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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes to Editors 

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

Contact 

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

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

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

What the G7 means for the UN climate talks in Bonn - Webcast Media Briefing

Monday June 8 - Bonn, Germany: Expert observers at the UN climate negotiations currently underway in Bonn will outline what the G7 outcome due Monday lunchtime will mean for the talks as they enter the second week.
After slow progress during the first week, the co-chairs of the negotiations aiming to draft a new agreement on climate change, due to be signed in Paris this December, will present a proposal for a new way of working for the session to countries on Monday morning. CAN will brief reporters on what the proposal will mean for progress towards the global agreement. 

For the first time this year, all countries are expected to put forward climate action plans to the Paris agreement. In today's briefing, CAN will present the findings of a new report which shows that Japan's weak draft plan will see the country accrue far fewer benefits  including the creation jobs in renewable energy, improved public health and money saved from avoided fossil fuel imports - than if the government scaled up the plan in line with a 100% renewable energy pathway. 
 

To ask questions in this special webcast event, email rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org or Tweet @CANIntl. 
 

Who:

• Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists 
• Li Shuo, Greenpeace China
• Masako Konishi, WWF Japan

• When: Monday June 8th, 14.30pmCEST

• Where: Room Nairobi 3, World Conference Centre Bonn, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2, 53113, Bonn (UNFCCC accreditation required to attend).

• Webcast: The press conference will be webcast live here and available on demand afterwards here.
 

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

About CAN:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

Organization: 

G7 leaders have a chance to create climate of confidence on energy transition: NGOS to leaders

Friday June 5 - Elmau, Germany: On the eve of the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany, NGOs from all seven member countries call on their leaders to send a strong signal that the era of fossil fuels is over. As the world's largest industrialised countries, the G7 have a global responsibility to go further and faster to address climate change, through rapid decarbonisation of their economies and providing support to the poorest.  Robust commitments from the G7 can help pave the way for the new universal climate agreement concluding in Paris at the end of the year even as the current round of talks are underway in Bonn. 

Climate science has shown that in order to avoid unmanageable climate change, fossil fuel emissions must be phased out in favour of a world economy powered by 100% renewable energy. This new reality is being recognised by a growing number of key economic and corporate actors all over the world.  It is high time for the G7 to add vital momentum by agreeing to lead the global phase out of fossil fuel emissions by 2050. 

Decarbonisation starts at home, by tackling the dirtiest energy source: coal. Undermining recent claims by fossil fuel companies that rising emissions result in lowering poverty, the Africa Progress Panel report published today shows that coal-fired power generation is not a development solution for Africa. We call on G7 leaders to agree to phase out their domestic coal use and stop supporting coal projects in developing countries. 

To phase out poverty, we need a stable climate. The richest countries must support access to clean energy, climate-friendly development and climate resilience in the developing world. In Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries promised to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries. Simply reiterating the promise is not enough. Six years on we’re still no clearer on how this target will be reached. Angela Merkel has shown leadership by pledging to double Germany's public climate finance.  Other G7 leaders need to step up to the plate on this issue.

Christoph Bals, Germanwatch (Germany) says: "The G7 needs to send a strong signal to investors that the era of fossil fuels is going to end. Angela Merkel has put the decarbonisation goal on the G7 agenda. But she can only be a credible champion of decarbonisation if Germany acts decisively at home to reach its own 2020 climate target. This will require a significant reduction in the use of coal in the German electricity mix before 2020."

Alden Meyer, Union of Concerned Scientists (USA) says: "President Obama has shown real leadership in ramping up climate action at home, and clearly wants a strong climate agreement in Paris.  He initiated the developed countries’ $100 billion pledge in Copenhagen; now he must help ensure it's delivered on.  President Obama and other G7 leaders should also commit to decarbonize their economies by mid-century, to provide the leadership needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

Celia Gautier, Réseau Action Climat France says:  "With France's COP21 Presidency this year, President Hollande should step up at the G7, reaffirming the need for a fossil-free future by 2050. He also needs to put his own house in order. Two state-owned companies -- the French utilities Engie and EDF -- are still investing massively in coal abroad, emitting as much as half of France's carbon pollution. Yet both of them are sponsoring the Paris COP. It's François Hollande's responsibility to officially call on these companies to commit to divest from coal ahead of COP21."

Liz Gallagher, E3G (United Kingdom) says: "As a leader committed to fighting poverty, David Cameron knows climate stability is essential for poverty alleviation. 2015 marks a crucial year for both climate and development, for the first time all countries will join forces.  David Cameron and the G7 must spearhead a new model of development fit for purpose in the 21st century, making development and climate action work together, not undermine each other. G7 Foreign Ministers missed a great opportunity to address threats to our security from climate change.  The G7 leaders will need to put that right and get a plan now to protect the poorest communities on the frontline of disaster."

