Last week in Bonn, during the ADP 2.10 (the 10th Part of the 2nd Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action), there was a general sense that too little progress is being made toward estabishing clear foundations for the text-specific negotations for the Paris agreement. There are many explanations for why, but one stands out as potentially the most instructive and useful: everyone knows what needs to happen, yet no one is fully confident that all others will go far enough, fast enough.Read more
In the latest episode from Context News, we take you through the past rounds of climate negotiations, and help to frame what is coming up next week in Bonn, Germany, where 196 countries will again sit down to streamline, refine, and strengthen the text on which the global climate pact to be agreed in Paris, in December, will be based.
A run-through of the issues at stake in the intersessional climate negotiations, being held in Bonn, in preparation for the Paris agreement.
Analysis by Ron Israel and Lois Barber, Co-chairs of the Citizen’s 2015 Global Climate Agreement Campaign.
The 21st United Nations sponsored Conference of the Parties (COP21) will be held in Paris this December. The goal of COP21 is to produce the first meaningful, legally binding international climate treaty since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. As we have already seen, a global average surface temperature rise of 0.8 º Celsius above pre-industrial levels and another 0.5 º Celsius are already in the system, due to ongoing greenhouse gas emissions.Read more
In this episode of Climate Countdown, Kaia tours through the UNFCCC climate negotiations, held in Bonn, Germany, in June. She interviews youth delegates, reporters, policy advocates, and experienced advisors to national negotiating teams, and shows both the elusive nature of the language of the negotiations and the complexity of the effort to ensure good-faith negotiation can be the standard.
Last week saw Christiana Figueres, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Australia to promote the importance of international climate policy this year across multiple sectors. In keeping with her busy schedule she spoke at events hosted by non-governmental organisations, business groups, universities and state governments.
2015 is a big year for the UNFCCC, with countries due to finalise a new international agreement on climate change action in Paris later this year. The last time countries tried to reach a new climate agreement of comparable significance was in 2009 in Copenhagen. The aftermath of Copenhagen is well known, with these talks being widely criticised as countries failed to produce a new legally binding instrument to address climate change.Read more
Our Pathway to Paris World Bank Working Session, held at the Civil Society Policy Forum on Wednesday, April 15, focused on the role of direct citizen participation in the global climate negotiations. For many reasons, direct citizen participation has been limited:
- One is there are already tens of thousands of people participating, representing interests, issues, places, solutions, grievances, and legal constructs.
- Another is that intergovernmental negotiations generally treat the interests of citizens and stakeholders as the province of their government officials. The sovereignty and political process of nations stand in for direct engagement.
- A third is that citizen participation is often equated to referenda, which are not always the best expression of the will of the people or the safest route to the policy that most benefits those voting.
- But a fourth, and perhaps most significant, is that we just don’t have a strong tradition of such engagement in multilateral negotiations.
Our working session produced powerful practical insights into the value of inclusive policy-making, stakeholder engagement, and outcomes that account for and embrace the complications of difference and variability.
We need non-expert voices in the room. No individual expert knows everything, many decision-makers are themselves non-experts, and considering stakeholders' voices leads to more legitimate, relevant and viable policy outcomes. Significant improvements in the prevailing condition require disruption of the status quo. The status quo implicitly extends from the status quo ante, the prevailing norms that preceded the current state of affairs and on which the structures we know were founded. Expertise is rooted in an examination of these two states, and can provide a sound and reasoned reference for how to move into the future, but when we look to achieve a post status quo reality, where human conditions are greatly improved and the previously unavailable has become commonplace, we have to recognize that we are looking beyond what is known. Expertise unaccompanied by the power of imagination and a hot contest of ideas can lead to planning not well adapted to visualizing, comprehending or catalyzing disruptive optimizing change.
