To: European Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Dear EU Minister of Foreign Affairs,
We are writing to you ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 20 February, where you will discuss and likely adopt climate and energy diplomacy conclusions. We encourage you to adopt bold and ambitious conclusions which would show that the EU will fully orient its diplomacy towards inclusive, gender-just sustainable climate and energy action. This is urgently needed in light of the multiple, interlinked crises of biodiversity loss, food insecurity, energy prices, and poverty and humanitarian suffering in particular of the poorest and most marginalised segments of the population in the Global South.
We expect a comprehensive set of climate and energy diplomacy conclusions to be adopted by the ministers after weeks of negotiations, but would like to stress in particular the following points which we regard as critical:
- CAN Europe welcomes that various EU countries have adopted or embarked on feminist foreign policies (FFPs). The EU overall should pursue a multidimensional, feminist climate diplomacy approach, with key pillars including the increase of finance for gender-just and women-led climate solutions; ensure the full, meaningful and equal participation of women in climate action; ensure feminist principles and gender justice are actively integrated into all climate diplomacy. These FAC conclusions should mark the start of this, including by:
- committing to “increase the full, meaningful and equal participation of women in climate action”, and commit to increased action to achieve this;
- increasing finance for, and access to, gender-just climate solutions led by grassroots and feminist organizations in the Global South;
- ensuring that gender justice is a mandatory component of monitoring and evaluating the EU’s progress on the external dimensions of the European Green Deal;
- ensuring gender justice is actively embedded in and integrated into all climate diplomacy work undertaken by EEAS.
- Phase-out fossil fuels and fossil fuel finance
- Building on COP27 outcomes, the EU should go further and call for a global, equitable and gender-just phase-out of all fossil-fuels well before 2050, including through the elaboration of a gender-just and equitable fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty;
- Finance for new oil and gas exploration and fossil fuel infrastructure should be stopped immediately, and support for Global South countries in the phase-out of fossil fuels and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies should be ramped up;
- The EU must ensure that multilateral development banks and institutions in which it participates, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, do not support new fossil fuel projects and subsidies while integrating in their policy recommendations the rapid phasing out of the existing one, in line with the Paris agreement;
- The EU should ensure that the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) with major emitters exclude any form of support to fossil infrastructure and ensure transparency and inclusiveness for civil society and directly impacted local populations.
- Increase mitigation ambition and pursue 1.5°C compatible 2035/2040 targets
- We support the EU’s calls on all G20 to step up mitigation ambition in line with the 1.5°C limit, but urge the EU to recognise that its own ambition does not match its fair share. In order to do so, the EU should reduce emissions at least by 65% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality no later than 2040;
- In reference to the union-wide climate target for 2040 which shall be developed, the EU should make clear that such a process will also include determining 2035 targets, in line with the UNFCCC decisions on common time frames, to be communicated as part of the EU’s Nationally Determined Contribution. Further stepping up efforts before 2030 is essential, as otherwise emission cuts have to be even deeper thereafter to stay within a 1.5°C equitable carbon budget.
- Increase finance for climate action including addressing loss and damage
- The EU must commit to step up their own climate finance efforts, to do its fair share for delivering 100bn USD on average across 2020-2025, at least double adaptation finance by 2025, and end fossil fuel subsidies;
- COP27 agreed to set up loss and damage funding arrangements, which the EU helped bring about. Now it is time for the EU to show its determination to elaborate an ambitious L&D fund which will channel new and additional grant funding to those particularly vulnerable;
- We support greater efforts to advance the use of innovative sources for truly new and additional funds on top of adaptation and mitigation finance, prioritising fiscal measures which make use of the ‘polluter pays principle’ and therefore contribute to the long term goals of the Paris Agreement, including taxation/revenue generation from fossil fuel exploration, aviation and maritime transport, carbon pricing, financial transaction tax.
Finally, we call on EU Foreign Affairs Ministers to commit to, and raise the political attention for, an ambitious, transparent, inclusive and participatory Global Stocktake in 2023, which must set clear pathways forward to increase ambition across all areas of climate action and support in this critical decade. Furthermore, we ask the EU to support the initiative launched by Vanuatu and others to pursue an Advisory Opinion on Climate Change from the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Director, Climate Action Network Europe