Asian CSOs have grave concerns about accreditation of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Green Climate Fund given their involvement in coal-fired energy projects

Songdo, South Korea, 7 July 2017: More than 60 civil society organisations from Asia have signed an open letter expressing their ‘grave concern’ about the request from the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund. They cite the fact that BTMU and JICA are among the most actively and heavily involved financial institutions in the financing of fossil fuels, particularly coal. They have left a trail of dirty energy funding too long and too wide to include here, but which stretches across several Asian countries.  Continue reading

Tackle climate change LDC Group tells leaders in run-up to G7 meeting

As G20 leaders prepare to meet in Hamburg on 7-8 July 2017, the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Group calls on heads of state and government to reaffirm their commitments to tackling climate change by committing to ambitious climate action and support for the most vulnerable countries. The theme of Germany’s G20 presidency is ‘Shaping an Interconnected World’. This is extremely relevant to the issue of climate change: a truly global problem requiring a global, collaborative solution.  Continue reading

Regional Consultation of West African CSOs on from LDCs

22 June, Dakar, Senegal: The regional consultation of West African LDCs on graduation from LDC Criteria in reference to the IPoA and the Agenda 2030 took place in Dakar, Senegal on 21 and 22nd June 2017. It was attended by representatives from CSOs and progressive experts of West African Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The meeting, jointly organized by LDC Watch and ARCADE concentrated on four thematic areas, vital for West African LDCs: Poverty, Conflict and Development , Climate Change and Adaptation: Agriculture , Food Security and Food Sovereignty and Trade, Technology Transfer and International Cooperation. Continue reading

Bangladesh needs global help to tackle climate change

Association for Social Transformation Trust Bangladesh, at UNHCR annual dialogues in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday sought global assistance for the country to cope with the climate change impacts.
‘Bangladesh needs huge international assistance to cope with the impact of climate change though the country is investing bigger amounts,’ Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, representative of COAST Bangladesh, said at the dialogues, according to a message received here on Saturday.
Chowdhury, who presented a case study from Bangladesh, said that climate change would make one third area of the country vulnerable to inundation, creating unbearable population density leading to huge economic and social security threat though the country is hardly responsible for climate changes.
Other speakers at the discussion laid emphasis on global solidarity and cooperation in respect of climate displacement especially its two global compacts – refugees and migration.
The event titled ‘Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities in the Global Compacts’ was held in Geneva International Conference Centre on the eve of ongoing UNHCR annual dialogue.
It was moderated by Atle Solberg from Platform on Disaster Displacement.
Besides Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST, Neil Turner from Norwegian Refugee Council, Sarnata Reynolds from Oxfam USA and Marine Frank from UNHCR took part in the dialogue as panellists.
Neil Turner from Norwegian Refugee Council called for durable solutions, predictability for responding to the large movements and responsibility sharing mechanism in respect of two global compacts – refugees and migration.
Sarnata Reynolds from Oxfam USA, depicted how climate displacement is creating problems for women and children who are already vulnerable in developing countries. Climate displacement is also eroding social capitals, she added.
Summing up the dialogues, Atle Soleberg, the moderator, mentioned six points in need, which are policy coherence, relevancy of the issues for implications in both the compacts, breaking of climate impacts to different groups of population with different types of vulnerabilities, better preparedness with anticipation and predictability, responsibility and sharing of burden in regional and international level, and global solidarity in this regard. – See more at:

Least Developed Countries say Trump disregarding millions of lives across the world

Least Developed Countries have accused US President Donald Trump of showing disregard for the lives of millions of people around the world. Their comment as a bloc in the UN climate process is in response to his Thursday announcement on pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord. Continue reading

Southern NGOs join with with Northern NGOs in condemning Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Agreement

(1st June 2017) As Donald Trump finally announced his long-awaited decision for the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, civil society representatives and social movement leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States vowed to build people power to address the climate crisis.

