecocidal politics of the Bolsonaro administration has tainted the Brazilian delegation at COP25 and made a former environment champion into a Trump-like pariah whose engagement in the fight against climate catastrophe risks becoming nothing more than a signature in a global deal.”

May Boeve, Executive Director at 350.org, said: “COP25 was a success for the fossil fuel industry - their interests have won, effectively blocking the process and undermining the end result. As time ran out, the COP looked more and more like a hostage situation inside a burning building - together with most negotiators, people and planet were held captive, as the fossil fuel industry and a few loud governments who have been delivering on their agenda took over the process. In the end, after forcing negotiators to keep at it for three days straight, they got what they wanted - a weakened text that kicks most of the big issues down the road to COP26. The gulf between what we know must be done and what politicians are willing to do has never been wider. There is no excuse for this appalling lack of courage and responsibility, and no rational explanation other than the fossil fuel industry’s toxic grip on our politics.”

Dr. Katherine Kramer, Global Climate Lead of Christian Aid, said: “The UK now has a gargantuan task of overseeing a successful climate summit in Glasgow next year. That meeting is supposed to be the moment the world responds to the climate crisis by strengthening the pledges made in the Paris Agreement. To avoid failure, the UK will need to put its own house in order, in creating and implementing policies to rapidly reduce its own emissions. It will also need to deploy its diplomatic skills to create an outcome that responds to the demands of both science and people.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada, said: “You know something is broken when those demanding climate justice are pushed outside of the climate conference and those delaying climate action are allowed to stay inside. These negotiations were supposed to deliver a clear, resounding call for more ambitious emissions targets and financing for climate vulnerable countries already experiencing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis. Negotiators were supposed to deliver strong rules for carbon markets that would uphold the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement and safeguard human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Instead, big polluters and the countries most historically responsible for the climate crisis have been able to ruthlessly advance the fossil fuel industry’s profit agenda over our collective futures - while those calling for justice have been sidelined and physically removed. On every issue of significance, COP25 has delivered a mediocre or non -outcome that betrays the millions of people around the world calling for real climate action.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said: “I’ve been attending these climate negotiations since they first started in 1991. But never have I seen the almost total disconnect we’ve seen here at COP25 in Madrid between what the science requires and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action. Led by the youth, growing numbers of people around the world are demanding that their leaders take bold, ambitious actions to tackle the climate crisis. Nearly 70 countries—most of them climate vulnerable, developing nations—have risen to the challenge by committing to enhance the ambition of their Paris pledges. But most of the world’s biggest emitting countries are missing in action and resisting calls to raise their ambition. The outcome here in Madrid reflects that resistance, with the absence of any clarion call to action—both on reigning in emissions and on climate finance—in the final decisions. If this stance doesn’t change between now and next year’s climate summit in Glasgow, it will make the task of meeting the well below 2 degrees Celsius temperature limitation goal that leaders agreed to in Paris—much less the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal—almost impossible.”

Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director and Lead Economist in the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said: “At a time when the science and the urgent need to address the human toll of climate impacts couldn’t be clearer, the deeply flawed outcome here in Madrid is plainly unjust and immoral. Instead of stepping up to respond to the demands from youth, indigenous people and climate vulnerable communities around the world, major emitters and rich countries have failed them. And despite hearing powerful calls to action from nations fighting for their very existence, the richest countries most responsible for climate change have done little to provide funding to help them in their time of need. We already have at our fingertips many of the technologies needed to sharply reduce global warming emissions and know what it takes to make a rapid and just transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Whether in the United States or in the global south, communities on the frontlines of climate change are already struggling with intensifying hurricanes and wildfires, extreme heat, rising seas and drought, and they urgently need investments in climate resilience. Yet, those in power remain beholden to the very fossil fuel corporations driving this global emergency, much to the detriment of the people they are bound to serve. The people of the world who care about the future of our planet will not give up the fight for bold, transformative climate action. The pressure is on to exert power from the streets to the highest levels of government to secure ambition well ahead of COP26 in Glasgow and beyond.”

Jean Su, Energy Director with the Center for Biological Diversity said: “The global climate talks are a farce if countries continue down this destructive path of inaction. These talks are meant to halt climate devastation on people and the planet, yet  governments have ostracized the very voices of people suffering climate impacts. These outcomes are just another sign that fossil fuel profits continue to drive government decisions, even if that takes us to planetary collapse. We urge world leaders to listen to the millions of people in the streets and act with humanity and courage to turn this climate emergency around.”  

Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate for ActionAid International said: “These talks are ending with a strong sense of déjà vu. The US has once again gotten its way through bullying and tricks. They came here in bad faith, acting only to protect their interests and those of the polluting industries that caused the climate emergency.

"As fires rage and cyclones intensify, rich countries have folded their arms, refusing to offer the new systems and money so urgently needed to help countries forced to pick up the pieces after disasters. 

"Instead, this decision only offers statements of intent, working groups and networks, which should have been in place years ago. This result fails to offer a helping hand to climate survivors in the Global South who did the least to cause the crisis." 

Brice Böhmer, Global Lead on Climate Governance Integrity, Transparency International said: “The fossil fuel industry exerts disproportionate, moneyed influence over climate policy making: this is what happened in Madrid. Climate policy must serve the interests of all people and the planet, not just a few private concerns. We urgently need to shift perspectives and stop corruption and undue influence if we want to win the fight against climate change”    

Ahti Tolvanen, Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice: What separates humans from other animals and other life forms is faith. Humans can sometimes lose faith both in each other and in nature and beyond that in life itself. I may not have been the only one who found one’s faith in life and a future for generations to come shaken during COP 25. The faithful witness of CAN colleagues, (even people now outside without access to the meeting), and the perseverance of those coming together after days of sleepless vigil to support an outcome upon which we can yet build a better world was moving.  Faith yet lives and a feeling of gratitude to those many who kept it alive over dark and sleepless nights.

Miriam Talwisa-  National Coordinator CAN-Uganda said: “While the world and especially the most vulnerable-involuntarily located on the frontlines of the climate crisis and now emergency- looked forward to a COP outcome with substantive global actions to address increasingly devastating climate effects-for which they have less contribution; the light now gradually deems as the highest possible ambition  so far reached is in continuous disregard of historical responsibilities”.

Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate, Environmental Defense Fund, said: “The yawning gap between what citizens are demanding on climate action, and what UN negotiations are delivering, is wider than ever. Carbon markets can help fill that gap by promoting international cooperation that allows countries to cut climate pollution faster and deeper than they can on their own. But after negotiators at Madrid failed to agree on guidance for markets, it’s time to move on. Countries that are serious about using carbon markets to increase ambition should move forward to set their own strong rules for high-integrity international emissions trading.  There’s no need to wait — and no time to waste.”

Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch, said: "COP25 shows the strength and weakness of the Paris Agreement: All countries see that the withdrawal from coal, oil and gas is now entering the serious phase. This is why some states such as the USA, Brazil and Australia, which are closely linked to the fossil lobby, are organising a final defensive battle. But the vast majority of states have made it clear at COP25 that they are firmly committed to the Paris Agreement and will improve their national climate plans (NDCs) next year. The European Green Deal is a good basis for the EU to take the lead here and organise international partnerships - for example with China, India and South Africa. In the coming year, the German government must set the decisive course for the socially equitable ecological transformation of industry, agriculture and the energy sector".

Floris Faber, EU representative of ACT Alliance EU said:  “It’s time to step-up and help fill the finance gap! 2020 must be a year of demonstrable effort to reduce emissions and demonstrable provisions of new and additional finance to developing countries, to address loss and damage” 

Leia Achampong, Policy Advisor at ACT Alliance EU said: “The voices of vulnerable and marginalised communities in developing countries, including women, young people, indigenous peoples and transgender communities must be heard. Their calls can no longer go unanswered and their human rights must be upheld” 

Kathy Egland, Environmental and Climate Justice Chair, NAACP National Board of Directors said: “We knew the intent of the United States coming into these negotiations by the official filing of intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. However, we could not have imagined the depth and breadth that the U.S. and a few other countries were willing to undertake to ensure that COP25 was relegated to a quagmire of stagnation, regressiveness and non-productivity. Vulnerable countries are confronted with preservation of their existence. Climate forced migration is escalating. Over a million beneficial species are facing extinction. Vulnerable communities, communities of color, Indigenous populations and the economically disadvantaged have contributed least to climate change, but disproportionately impacted most. The biggest emitters are the same rich, developed countries who blocked any ambitious actions on climate and rejected any substance on loss and damage/finance. The miserable failure of the Parties at COP 25 to act with a sense of urgency and responsibility is reprehensible.

