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:

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 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



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:

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: 

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 or Tweet @CANIntl.  

• 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: 


Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email:, 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:

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 )

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


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

To Join:

You can join the teleconference online: here: 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: 

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

Ria Voorhaar, CAN International, email:, 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:


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.
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.



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.



Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

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









安倍晋三 内閣総理大臣殿











Wael Hmaidan 

Executive Director 

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



Most Germans Support Plans for More Climate Protection and Less Brown Coal

Berlin, 25 April 2015 – A large majority of Germany's citizens support Chancellor Merkel and Economics Minister Gabriel in their plans for strengthening climate policy. Seventy percent are of the opinion that the German government should implement additional measures to ensure a 40% reduction in emissions by the year 2020 – a current target of German energy policy. This is the finding of a new survey conducted by TNS Emnid on behalf of the association Campact and WWF Germany.

Seventy-three percent of the more than 1000 German citizens who participated in the survey support the so-called “climate levy,” a proposed measure that would tax the oldest and dirtiest brown-coal-fired power plants. Majority support for the government's plans is even seen in impacted regions such as the Rheinland (69% support) and Brandenburg (55% support). Support was visible across party affiliations, with 75% of all participants in favor of the policy measure. The survey also makes clear that young people in particular favor a sustainable and forward-looking climate and energy policy.

"A clear majority wants to see a reduction in the use of brown coal for electricity production. This sends a clear signal to the German government: Mr. Gabriel, Mrs. Merkel, take action now. Ensure Germany fulfills its climate protection goals!" says Chris Methmann, a member of the association Campact.

Germany can only achieve its climate protection targets when significant emissions cuts are implemented in the electricity sector. The electricity sector is responsible for approx. 40% of German greenhouse gas emissions, half of which are attributable to brown-coal-fired power plants.

As the renewable energy revolution will create on the whole considerably more jobs than the measure to reduce the use of brown coal will destroy,  71% of Germans consider the policy measure to be justified, according to the TNS Emnid survey. Ninety percent of electricity generation would receive an explicit exemption from the proposed "climate levy." Accordingly, the policy measure represents an extremely modest intervention into the electricity sector.

"The support of the populace for the planned measure is overwhelming. In the run up to the G-7 meeting this summer and the UN Climate Conference in the fall, it is of key importance not to fall victim to the fear mongering that a few energy companies are engaged in," says Regine Günther, WWF Director for Climate and Energy.


Note regarding the survey: 
Unless otherwise indicated, all data were provided by TNS Emnid. 1002 adults took part in the survey, which took place between 18 and 20 April 2015. The results were weighted and are representative of the German population (age 14+).

Press contact:
Sylvia Ratzlaff, Press Office, WWF Germany,, Tel. 030 311 777 467

Jörg Haas, Spokesperson, Campact e.V.,, Tel. 0152 - 22888799 

Update: Find out the latest in the May and June Global climate mobilisations

This May and June, youth and faith leaders, along with members of labour, development and justice organisations around the world are calling for the just transformation to a world powered by 100% renewable energy to address our biggest problems - climate change, social inequality, unemployment and poverty.

To sign up for upcoming events check out this website and to see our favourite photos from actions so far check out our flickr album.

17 June

As we wait for the Pope to call for climate action it is a good moment to round-up some of the actions that people are already taking to tell leaders it is time to rapidly scale up the just transition to a fossil free world powered by 100% renewable energy. It has been an amazing 3 weeks of mobilisation, involving thousands of people of all ages, from all movements and across almost all continents.

Today is no exception, with thousands of people gathering outside the British Parliament to lobby their MP’s, telling them they need to step up national and international efforts to tackle climate change in order to save all that we love. Over the weekend Oxfam arranged colourful, musical rallies in South Africa and across the region calling for more support to strengthen women food producers and to make their communities resilient to climate change. In Seattle, USA days of protests against Arctic oil drilling, that included grannies chaining themselves in a blockade, culminated in a dramatic sea-borne direct action in which hundreds of ‘kayaktavists’ blocked Shell’s Arctic-bound oil rig from leaving port.