 Kimiko Hirata, Kiko Network (Japan) says:  "Japan needs to urgently stop blocking crucial decisions from the G7 on overseas coal investments and a on a clear decarbonisation goal.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should open his eyes to the fact that promoting coal power at home and overseas, combined with its poor draft climate action plan towards the Paris agreement puts international collaborative efforts in jeopardy. We urge other G7 countries to step up.”

Dale Marshall, Environmental Defence (Canada) says: “We urge the other G7 countries not to let Canada stop you from agreeing on transitioning away from fossil fuels by mid-century. In Canada, the federal government needs to address the country’s fastest growing source of carbon pollution—Alberta’s tar sands. Citizens across the country want the Canadian government to step up and join G7 and global leaders in taking meaningful climate action.”

Vittorio Cogliati Dezza, Legambiente (Italy) says: "Italy has to do its fair share. Matteo Renzi must immediately stop his support of drilling projects in the Adriatic Sea and the Sicily Channel. At the same time, the Italian government has to finally put in place an ambitious national climate action plan with renewables and energy efficiency as its key pillars.”

CONTACT:

For a one-on-one interview with any of the above spokespeople, please contact: Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, mobile: +49 157 3173 5568rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Japan on notice, picking up extraordinary Fossil of the Day Award as glacial progress made at Bonn Climate Change Conference

Bonn, Germany - June 4, 2015 - At the Bonn Climate Conference today where countries are pushing forward a new global agreement due to be signed in Paris this December, Climate Action Network (CAN) members took stock of the progress negotiators have made over the past three days and identified the key tasks that lie ahead. Meanwhile, CAN gave a Fossil of the Day award to Japan as the country that has been doing the most to block progress on climate action (see full award statement below).

During this morning’s press conference, CAN members and allies made the following comments:

"The process of bringing down the size of the draft Paris agreement has been slow going so far; the good news is that the tone in the rooms is relatively positive for this stage in the process. Parties appear to be rebuilding some of the trust lost in Lima. But the key point here is this isn’t just about making the text shorter, it’s about making the text stronger. Right now you have almost every option you could want in the text. Parties need to focus on maintaining the elements that would trigger the most ambition. That’s what civil society is looking for in the second week here. Meanwhile, we have an all-star line-up of under-achievers today presenting their current climate action plans in Bonn - Australia, Canada, and Japan. These are three countries are among those that have sat at the table for dinner the longest. They’ve eaten the most and they, therefore, owe the most. But what we’re seeing today is that they’re doing the least.” Lou Leonard, Vice President Climate Change, World Wildlife Fund-US

“At the G7 Summit this weekend, leaders can back a phase out fossil fuel emissions in favour of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Doing so, would give a strong signal to investors, and could build trust in UNFCCC talks underway here in Bonn. But Canada and Japan are blocking efforts to send this signal. President Obama needs to walk the talk now and help Chancellor Merkel to bring Japan and Canada on to the team so that the G7 leaders stand on the right side of history."  Martin Kaiser, Head International Climate Politics, Greenpeace

“Japan must present a more ambitious emission reduction target if it has to responsibly address climate change. A mid term reduction target of 26 percent on 2013 levels by 2030 is too weak and regressive. It is jeopardising Japan’s position in a world order that is increasingly showing better climate ambition. Japan is trailing behind the US and EU on climate action right now. While it continues to be a significant donor of international development aid in the Asian region, it can’t go it alone on climate. Japan can’t self-marginalize itself from the realities of climate change. With the kind of ambitious action required to avert the climate crisis, we cannot afford to have countries saying 'we will cross the bridge when we get there'. We have to get there now, and every step matters."  Yeb Sano, former climate commissioner of the Philippines and now Leader of the People’s Pilgrimage for Our Voices.

Japan Handed Extraordinary Fossil of the Day Awards in Bonn

In an extraordinary move, CAN members voted to hand Japan a Fossil of the Day award during the Bonn Climate Conference. The Fossils are normally handed out daily during the major climate talks of the year, Conference of the Parties but the network felt strongly that Japan’s efforts needed to be acknowledged for the following reasons:

Strike One! Today’s first place fossil goes to Japan for their extremely weak INDC, for using smoke and mirrors (shifting baselines) to fake ambition, and for having the audacity to claim this is in-step with developed country 80% by 2050 targets. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe will present this weak excuse for an INDC - which equates to an 18% cut on 1990 levels - to G7 leaders this weekend, where he will presumably try to pull the wool over their eyes too. This INDC is not ambitious or fair.

Strike Two! The second fossil award goes to Japan for blocking a proposal from G7 countries that would help development aid and banks work in line with efforts to prevent global temperatures rising beyond the 2C degree threshold. Seriously, does Japan want to lead us towards a world with catastrophic levels of warming?

