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
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
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.
On February 27, Switzerland became the first nation to officially submit its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, to the UNFCCC. The summary of Switzerland’s national commitment to the global climate solution reads as follows:
Switzerland commits to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, corresponding to an average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent over the period 2021–2030. By 2025, a reduction of greenhouse gases by 35 percent compared to 1990 levels is anticipated. Carbon credits from international mechanisms will partly be used. The INDC is subject to approval by Parliament. The methodological approaches underlying the Swiss INDC are included in this communication.Read more
La Secretaría de la Convención Marco de Cambio Climático anunció este miércoles que ya está disponible la página web para que los países reporten sus planes de acción climática [intended national determined contributions-INDC es la sigla en los términos técnicos de la Convención], es decir sus compromisos de reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero o de aportes financieros a la lucha contra el calentamiento global. Como en otras convenciones, la información estará disponible en orden alfabético por países, pero aún no hay ninguna entrada, como se ve en la captura de pantalla.Read more
Oil prices have come down dramatically in the last few months, causing speculation that we are about to see a boom in oil consumption, and a move away from fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrid engines, alternative fuels, and electric cars. Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, sees it differently: this is an opportunity to put in place the policies that will allow us to avoid future negative fallout from overdependence on fossil fuels.Read more
As we enter 2015, it’s worth looking back at a valuable insight shared during a COP20 side-event relating to the building of country-specific roadmaps to a low-carbon economy. On Dec. 10, in Lima, Jeffrey Sachs answered an audience question about advanced technology research and then added, for clarity: “This is not a game.” Sachs is Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The SDSN is steering the biggest economies in the world to develop ambitious transition strategies that will result in true low-carbon prosperity, with the aim of preventing dangerous climate disruption.Read more
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.