Sanjay Vashist, Director at Climate Action Network South Asia said: “The primary goal of the latest round of climate negotiations in Madrid  was to complete the unfinished tasks of the Paris Agreement rulebook. The rulebook would contain the processes, guidelines and institutions for the implementation of the Paris agreement however developed countries prioritised their national interests over global common good and failed the world in finding a robust way forward that shows the urgency and commitment required to tackle the climate crisis.

USA that has pulled out of the Paris Agreement continued its toxic role in the background to scuttle any ambition to reduce emissions while Brazil tried to legitimise it's deforestation through new market mechanism. The time lost in Madrid will have far reaching impacts and will be detrimental to well being of the planet.”

Mario Caffera-Director Sociedad Amigos del Viento (Uruguay, CAN LatinAmerica) In an environment of weak leadership through the negotiations and ja steady attempt to confine ENGOs testimony, a Big Fossil Deal amongst big polluters lead to that Injustice-as-Usual. Now Glasgow is one year ahead. We have to go faster than ever. After 2020 there will be less chances to repair the Climatic Mess.

Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of USCAN said: “The role of the US in these talks should be a source of embarrassment for all Americans. It is an offense to the millions of Americans who have been displaced by fires and floods that the US spent its time at the negotiations undermining the negotiations over Loss and Damage that would support those most vulnerable who are suffering similar losses.  Nonetheless, for me, the story of this COP is a hopeful one. 

The story of this COP is that after 25 years, civil society groups have declined to be polite and sit in our assigned seats on the sidelines while countries negotiate away our peoples’ lives, livelihoods and future. The people rose up for the first, but not the last time at this COP. For the first time in the history of the UNFCCC, UN security overreacted with unnecessary force, ripping signs out of the hands of indigenous elders and indiscriminately forcing people into the cold winter— many without coats or proper provisions— rather than just letting people say their piece. Indigenous leaders- young people and women- took the brunt of the police force. Their action was heroic and the response from security was brutish. 

 Our people remained nonviolent and resolute throughout. What happened here at the UN is a microcosm of our struggles at home and around the world. The people demand action be taken and those with power try to stop us. The message I want to send from home is that we will not be stopped. We will keep coming back."

---------------###-------------------

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

About CAN

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

 

Civil society representatives call out big emitters for blocking progress in UN climate talks as negotiations near conclusion

“Cheating does not change what the atmosphere sees. We don’t want any accounting tricks being created here.” 

 13 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: As the COP25 UN climate negotiations officially close today with the potential of talks running over the allocated time, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing to give an assessment of the state of negotiations and highlight the red lines that are emerging 

 

Reactions from CAN speakers:

Vanessa Perez-Cirera, Deputy  Lead, Global Climate and Energy Practice WWF

Pledges now take us to a 3 degree Celsius and more world. None of the big emitters have made commitments this week to increase their 2030 climate pledges. At the moment, there is good text options that would urge countries to do so in 2030. We must keep these options in the text. Big emitters have not only come here with empty hands but also to obstruct progress. They have to go home with an angry, disappointed and growing youth movement. They still have a chance to show the world that they are willing to agree with committed parties specifically an explicit mention to increasing ambition of climate pledges in 2020 in the decision text of COP25 and a cut-off date to do so so that the report on aggregate effects due by September or October next year to tell how much we have reduced the gigatonne gap in a significant way. 

They have to do it for us, for their children and for our living planet.

Chema Vera,  Interim Executive Director, Oxfam International

On loss and damage, this summit is not coming close to the urgency being demanded by frontline communities around the world suffering climate impacts. We are still waiting for the final outcome of the negotiations but we are not expecting any success that will speak about money and a system to really deliver on that money. The most vulnerable people that have called in one voice for the loss and damage at this COP but actions are not coming from wealthy countries. Two possible outcomes may be forthcoming: requesting the Green Climate Fund to open a stream for funding loss and damage but that still needs to be worked out on the how. If there is no extra money or financing, this stream would have to compete with adaptation and with other areas of climate funding. This does not address the core demand which is a funding system under the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. How do we explain this absolute injustice to a pastoralist in Somaliland that has lost all his livestock and is desperate for relief as climate impacts close in even further?

