NGO VOICES FROM DOHA

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9 december 2012

[4C note: where not otherwise indicated, the articles below were selected from the voluminous Climate Action Network CAN-talk email postings]

CAN Intervention in the COP18 Opening Plenary

by Sam Harris, 26 November, 2012, November 26 2012 • 06:40
COP18 Opening Plenary Intervention
26 November, 2012

We have been given 30 seconds to express the views of CAN representing over 700 NGOs all around the world. It is impossible to say anything substantive about the most important challenge facing humanity in 30 seconds, so we are forced to limit ourselves in this intervention to place on record our protest about this exclusion of civil society voices in this vital process.

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Doha talks on the brink; political leadership yet to arrive

December 06 2012 • 06:48
by MBrockley
Press release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Doha – Qatar] – December 6, 2012 – The Qatari Presidency of the UN climate talks needs to show leadership now and help ministers finalise a deal in Doha that sees countries reduce their carbon emissions more quickly and provides adequate finance to help poorer countries deal with climate change in the next few years.

The climate talks – the first in the Middle East – are at a crucial juncture with key elements stalling despite the arrival on ministers yesterday, Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network-International said.

“Qatari political leadership has so far failed to materialise but there are two days left of the negotiations, so Qatar needs to, today, pledge to reduce carbon emissions put money for climate finance on the table in order to lift the political energy in the talks,” Hmaidan said.

“The presidency needs to bring together countries on the unresolved issues in these talks in a way that raises the ambition of climate action globally.”

Liz Gallagher, senior policy advisor from E3G, said the shape of a deal was starting to emerge with consensus being sought around the crunch issues on the Kyoto Protocol, but the long term cooperative track (LCA) was a mess.

“The disorder in the LCA track jeopardizes the entire Doha deal as well as progress towards an inclusive treaty in 2015,” Gallagher said. “We run the risk of having a zombie outcome here in Doha.”
“This is an urgent plea to ministers to roll up their sleeves and start driving the UN talks forward,” she said.
Steve Herz, from the Sierra Club, said the main blockage in the LCA was climate finance - which was crucial to achieving a deal which was acceptable to the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The US is trying to prevent discussion on how the countries would get to the $100 billion a year target.

“The US risks snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if it keeps blocking action on finance in these talks because it risks bringing down the Durban Platform for a new deal which Washington fought so hard for last year,” Herz said.
Archived video footage from the press conference can be found at:
http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop18/templ/ovw_onDemand.php?id_kongressmain=231

[December 6: by CAN-talk list email from Samantha Harris: “Final statement for the High Level Event.
”]
Your Excellencies, Honorable Ministers.

My name is Lama El Hatow, from Egypt, speaking on behalf of the Climate Action Network.

The world faces deeply distressing prospects as this COP ends. Recent catastrophes including in the Philippines have caused huge damage and loss of life. We cannot afford to wait. Climate change affects all countries, in particular, those islands risking disappearance under rising sea levels. As COP18 nears its close, we can seize this opportunity now in these final hours to take real, substantive action.

The KP is at risk of being taken forward with little environmental integrity or ambition, we commend those striving to avoid this.
On Loss and Damage, states must agree here to establish the international mechanism. Post-Doha we must continue working on this.

We salute developing countries that have increased or pledged mitigation ambitions here in Doha. Developed countries must be inspired to follow suit. While commending those announcing financial commitments, we caution that they are insufficient. Without trust and security, the COP process becomes obsolete.

We would like to enforce an ambition for regional pledges by the GCC because they have the capacity to do so.
Honorable Ministers, please do not fail us now. Our future, much more so that of the world's youth, depends on today's outcomes.May this COP - held in my Arab region - demonstrate true determination by all countries to effectively meet the threatening challenge of climate change.

Thank you.

