Climate Change — ECO @ UNFCCC SBSTA 44 | 23 May 2016
Say goodbye in style: A Grand Farewell for HFC’s
Speed is vital when it comes to climate protection. Immediate action to cut HFCs could contribute much to keep the global temperature rise to under 1.5°C. Enacting a global phase-down of HFCs could yield up to 100 billion tonnes of emissions reductions by mid-century, and up to 200 billion tonnes if we make a parallel effort to improve the efficiency of the appliances using HFCs as refrigerants. Around the world, the vision for a future without HFCs is becoming a reality as governments move ahead with plans to phase down production and consumption under the Montreal Protocol.
ECO has some recommendations to MOP negotiators to ensure a fabulous going away party for HFCs this year:
- Fix a time and date: We need a swift global agreement to address the consumption and production of HFCs. An extraordinary MOP is scheduled in Vienna (22-23 July) to finalise the HFC agreement, where Parties should seal the deal.
- Set a party theme or mood: ECO suggests the theme “high ambition” for this gathering. Each guest has to come with the highest ambition. The resumed 37th and 38th OEWG meetings in Vienna just before the extraordinary MOP is the perfect place to lay the groundwork and prepare for the party.
- Ensure supplies: Developed nations are obliged to contribute to financing the transitions of developing nations and to assist with technology transfer. Current proposals to phase down HFCs under the MOP follow this successful pattern.
- Consider making the party a potluck: Under its Multilateral Fund (MLF) the Montreal Protocol supports developing nations through finance and technology transfer. Developed countries should bring additional MLF funding to the party to make it a success, as the Nordic Leaders and the U.S. just announced they would.
- Recruit helpers: Since you are expecting a large crowd to say goodbye to HFCs, it is key to continue supporting your network of ozone officers to implement the phase-down schedules at national level.
ECO urges all Parties to support an ambitious HFC phase-down to make negotiations under the Montreal Protocol a great farewell party for HFCs. (Rain date: October in Kigali, Rwanda at the regular MOP.)
Loss & Damage: When Insurance Isn’t Enough
The world’s poorest and most vulnerable nations–who have done the least to cause climate change–are already mobilising resources to cope with the brunt of climate-related harm. When these countries call for finance to address loss and damage, it’s just another reminder that the burden has to be shared much more fairly. It should be paid for by the historical and big polluters – both corporations and states. However, some seem to lack an understanding of what we need L&D finance for.
Climate risk insurance, which allows vulnerable nations and people to transfer risk to bodies with more stable financial bases, is only one aspect of the L&D response. Financial commitments to these risk insurance pools are certainly welcome, but one-time donations are not enough. Developed countries can and must do more to support insurance schemes. They can’t be used as a way of shifting the responsibility and cost from polluters to the vulnerable. Contributions must be sustained, predictable, support the premiums of those who cannot afford them, and increase steadily as climate damage intensifies.
Insurance is not the be-all and end-all of an effective L&D response. By definition, non-economic losses and damages, like loss of life, culture and livelihoods, not to mention land, cannot easily be compensated by payouts. Insurance schemes can’t help those without much property to insure. Remember, it’s just a start.
Vulnerable nations require a source of new and additional L&D funding that can be used for responses to slow-onset disasters, such as the relocation costs that will inevitably accompany sea level rise and desertification. Funds are also needed to provide social protection as well as post-disaster support to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, regardless of whether their national government has purchased insurance.
It’s also essential that funds for L&D response not simply be diverted from other important and underfunded needs, such as adaptation. In addition to budgetary provisions, many compelling financial mechanisms have been suggested, including levies on international air travel, bunker fuels, carbon emissions and fossil fuel extraction. It is crucial to look closely at L&D finance needs and to proactively set out a course for funding this year. This should start with the SCF [including] [recognising] loss and damage in its definition of climate finance.
Confused on Conflicts (Of Interest)
ECO is confused. In last Wednesday’s SBI contact group on Arrangement for Intergovernmental Meetings (AIM), a number of Parties and civil society representatives raised concerns. While they recognise the importance of enhancing participation by observer organisations, they are concerned about the potential conflicts of interest that may arise when the UNFCCC engages with observers with a commercial interest. Parties requested that rules on conflicts of interest be established to protect the integrity of the UNFCCC.
Attempting to meet Parties’ concerns on Thursday, the Secretariat set out the rules in place for both the observer admission process and the UNFCCC’s engagement with the private sector (respectively UNFCCC Rules of Procedure and the UN Guidelines on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Business Sector). But, here’s the tension: neither address conflicts of interest.
So, how is the UNFCCC identifying and addressing conflicts of interest of potential observers? Now you see why we’re confused.