 

Sam Van den Plas,  Policy Director, Carbon Market Watch

In terms of Article 6 and rules for international carbon markets being discussed here, we are clearly at a critical stage in the negotiations. We saw new text coming out a couple of hours ago and still all those dodgy carbon market rules remain on the table that would fundamentally undermine the social and environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement. We still risk double counting of emissions reductions going forward. I cannot believe that I still have to explain this: cheating does not change what the atmosphere sees. We don’t want any accounting tricks being created here. The other issue of transferring old credits generated under the Kyoto Protocol, there are four billion out there from the Clean Development Mechanism, there are 15 billion out there assigned amount units under the Kyoto targets. Together, that’s 19 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide represents a real danger and risks to undermine the Paris Agreement from within 19 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide represents 700 coal plants running for ten years. A specific call-out to Brazilian and Australian governments who have done their utmost to undermine these rules. We are deeply concerned and distressed that all references to upholding human rights and establishing social and environmental safeguards have been removed from these talks. Governments must put this back in. We cannot afford to endanger human rights under the pretense and umbrella of climate policies. This is just unacceptable. Our main question to the Chilean Presidency and the governments present here: do you want to undermine the Paris Agreement or do you want to implement it properly? We need to get it right and we need to get these rules correct. It would be a massive disaster for this COP if we end up with flawed and weak rules undermining climate targets for many, many years to come. 

 

Astrid Puentes, IEEDA, Colombia

I want to raise our concern in terms of the lack of inclusion of human rights in Article 6 and in general, the whole agreement. This is not a minor element. We are already seeing massive human rights violations against millions of people worldwide. I am from Colombia and I live in Mexico. Latin America is a very vulnerable region at the moment. Governments are not getting to the level of ambition and the kind of agreements that we need, that the planet needs. We need these agreements to include human rights protections because we are not only talking about markets, we are talking about survival. We are talking about people, communities and future generations. We also need a good inclusion of transparency and participation - not only in the agreement but also in the implementation of the nationally determined contributions and all climate action. From Latin America and the Caribbean, we have seen some good messages with countries signing to the Escazu Agreement. This is the kind of good messaging that we need our governments to include that level of commitment in this agreement as well. We also think that there’s hope outside these halls where countries are dragging their feet. We see non-state actors striving to come forward because governments are not delivering today.

#### ENDS ####

 

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

 
Related Event: 

Leaving this COP without addressing loss and damage finance will be a gross injustice

12 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: As the COP25 UN climate negotiations approach its end, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing to provide updates on key issues that are closely watched by civil society particularly loss and damage finance and raising ambition.

 

Reactions from CAN speakers:

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

“Today is the fourth birthday of the Paris Agreement and today, we’re hoping that we’ll be celebrating the progress that we might have agreed but we’re in a very different situation. We are in a situation where some of the core promises of the Paris Agreement are at risk of falling off the cliff.  

We also see the issue like the gender action plan, which is also a core promise of the Paris Agreement, still not being agreed to on the second last day. Some countries are blocking that particular issue and that’s one of the most essential outcome of the COP. The third key issue which has also been raised yesterday is loss and damage. We came into the COP with civil society aligned with many demands from all the developing countries which are already facing the impacts of the climate crisis. The promise that was given in the Paris Agreement is Article 8 on loss and damage has not materialized into any meaningful additional action. There’s no clarity on where additional finance will come from. We’re facing situations here where some of the very basic demands of developing countries are resisted by many developed countries, particularly the United States. At this moment the negotiations of loss and damage are ongoing with technical negotiations facilitated by ministers.

There are three main issues remaining: in terms of the role of loss and damage in the GCF is at least a starting point but on its own won’t bring any new additional finance and developing countries would have to choose to use money for adaptation or use money for loss and damage which is  far from being a just approach. The second is whether there would be an agreement on an expert group on action and support which would at least give a minimum hope to developing countries to start really looking into options for raising finance but even that is being resisted by developed countries. And there’s also a conversation to establish a so-called Santiago network of implementation on loss and damage which could be an interesting complement, but even there we are not seeing any movement from developed countries although the developing world has put these basic demands on the table more than a week ago. 

Leaving the COP without any process forward on addressing loss and damage finance, without even mentioning it will be a gross injustice.”

 

Ili Masivesi, Advisor, Oxfam Pacific 

“Lest we not forget, let me remind us why we are here for these past two weeks: time for action. How long will we continue to sit here and how long will we deliberate on this action - where is this action? Let’s ask ourselves: “Where is the action”?  Loss and damage is very vital for us in the Pacific because it is about survival, it’s about us being put into a situation that we never contributed to, or we’ve got very negligible amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the countries that I represent. Let us not forget why we are here. It is time for action and action would have to start here, let’s not wait for Glasgow.”