In the last few days people on both sides of the Atlantic raised their voices against fossil fuel ties to art institutions. A group of protestors handed over a petition with more than 400,000 signatories calling to the Smithsonian Museum, USA calling for an end to its financial association with the Koch Brothers, two billionaires who fund climate change denial. The Royal Opera House and Tate Modern, both in the UK, were hit by protests calling out their financial ties to BP.

Their message is in tune with the 224,000 people whose petition, calling on “big polluters” to be barred from COP21, was handed over to the UN organisers last week. Fossil fuel pressure groups shouldn’t hold a stake in today’s culture and certainly not in our renewable energy future. We found out last week that nearly two-thirds of people believe that negotiators at these key UN climate talks in December should do “whatever it takes” to limit global warming below a 2C rise and secure this future. The call to governments is growing so loud, it can even be heard in space...

More Highlights

  • Kayaktavists blockade Shell’s Arctic-bound Oil Rig in Seattle (video)
  • Pan-Africa rally for Women, Food and Climate
  • Climate protest at London’s Tate Modern over BP sponsorship
  • Climate protests at London’s Royal Opera House over BP sponsorship
  • Climate protest at Washington D.C’s Smithsonian over links to Koch Brothers
  • Anti-coal protest at UN climate talks in Bonn
  • Stunts for climate justice at UN climate talks in Bonn

7 June 2015

What a weekend! Protesters in Europe and beyond turned up the heat on the G7 leaders. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday thousands of people took to the streets, calling for the leaders of the richest countries in the world to take action on climate change, to boost development, human rights, equality and health. We know that G7 countries could unlock massive benefits for citizens, like improved public health and more jobs, by supporting a fossil fuel phase out, 100% renewable energy and climate finance.

In the Philippines local and global NGOs stood side by side to petition the UN Commission on Human Rights, calling on them to investigate major carbon polluters for human rights violations, that have or will result from the impact of climate change. On the other side of the planet, in the USA, 5000 people marched against tar sands and demonstrated their solidarity with indigenous communities impacted by this dirty industry.

People continue to make their voices heard as G7 leaders prepare to close their Summit and countries prepare for the final week of UN climate negotiations in Bonn.

More Highlights

  • Oxfam put the G7 leaders on the spot flagging how coal is the leading driver of climate change and how it is linked to poverty
  • Avaaz targeted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a full page in the Financial Times calling on Merkel to be a Green superhero at the G7
  • 5000 people took part in the Tar Sands rally in US against tar sands and in solidarity with indigenous communities
  • In the Philippines a Petition was launched seeking public support asking the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the big carbon polluters for human rights violations that have or will result from the impact of climate change.
  • Greenpeace youth activists called on Angela Merkel to #EndCoal at a church congress in Stuttgart
  • The 6 months global Peoples pilgrimage was launched in Vanatua

5 June 2015

This week we have seen amazing activities all over the world with people turning up the heat on government and business leaders as UN negotiations in Bonn unfold and the G7 summit approaches this weekend. It is evident that the many people-induced political earthquakes are merging into a seismic shift that world leaders cannot ignore. Leaders turning a blind eye on people across the globe, across demographics and across movements  - all calling for a just transformation to a world powered by 100% renewable energy – simply isn´t an option.

Today we all received the amazing news that Norway is divesting its $900 billion dollar sovereign wealth fund from dirty coal - a great example that shows what people power can achieve. Also in Norway, unions lobbied for more climate action in a week of relentless campaigning that has seen unions from Brazil to Bangladesh rally under the banner “no jobs on a dead planet”.

We have seen a women´s climate justice mobilisation in the US, while Avaaz and actor Mark Ruffalo pushed their global petition calling on Angela Merkel and G7 other leaders to ditch fossil fuels and go 100% clean - this has gathered the support of 2.7 million people.

Thousands of people protested against coal expansion in the Philippines, coinciding with a WWF rally in Germany, calling for G7 leaders to be strong on climate and go 100% renewable. Today Alternatiba very nicely kicked off the weekend by embarking on their 5000 km Climate Ride. On avance!