But we’re also worried. The Paris Agreement swings the door wide open to non-state actors, including the private sector, to enhance climate action and engage in the policymaking process. While the objectives of the UNFCCC are to protect people and the planet from the effects of climate change, and therefore act for the common good, the private sector’s objectives are first and foremost to maximise profits. Entities with conflicting interests engaging in the policymaking process could create numerous conflicts that the UNFCCC currently has no process in place to address.
For example, when an observer organisation representing the commercial interests of its private sector members is able to use its access to slow, derail or direct the outcomes of negotiations toward the interests of its members, that is a conflict of interest. And if Parties and the UNFCCC want real and timely solutions to climate change, this must be rectified.
Given the new and unprecedented level of private sector engagement, ECO urges Parties and the UNFCCC to protect the integrity and legitimacy of the UNFCCC, its Parties, and its outcomes by developing a due diligence process to safeguard against conflicts of interest.
A Busy Agenda For the New “Climate Queen”
ECO wants to provide a hearty welcome to Ambassador Patricia Espinosa to replace everyone’s favourite Tica.
The incoming UNFCCC head as a highly respected diplomat, who thoroughly knows the climate issue and appreciates how fundamental trust and an inclusive approach are for progress. However, diplomacy is not enough. We need ambition, equity and means of implementation. And we need them fast!
The 2018 facilitative dialogue is the ideal moment for countries to bring their NDCs in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Espinosa can champion early ratification and early entry into force. But she will mindfully ensure that finance pledges made by wealthy nations must be adequate to fund mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries. She’ll need to help build the critical review and reporting system on whether countries are meeting their commitments. And she’ll be dealing with some tough customers – national industries and private companies pushing back against the rapid low-carbon transition that we so urgently need.
The Mexican government and national NGOs alike are delighted with the news of Espinosa’s nomination. ECO welcomes the opportunity for the Mexican government to open the door even wider to national NGO participation. NGOs should be allowed to bring onboard their skills and expertise to support the revision of the Mexican NDC and spur its rapid implementation.
ECO wishes Ambassador Espinosa all the best. We have high hopes of being able to toast the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement as well as a successful 2018 facilitative dialogue with some of Mexico’s finest tequila. ¡Salud!
UNFCCC Secretariat Launches New Interactive Guide Ahead of COP21
The guide walks the newcomer through the various issues covered by the regime, such as mitigation, adaptation, technology development and transfer, as well as finance, in order to gain a better understanding of the global efforts countries are making to combat and adapt to climate change.
As well as a summary and interactive graphics, each section contains a ‘learn more’ box that directs the reader to where more detailed information on an issue can be found.
The new guide can be found here: http://bigpicture.
Demonstrating ‘respect’ for the UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards: the importance of community-collected information
Dear friends and colleagues,
The Global Canopy Programme’s Forest COMPASS project is pleased to announce the release of a new analytical paper: Demonstrating ‘respect’ for the UNFCCC REDD+ safeguards: the importance of community-collected information
As countries undertaking REDD+ activities are requested to ‘address’ and ‘respect’ the UNFCCC safeguards, and to provide national summaries describing how they have done so, this paper argues that indigenous and local communities living in or directly dependent upon forests can offer an important source of knowledge and capacity to meet these requirements.
With REDD+ poised to become part of the climate deal that is hoped to be settled this December in Paris, it is more important than ever to pay close attention to the implementation of the social and environmental safeguards that accompany the mechanism, to ensure its success. Communities can support data gathering for safeguard information needs, especially in places where existing monitoring systems cannot do so comprehensively. Furthermore their involvement is important for protecting their rights, and critical for minimising the risk that REDD+, or the safeguards, could fail to meet their objectives.
The Forest COMPASS website brings together case studies, resources and analysis on community-based forest monitoring. This collaborative platform supports knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst practitioners and policy-makers, by showcasing who is doing what in this space, and how they are doing it. It also reveals why community collected data is essential for ensuring more efficient, effective and equitable forest initiatives, including international agendas such as the CBD, UNFCCC REDD+ and FLEGT.
We aim to continually improve and update information on this website so please contact us with your suggestions and new content.
The Forest COMPASS team
Follow @forestcompass on Twitter for the latest news on CBFM
Unpacking the UNFCCC Framework for REDD+: New Briefing by Climate Law and Policy
Climate Law and Policy is happy to share our new briefing titled: “Unpacking the UNFCCC Framework for REDD+: Requirements for implementing REDD+ under the UNFCCC”, available here:
Although the adoption of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+ at COP 19 officially made REDD+ part of the UNFCCC framework and was a major step towards making REDD+ a reality, this did not mark the end of all UNFCCC discussions on REDD+. The UNFCCC framework of requirements and guidance on REDD+ was not considered finally complete until June 2015, where the UNFCCC’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), at its 42nd meeting in Bonn, Germany agreed on a series of draft decisions to address these outstanding agenda items. The complete UNFCCC framework for REDD+ is therefore comprised of the Warsaw Framework for REDD+, supplemented by the draft decisions adopted in June 2015 (which are due to be adopted by the COP at its 21st meeting in Paris in December 2015).
