Climate Action Network-International
  • Date submitted: 28 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Climate Action Network-International
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Climate change (15 hits),

Full Submission

The changing climate, with its associated impacts on the environment, economies, social welfare and human lives, is one of the strongest indicators of our unsustainable development path, which Rio+20 must address.

Rio+20 will be an important opportunity for:

? increasing the overall ambition of political commitments on Climate change;

? promoting actions and accountability in areas such as the green economy and post-MDG framework that are inseparable from Climate change;

? strengthening sustainable development governance structures to include stronger implementation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms including strengthening transparency, citizen engagement and accountability (reflected in Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration) mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels;

? strengthening international governance structures to include stronger implementation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms

? governments, businesses and civil society to agree to practical steps at the local, national and global level that address Climate change (both mitigation and adaptation);

? ensure that principles of fairness and equity ? based on the original 1992 Rio Earth Summit declaration of ?common but differentiated responsibilities? (CBDR) ? are central to sustainable development.

1. Increasing political will and ambition:

At Rio, countries must raise their ambition, including developing science based commitments, increased emissions reduction targets and financial commitments, equitable effort sharing, and robust implementation. With political leaders in Rio, this is a key opportunity to raise the overall political will for greater action on Climate change. Heads of state and political leaders should come to Rio prepared to:

? Assess 20 years of progress since Rio ?92 and take stock of existing greenhouse gas reduction commitments and adaptation efforts, and raise their ambition taking into account the principles of CBDR

? Elaborate national and sub national action plans that substantially improve governance ? overseeing progress and supporting implementation ? of sustainable development objectives.

? Ensure the flow of substantial, predictable climate finance beyond 2012 and well above the pledged $100 billion per year by 2020.

? Reform of the UN environmental agencies that strengthen the governance system that delivers an ?environment for development?. Sustainable development needs a global authority on the environment and stronger implementation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms. 2. A fair green economy: At Rio+20, a clear definition of a fair green economy should be developed, which would exclude false solutions with which we can all work and hold governments to account to at Rio. A fair green economy must balance between the ecological, economic and social aspects of the sustainable development model. It should include decent green jobs, addressing consumption issues, ending unsustainable practices, fair transition, and be judged by alternative indicators to GDP, such as those based on rights and social justice.

A green economy must address:

1. Empowering workers with access to green jobs: targets and resources for capacity building, green technologies, operational level implementation and training.

2. A transition to a 100% renewable energy and energy efficient economy

3. Equity must be at the heart of the green economy, ensuring the right to development for developing countries while meeting green objectives.

4. Protection of natural capital and biodiversity

5. Address change in production-consumption patterns as the current patterns lead to unsustainable use of natural capital and increasing greenhouse gases emissions.

6. Full participation and consent of communities affected by development projects; and stewardship of natural resources and biodiversity by local communities. Specific demands for Rio+20:

? Commit to clean energy:

A key element of a green economy is a clear definition and short to medium-term actions towards clean energy sources. Energy targets put forward by the UN, while not sufficiently addressing these concerns, can guide local and national-level action on ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency deployment. In CAN's view, countries should aim to reach the following global targets ideally by 2020, and by 2030 (as UNIDO has put forward) at the latest: o 30% of energy use from renewables; o 40% decrease in energy intensity, 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.

? Remove fossil fuel subsidies and perverse incentives: accelerate the phase out of subsidies in line with the G20 commitment, redirecting revenues to those in need and to support renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes.

? Ensure the formulation of Low-Carbon development Strategies (LCDSs): The development of LCDSs is crucial to ensure the smooth transition to a fair and green economy that secures green jobs and equity based on national circumstances. Governments must agree in Rio+20 on establishing national institutional arrangements and modalities for the formulation of these plans. The plans should include decadal targets between now and 2050 that outline the GHG emission trajectory that each country will take in each major sector, as well as policies and measures needed to achieve these targets.

? Develop a UN-level mechanism or capacity to ensure that emerging technologies relevant to green economies receive prior assessment to ensure they are truly socially and environmentally sustainable in order to avoid resources being diverted into ?false solutions?.

3. New finance:

Financing for a green economy is crucial, and governments must identify new sources of finance for these purposes, and ensure funds targeted for specific outcomes, including climate, biodiversity protection and development aid.

In particular, Rio+20 should address:

Innovative sources: In addition to budgetary contributions, there is a need for supplementary sources of long-term finance to meet the financing requirements for climate action. As shown by the UN AGF report a range of innovative sources (such as the Financial Transaction Taxes and Special Drawing Rights) can be use to generate the revenues as well as address the need to cut emissions from shipping and aviation.

