• Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: 350.org
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Earth (1 hits),

Full Submission

350.org in partnership with the Center for Biological Diversity

UNCSD RIO+20: 350.org Inputs for the Draft Zero process


To ensure a successful Rio+20 Summit,governments and all sectors of society must come together to restore confidence within the international community with ambitious action to address implementation gaps and take further action on the core principles and goals set forth in the Rio Declaration, Agenda 21, and Rio Conventions. From the perspective of the 350 movement--a civil society movement of young people, artists, civil society organizations, faith communities, and citizens of all kinds in nearly every country of the planetHHone of the most important aspects defining the success or failure of the summit will be whether it advances international commitment and ambitious action to fight climate change.

The number 350 is the bottom line to define ambitious action to stop the climate crisis. 350 parts per million ppm) of CO2 is what many scientists, climate experts, and over 112 national governments say is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere.

Accelerating Arctic warming and other early impacts related to climate change have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 392 ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, savanization of the Amazon and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.

In order to ensure the possibility of a sustainable, equitable future for all, the outcomes of the Rio Summit must include concrete action to mitigate climate change that ensures a stable climate at 350 ppm. Concrete proposals for action from Rio to achieve this include:

Moving to 100% Renewables

Countries should use the UNCSD2012 to take clear action on moving economies towards 100% renewable energy. This is fundamental to the concept of green economy. It will not be sustainable for economies to continue on their current path burning through nonH renewable resources such as fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Countries must agree upon a vision that ensures clean and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, developed with involvement and prior consent of local communities.

This vision will need to be coupled with initial concrete actions to trigger incentives for this type of shift within economies and to promote growth of innovation and advancement in the renewable technology sector.

Specifically countries should use Rio+20 to:

? Make a clear commitment to clean energy, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, that includes:

o 30% of energy use from renewable sources globally by 2020

o 40% overall improvement in energy efficiency globally by 2020, and

o Universal access to modern energy services and ending energy poverty:

clean, reliable and affordable energy services for cooking and heating, lighting, communications and productive uses.

Eliminating fossil fuel subsidies

? Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and perverse incentives by 2020, including aid, loans or other subsidies that encourage further development of fossil fuels. This should be in line with the phase out of subsidies agreed upon in the G20 commitment, and revenues should be redirected to support renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, as well as technology innovation in the renewable sector.

? We should also end subsidies to false energy solutions such as ?clean coal,? nuclear, and large hydro or any projects where environmental and social impacts outweigh their perceived climate benefits.

Defining a green and just economy

Green economy is a new concept to be discussed at the Rio+20 summit, and therefore requires definition. In developing a vision for a just, green economy and taking the first steps globally on the concept, countries should commit to action on the following points:

? Equity must be at the heart of the green economy, ensuring the right and access through funding and technological support to clean, sustainable development for developing countries and frontline communities in the Global South and North. We must remember that one size does not fit all and that there are common but differentiated responsibilities on the path to a global sustainable future.

? Providing access to green job opportunities through policies such as setting targets and resources for capacity building, investment in green technologies, and job training for low income individuals.

? The green economy framework must break down barriers to current Intellectual Property Rights issues that impede sharing important renewable and sustainable development technologies, including technologies for adaptation. This could be achieved through varied incentives, such as creating new innovation hubs and ensuring new technologies remain in the global commons to speed the deployment of clean renewable energy around the world.

? A green economy vision should support cities as innovation hubs for best practices in sustainable policy development and implementation. Cities have become leaders of sustainable development design and implementation. Where countries have floundered cities have provided leadership. Countries should explore increased partnerships with city governments and also share best practices at the international level as well.

? Address change in productionHconsumption patterns as the current patterns lead to unsustainable use of natural resources and increasing greenhouse gases emissions. ? Establish an international financial transaction tax (FTT). According to The Tobin Tax

? A Review of the Evidence, this could raise as much as 400 billion annually. These funds would be essential to making a real impact on combating climate change and eliminating poverty.

Supporting and empowering civil society to be a partner in implementing sustainable policies

As youth and civil society declared in Copenhagen, ?you can?t make decisions about us, without us?. 350.org works with civil society organizations and in almost every country on Earth to build a powerful movement to fight climate change, and through that work we see the powerful local knowledge and organizing capacity that citizens everywhere are utilizing to achieve a sustainable society. Agenda 21 paved the way for substantial and positive changes in the government and nonHstate actor relationship, and has allowed many diverse sectors to begin to work together to ensure a sustainable future. In order for Rio+20 to be a success, civil society involvement must be prioritized, and countries should undertake the following:

? Continue to provide more capacity building opportunities across sectors of civil society and communities in order to empower citizens to have an active part in the implementation process. Where possible, governments should forge specific partnerships with civil society and communities to help implement sound sustainable policies.

? Make public funds available to NGOs that have the ability to help ensure implementation and compliance monitoring where needed.

? Ensure that cooperation mechanisms and government-public partnerships center around best practices and sustainable development in the local context rather than putting a market approach first.

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