The United States released its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) yesterday. The core of the commitment is a reduction of 26% to 28% below 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels by the year 2025, a rate of emissions cuts that puts the US on track for 80% emissions reductions by 2050, but will likely not be enough to prevent a continued rise in global average temperatures to no more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. What is crucial is that this plan allows for the adding of more aggressive decarbonization over time, as progress is made, technology develops, investment patterns shift, and as the UN process looks toward setting 1.5ºC as the upper limit for temperature rise.
The Pathway to Paris Coalition is now the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network
At the Minneapolis 2015: Last Stop before Paris climate action conference, the governing strategy for a new Citizens' Climate Engagement Network was launched. On December 2, during the COP21 in Paris, the Pathway to Paris project officially became the CCEN. Now, citizens and stakeholders around the world have an always active coalition of support, including material training, guidance for organizing, and a network of peers, partners and leaders, to ensure local volunteer advocates can carry their voices into the global policy process. Learn more here, and get engaged...
Civics for Rapid, Scalable Climate Action
Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for public participation in climate action. This can mean many things; we propose it mean that active, direct citizen participation in the design and deployment of climate solutions be the standard. We propose this be done universally, through a network of collaborating partners to ensure mutual empowerment through the same process of empowerment of citizens and community groups. [Keep reading...]
Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition
Through engagement with citizen stakeholders, business leaders, NGO leaders, and others, the coalition of support for carbon pricing, that formed around the 2014 UN Secretary General's Climate Summit, has grown into an always-active multilevel multilateral partnership for making carbon pricing policy. The Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition brings governments, intergovernmental agencies, businesses (including major oil companies and institutional investors) and non-governmental organizations, together around one table, to work as peers on spreading and deepening carbon pricing around the world.
Pathway to Paris Successes: A New Platform for Citizen Engagement
The Pathway to Paris project succeeded in building momentum for both carbon pricing and citizen engagement.
The launch of the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network was the culmination of the Pathway to Paris project. The activation of citizen-led policy workstreams, supported by an Advisory Coalition of NGO leaders, UN leaders and other experts, has allowed for new insights about how global climate policy affects people in communities. This work is part of an ongoing effort to ensure a robust and adaptive expansion of the global civic space, through the Action for Climate Empowerment agenda—part of the UNFCCC process for tackling climate change. [Keep reading...]
How Citizens are Co-Producing a More Vibrant Policy Future
The idea that citizens have a role to play in helping policy-makers to create good outcomes is now taking hold, as is the idea that government without citizen participation is not really as legitimate as government that is co-produced by citizens engaged in the process. At the IMF's session on Ethics and Finance, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby called for a new kind of leadership. He said financial and political leaders need to exhibit "heroism in the classical sense," which he described as a kind of othercentered understanding of leadership as service and which "leads to human flourishing."
This is how Citizens' Climate Lobby, the Pathway to Paris coalition and engaged policy-makers are co-creating an ever wider consensus on carbon pricing and our climate future. Click here to learn more.
Pathway to Paris Launch & Core Principles
As impacts from global climate change gather force and escalate, a network of partners across the world is looking to secure an effective agreement in Paris, at the end of 2015, to stave off catastrophic climate disruption. The "bundle of everything" strategy for global treaty negotiations has not given us a true global solution. So, Citizens' Climate Lobby is launching an initiative to bring stakeholders into the process of decision-making, build connections between organizations, governments, individuals and enterprise, and mount a coalition effort to secure an agreement to motivate carbon pricing country by country that follows these standards:
- A steady, resolute and rising carbon price.
- Internalizing costs incrementally, steadily and with no leakage.
- Simple, transparent, effective at reducing emissions.
- Building economic value at the human scale.
- Easy to implement: country by country, harmonizing across borders.
By adopting standards that allow each country to move forward and price carbon efficiently, in the way most suited to its context, we can build consensus on the wisdom of pricing carbon and so build momentum for the transformational innovations in business, technology, culture and society, that will allow us to move away from the trap of energy-producing resources that erode all other values. Click here for the full report.