Strike Three! Japan wins the third fossil for funding carbon intensive coal projects in developing countries. Despite growing criticisms from international community - Japan was awarded a fossil in Lima for this dastardly behaviour - it continues to do so. As long as Japan keeps its dirty coal policy, the fossil awards will keep coming. Japan should be funding renewable energy solutions, not dirty coal.

You’re out! Japan get’s THREE fossil awards

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

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

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

 
 
Organization: 

Australian climate policy: lies, damned lies and statistics

Bonn, Germany - June 4, 2015: The Australian Government has serious questions to answer on its climate policies and ambition ahead of Paris as well as their role in pushing ahead to open up vast coal reserves, which will blow the global carbon budget.

They are still yet to formally put forward their INDC. Today (Thursday 4 June) in Bonn, the Australian Government has been asked to ‘please explain’ by a large number of their key trading partners and historical allies- including China and the US.

But how do their responses stack up against reality? Especially when you review the comments/ statements contained below. It also has a range of quotes for free use by media.

This information sheet helps you with the understanding where the country sits on climate, environmental and energy action and policy.

Australia was described as a ‘wrecking ball’ at the Warsaw COP.


What progress has Australia made towards the achievment of its quantified economy- wide emission reduction target?
 

Australian Government: “The Australian Government is firmly committed to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. The centrepiece of the Government’s emissions reduction efforts is the $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund that commenced purchasing emissions abatement in April 2015. Accompanying the Fund will be thesafeguard mechanism to ensure emissions reductions purchased in this way are not undone elsewhere in the Australian economy.”

  • When the government abolished the carbon price in 2014, it was replaced with Direct Action – primarily a taxpayer-backed Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
  • However, the fund is unlikely to achieve even a 5% emissions reduction by 2020. The first ERF auction held in April 2015 was hailed as a stunning by the government. Assuming the cost for carbon emissions remains at the average of almost AUD$14 per tonne of CO2 as paid in the first auction, the $1.89 billion budgeted will buy another 135 million tonnes of emissions. 
  • But even assuming all the 47.3 million tonnes bought in the first auction are delivered, and the price per tonne of carbon remains the same, then the total emissions reduction bought by the ERF will be around 182 million tonnes of CO2. This is 54 million tonnes (or about 23%) short of Australia’s overall target. However it is likely that this first auction has already picked most of the “low-hanging fruit.”
  • As Mr. Abbott explained, the ERF is not actually about a 5% target: “The bottom line is we will spend as much as we have budgeted, no more and no less. We will get… as much emission reduction as we can for the spending we have budgeted.”
  • There is also no timeline for the reductions. In fact, much of the 47 million tonnes bought in the first round of auctions won’t be delivered until after 2020.
  • Almost all of the abatement to be delivered before 2020 from the first auction appears to be from projects that were already in place sometime before the ERF came along, or rely on a one-off land clearing permit regime.
  • Manufacturers, miners and electricity generators (equivalent to more than 60% of Australia’s emissions) won’t have to reduce their emissions and may in fact be able to increase them, which could cancel out the emissions reductions. Direct Action’s “safeguards mechanism” has been watered down to the extent it effectively safeguards against industry having to do anything. A government issues paper said baselines for emissions would “reflect the highest level of reported emissions for a facility over the historical period 2009-10 to 2013-14[1]”. If companies exceeded the baseline calculated that way, they could have their emissions averaged out of the next three years, or apply for a baseline “expansion”, or apply for an exemption, for example after a natural disaster.
  • Elaine Prior, a senior analyst at the global investment bank Citigroup said: “It appears to us that the mechanism, as described in the consultation paper, is unlikely to impose any significant costs or constraints on companies … it also appears unlikely to make any significant positive contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction efforts.”[2]

What is Australia’s level of ambition post-2020?

Australian Government: Australia has an existing national renewable energy target, a "national energy productivity plan" and national building and appliance energy standards.

  • Australia’s recent ‘discussion paper’[3]does not mention a two degree goal, instead citing the IEA ‘new policies scenario’ which could result in upwards of 3.6 degrees warming.
  • The government will set a post-2020 emissions reduction target without a policy. Its discussion paper asks what policies might be implemented to achieve a new target that are “complementary” to Direct Action. Direct Action may not have enough money to meet even the 5% target, and all analysis suggests it would be extremely difficult to “scale up” to a higher target.
  • In May 2015, the Government cut Australia’s large-scale renewable energy target of 41,000 gigawatt hours of annual renewable energy production by 2020 to 33,000 gigawatt hours. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says investment in Australian projects will fall from an expected $20.6 billion by 2020 to $14.7 billion.
  • The government is not including climate change in long-term planning exercises. The recent intergenerational report[4] even claimed that some economic effects of climate change “may be beneficial – where regions become warmer or wetter this may allow for increased agricultural output, while others may be harmful”.

