Another Europe is possible

COP21 | No excuses, only real and binding climate solutions

COP21 | No excuses, only real and binding climate solutions

 
 
 
GUE/NGL MEP Anne-Marie Mineur comments from Paris
Saturday, December 12, 2015 9.30am

"As usual, as in the previous years, COP will end by delaying its conclusions by at least 24 hours. First it's useful to understand that all Parties here are committed to delivering a binding agreement taking into account the urgency of the health of Mother Earth. But, of course, the aims and thresholds are different and it's very hard to reach a comprehensive worldwide agreement by consensus. Blocks, vetoes, ambitious targets, financial commitments are all put in a shaker as into a melting pot trying to seek a common ground effective for everybody and in time for climate urgencies."

"COP 21 will deliver an Executive Agreement, and not a new Treaty or Convention as Kyoto or the Rio Convention of 1992, as that's the only legal form with which the US could effectively come on board, bypassing their obligation to submit a Treaty to a qualified majority of 2/3 in Congress. And the USA are the world’s second major polluter. Fortunately, the Obama Administration is determined to join a binding agreement where they could be active stakeholders and contribute by common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDRRC) . Then such an agreement is signed, endorsed, ratified and approved according to the single Parties’ legal framework: signature to be tabled is foreseen for next May 2016 in the UN headquarters in New York. The whole process of the different legal endorsement has to be completed by 2020."

"The French presidency managed to drive the COP transparently and somewhat on time; only approximately one more day is needed to conclude the process of building up a consensus with sustainable objectives correlated to the urgency of climate change."

"Lobbies are still very active here, and I have noticed that much of their wishes are accounted for in the text as we see it now. Although it looks positive on some points, especially the ambition that increased from 2 degrees to 'far below' 2 degrees, Big Business still has too much room to keep up with a business as usual situation. Especially if the review process will not start earlier than 2023/2024 that is now suggested, industry is given space to lock us in on a 3-degree pathway."

 

12 December 11.30  am, Roberto Lopriore:

Some comments in the analysis of the text of the final pre-paper of COP 21

(Final version will not be available before the opening session at 11.30)

(GUE demands in italics)

Obligations to respect human rights are quoted in pp4 preamble draft decision, Pp11 & Pp12 in preamble Draft Agreement, including Indigenous People, gender equalty, vulnerable communities….and in Art.4.5 of the Draft Agreement.
We  would appreciate if within Art.2 they could be operative and not just  guidelines.

All the parts of the UNFCCC Draft Decision supporting the Executive Agreement are binding to Parties in so far as they sign, adopt, approve, ratify according to their own legislative frameworks.

INDC as quoted in line 23-24 and the previous lines 19-20 are ok with stocktaking every 5 years. Possible change the “invite”into “Parties shall….” But anyway the weak statement is that Parties are free to confirm or update the previous INDC while art.3.8 asks for a "shall communicate" and art.3.10 gives freedom by stipulating a “may” update if they want their ambition targets. Facilitative dialogue and IPCC scientific support in line 21 should provide clear guidance asap.

Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities CBRD&RC well recalled in operative articles but to be consistent article 2b second part must not be deleted and the Executive Paris Agreement should be implemented on the basis of CBRDRC and national circumstances.

Peaking of GHG emission asap supporting in this task also developing countries art.3.1 on the basis of equity and of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Enhance clarity on the 1.5C degree target even if the current formulation in art.2.1 is the best to be obtained now in these given circumstances: all Countries from the south claim an immediate clear 1.5 C degree ! As GUE we back these and we played a role in achieving them at a meeting with the EP delegation.

Address the issue for a full decarbonisation, going beyond GHG neutral emissions art.3.1 The EU gained the Fossil Prize of the day on Thurday 10/12 for its uncautious statement not supporting complete decarbonisation by an EC representative.

Good improvements foreseen for the pre-2020 actions as in lines 118 and following, but clarity on financing interlinks is urgently needed enhancing technical reference criteria on best practices and champions as referred in lines 118-129 and 130.

Adaptation art.4 is good both for the link to the art.2 target and with mitigation policies: please consider the positive guidance as recalled in art.4.5 respecting local ecosystems, traditional knowledge of local communities and indigenous peoples.