“The U.S. pull-out from the Paris Agreement should be strongly condemned and denounced by all peoples of the world. Not because the Paris Agreement is perfect, certainly not because the Paris Agreement will save the world from climate catastrophe.  But because a U.S. pull-out reveals utter disregard for the fate of humanity in favor of continued hegemony of U.S. elites and big corporate interests. Not to mention a tyrannical refusal to accept scientific findings.” Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development

 

“As climate justice movements we stand in solidarity with frontline communities and environmental defenders in the U.S. who have been struggling to ensure the U.S. government takes action on climate change since long before the Paris Agreement. In that spirit of solidarity we call on people everywhere to show up wherever Mr. Trump goes to tell him that his hatred and fear are not welcome in our countries, while we continue to force our own governments to keep fossil fuels in the ground and ensure a just transition for workers.”  Antonio Zambrano Allende, Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático (MOCICC)

 

“With the plan by Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, people power and international solidarity are the only hope we have of averting an unimaginable climate crisis which will fan the flames of every existing inequality and injustice. It will take all of us around the world, organising together, to hold the historic emitters like the U.S. under the watch of Donald Trump to account and ensure our governments also do their fair share of climate action in the next four years to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Trump’s decision doesn’t change that.”

Mithika Mwenda, Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)

 

“Thanks to historic U.S. pollution, we are already suffering the consequences of a rapidly warming world with droughts, fires, and floods wreaking havoc with livelihoods and lives, even displacing whole communities. Trump wants to add to that historic pollution and condemn present and future generations in the global south to further suffering and death. We cannot allow this, there must be forceful political, legal, and economic consequences levied against the U.S. Trump must realise that in the case of climate, nature has the trump card and not him and his cronies!” Sreedhar Ramamurthi, Environics India

 

“Climate change is not waiting for U.S. action and neither can the rest of the world. Trump has turned the U.S. into a rogue climate state and the world should use economic and diplomatic pressure to compel the U.S. to do its fair share. The majority of Americans do not support Trump and his fossil fuel agenda that puts corporate profits above people. The struggle to create real, deep change continues in the U.S. The resistance to Trump is strong and it is growing.” Ben Schreiber, Friends of the Earth USA

 

“Our justified outrage at Trump should not blind us to the destructive policies that he pursued before he got out of Paris, and that are still being pursued by many countries that remain parties to the Paris Agreement. Germany, for example, long feted as a champion of international climate politics, is not world leader in renewable energies, but in fact world leader in digging up and burning lignite, the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels. The struggle for climate justice remains one that must be fought at all levels: from the global, all the way to the local. Trump pulling out of Paris only reinforces the key message: if we want to protect the climate, we can’t wait for our governments to do so. We’ve got to do it ourselves.”  Tadzio Mueller, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung

 

“I am ashamed of my country’s persistent role in undermining efforts to create a strong and binding agreement, now culminating in Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Here in the U.S. climate justice activists are scrambling hard to find a path forward from within.  We hope our allies will let their voices be heard at U.S. embassies – to both isolate Donald Trump and his ilk – and apply pressure on the U.S. to step up and take responsibility for real and equitable solutions to the escalating climate catastrophe.” Rachel Smolker, BiofuelWatch USA

 

“The Climate Justice Alliance has historically struggled to assure that Indigenous people, women, human rights and a Just Transition are at the forefront of international climate agreements. The shortcomings of the Paris Accord – and Trump’s erroneous and embarrassing decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement – proves more than ever that communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis are the ones to lead us toward a renewable and regenerative future. We will continue to organize for climate justice and stand in solidarity with our international allies who are fighting for survival, resisting extraction, and creating solutions from the ground up.” Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance USA

Bonn talks on climate change: We must limit raises to 1.5C to save lives and livelihoods, sas LDC group

18 May 2017:  At the conclusion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group, Gebru Jember Endalew, said “The LDC emphasise that the global response to climate change must be consistent with the best available science. We must limit warming to 1.5˚C to protect lives and livelihoods, and this means peaking global emissions in 2020. Less than three years remain to bend the emissions curve down.”