Does Australia have special circumstances?

Australian Government: Australia has special “national circumstances”, as “for the foreseeable future, Australia will continue to be a major supplier of crucial energy and raw materials to the rest of the world ... At present, around 80% of the world’s primary energy needs are met through carbon-based fuels. By 2040, it is estimated that 74% will still be met by carbon-based sources.”

  • Australia is already one of the largest per capita emitters on the planet and is refusing to pull its weight.
  • Australia’s justification for it’s special circumstances is based on “new policies scenario” of the International Energy Agency’s world energy outlook 2014, which was a baseline calculation of what would happen if countries implemented only the policies announced at that time, a scenario which would pave the way for at least 3.6C of global warming.

Abbott Government – Highlights on climate and energy

Prime Minister Abbott was elected PM in September 2013 and quickly started dismantling Australia’s climate change framework, including:

  • Moving to become the first country in the world to abolish the legislated price on carbon emissions
  • Shutting down the Climate Commission, an independent panel of experts that provided information on how climate change is affecting the country
  • Drastically reducing funding to the United Nations Education program (UNEP)
  • Has successfully managed to massively reduce the country’s mandated 20% Renewable Energy Target (RET), bringing a number of major renewable energy companies and projects to their knees
Abbott also denied any link between bushfires and climate change and accused Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change of "talking through her hat." Both Figueres and Al Gore criticised Abbott on climate.
 
Abbott opted not to send a representative to the COP 19 UN conference in Warsaw, a move described by former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC Yvo de Boer as “puzzling”.
 

He appointed climate sceptic Dick Warburton to review Australia’s renewable energy target, in a move widely seen as first steps to weakening the target.

In a play out of the FIFA playbook, the Australian government has spent $100,000 on travel to lobby against UNESCO over the Great Barrier Reef listing in an attempt to protect their interests of coal development in the Galilee Basin.

Not only does the Coalition not vote against climate science, it blatantly ignores it. As many lesser developed countries have already pledged their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the Abbott government seems to be endeavouring to do what the Howard government managed under the Kyoto Protocol. That is, to plead special consideration and avoid responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Coalitionhas directed $4m to fund an Australian climate consensus centre fronted by political scientist and climate change contrarian Bjorn Lomborg. The University selected turned down the offer of funding after an outcry from students, academics and the public.

In an attempt to qualify for renewable energy subsidies under the RET, the Australian government plans to allow the burning of native forest biomass. Not only will this burnt forest power be forced into direct competition with genuinely renewable forms of energy generation (wind and solar), but it will reduce the renewable energy certificates available for genuine low or no emission technologies by up to 15%.

In its recent budget, the Abbott government has yet again cut funding to climate research, with the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility a new addition to the list of climate and energy agencies to be halted in 2017. This government has already cut hundreds of millions of dollars from climate science, international climate finance and clean technology research programs. Critics say this sets Australia's climate change action policies back to the 1990s.

The government is instead pushing ahead with a “Direct Action” policy, widely criticised as ineffective.

Australia is one of the leading countries opposing limits on coal finance in international discussions. A recent report reveals foreign governments have given Australia more than $4 billion to fund coal projects since 2007. In addition to global funding, Australian taxpayers have put up $1.4 billion to subsidise coal mines and power plants via the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, a government bank that enables the finance of Australian projects in other countries.

Abbott attempted (and failed) to take climate change off the G20 agenda in 2014.

The United Nations world heritage body condemned Australia’s approval of the dredging and dumping of millions of tonnes of sludge for new coal ports in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

In an unprecedented move, the Abbott government applied to have sections of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area delisted by the United Nations, incorrectly claiming it had been degraded.

The Federal government’s recent Energy White Paper is yet another indication of the massive missed opportunity to incentivise renewable technology, instead aligning Australia’s future in old, polluting technology.

Abbott’s personal approval rating has plummeted after just 18 months of rolling out and doing their best to destroy these meaningful climate and energy policies.

Abbott was recently criticised for a bizarre video he released on YouTube, in which he linked a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of WWII D-Day to his government's policies, including cutting the taxes on carbon emissions and mining and saying that Australia is “open for business.”

John Oliver did a brilliant summary of Abbott gaffes, well worth watching as a backgrounder, describing him as “hard-line, right wing” and “religiously anti-immigration.


