CAN Europe letter ahead of the Informal Environment Council on 10-11 April

Global transition

Brussels 29.3.2018

Dear Minister for Environment,

At the upcoming Informal Environment Council on 10-11 April in Sofia you have been invited to discuss the European Union’s contribution towards the international climate negotiations and in particular towards the UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue.

When the Paris Agreement was concluded three years ago, it was already clear that the contributions countries had prepared for Paris are nowhere close to enough to reach the long term goals of the Agreement – to reduce global emissions to zero and to keep warming below 1.5°C. This is why in Paris countries decided to come together in three years time, at the COP24 in 2018, to look at the adequacy of current 2030 targets (NDCs), and prepare for their revision and resubmission to the UNFCCC by 2020.

Year 2018 therefore opens a crucially important window of opportunity to galvanise global urgent action on climate change. Wasting this opportunity would be unacceptable. In this context we would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our expectations regarding key issues in 2018 that we hope will have your and the EU’s support throughout this important year.

Talanoa Dialogue is about bridging the emissions gap by exploring what more can we do

CAN Europe urges the EU and other governments to focus this year on the Talanoa questions two and three: where do we want to go and how do we get there. Established scientific literature, among others from the IPCC and the UNFCCC, already offers answers to questions on current action, level of emissions and about the scientific imperative to reduce emissions urgently, while discussion on the means and willingness to rapidly decarbonise our economies remains much less explored.

A renewed and enhanced commitment (a COP 24 Decision) to revise and align the 2030 NDCs with the long term goals of the Paris Agreement before 2020

In order to improve the level of joint action, countries need to do more individual action. The Talanoa Dialogue offers an unique opportunity to showcase what such scaled up, individual action would look like. When concluding the Talanoa Dialogue we call on the EU, its members states and all other governments to outline how they will increase their individual action on climate change. While in Paris countries already committed to revise and resubmit the 2030 NDCs, a COP 24 Decision enhancing this requirement would encourage the national revision processes that need to follow in the coming two years.

Long term strategies need to be aligned with the Paris Agreement’s long term goals of 1.5°C and zero

Countries are also invited to communicate long term decarbonisation strategies to the UNFCCC by 2020. The Katowice COP would be a timely opportunity to outline further features for those strategies. Most importantly ensuring that all countries’ long term planning is consistent with keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C and reducing emissions to zero.

We look forward to working with you this year to ensure that the all opportunities the Talanoa Dialogue provides are fully utilised. We’d also like to discuss these issues further at your convenience.

Yours Sincerely,

Wendel Trio, Director, CAN Europe