“Climate change impacts are already striking all corners of the world, and are anticipated to grow substantially over the next few decades. The longer we wait, the more costly adaptation, loss and damage, and mitigation will become. We risk undermining our efforts to eradicate poverty and keep in line with our sustainable development goals.”

“The LDCs are concerned that we are still far from addressing actual finance needs of developing countries, whose Nationally Determined Contributions tell us that we need to find trillions not billions. Mobilising climate finance is crucial for LDCs and other developing countries to implement the Paris Agreement.”

“The LDCs are pleased that some valuable progress was made during this conference but we are not moving fast enough. This November at COP23 we must make considerable progress towards finalising the ‘rulebook’ that will implement the Paris Agreement without a last minute rush. The LDCs look forward to continuing our work to produce concrete outcomes.”

“The LDCs call on all Parties to redouble their efforts to tackle climate change with the urgency the climate crisis demands. The livelihoods of present and future generations hang in the balance and depend on all countries taking fair and ambitious action.”

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Bonn talks on Climate change: Old habits die hard as US delays progress

18 May 2017: As the United Nations climate change talks inched slightly closer to finalising a rule book on implementing the Paris Agreement, despite continued U.S. intransigence across a host of technical and political issues. With only a few years before the window of opportunity to meet the 1.5 temperature target closes, civil society groups are urging for progress on a number of vital issues but have been disappointed by apparent US’ bad faith in negotiations.

“The Trump administration has made it perfectly clear that it will be a climate laggard by moving to lower their already abysmally unambitious pledge to the Paris Agreement,” said Meena Raman of Third World Network. “But the U.S. negotiators in Bonn are going a step further by undermining the ability of developing countries to play their part in implementing the Agreement.”

“Developing countries are broadly willing to contribute their fair share of the climate action needed to stay below 1.5,” she added, “but they need the financial and technological support to do so. The U.S. has refused to deliver its $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund, and in Bonn almost point blank refused to engage on finance discussions, especially on any discussions that involved a review of the financial support so far provided – effectively pushing the world to the edge of the climate change cliff.”

A major issue in the talks, which are the first since Trump took office and appointed former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, was the role of non-governmental observers. A previous negotiation session in Bonn had mandated a special workshop, which saw fiery exchanged around the problem of conflicts of interest. Here, too, the U.S. led other developed countries in blocking progress to develop rules that would inhibit polluting industries from weakening climate policy.

“If this round of negotiations has proved one thing, it’s that governments and civil society organizations are determined to create policy to address the corrosive influence of Big Polluters,” said Tamar Lawrence-Samuel of Corporate Accountability International.

“Try as they might, the industry and the Global North governments in their pockets will not be successful in suppressing our voices or undermining this movement. Around the globe, people have already made it clear: those driving this crisis have no role in making the rules designed to constrain the source of their profits. Simply put, despite bullying from corporate trade groups and the governments representing the industry’s interests, the progress made at this session ensures that a process is underway to advance a conflict of interest policy in the years to come.”

With the U.S. reneging on its obligations, civil society groups urged other developed countries to follow through with the spirit of the Marrakech proclamation, which renewed their commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the goal to avert warming above 1.5 degrees.

“It’s time for the EU to live up to its professed green ideals, and go above and beyond its current low-end pledges,” said Rachel Kennerley of Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. “The world can’t wait for a change of U.S. administration to get serious about climate change – so European countries must take more action at home to end their own fossil fuel addictions as well as step up their game by supporting developing countries to do the necessary leapfrog to renewables.”

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Global Civil Society defends African Renewable Energy

18 May, Bonn: Over 100 international CSOs issued a solidarity statement with their African counterparts who are concerned that France and the European Commission might undermine the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative. The statement says that France and the European Commission abused their position as donors to endorse 19 projects which were not subject to the initiative’s own evaluation criteria or social, environmental, and gender safeguards – against the wishes of several Africans on the AREI Board. Neither France nor the European Commission is formally a Board Member. Continue reading