More Highlights

  • Thousands in protest against coal in Atimonan, Philippines
  • Rally in Germany calling for G7 leaders to be strong on climate and go 100% renewable
  • Unions have rallied for climate action in countries around the world including: Germany, Spain, Brazil, Bangladesh and Australia (more here)
  • Groups gather in Germany for alternative G7 Summit
  • In the US a women´s climate justice mobilisation took place
  • Alternatiba 5000 km Climate Ride kicked of
  • Avaaz and actor Mark Ruffalo pushed their petition for Angela Merkel and G7 leaders to ditch fossil fuels and go 100% clean
  • Online actions against finance for coal and weak country efforts at the UN climate negotiations.

1 June 2015

Yesterday and today we witnessed a surge of mobilisations, following actions in 30 countries on Saturday, as a fresh wave of people joined the call for a just transformation away from a world hooked on fossil fuels to one powered by 100% renewable energy - to address climate change, social inequality, unemployment and poverty. As momentum gathers it’s no wonder fossil fuel firms are running scared.

1000 people in Senegal rallied together for the country’s first ever climate march, calling for an end to dirty energy. The fossil fuel industry was also the target for a number of successful actions in the UK where a coal conference was shut down, among other disruptions. The coal industry also came under pressure from people in 60 cities calling for host Angela Merkel to push the world’s richest countries to quit coal at the G7 Summit.

Another political arena placed under the spotlight was the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, where trade union delegates under the “No jobs on a dead planet” theme handed in their demands for the global climate agreement due to be forged in Paris in December. They are calling for a climate agreement that phases out fossil fuel emissions and unlocks clean, secure jobs in renewable energy. Unions have started to mobilise for a week of action, to push these demands in capital cities around the world.

Over the weekend the Brazilian cities of Brasilia, Recife, Manaus, Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre saw people asking for 100% renewables and the end of tropical forests deforestation.

Check out this great video from Greenpeace which shows some of the many activities over the weekend. 

More Highlights

  • In Senegal 1000 people took to the streets for the nation’s first ever climate march
  • In the UK there were a series of successful direct actions that included the closure of a coal conference and the blockade of RWE Npower Headquarters (more actions here)
  • In Bonn, Germany and capital cities around the world trade unions kicked off a global week of action for climate justice
  • In Germany there were events in more than 60 cities calling on Angela Merkel to push for the G7 countries to quit coal
  • In Argentina people said NO to fossil fuels and YES to renewable energy
  • In Kenya people gathered to discuss and plan for climate justice
  • In France the 1000 climate actions continued to unfold with numerous rallies, events and meetings across the country.
  • In Belgium people ran 20 kilometers for the climate, not to be beaten, three people in Tasmania ran 160 kilometers to raise awareness of the need for urgent climate action
  • At Lake Geneva people held a watery stunt to call for climate action
  • In Brazil, volunteers from Brasilia, Recife, Manaus, Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre saw people asking for 100% renewables and the end of tropical forests deforestation.

30 May 2015

Today people in more than 30 countries mobilised to rally against fossil fuels, call for 100% renewable energy and tell leaders that they want bold climate action now.

In Germany people called for Chancellor Merkel to show climate leadership and phase-out coal, in the Philippines faith groups rallied for 100% renewable energy, in Nigeria youth groups challenged the incoming President to take climate action, in Japan people supported a petition for solar power, and in Indonesia groups rallied in the streets calling on their government to ditch dirty energy. To mention a few.

More Highlights

  • In Thailand people took to the parks to call for 100% renewable energy
  • In the Netherlands people buried their heads in the sand to protest against poor climate leadership
  • In France there were direct actions against Total, bike rides for climate action, events to promote climate solutions and faith group rallies
  • In Romania there were protests against deforestation and fossil fuel projects
  • In the UK the Climate Camp outside Didcot Power Station continued and there were actions against finance for fossil fuels
  • In the Philippines there were anti-coal protests with Catholic groups saying no to coal and yes to 100% renwewable energy
  • In Hungary there was a visual stunt against nuclear power
  • In Jordan people rallied for renewable energy
  • In Europe health groups petitioned Germany to phase out fossil fuels

29 May 2015

Today people around the world took part in a range of actions, across cities and open fields, the first in a flotilla of mobilisations that will continue to launch into the month June. We witnessed people pitching climate camps outside dirty power stations and rallying outside fossil fuel company AGMs - tomorrow many more will join in the action. As climate impacts strike, we encourage you to support these actions and help amplify the joint call for urgent climate action.