This briefing seeks to provide clarity to the now completed UNFCCC Framework for REDD+, identifying the key requirements and guidance for REDD+ countries in order to benefit from a future international REDD+ mechanism under the UNFCCC.
Legal and Policy adviser
Climate Law and Policy
Tell us how we can improve TT:CLEAR
Dear UNFCCC climate technology stakeholders,
We are currently looking to enhance and improve TT:CLEAR, the UNFCCC’s
website on climate technology development and transfer activities under the
ensuring that it serves you, TT:CLEAR’s primary stakeholders, more
effectively and efficiently.
We would appreciate if you could take just five minutes to let us know how
you think TT:CLEAR could be improved. Please click on the following link to
complete the short survey: https://www.
Best regards from Bonn,
Associate Programme Officer
Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Programme
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Factor CO2 analyses the INDCs submitted to the UNFCCC
Factor CO2 is pleased to present the third issue of the publication “INDC UPDATE”, which includes a comparative analysis of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) sent to the United Nations Framework Convention on Change Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the run-up to the Twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the UNFCCC, Factor CO2 assesses the post-2020 pledges made by Parties. In this third issue, Factor CO2 provides an overview of the path towards the COP 21 regarding the submitted INDCs.
It is remarkable that Japan, one of the top 10 emitters, has pledged a 26% emissions reduction by 2030 in comparison to 2013 levels. According to its INDC, this means a 25.4% reduction compared to the year 2005. Specifically, it indicates that Japan will reduce CO2 energy-originated emissions by 25% compared to 2013 levels, since this sector covers approximately 90% of GHG emissions in Japan. In addition, Singapore, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands and Kenya have also submitted their INDCs during July.
Hoping the document will be of your interest,
MADRID BILBAO MILAN HANNOVER BANGKOK MEXICO CITY
UNFCCC – “Request For Input” Last Chance to share your views on the needs of research institutions and universities for advancing technologies and practices related to climate change!
Last Chance to share your views on the needs of research institutions and universities for advancing technologies and practices related to climate change! The CTCN Climate Technology Survey will close this coming Friday, July 24th, so please fill it in now!
Are you doing research on any technologies and practices that can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to increase resilience to the negative impacts of climate change? We are interested in your opinion!
The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) invites you to take part in this survey in order to identify possible collaborative activities between the CTCN and research institutions and universities like yours.
The survey take less than 5 minutes to complete, so we would really appreciate your inputs. Please do not hesitate to share the survey with your colleagues and within your networks of research institutions and universities!
To share the survey, copy and paste the link below:
Why this survey?
This survey was developed by the CTCN to:
- Identify the needs of research institutions and universities related to climate technologies;
- Understand how the CTCN can best support research institutions and universities (especially those based in developing countries).
What is the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)?
The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is a United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mechanism launched in 2014 to assist developing countries in the deployment and transfer of climate technologies through three core services:
1) Providing technical assistance at the request of developing countries (including policy, planning and regulatory support, technical assessment, capacity building and trainings, etc.);
2) Creating access to information and knowledge on climate technologies;
3) Fostering collaboration among climate technology stakeholders via the Centre’s Network of regional and sectoral experts from academia, the private sector, and public and research institutions.
What do we mean by climate technologies?
Climate technologies supported by the CTCN include any type of equipment, technique, practical knowledge and skill, modern or traditional that can contribute to address climate change challenges. The CTCN helps developing countries gain access to technologies from a broad variety of sectors (agriculture, coastal zones, forestry, early warning, ecosystems, energy, health, industry, waste, water, etc.) and at all stages of the technology cycle (research and development, demonstration, deployment, diffusion, etc.).
To learn more about CTCN services and activities, please visit the CTCN website at ctc-n.org.
Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)
Hosted by the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
United Nations Development Programme (UNEP)
15, rue de Milan F-75441 Paris CEDEX 09 France
Telephone: +33 (0)1 44 37 30 03
UNFCCC: Calls for public input on CDM methodologies, revisions, information notes, standards and guidelines
Communication for Development Unit
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NEW REPORT by CARE, WWF: Twin Tracks: Developing sustainably and equitably in a carbon-constrained world; linkages between UNFCCC and post-2015 development framework
UNFCCC Article 6 A lesson: A goal of the SDGs – Designing Institutions that Deliver Effective Schooling Systems – Highly Trained, Respected and Free: Why Finland’s teachers are different