A range of comments for free use by media:

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:
“We don’t support, as a government, and as a Coalition, further lock ups of our forests. We just don’t support it. We have quite enough national parks, we have quite enough locked up forests already, in fact, in an important respect, we have too much locked up forest.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:
“Australia has had fires and floods since the beginning of time. We've had much bigger floods and fires than the ones we've recently experienced. You can hardly say they were the result of anthropic [sic] global warming.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

“Coal is vital for the future energy needs of the world. So let’s have no demonisation of coal. Coal is good for humanity. Coal is essential for the prosperity of the world. Energy is what sustains our prosperity, and coal is the world’s principal energy source and it will be for many decades to come.”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

“It sounds like common sense to minimise human impact on the environment and to reduce the human contribution to increased atmospheric-gas concentrations. It doesn’t make much sense, though, to impose certain and substantial costs on the economy now in order to avoid unknown and perhaps even benign changes in the future.

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"The climate has changed over the eons and we know from history, at the time of Julius Caesar and Jesus of Nazareth the climate was considerably warmer than it is now [...] Climate change happens all the time and it is not man that drives those climate changes back in history. It is an open question how much the climate changes today and what role man plays."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"These so-called nasty big polluters are the people that keep the lights on. I mean, let's not forget how essential these people are to the business of daily life."

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"If you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax?”

 

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott:

"It is prudent to do what we reasonably can to reduce carbon emissions. But we don't believe in ostracising any particular fuel and we don't believe in harming economic growth.”

 

Comments for use by media from a wide cross section of politics, NGOs, academics, firefighters, health professional, religious leaders etc in response to The Abbott Government’s stance on climate and energy.

 

Australian Greens Deputy Leader and climate change spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters:
“Other countries, including the US and China, have asked very valid questions about the inadequacy of the Abbott Government’s Direct Action program and lowly emissions reduction target. In response, the Abbott Government has come up with a whole lot of spin and hot air in an embarrassing attempt to cover up its shameful inaction on climate change.”

 

The Climate Institute Deputy CEO, Erwin Jackson:
“The government’s response to other countries questions on the effectiveness of its domestic pollution reductions policy lack transparency and try to avoid accountability. The government appears to be inflating the impact of its actions to 2020 without providing any estimate of the pollution reductions it will deliver. Its responses raise more questions than it answers.”

 

Friends of the Earth Activist, Cam Walker:
“The renewables industry has been brought to the brink of collapse because of the extreme opinions of key players in the Coalition government and this reduced target will mean fewer jobs and investment in regional Australia, and less action on climate change than the original target,”

 

GetUp Campaigns Director, Paul Oosting:

“It’s hard to believe the government that said we’re open for business is now sending renewables investors packing. The RET’s been a big success for the country, doubling renewable electricity generation and reducing wholesale electricity prices. It’s time to balance out the multi-billion dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry with support for the fledgling, but fast growing renewables sector."

 

The Australian Forests and Climate Alliance (AFCA) Member, Frances Pike:

“Decades of over-logging of public native forests has led to environmental degradation of vast tracts of native forest, loss of water yields from catchments and rain-making capacity.  Australia now faces a wildlife crisis in many regions, and loss of habitat from logging is a major cause. The last thing we now need is forests being degraded and destroyed as a source of power production” said Ms Pike.  

 

Solar Citizens National Director, Claire O’Rourke:

“Australians have been betrayed by the Abbott government's pandering to the big power companies at the expense of ordinary families who are struggling with the cost of living. The Prime Minister’s repeated attacks on solar have put jobs and investment at risk and undermines the cheap, clean, sun-powered future Australians want."

 

Greenpeace Australia Reef Campaigner, Shani Tager:

"UNESCO now joins a long line of scientists, banks, organisations and individuals who are deeply worried about the Reef's health. The Australian government can't talk about protecting the Reef while aggressively supporting the licensing of mega-mine and expansion of coal ports along the Great Barrier Reef coast."

 

Former Leader of the Liberal party, Chair of AODP.net Dr John Hewson (Tony Abbott was a former staffer of Dr Hewson):

"The economic, environmental and health risks of climate change are very real. Prime Minister Abbott would be smarter to back Obama, who is likely to lead the international response to climate change, as a priority, for the rest of his presidential term.”

 

Former international oil, gas and coal industry executive, former chair of the Australian Coal Association and the former CEO of the Institute of Company Directors, Ian Dunlop:

“The omens are not good. The federal government remains in total denial that climate change will have any material impact on Australia’s future. Sensible climate policy has been dismantled, replaced with token gestures. Climate change does not feature in the policy reviews underway, with ludicrously Orwellian efforts being made to remove any reference to it throughout government.”

 

350.org Australia CEO, Blair Palese:

"As the world moves rapidly away from coal, oil and gas and toward clean energy, Tony Abbott's lack of leadership on climate change has Australia shirking its global responsibility on the most important issue of our time. As the country with the most to gain by the take up of solar, wind, wave and geothermal energy, Abbott's belief that 'coal is good for humanity' is relegating Australia to the energy dark ages."