 

Jennifer Tollman, Senior Policy Advisor, E3G

“We wouldn’t be talking to you like this if we weren’t seeing a vacuum of political leadership. It’s really clear major emitters are missing the boat on ambition and that is both out there in the world and even in this process.  The big things that we’re fighting for at this point are a set of rules that don’t fundamentally undermine the Paris Agreement and out a text that could give us a timeline or some sense of momentum for next year and that is so desperately incremental to what we actually need in this world. This is not the fault of the process, this is the fault of the countries who don’t show up to actually deliver something in this forum provided for them.

Yesterday we saw the tiniest spark of hope in a step change happening here in the European Union in the release of the Green Deal. This is a set of comprehensive policies that layout the economic, physical and social reforms necessary to actually get people on to a path of climate neutrality and climate safety. This absence of political will that is haunting us in this process might yet hold us in Brussels. We see today that European leaders have the ability of breaking this vicious cycle of lacking in political leadership to finally agree on a climate neutrality target in 2050 as they failed to do in June. If they do this it will only be a first step because as we know, long-term aspirational visions of hope, need to be backed up with near-term action.

We’re twenty days out from 2020 the next year is going to set us on a path to climate safety through quick and decisive action over the next decade. Or we are going to have more and more conversations about the losses and damages that all of us will face. And the reality is the most impacted are the least responsible. The EU can either sit back and languish with the rogue and reluctant major economies that are refusing to take action or it can finally step up and seize that opportunity of climate neutrality, of being the first mover and of those really putting the people and their citizens at the center of what they’re doing.”

 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

Political dynamics shape last days of COP25 negotiations

11 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: As ministers arrive at the COP25 UN climate negotiations, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing to provide a political context on the state of play on the negotiations and updates on civil society’s demands from party negotiators.

Reactions from CAN speakers:

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

“We heard a call from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres: “the COP25 must convey to the world a firm determination to change course and finally demonstrate that we are serious in the commitment to stop the war against nature,” he said. “There’s no time and no reason to delay - we have the tools, we have the science, we have the resources, let us show that we also have the political will that people demand from us.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. 

I’ve been attending these climate negotiations since they first started in 1991, let’s be honest - neither the RIO Framework or Kyoto Protocol delivered the level of ambition that we need and we are now seeing the consequences of that failure in the extreme weather events that are mounting year by year. But in my almost 30 years in this process, never have I seen the almost total disconnect that we are seeing here in Madrid between the science and what the people of the world are demanding on the one hand, and what the climate negotiations are delivering in terms of meaningful action on the other. This is true both when it comes to raising the ambition of countries’ emission reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement and also when it comes to mobilizing much greater support for the vulnerable countries and communities who are facing ever more devastating impacts of climate change.

Many of the most vulnerable countries have joined the growing number of state and local governments, business leaders, investors, and others around the world in announcing ambitious climate action commitments but the world’s biggest emitting countries which account for nearly 80% of the global carbon emissions are not accepting their responsibility to increase the ambition of their existing commitments under Paris. If world leaders continue to evade their responsibility to increase ambition between now and COP26 in Glasgow next year, they will make the tasks of well below 2 degrees Celsius temperature limitation goal, much less that 1.5 degrees Celsius goal, almost impossible. Given their greater capacity and historical responsibility, it’s the developed countries that must take leadership in dramatically raising their ambition. But with President Trump’s irresponsible decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, my country will be on the sidelines until at least January 2021.

All eyes are now upon the European Union. At the EU Council meeting tomorrow and Friday, we expect the EU’s national leaders to signal their intention to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. But we are concerned by indications by the EU might postpone this decision to raise the ambition of its 2030 target until next October. It’s essential for the EU to make the announcement no later than the end of the first quarter of 2020 so that it can engage constructively with China, India and other major emitting countries in discussions on substantially their ambition as well in advance of COP26.

On loss and damage, it’s abundantly clear that their support for countries on the frontlines of the climate emergency is grossly inadequate and we need the path forward out of this COP that gives vulnerable countries the assurance that they will see finance and capacity-building and support to address the loss and damage they are already experiencing. The US is the main blocker of this issue but other developed countries are also responsible for the log jam in negotiations over loss and damage. The EU, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and other developed countries must stop hiding behind the US and engage constructively on this issue with developing countries over the next few days.