More Highlights

  • Climate camp at Didcot power plant - people gathering to say no to fossil fuels (
  • Protest at Total AGM - people gathering to protest fossil fuel influence

Remember you can provide input suggestions and ask for help anytime by contacting  Lasse Galvani Bruun ( and Mark Raven (

For more information, please contact Lasse Galvani Bruun: | Skype: bruun.lasse | +55 11 99909 4046

 Study quantifies benefits unlocked by new climate action commitments

Scaling up action scales up benefits

Berlin, Germany. March 31, 2015: More jobs, fewer deaths and money saved from fuel imports. That’s what the climate action commitments laid out by the EU, US and China will deliver to their nations, according to a study by NewClimate Institute, and commissioned by Climate Action Network. 

The new study calculates that as well as helping reduce climate change risk, the steps outlined in the plans for these three economies will mean a total of almost 1 million new jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 113,000 people who will no longer die prematurely thanks to reduced air pollution, and huge savings from avoiding the high costs of imported fossil fuels. 

What’s more, scaling up their commitments to be in line with the transition to economies powered by 100% renewables by mid-century will mean unlocking even more benefits for these nations. More ambitious plans would collectively create around 3 million jobs by 2030, save the lives of around 2 million people who would otherwise fall victim to deadly air pollution, and would save around US$520 billion from avoided fossil fuel imports per year. If all countries took climate actions at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2degC threshold, beyond which scientists predict climate change to spin out of control. Such action would also give us an even chance of staying within 1.5degC - the threshold advocated by many of the most vulnerable nations. 

NewClimate Institute’s Niklas Höhne, author of the study, said: “This new analysis shows that any governments currently formulating climate action plans should consider the significant benefits for their people that could be achieved by setting their ambition levels to maximum.” 

Climate Action Network chair Mohamed Adow said: “Over 100 countries have thrown their support behind a phase out of fossil fuel emissions and it’s not hard to see why - making a just transition to 100% renewable energy is a no brainer as it means healthier economies and healthier people.” 

The report comes as developed countries - and others in a position to do so - were expected to lodge their offers with the UN by today. These offers will form the building blocks of a new climate agreement to be signed in Paris this December. 

The study shows that Europe stands to save around USD$33 billion per year on avoided fossil fuel imports through its climate action plan, but this would jump to around USD$170billion a year if the region scaled up its offer. 

China’s battle with air pollution has been well documented, as has the country’s actions to get it under control. Beijing’s new climate offer will save around 100,000 lives a year, but as they scale up their efforts that figure rises to around 1.2 million people annually. 

The United States is expected to formally lodge an offer with the UN today which will create around 470,000 jobs by 2030 in the country’s burgeoning renewable energy sector, with even more potential in the country’s energy efficiency sector. 

This study once again confirms key findings from last year's Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which informed governments that the only way to build and retain prosperous economies is through both mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

All eyes will now turn to other major - more and more isolated - economies such as Japan, Australia and Canada whose governments appear to have missed today’s deadline for lodging climate action commitments with the UN.

With evidence piling up on the side of scaling up action and the multiple benefits that delivers, their people will increasingly question government decisions that fail to speed up the people-driven transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.  


Notes to Editors

  1. 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. 
  2. The report was commissioned by Climate Action Network - 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: 
  3. You can find the full report here, a summary of the findings here, and an infographic here


To be connected with a spokesperson on the report, please contact:  Ria Voorhaar, CAN International on +49 157 3173 5568 or email:  


Europe becomes second party to lodge Paris climate action commitment

Climate Action Network released the following statement upon the release of Europe's commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change today. 