Loss & Damage is inside the agreement but still seeking a good place and looking for an International recognition as in 5.4 option 1 within the Agreement hereinafter. Points 5.3 should be deleted in its second parts as it takes out liability and compensation.

Scaling up options for financing as from the US$ 100bn recalled in art.6.2 is good as the developed countries are clearly in charge of this engagement but on the accountability of the short term quantified goals post 2020 the text is still unclear on the future finance targets: the likely high challenge of Friday night negotiations. Revision of engagements every 5 years is recalled in the link referred to in 5.7 to art.10.2. but again this clarity is likely to be linked to the needed level of transparency as in art.9.

On transparency Option 1 of art.9.1 is the best one to be kept in the final text, information provided by the parts shall be submitted by a robust technical independent expert review as stated in art. 9.7, whose wording is the most complete and effective to tackle this goal vi-a-vis Option 2. Transparency on accountability of financing is still weak: hoping fora productive night negotiation.

Global stocktaking in 2023 still remains a critical not ambitious point while the urgency of the adverse effects of climate change is accelerating: it’s a shame (!) whose effects could be mitigated in a sensitive way through compromise if the commitments of reliable revision and concrete update of INDC are carried out from 2018, not limited to a “cut & paste exercise” of the previous existing INDC that are leading the world on to a harmful trajectory of 3C degree!s

Concerning the entry of force, please note that 55 Parties are in agreement but they have to be linked also to the corresponding average of 55% of the total global GHG emissions. In art.18 there are still square brackets where values are not yet defined and if the threshold reference of 70% of GHG emissions is chosen it will delay its entry into force.

Enhance all the binding language on commitments starting from the statement with “shall” in art.3.2 where each Party is committed to comply with the executive agreement by means of a kind of auto-certification.

Finally from the political point of view some small notes of course not updated to any leaked news from the diplomatic point of view.

Attempts from China and India to put back the COP to previous unsustainable wording dating from 4-5 years ago. COPs Diplomatic<offensive from USA also towards China in claiming that their bilateral agreement co-signed 6 months ago foresaw to respect the CBDRRC principle and from Friday talks. China withdrew from such a principle……The EU is proud to have brought 79 countries plus US and Brazil in claiming to get an ambitious agreement, but now informal news made the EC officials that the Developed Countries commitment of US$100bn will probably moved from the final draft agreement to the draft decision supporting the agreement> EU seems to be happy that this will not remain as an engagement referred only to developed countries for next years as the negotiations seem not to succeed in enlarging the contribution basis to other Countries.

Globally speaking for our inhouse results as EU the EC played a deceptive and weak role other than the so-called paper of alliances with 79 and other countries. For internal reasons they didn’t push strongly for the revision of INDC and a global stocktake every 5 years as they intend complying with their own objectives of an ETS revision and revamping of such mechanism within a 10-year timeframe! The sticking point is that they ignore that ETS is a co-legislative procedure and they decided to ignore that both EP and Council that are the true stakeholders in such a process > This hasn't yet  started in the EP 11 and the EP wrote in its resolution that it is asking for a revision every 5 years.

 

 
 
GUE/NGL Climate Manifesto

In December the UN climate conference will open in Paris. Failure to set binding targets now threatens the entire future of our planet and human kind, as well as aggravating, in the short term, existing poverty, hunger and global migration, forcing people to flee their homes to seek clean drinking water and food. Women and children will be affected by climate change most.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 in Paris must not be allowed to turn into a power struggle between international corporations and independent nations, and therefore the transparency of the negotiations has to be safeguarded. At the same time, the rights of all citizens, as well as civil society's right to get involved and be heard, needs to be guaranteed in the process. 

While a strong sense of responsibility is needed from state leaders, what we need even more are strong forces to stop the reckless acts of global industrial giants. However, there is also a need to acknowledge that governments or corporations alone cannot solve the whole problem; hence climate change needs to be addressed in an educational and philosophical way, too, in order to both engage people and make them take ownership at the very personal level. 

Every little action counts, and the very first step for an individual to participate in the process of stopping climate change is to acknowledge that we all are accountable for the choices we make in our everyday life, while also reflecting our own personal relationship with respect to consumption and consumerism, guided by the capitalist system.