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From: "Anna Malos" To: "'can-talk'" Cc: 'Climate Observer Organizations Liaison' Subject: [CAN-talk] CAN intervention as given in COP contact group on finance

[RECEIVED DECEMBER 6]

My name is Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim from Chad and I will be speaking on
behalf of Climate Action Network.

Developing countries like mine have come to Doha facing a climate finance cliff. We have reached the end of the Fast Start Finance period with no clarity on what levels of public finance to expect in 2013 and through to 2020.

There is nothing being put forward by this group that guarantees public finance will go up not down from next year. We call for a 2013-2015 package that includes AT LEAST $60 billion in PUBLIC finance, as part of a clear trajectory to the 100 billion per year in 2020. This package must include commitment to capitalize and operationalize the Green Climate Fund in 2013.

Finance matters to developing countries and their vulnerable communities like mine living around Lake Chad. How do you expect them to adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change without substantial and predictable levels of public financing in 2013 and beyond? How do you expect developing countries to take on more ambitious mitigation efforts if you do not scale up support?
Providing this finance is a legal obligation that requires clear collective commitments here in Doha and no later. We demand nothing less.

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A SELECTION OF THE FOSSILS AND RAYS AGREED TO BY CAN AT DOHA

1. US ACTIVELY BLOCKS HELP FOR CLIMATE VICTIMS WHILE JAPAN HAS GONE MISSING ON ITS EMISSIONS PLEDGE
December 05 2012 • 06:52
by M. Brockley

The First Place Fossil goes to the US. The world's poorest and most vulnerable people, and many fragile and precious ecosystems, are already being hit by the devastating impacts of climate change. These poor countries and communities who are least responsible for the global climate crisis are the most vulnerable to it. Because of present and historic inaction by developed countries, we are currently heading towards the biggest social injustice of our time. Low mitigation ambition and low support for adaptation means high loss and damage in developing countries.

Establishing an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage here in Doha is vital to ensuring that the impacts of climate change, both extreme weather events and slow onset events, are dealt with. However, the US in particular, with support by Australia and Canada, is killing the issue by pushing for loss and damage to be dealt with under the Nairobi Work Program and Adaptation Committee.

All the parties here in Doha – including the US - must support the proposal by the G77, China, AOSIS, Africa Group and the LDC Group to establish an International Mechanism on Loss and Damage and continue the work program so other elements can progress.
The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Japan for no pledge, no urgency, no money. Japan has failed to reconfirm its pledge to reduce emissions by 25% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels in the opening speech at the Minister's roundtable. In fact, the Minister did not mention any target at all! No Pledge.

Japan has completely ignored the core discussion here in Doha, which is how to raise the level of ambition to keep the temperature below 2 degrees. No Urgency.

Moreover, Japan has not brought any funding promises for climate finance over the next few years, which is desperately needed here. No Money.

No pledge, no urgency and no money earns Japan the 2nd place Fossil, as they have seriously undermined the momentum of the negotiation by saying “No, No, No.”


2. PUTTING MONEY ON THE TABLE GETS A RAY FOR UK, WHILE A US PUSH FOR RULE WEAKENING IS FOSSIL-WORTHY
December 04 2012 • 06:56
by M. Brockley

The First Place Fossil goes to the US for downgrading developed country MRV. Comparability between those inside the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and those outside is essential to underpinning a regime built on trust and transparency. The US has been consistently blocking progress on MRV inside the Talks. This is all the more strange because in Copenhagen the US pushed hard on China to be more robust in its accounting and reporting of emissions. Now the tables have turned. If the US is serious about a 2015 deal they need to count their carbon. Their blocking is counter-intuitive. The US has some of the most robust transparency and accounting procedures in the whole world, but simply has an allergy to replicating these at an international level. The key to securing a global binding treaty is trust; the US knows more than anyone that transparency and accountability help reassure all countries that they each are all doing what they said they would. What the US, and their minions, like Japan and Canada, are doing is corrupting their carbon accounting.