 

Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO, David Ritter: 
"The Abbott Government has consistently failed the responsibility test on climate change, leaving Australia as an embarrassing laggard in a world that is moving to act.  Both the Australian people and the world deserve better than this from the Australian Government on climate change."

 

Delegate of United Firefighter's Union QLD, Queensland, Dean McNulty: 

"Firefighters are right on the front lines of the climate threat. We need a leader who will stand and face the climate challenge with our international colleagues, not a leader who runs away."

 

Oxfam Australia Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, Dr Simon Bradshaw:

“Climate change is the single biggest challenge in the fight against poverty and hunger. Our region is home to some of the most vulnerable nations on earth, many of which are already struggling with shifting rainfall, sea level rise and more extreme weather. The Australian Government is both swimming against the tide of international action and working against the needs of poor people in developing countries. Renewable energy, not coal, is the key to reducing poverty and supporting inclusive economic growth throughout the developing world.”

 

Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) President, Dr Liz Hanna:

"Health and medical professionals are increasingly sounding the alarm on the Australian government's backward steps on action to tackle climate change, given the serious health impacts for people in Australia and around the world from failing to cut emissions. This, compounded by the Abbott government position on promoting the coal industry, is inconsistent with its duty to prevent further climate change and avoiding known risks to health and wellbeing."

 

Australian Religious Response to Climate Change President, Thea Ormerod:

“In a globalised world, it is morally unacceptable for the leaders of individual countries to take a stand which would frustrate a global deal on climate change. It is all the more reprehensible when such a stand serves the interests of the wealthy, and will come at the human cost of the poor and future generations.”

 

The Climate Institute CEO, John Connor:

“Government and business figures have often opposed climate and energy initiatives on the basis that Australia shouldn't "go it alone". This budget shows that if there's anywhere we're at risk of going alone, it's backwards.” This latest budget locks in the benefits that polluters now can to continue polluting for free, while loading up taxpayers and a supposedly stressed budget with the task of paying for emissions reductions.”

 

Australian Conservation Foundation Energy Analyst, Tristan Knowles:

“It’s hard to believe a government of an advanced developed nation in the second decade of the 21st Century can release a vision for an energy future that pays so little attention to climate change. The energy white paper could have provided a roadmap for a sustainable energy future, but instead it was merely a rubber stamp on Australia’s old dinosaur industries and further proof that the current government has its head in the sand on energy policy.”

 

Former Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator for Tasmania, Christine Milne:

“The depth of this government's denial is alarming. They're condemning Australia to economic dislocation, to being way behind the rest of the word, and to making life harder and more dangerous for everyone in our region, as extreme fires and storms intensify [...] The Abbott government does not accept the science, continues to support coal expansion and can't see that they will be left behind as plenty of countries commit to a fossil fuel free world.”

 

Daniel Spencer Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)

“The Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its coral cover over the last 30 years, in large part due to climate change. It’s a warning sign that carbon-intensive fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Citizens and investors alike are sending a clear message that the world has to move beyond coal. Australia should be leading this shift by creating jobs in clean energy instead of trying to build unviable coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef.”

 

For further information or requests for interview, more detailed briefings with those quoted here please contact (both on the ground in Bonn):

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

Andrew Bradley, ECF P: +61 403 777 137 E: andrew.bradley@europeanclimate.org

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News Release: UN climate talks in Bonn open as call for more climate action grows

Bonn, Germany - June 1, 2015 - Today marks the start of the Bonn Climate Conference, where countries gather under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to continue negotiations towards the Paris agreement due to be signed this December. In the opening Climate Action Network press briefing, members of the world’s largest network of NGOs working to stop climate change laid out expected developments and priority issues for civil society.

The talks unfold against a backdrop of record global temperatures and extreme weather events. Every month of 2015 so far has broken temperature records, and people around the world are struggling to cope with weather disasters, like the current heat waves in India and Mali.

As these impacts hit home, momentum for scaling up climate action is building -  businesses backed increased action at the Business and Climate Summit in Paris last month, investment in renewable energy is growing even as the coal industry’s downward spiral accelerates. More and more moral voices are calling out the need for action including the Pope who is expected to release an encyclical that will cover climate change later this month. Countries responsible for 58% of the world’s emissions have lodged their climate action offers toward the Paris agreement so far. These offers outline how these countries will transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Countries negotiating at the Bonn Conference can show they mean to harness this momentum and take meaningful steps towards codifying a strong Paris agreement.