European environment ministers have today agreed on the EU’s first climate action commitment towards the Paris agreement. The pledge translates its previously announced target to reduce carbon pollution by at least 40% by 2030. After Switzerland, the EU will be the second party in the world to lodge its plan to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy with the UN. Commitments from other major countries including the United States and Mexico are expected later this month. Together, these pledges will signal the start of what will be the world’s first collective step on climate action. 

Europe has in many ways been spearheading the global transition, and it has only last week presented a domestic energy strategy that makes clear that Europe’s move towards a decarbonized economy is well underway. That’s why some observers want Europe’s first offer to go further in harnessing progress towards a fossil fuel phase out and Europe’s vision to be the world leader in renewable energy. For example, Denmark has already committed to make 100% of their electricity supply renewable and party leaders in the UK have committed to phase out coal. Accelerating this transition makes sense because it can deliver more and better jobs, improved public health and more robust economies.

Today’s announcement leaves open the tricky question of how to deal with forests when counting emission reductions. If not handled well, accounting rules could dilute the EU’s commitment. Progressive Member States are working to reach a decision that ensures environmental integrity and retains ambition. Furthermore, despite calling for countries to renew their pledges under the Paris agreement every five years, the EU does not outline a 2025 target in its offer.

The EU’s plan stayed silent on the amount of additional support they'd provide to developing countries who are expected to take their own climate action under the Paris agreement. Scaling up support will be vital if we're to secure a comprehensive global climate agreement in Paris in December that builds resilient communities and helps vulnerable people cope with unavoidable climate impacts. In a bid to shore up Europe’s leadership on climate, European foreign ministers can step up and explicitly outline their offer to help communities adopt renewable energy and adapt to climate change.

Undoubtedly, this offer will not be the final word from Europe on climate action towards the Paris agreement. Indeed, the EU’s pledge document says it looks forward to working with other countries to find “ways to collectively increase ambition further”. And European NGOs will continue to push member states to do more to unlock the “at least” part of their 2030 commitment.  The European Commission has already outlined plans to hold a conference in November to review collective commitments, providing the impetus for all countries to consider what more they can do to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. To give that agreement a smoother landing, Europe can reassert itself as a leader on climate diplomacy giving countries confidence in the collective steps we’re taking on climate action.

Contact: Ria Voorhaar
Head - International Communications Coordination 
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568


EC kick starts 2015 climate pledge wave with draft proposal but more work ahead of Europe

Climate Action Network provided the following comment on the releasse of the EC's Energy Union package today. 

The European Commission has today published a proposal on how to flesh out the EU's commitment towards the Paris agreement on climate change as part of a package outlining Europe's vision for energy and climate issues. 

Building off it's previously announced target to reduce carbon pollution by at least 40% by 2030, the EC is the first party to attempt to translate its pledge for presentation to the UNFCCC after after last year's major climate negotiations in Lima gave countries guidance on the information to be presented.  While being the first off the mark is cause for applause, European NGOs will be working with EU member states to improve the transparency and quality of the EC's proposal before a version of it goes to the bloc's environment ministers next week. 

Moving forward, the EU will need to bring to life the "at least" part of their climate action commitment. Countries like Denmark have already committed to make 100% of their electricity supply renewable because they know that such policies can deliver more and better jobs, improved public health and more prosperous economies.  

The EC's draft proposal was silent on the amount of additional support they'd provide to developing countries who are expected to take their own climate action under the Paris agreement. Scaling up support will be vital if we're to secure a comprehensive global climate agreement in Paris in December that builds resilient communities and helps vulnerable people. Developing countries in particular will be looking for the EU to be more explicit in coming months on how it will help  communities adapt to climate change.

The EC's move today will kick off a wave of pledges from countries over the course of the year - all of which will add up to the first collective signal that the world is moving out of fossil fuels and embracing the renewable energy era.  All eyes will now turn to other developed countries who need to submit their commitments by the end of March.  The EC has also outlined plans to hold a review collective commitments in November providing the impetus for all countries to consider what more they can do to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels on the eve of the Paris Climate Summit. 


Ria Voorhaar - +49 157 317 355 68, rvoorhaar @