We, as GUE/NGL MEPs, urge the States, international organisations, public and private sectors and every human individual to act responsibly to limit the catastrophic consequences of climate change. Therefore we strongly support immediate action regarding the following altering measures:

 

 

1)     Addressing the question of climate refugees at international level. The International Red Cross estimates that there are more environmental refugees than political refugees fleeing from wars and other conflicts; the UNHCR estimates that in 2013, 22 million people were displaced by catastrophes as a result of natural disasters.

2)     Developing a coherent set of rules and financial support measures both under EU Action Plans against deforestation and forest degradation and under an international binding agreement, solidly anchored to the respect for human rights, especially the rights of indigenous peoples.

3)     Including a long-term vision on the complete transition to a sustainable economy in the Paris agreement. In the EU this should translate to a 100% renewables goal in 2050 or shortly after.

4)     Agreeing on binding commitments to be set in COP21 in Paris especially on the pending financial issues where government investments are indispensable.

5)     Promoting greater resource efficiency and the circular economy in both developed and developing countries, which should lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, thereby making a vital contribution to tackle the climate challenge. We want to see cleaner energy and less consumption through effective energy-saving policies.

6)     Stopping support for fossil energy gradually. The funding must instead be aimed at economic activities, focusing especially on micro and SME sectors, for research and design relating to clean-tech and (local) renewable energy production as well as to local sustainable food production separate from intensive farming.

7)     Stressing the discrepancy between ambitions for free trade and climate action. Whereas TTIP and other free trade agreements will undoubtedly lead to increased transport and fuel consumerism, we need to adopt a sustainable way of life preferring local production and consumption, and restricting the excessive transport and logistics flows orchestrated by multinational corporations and the global hunt for a fast buck.

8)     Promoting initiatives to reduce meat consumption as a measure contributing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In some regions of the world the steadily growing population and increasing incomes create higher demand for meat, whilst other regions suffer heavy and harmful famine; at the same time there is limited space for expansion in livestock production; and land grabbing as well as a scarcity of fertile soil are obliging indigenous people to abandon their traditional sustainable agriculture. Therefore the maximum utilisation of existing food resources, enhancing biodiversity and traditional means of exploiting natural resources become even more important.

9)     Funding climate actions in developing countries must be ensured. As a question of human solidarity and historical responsibility, the rich and industrialised countries should make concrete their commitments from Copenhagen: to provide the Green Fund with 100 billion dollars per year, by 2020, to enable developing and less developed countries to      adapt and face the consequences of global warming.

10)     Strengthening the 2030 target to a 50% GHG emission reduction and cancelling ETS free allowances from the new Market Stability Reserve. As Europe starts to negotiate a new climate deal in Paris, it should be taken into account that Europe will most likely significantly outperform its 2020 climate targets but unused allowances banked from the current climate package threaten to undermine the ambition of Europe’s 2030 climate offer.

11)     Introducing adequate and effective incentives by improving research on low carbon technologies in the industrial sector to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, without burdening the consumer with higher prices.

12)     Implementing and reinforcing the existing COP financial commitments in order to support environmentally friendly and sustainable production from third countries, which can therefore comply with criteria for environmentally responsible production. 

13)     Improving the attractiveness of walking and cycling and public transport in urban areas by comprehensive and immediate policy measures; promoting ride-sharing and car-sharing schemes.

14)     Encouraging municipal authorities to adopt more sustainable solutions in spatial planning.

Signatures:

Merja KYLLÖNEN

Anne-Marie MINEUR

Gabriele ZIMMER

Cornelia ERNST

Anja HAZEKAMP

Paloma LOPEZ BERMEJO

Malin BJÖRK

Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS

Kostas CHRYSOGONOS

Stelios KOULOGLOU

Stefan ECK

Estefania TORRES MARTINEZ

Marisa MATIAS

Curzio MALTESE

Tania GONZALEZ PENAS

Josu JUARISTI ABAUNZ

Marina ALBIOL GUZMÁN

Kostadinka KUNEVA

Miguel URBÁN

Fabio DE MASI

Sabine LÖSING

Eleonora FORENZA

Patrick LE HYARIC

Barbara SPINELLI

Martina MICHELS

Helmut SCHOLZ

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