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

“Out in the real world, there is lot of wind behind the climate boat with many signs renewable energy is winning the war against fossil fuels, but countries are going to have to pick up their oars if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is where and this is why the Paris agreement comes in – it could actually accelerate the ongoing transition if it is designed in the right way. That means it needs to capture the progress made so far and ensure regular and mandatory scaling up of climate action. For the machinery to gear up, it needs to know where it’s headed. The agreement can and should signal to the world that from now on, it’s all about 100% renewable energy. The news out yesterday that six major oil companies have  asked to work with the UNFCCC on carbon pricing shows that civil society pressure is working. They’re running scared because universal, robust climate action is coming.”  Alix Mazounie, RAC France

“The message is very clear – climate change is happening now...as we sit here, India is going through an exceptional, unprecedented heatwave. Over 2000 people have lost their lives. As an early monsoon hits Nepal, those still without shelter after the earthquake are suffering. That’s why the Paris agreement needs to deliver plans to make communities resilient and deal with the loss and damage caused by these impacts.” Harjeet Singh, ActionAid  

“We arrived here in Bonn with a 90 page draft Paris agreement that contains options on key issues that cover the good, the bad and the kitchen sink. Negotiators will be working to streamline and consolidate some options and start negotiating contentious topics such as how to treat countries with different capabilities fairly in the agreement and what the legal form of the agreement should be.” Jaco du Toit, WWF International

 

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CAN is not currently planning to host a press briefing in Bonn, tomorrow Tuesday June 2, but for a one-to-one interview with our spokespeople on the opening day of the talks, which covered adaptation and the objectives sections of the draft Paris agreement, please contact  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email: rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org 

Webcast Media Briefing: UN climate talks open in Bonn

Bonn, Germany - Monday, June 1, 2015: With the UN climate negotiations getting underway in Bonn today, Climate Action Network experts will brief reporters on what to expect during the two weeks of talks. Negotiators will aim to refine the draft text of what is expected to be the first universal climate agreement - set to be signed in Paris this December.

 

To ask questions in this special webcast event, email rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org or Tweet @CANIntl.  

Who:
• Alix Mazounie, RAC France
• Jaco du Toit, WWF International
• Harjeet Singh, ActionAid
 
• What: CAN policy experts give media a briefing on what to expect in the UN climate negotiations getting underway in Bonn on Monday
 
• When: Monday June 1st, 11amCEST
• Where: Room Nairobi, World Conference Centre Bonn, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 2, 53113, Bonn (UNFCCC Press Accreditation required to attend).
 

• Webcast: The press conference will be webcast live here and available on demand afterwards: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/adp02/templ/ovw_live.php?id_kongressmain=241 
 

Contact:

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

About CAN:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

International Media Briefing: Half way on the Road to Paris - where are we and where do we need to be

We are now almost half way through 2015, and climate change politics is heating up.  Ministers and Heads of State are meeting in various fora - from the G7 to the Petersberg Dialogue - to discuss the shape of the Paris agreement, countries are putting forward their national plans outlining how they'll move their economies away from fossil fuels, and people from all walks of life are preparing to take to the streets to show their support for scaling up climate action.  

Ahead of the UN climate negotiations getting underway on June 1, Climate Action Network experts will brief reporters on the state of play in international climate politics and what that means for the Bonn talks.

WhenThursday May 28th, 9am London  - 10am Berlin - 11am Addis Ababa - 1.30pm New Delhi - 4pm Beijing - 8pm Sydney.  You can check your timezone here. (In the Americas? Join the sister call by contacting PKnappenberger@climatenexus.org )

CAN members have also commented today on the outcome of the Petersberg Dialogue: read more here or see the Climate Chancellor in action here

Who: 

- Liz Gallagher, E3G
- Pierre Cannet, WWF France
- Li Shuo, Greenpeace China 

To Join:

You can join the teleconference online: here: www.uberconference.com/climateactionnetwork or dial the relevant telephone number for your country listed below and enter the conference number855-534-4477 followed by the # key when requested.

From the US or via Skype, dial (+1) 855-534-4477 - no PIN required. 
A full list of available telephone numbers can be found here: https://www.uberconference.com/international 

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

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

About CAN:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 900 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More at: www.climatenetwork.org

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Petersberg Dialogue reaffirms goal to phase out fossil fuel emissions, all eyes now on Merkel at the G7

Environment ministers from 35 countries met together with German Chancellor Angel Merkel and French President François Hollande as part of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin today. The politicians discussed key points of the new, universal global climate agreement to be signed later this year in Paris. 
 
Today's meeting part of a series of high level meetings happening six months out from the Paris talks. These include the Business and Climate Summit happening in Paris this week and the G7 in Germany in June, at which many leading corporations and major economies respectively are expected to back a long term goal to phase out fossil fuel emissions as part of the Paris agreement. 
 