If we get a very weak outcome on these issues by the end of the week, with no pathway forward with either raising  mitigation ambition or financial support for vulnerable countries action to respond to loss and damage, it will send a terrible signal to the world. If this happens, it will not be the UN process that will have failed, rather it will be the yawning deficit of political will amongst all too many national leaders that’s the root of all the problem. In the remaining few days of the climate summit, ministers  must demonstrate they’ve heard the voice of scientists, the youth and others who are demanding urgent action to respond to the climate emergency. The eyes of the world are upon them.”

 

Mohamed Adow, Director, Power Shift Africa: 

“The lack of action and willingness in the pre-2020 period is jeopardizing our chance to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees. The 1.5 degree-threshold in the Paris Agreement is at risk of becoming meaningless. That is the case because rich developed countries who have emitted the bulk of the emissions that have caused climate change and who are required to take leadership in the pre-2020 period have not honored their commitments. We have an ambition gap in mitigation, we have a finance gap, and now we have an adaptation and loss and damage gap.

Because of the lack of ambition in the pre-2020 period, we now face the risk of increasing and devastating loss and damage. If we want to change the trajectory that the world is on, we need the developed countries coming forward and bridging their pre-2020 ambition. There’s one clear way of doing that which the developing countries have been calling for: the mandate for work program for pre-2020 implementation so that the pre-2020 commitment don’t end in 2020 but actually a work program that is going to extend the commitment to at least 2022. What we need to do is to rebuild the trust in this process so that the rich developed countries who have not honored their pre-2020 commitment can actually be seen to be bridging the gap not just on mitigation but also on financing, on adaptation and on loss and damage.

We need to see from them new and improved climate plans next year but the way to actually achieve that is to first honor the pre-2020 commitment. We know that the one thing that helps the Paris Agreement to be effective is the regular review of the ratchet mechanism which is contained in the Paris Agreement, and that is what gave the world hope. Even though the ambition contained in the Paris Agreement was low, that we are falling short of what the science say is required, we will come back to the table every five years and the first time we are going to do that is next year. Our message is to all countries is that we need to see new and improved climate plans next year because that is what’s actually going to take to put the world on a safe 1.5 degree trajectory.

What we are seeing in these halls is that rich countries particularly are dragging their feet and they are all putting us in danger. If the rich countries don’t come forward on pre-2020, we have these terrible log jam in the process where the rest of the world, particularly the emerging economies, also don’t honor the commitment to revise and improve their NDC targets next year. And if that happens, then the opportunity to actually meaningfully realize the global goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5 is going to be rendered meaningless and that is something that we cannot afford.

The finance commitments that the rich world had made, particularly on the $100 billion by 2020, has not been honored. This is now undermining the trust in the process in a way that we cannot see how these countries are going to meaningfully respond to what science is saying is required but, more importantly, what the public in the streets and the young children are saying is required in this process. The way to save this process and actually tackle climate change is for the developed world to honor their pre-2020 commitment and the world to collectively agree to put forward new, revised and improved NDCs next year.”

 

Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute, International Climate Action Initiative: 

“Article 6 remains on the real focus on the negotiations as part of the COP25 package and a lot of work is going to be handed to ministers this week. The ministers from South Africa and New Zealand will lead this particular work. We have to hope that parties agree on a robust and fair set of Article 6 rules in light of the number of countries that signal their use of carbon markets in their NDCs. These represent 51% of NDCs and 35% of GHG emissions which is why even if Article 6 is just one tool to raise ambitions, we need to pay attention because done wrong, it could also undercut ambition, but done right it can also accelerate actions and do that more efficiently.

While the text has been further streamlined, the major options dividing parties remain. There’s four sticky political issues that we have identified last week that remains definitely contentious: double counting, the use of corresponding adjustments or share of proceeds which is a kind of levy to be imposed to support and finance the adaptation fund, how to ensure that the credit generated will actually lead to additional ambition on top of what countries will do domestically, and what will happen as we transition from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement with the carryover with the credit generated under the Kyoto Protocol.

As a result, there are various tradeoffs. There are some movements to try to minimize double counting and whether to use corresponding adjustments. The question is for those countries starting to show movement like Brazil whether there will be concessions on what they really want on the transition from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately in the past couple of days we have seen some countries, not just Brazil, that have looked at how we carry over credits from the second period of the Kyoto Protocol. We also heard Australia highlighting how they intend to use the credits to meet 60% of their targets. There’s a lot of risk of loopholes so we need to see how much concessions will be happening there.