Uses: Forests, mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity conservation (protected areas/marine protected areas- key to boost ecosystem resilience in face of Climate change) all must be prioritized for future funding allocation. This should specifically include development models that are sustainable and community-driven such as decentralized water and energy solutions that strengthen resilience to Climate change.

Governance: Governments must show a clear commitment to improved governance of funds related to Climate change and a green economy. The role of international financial institutions generally (including all the multi-lateral development banks and export credit agencies), the UN, bilateral should be carefully evaluated. Engagement of civil society organizations as active observers (or greater) both in the decision-making process and also in monitoring on how the fund can be accessed should be explicitly confirmed.

On climate in particular, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) must play a transformational role both in the way it is governed and operates and in terms of the adaptation and mitigation outcomes it achieves. It should accelerate the shift to low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways by scaling-up resource flows for ambitious and effective climate-related policies and actions in accordance with country-led strategies, and it should incentivise strategic objectives and the achievement of overall national development strategies and the production of development cobenefits.

It is vital that civil society and other stakeholders be full partners, both at the international and national level, in determining the way in which the GCF will finance climate action.

The role of the World Bank as a trustee should be limited to holding the financial assets of the Green Climate Fund, maintaining appropriate financial records, and preparing financial statements and other reports required by the Board of the Green Climate Fund, in accordance with international fiduciary standards. 4. Forests and REDD REDD+ should not be negotiated at Rio + 20 but governments should set an overall goal for halting deforestation in developing countries. We envisage an objective along the following lines:

? All Parties shall collectively aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation of natural forests in developing countries, with the objective of stopping deforestation and degradation of natural forests and related emissions completely, by 2020.

For the conservation of existing carbon stocks, enhancement of carbon stocks and sustainable management of forests a second objective could be:

? All Parties shall collectively aim to conserve existing natural and modified natural forests by 2020, ceasing conversion and instead restoring degraded natural forests. In addition, all parties should undertake the sustainable management of forests and enhance forest carbon stocks.

Safeguards for land-use changes and forestry activities should be fully implemented. In particular, the following already agreed safeguards should be promoted and supported:

? Respect for the knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples and members of local communities, by taking into account relevant international obligations, national circumstances and laws;

? Actions should be consistent with the conservation of natural forests and biological diversity, ensuring that actions are not used for the conversion of natural forests, but are instead used to incentivize the protection and conservation of natural forests and their ecosystem services, and to enhance other social and environmental benefits.

5. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security The importance of agriculture

? Global food production is threatened by Climate change. Smallholder farmers produce the majority of the world?s food, and they are extremely vulnerable to Climate change, therefore food security of the majority of the world?s population is threatened.

? Globally, agricultural activities associated with intensive high input industrialized agriculture, contribute a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions.

Policy goals

? Thus, to the greatest extent possible, policies at all levels should be designed and implemented to meet four goals:

1. Sustainably reduce emissions from the agricultural sector;

2. Reduce emissions from the conversion of other land to agriculture;

3. Maintain or increase the security of food supplies;

4. Enable small-scale food providers and other vulnerable populations to become more resilient to Climate change.

Guiding principles

Countries agreed in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change (UNFCCC) to prevent dangerous Climate change: to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to Climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. These agreements require adherence to the following principles in order to be effective:

? In order for small scale farmers to be able to adapt and to build their adaptive capacity, they must be enabled to practice farming systems that are resilient to long term Climate change, biodiverse and that strengthen the ecosystems of which they are part. This form of agroecological smallholder farming and other forms of sustainable, ecological and climate resilient food production should be promoted.

? Climate policies that encompass agriculture must include safeguards that protect and promote biodiversity, equitable access to resources, food security, the right to food, and the rights of indigenous peoples and local populations, while promoting poverty reduction and climate adaptation.

? Systems of biodiverse and resilient agriculture need to be developed, demonstrated, tested, and implemented to transform many currently unsustainable agricultural systems into ones that improve the health of ecosystems, communities, and cultures, even in the face of a changing climate.

In the context of food security and sovereignty threatened by Climate change, re-establishing global principles for governance of fisheries is crucial, since depletion of fishing stocks, unsustainable fishing and overcapacity of world?s fishing fleet will soon impact upon food security in addition to climate impacts on the marine ecosystem.

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