As anticipated, national climate plans (or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) so far submitted by countries such as Canada, the EU, the US and others move us closer to, but not all the way to, a safe climate. We therefore need the G7 to support a Paris agreement that scales up action over time. A key tool that Paris can offer is a long term goal to phase out emissions and phase in renewable energy in conjunction with national plans that scale up over time to meet that goal. Achieving a that goal will require the leadership of both Merkel and Hollande. 
 
On the release of the Petersberg Dialogue statement, Climate Action Network members had the following comments:
 

Christoph Schott, Senior Campaigner at Avaaz in Germany, said:

The world needs climate superheroes, and the G7 could be Angela Merkel's moment to dust off her green cape and rise to the biggest challenge humankind has ever faced. The climate chancellor has been missing in action recently, but this summer she can inspire the world with 100% clean energy by 2050, something 2.3 million people want to see.

 
Martin Kaiser, head of international climate politics with Greenpeace, said:
 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent an important signal today when she reaffirmed the long term goal of global decarbonisation - a necessary first step for a global energy transition towards 100% renewable energy for all. However, this goal can and must be reached by 2050.  We must not delay it until the end of the century. We expect Merkel to now engage in the heated debate underway in Germany  by jump-starting a fair phase-out of coal in the country. Is she up to the task? The G7 Summit will be the defining last moment for Merkel to either establish herself as the 'coal chancellor' or the 'climate chancellor'.

 

Celia Gautier, EU policy advisor with RAC France, said:
 
For France to take the lead and secure an ambitious and durable agreement, it is crucial François Hollande step up climate action in France. France's energy transition is not fully under way. The country isn't even on track to meet its 2020 renewable energy target and French utilities are still massively investing in coal power plants abroad. This is not setting an example for the rest of the world. It's undermining France's capacity to stabilize climate change below 2°C. President Hollande has two hundred days left to clean up his act.
 
 
Contact:
Ria Voorhaar
Head - International Communications Coordination 
Climate Action Network – International (CAN)
 
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568
skype: ria.voorhaar
 

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

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

See attached and below.

 

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Dear Mr. Shinzo Abe,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

_____________

Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

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

 

 

 

気候行動ネットワーク・インターナショナル

2015年4月30日

 

日本の新しい温暖化対策の目標案について

 

安倍晋三 内閣総理大臣殿

 

我々、気候行動ネットワーク(CAN)は、気候変動を防ぐために活動するNGOの世界最大のネットワークです。私はCANを代表し、日本政府がパリ合意に向けて検討中の温暖化対策の目標案について世界中が懸念していることをお伝えしたいと思います。

これまで日本は、京都議定書の実現や途上国への短期資金支援の約束などでその役割を果たし、豊かで進んだ経済を活かして気候変動に対処する努力をすることで成果をあげようとしてきた、気候変動対策のリーダーであったと言えます。

ところが、それは過去のものとなったように見えます。日本が本日発表された「2013年比で温室効果ガス排出量を26%程度削減」という水準の目標案を提出すれば、気候変動問題における日本の地位は失墜してしまうでしょう。このような低い目標では、日本経済を化石燃料から再生可能エネルギー中心へと転換させることを計画していないということになります。このことは、日本が今後ますます、政治的にも経済的にも、気候変動の影響にさらされることになるということを意味します。意欲的な排出削減目標を打ち出すのではなく、基準年をずらすという奇策を用いて目標を実際よりも高く見せようとする意図は明らかです。国際社会は騙されません。

時代遅れの発電方法に執着し、「ベースロード」電源として原子力や石炭に頑なに依存し続ければ、日本は化石燃料の段階的削減や再生可能エネルギー産業の大幅な成長促進からますます乖離していきます。しかも、脱炭素化する世界において勝者となるために必要なものを日本が全て有しているのにもかかわらず、です。今年12月のパリに向けた交渉を前に、気候変動問題への対応において、日本は明らかに米国や中国といったライバルに遅れをとっています。それらの国々は今や再生可能エネルギーへの転換によってますます大きな便益を得ようとしています。国際社会に対し強いメッセージを送ることができなければ、パリ合意に対する日本の考えは、一切耳を傾けてもらえないことになるでしょう。

しかし、まだ間に合います。日本政府には、目標案を見直し、国民と日本経済のための便益となるような貢献をするチャンスがあります。ドイツで6月に開催されるG7サミットに向けて、CANは、日本が「1990年比で40%以上削減」を目標として掲げることを求めます。このような目標を掲げることによってはじめて、気候問題における日本のリーダーシップは回復し、日本国民が求めている再生可能エネルギーへの投資を飛躍させることができるでしょう。

安倍総理におかれましては、ぜひ私たちの要請を受け止めていただければ幸いです。そして、今後、気候変動や排出削減目標といったテーマについて安倍総理と意見交換ができますことを心より楽しみにしております。

 

敬具

_____________

Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

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

 

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