Another type of tradeoff is between Article 6 itself and its issues. We’ve heard about the levy to be imposed on Article 6. We have seen movement from developing countries to highlight the issue to make sure that the levies already created under the Paris Agreement under Article 6.4 is going to be sufficient to ensure stable and permanent flow of adaptation fund. This fund is so important to support projects at community level to support vulnerable countries. Not doing that for 6.2 - the bilateral trading between countries - can put into disadvantage the levy created under 6.4. So we ask developed countries to come up with ways on how to ensure that we don’t just ask for pledges of adaptation fund and begging all the time, but how to have a systematic process to ensure adequate flow of finance for adaptation. We still need to see that and it is part of the adaptation and finance package of this COP, together with the financing of loss and damage.

We need to remember that Article 6 is only one means to accelerate action. To do this more effectively and at a lower cost, it is not the only tool to raise ambition, if done right, it can boost the transformation that we need, but if done wrong it can undermine ambition, it can put at risk human rights. At this time, the text still does not include human rights paragraph that civil society is aspiring to. We need to make sure that ministers need to know that we will not just judge them on delivering whatever deal on Article 6, there’s a lot of pressure to come out of it with something and we will judge them on the quality of the deal.

As Ilda, the young activist that we heard this morning, said, “if you do not know how to fix things, stop breaking them.” So we need to make sure that we don’t end up with a broken Article 6.”

 

#### ENDS ####

 

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

Plans to reduce emissions must be paired with commitments to phase-out production of fossil fuels

09 December 2019, Madrid, Spain: As the second week of COP25 commences, Climate Action Network today organized a press briefing to give a context and updates on where things stand as issues become more political and expose the fault lines on where and how the countries are undermining climate ambition. Representatives of NGOs called on governments to take concrete steps to address the climate emergency by stopping fossil fuel extraction and fossil fuel subsidies, committing to loss and damage finance and agreeing on robust rules on future carbon markets.

Reactions from CAN speakers:

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada:

For twenty-five years, these meetings have focused on the symptoms of climate change - greenhouse gas emissions - but ignored the root cause of the crisis. But a major shift has happened here at COP25 - after decades of tiptoeing around them, delegates are finally saying the F words - fossil fuels. We saw the release of the UNEP Production Gap Report in the lead up to the COP. It’s the first annual assessment of the gap between the targets in the Paris agreement and countries’ planned production of coal, oil and gas. Its findings were startling - governments are planning to produce 120% more fossil fuels in 2030 than is consistent to limiting warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.

We also just saw the release of the oil and gas and climate report which examines the oil and gas industry’s expansion plan for the next five years. The sector plans to invest US$1.4 trillion into new extraction projects between 2020 and 2024 which would lock in 148 gigatons equivalent to 1,200 coal plants of CO2 emissions between now and then. 85% of that planned expansion is happening in Canada and the US. Other countries with the largest expansion plans include Argentina, China, Norway and Australia. COP25 marks a sea change in the dynamic in this institution - there’s no going back. From now on, the need to constrain production and supply of fossil fuels must be a necessary and growing piece of international climate talks.

2020 in the year of ambition and countries will be expected to present improved NDCs. We must see that those plans to reduce emissions are paired with commitments to phase-out production of fossil fuels while developing just transition plans making sure that no one is left behind.

 

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate Change, ActionAid International: 

Millions in Africa at this moment are facing food shortage and the number is going to touch 45 million in the next 6 months and they suffer from a food crisis right now as we speak in these conference rooms. This process was designed to deliver global justice. This is a place where Tuvalu is as powerful as the European Union or the United States. But the constant bullying of these big countries is making this process worse than useless. Their bullying has not stopped, they’re not letting us make any progress in this space. There is no substitute for action and what rich countries are doing is creating an illusion of actions by just talking. When we demand action, they offer reports. When we demand money, they offer workshops. That is not going to help people who are suffering right now.

In this process, we agreed to create a system that should help people. And that demand was raised 28 years ago by Vanuatu that we need to create that system. And it took us 22 years to even create that system in 2013. We believed in rich countries’ words that we are going to see money coming in to help these people on ground. That bullying did not let us create that system in the last six years under Warsaw International Mechanism. We created that mechanism but the money that should have started flowing in has not seen the light of day. They did not even allow a discussion on how money is going to be mobilized and we are talking about impacts and damage that is reaching $300 billion per year by 2030 and US$1.2 trillion by 2060. 

