EU Adaptation – Slow moving train given a much needed boost
16 April 2013
Yesterday 16 April, 2013 marked another step in the European Commission's (DG CLIMA) aim to advance climate adaptation goals in Europe. Mainstreaming climate change into EU policies is now on the agenda again for the EC and appears to be a cornerstone policy for DG Clima.
This is EU domestic action and not external. Over the years CAN Europe has been very vocal in calling for more action on adaptation in Europe which also extends to include EU external policies. While this package does not focus on EU external policies directly, there is also no desire from member states for the EC to do more, it is hoped that it will stimulate and influence member states' actions externally. This is the Commission in a guidance and supportive role, so it is not a package which throws up legal or binding measures to member states, but is meant to promote action and preparedness.
Post-2015 global framework: Is climate change in the narrative?
04 March 2013
On Wednesday February 27th, the European Commission departments DG Development Cooperation (DEVCO) and DG Environment (ENVI) released a joint Communication together on a post-2015 global framework for sustainable development. The Communication comes after a number of EU-wide consultations on how this framework – a follow-up to the Rio+20 summit and the current Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) – should be formatted and implemented.
CAN Europe is satisfied to see the strong support for the convergence of the two separate work streams – the UN High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EU must take an active role in emphasizing that environmental sustainability is wholly conducive to poverty eradication and long-term development.
There remains a weakness in recognising our own responsibility here in the EU towards sustainable development. DGs DEVCO and ENVI need to work together to establish clear milestones and indicators in how Europe addresses its current patterns of consumption and production, both of which are energy intensive and largely unsustainable
The EU needs to learn from the shortfalls that have dominated the current development goals, in particular Goal 7 ‘Environmental Sustainability’. Ten years have passed since it was established, but there is still a stark indication that climate change has not been dealt with effectively in the MDGs. The negative impacts of climate change on marginalized and vulnerable communities, its direct links to food and water insecurity, and the setbacks it imposes, on sustainable development have barely been acknowledged. Resilience in the form of disaster risk reduction and adaptation have not been adequately adopted to ensure that climate change does not continue to undermine particular development goals.
The Communication has also overlooked the issue of energy, in particular sustainable access and security, and this needs correcting. Sustainable development, including economic security, depends on safe and long-term access to energy that stems from low carbon sources and imposes minimal environmental impacts.CAN Europe will continue to follow the process, while calling for the post-2015 framework to really consider the effects climate change will have on any future plans for sustainable development.
Civil Socety calls for Ministers to act on Loss and Damage at Doha
03 December 2012
Take action now on climate change 'Loss and Damage', 40+ civil society organisations and networks tell Ministers as they arrive in Doha
Over forty civil society organisations and networks from all over the world have signed an open letter urging Ministers to take urgent, proactive action to address loss and damage at this year's UN climate talks.
The organisations include CARE, WWF, ActionAid, Kiribati Climate Action Network, Greenpeace, Oxfam and Action on Churches Together, the global network of 130 churches and church-related institutions from all around the globe, and many others. Together, they represent millions of people who are extremely concerned about tackling climate change and its impacts.
The letter is being sent to Ministers as they arrive in Doha. It highlights that past inaction by developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support vulnerable countries to adapt to the realities of climate change has led to a new era of severe climate impacts which are hitting the world's poorest and most vulnerable, as well as many fragile ecosystems across the world.
The civil society groups are calling on governments to immediately and drastically cut emissions, help vulnerable countries adapt and establish an international mechanism to address and compensate for the permanent 'loss and damage' resulting from unavoidable climate change impacts.
The framework must also tackle non-economic losses such as loss of culture, ecosystems, indigenous knowledge and territory and consider the impacts of slow onset disasters such as sea level rise and changes in rainfall patterns that lead to forced migration, displacement and relocation, the groups say.
"The past 12 months have provided some of the starkest indicators that climate impacts are unfolding much faster than previously modeled", the letter reads, pointing to this year's unprecedented arctic sea ice melt and increasing numbers of severe droughts and floods.
"In spite of these realities, political leaders are still failing to act with sufficient ambition and, globally, we are well off track to meet commitments on emissions reductions to keep average global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius," it continues.
Loss and damage is now a key issue at the UN climate talks in Doha. Ministers must take into account the strong demand put forward by developing countries and civil society to:
1. Establish an International Mechanism for Compensation and Rehabilitation, under the guidance of the Conference of the Parties;
2. Ensure global leadership and coordination carried out through the Adaptation Committee;
3. Continue the work programme on loss and damage under the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI), with active coordination and collaboration with the Adaptation Committee and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which at a minimum should focus on:
-Assessment of Loss & Damage at national level, in particular with respect to slow onset events .
-Approaches to address Loss & Damage, particularly for slow onset events.
Notes to Editors
1. The full text of the civil society letter and list of signatories can be downloaded here http://www.caneurope.org/resources/publications/letters/doc_view/2129-loss-and-damage-ngo-letter-to-ministers-at-unfccc-doha-3-dec-2012-
2. CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. CARE ishelping the most world's most vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached 122 million people around the world. Visit www.careclimatechange.org