Ray of the Day goes to the United Kingdom for being the first mover on announcing post FSF pledge. The UK announced today its climate finance will be £1.8bn over the next two years, which is a 40% increase on FSF levels, with 50% of it being dedicated to adaptation.

This announcement sets a constructive tone to the negotiations on finance here in Doha. We urge other developed countries to start putting money on the table and commit to post FSF going up not down.
While this commitment is certainly noteworthy and welcome, in other circumstances it may not have met the "Ray of the Day's" stringent standards.

What makes it worthy of such a coveted recognition is that the UK government has gone first. Rather holding back its commitment to exact concessions from other Parties, the UK has done much to create a positive dynamic by putting it forward early in the Ministerial session, and with no apparent strings attached. We look forward to other donors coming forward in similar fashion over the next three days, and we think that this cooperative approach is one that all Parties should emulate.

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar
Communications Coordinator
Climate Action Network – International


3. A SENSE OF FOSSIL DEJA VU AS NZ AND CANADA EARN AWARDS AGAIN
December 03 2012 • 07:02
by MBrockley

The First Place Fossil goes to New Zealand because the NZ Environment Minister thinks NZ is ‘ahead of the curve’ in not signing up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. CAN knows the opposite is true. What the Minister fails to realize is that by refusing to sign up to the only international legally binding deal to reduce carbon pollution, New Zealand will become more and more irrelevant in shaping a post-2020 regime. The second commitment period is critical to maintaining the legal architecture and strengthening the rules of the future regime, post-2020. It would have cost NZ zero to put in its weak pledge into a QELRO, but it stubbornly refused. All this shows is that NZ is becoming more and more like the ‘old’ Australia - cutting off its nose to spite its face. New Zealand is abandoning its national interest for what? Look out Canada, you’ve got competition.

The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Canada for serious ‘climate amnesia.’ Today Canada published a timeline of the past 3 years of their climate (in)action in an attempt to “clear the air” as it were, about whether or not Canada is committed to capping warming at 2 degrees. Unfortunately, they forgot to include their biggest, historic action when it comes to global climate commitments - making history as the first ever country to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol.

Maybe Canada doesn’t want to admit they’ve pulled out, maybe a few too many barrels of bitumen were clouding their memory. After all, they are still negotiating on Kyoto until the end of this COP, despite walking away from any commitments they made. We know that you are modest, Canada, not a braggart when you are such a laggard, but a climate (in)action this big deserves recognition, and since Canada forgot to include it themselves, we wanted to make sure that they get credit where credit is due. Already recognized once today, as the worst developed nation in the Germanwatch/CAN-Europe Climate Change Performance Index, Canada truly earns this Fossil for having one of the most serious cases of climate amnesia we’ve ever seen. I mean really, if you can forget pulling out of Kyoto, who knows what’s next.

And the Ray of the Day goes to Monaco for their outstanding unconditional pledge of 30% emissions reductions by 2020. They are also fully committed and on track to complete their commitments from the first commitment period, and are urging others to make pledges as well. Monaco serves as a shining example that this COP needs, and this Ray is to encourage others to follow.

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[December 6, via CAN-talk email list]

What: After US Press Conference, US Youth Tell Obama, "No Excuses, Help Us Fight For Our Future."

American youth will be posing with banners displaying recent quotes from President Obama concerning the urgent moral imperative of tackling climate change and highlighting the failure of US negotiators to raise ambition and demonstrate credibility at this crucial conference. These will be juxtaposed with signs explaining how over the past two weeks US negotiators have failed to live up to the stalled progress on an internationally binding climate agreement. Between the two banner types will be a “not equal” sign. They hope to expose the chasm between President Obama’s fiery climate rhetoric and the counterproductive behavior of his administration.

Where: Outside the theater

When: Friday December 7, 3pm

Who: SustainUS: US Youth For Sustainable Development

Contact: Mike Sandmel, media@sustainus.org


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