 

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor (Climate, Biodiversity, and Ocean)

Greenpeace East Asia: 

Over the first week, the Chilean Presidency has proposed a set of some of the most important decisions to be adopted by the end of this COP. These decisions in our view represents the most important outcome at COP and should send a very clear and strong signal to the rest of the world that all the countries here are still committed to high ambition and the principles enshrined in the Paris Agreement. 

On Article 6: the first week on the negotiations we have seen some of the lengthy debates in the future carbon market. We understand things haven’t moved that much on that issue in the first week. There’s a lot of complexity in the carbon market discussion. We want to set it straight - it is nonsense if the rules that we set for ourselves to allow countries to count the same emissions reductions twice. It also doesn’t make sense if some of the emissions that have already been achieved in the past 10 years are allowed to be carried over to post-2020. It is absurd to even have those debates over the first week. We have no time and luxury for future carbon offsets - we are in a climate emergency and carbon markets should not distract us away from the very important decisions of the second week which should be about ambition. 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

UN climate talks flounder on key issues: common time frames, finance for loss and damage and human rights in carbon market rules

07 December 2019, Madrid Spain: As the first week of the COP25 UN climate talks wraps up, Climate Action Network (CAN) held a press briefing today to highlight key issues where the negotiations are stuck- on ambition and common time frames, loss and damage, and Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on carbon markets mechanism.

Li Shuo, Senior Global Policy Advisor (Climate, Biodiversity, and Ocean), Greenpeace East Asia:

“We arrived here in Madrid with clear climate science and climate impacts around the world. A typhoon hit the Philippines creating huge losses and damage for some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Last night we had a historical march here around the streets of Madrid which demonstrated that the climate emergency did not go unnoticed by the people on the streets. COP25 needs to deliver a clear and strong signal that demonstrates that there is political resolve that would bridge the profound ambition gap in front of us. 

One technical issue we are having difficulties with for the past week is the issue of common timeframes. It is closely linked to ambition and deals with how long NDC commitment should be - it is one of the very few unresolved issues in the Paris Agreement rulebook. CAN is advocating for a single 5-year commitment period, to reflect the latest climate science and avoid locking in low ambition and work in a synchronized manner with the Paris Agreement ratchet mechanism. Country blocs such as AOSIS, Least Developed Countries and the African group support this position, and this is a fairly straightforward issue at the COP.  We are disappointed by the lack of progress that we observed in the room. We note the lack of position with the EU which is one of the primary reasons that we are not able to make progress over the past few days.”

  

Sadie DeCoste, Climate Action Network Working Group Coordinator, Loss and Damage:

“On loss and damage, yesterday we saw a draft decision text which countries will use to deliberate and reach a decision on what should be done to improve the Warsaw International Mechanism’s work on loss and damage. As far as developing countries positions, we’ve seen a strong call from a great majority of developing countries for finance to deal with the impacts of loss and damage. For countries such as the Bahamas, hurricane Dorian caused substantial loss and damage from months ago, neither finance for adaptation nor insurance or private sector support can do nearly enough to deal with the scale of the climate-induced catastrophe. Yet, developed countries have not appeared to support the call for specific new finance to address loss and damage, they prefer to talk about better collaborating with existing stakeholders. This is despite the fact that their lack of progress on reducing emissions has caused an increase in severe climate impacts like hurricane Dorian.

AOSIS and other developing countries are calling for finance for loss and damage on the top of their agenda in the negotiations, some developed countries recognize that but they need to step up and meet that challenge.”

 

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Climate & Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law: 

“On Article 6, we have seen a week of highly technical negotiations and there have been some technical progress on streaming the Article 6 text which is expected to come out today and be discussed. All the contentious issues and potentially harmful policies that risk undermining the Paris Agreement are in the text.

It's the responsibility of all the countries in the room and the Chilean Presidency to really make sure to not just agree on rules for Article 6. They need to agree on good rules that will help ensure the integrity of the Paris Agreement, both the environmental integrity and the social integrity, and that it results in an overall reduction of emissions.

We are seeing signs of some language on human rights being obliterated from Article 6 by India China the Arab group and to some extent Brazil. This is a red line and there can be no carbon market rules without social safeguards.” 

 

#### ENDS ####

Contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org

+918826107830

Related Event: 

Pages