Since the Paris Agreement was struck at the global climate Summit in Paris (21st Conference of the Parties to the Un Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP21) last year, countries have come together at an unprecedented rate to ensure its early into force. To make sure discussions about the implementation of the Paris Agreement as well as action before 2020 can move swiftly forward at COP22, starting 7 November in Marrakech, CAN Europe calls upon the EU to bring a concrete plan for how it will ensure increased climate ambition.
Media briefing which was held 2 November in Brussels available online here (interventions start 1.30 min into the recording)
The world is determined to act on climate
Political momentum to combat climate change has grown remarkably since 195 adopted the Paris Agreement last December, with international agreements recently adopted for how to tackle emissions from aviation  and HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons) . An unprecedented political will from the international community has ensured the Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016, a moment which was expected to come only in a couple of years’ time. The early entry into force means that the first Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) will take place already at this year’s COP. This is good news for the climate, as it means that early implementation is possible. It is with implementation that the critical test of climate leadership will come.
Marrakech must galvanize action
With the Paris Agreement in place, COP22 must ensure the way is paved for transformative action to take place in the coming years. This week, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) will launch “The Emissions Gap Report”. This report will reveal the gap between commitments made by countries and the emissions reductions needed to stay below the agreed global average temperature rise. With these numbers fresh in mind, countries must focus on scaling up ambition. Issues such as how to scale up climate action and finance before 2020; how to establish a process for assessing and reviewing countries pledges under the Paris Agreement; and how to scale up support for loss and damage will all be discussed in Marrakech. For these discussions to move swiftly forward, it is important that countries bring concrete plans to the table.
Enhancing action before 2020
Action before the year 2020 is a prerequisite for reaching the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. In Marrakech discussions on how to undertake radical action in the coming years will be a priority, and the Moroccan presidency of the Conference will seek concrete contributions from all countries. As for the EU, announcing the cancellation of current surplus emission allowances in the Emissions Trading Scheme would be a much welcomed contribution. Since the EU is going to overshoot its 2020 target, cancelling surplus allowances would contribute to steeper emission cuts between now and 2020. Choosing not to do so would mean that the EU can make use of the surplus allowances to fulfil its post 2020 action, which means that actual reductions will not be as great.
Discussions about action before 2020 must also give greater priority to how to scale up climate finance, especially with regards to adaptation and loss and damage. Donor countries must at COP22 provide greater clarity on how the $100 billion roadmap will guarantee sufficient support for the most vulnerable communities.
Reviewing and scaling up ambition for action after 2020 (NDCs)
The process of how to raise the level of countries’ individual climate pledges under the Paris Agreement (so-called Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs) must start in Marrakech so that these can be reviewed as soon as possible. At COP22, countries should agree on critical elements of this process so that countries are ready to review their pledges in 2018.
How to judge the EU’s participation at COP22
The EUs participation at this year’s COP should be judged upon its ability to contribute to moving discussions about action before 2020 and review of pledges under the Paris Agreement swiftly forward. With the decision to fast track the ratification of the Paris Agreement the EU proved that it can show unity and act when required. So far however, the EU has shown little appetite to translate the goals adopted in Paris, namely to pursue efforts to keep warming below 1.5°C and reduce carbon emissions to zero, into real action at home.
To contribute to a successful outcome in Marrakech, the EU should bring a concrete plan for the review of its 2030 target as well as concrete measures which the EU is planning to take at home before 2020. It should also continue to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable countries and peoples, ensuring concrete steps for finance for adaptation and loss and damage are taken, and that concrete climate measures do not undermine their livelihoods and rights.
Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN Europe International Climate Policy Coordinator said: “The EU played a crucial role in ensuring the Paris Agreement came into place, but domestically the EU keeps acting as if Paris never happened. With other countries rushing to increase action, the EU must first and foremost make urgent efforts to scale up ambition at home. In Marrakech we expect the EU to defend the science, stand with vulnerable countries and play a leading role in discussions on how to ensure steeper emission cuts between now and 2020 as well as thereafter”.
Sven Harmeling, CARE International’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator said: “The swift entry into force of the Paris Agreement was a win for multilateralism, but it must now be translated into scaled-up action everywhere. The EU must be a strong ally with vulnerable developing countries who drove up the ambition of the Paris Agreement. At COP22, this requires a clear commitment to scale-up finance for helping the poorest people to adapt to climate change impacts, and to strengthen the UNFCCC mechanism to address unavoidable loss and damage.”
Caroline Westblom, CAN Europe Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 48 456 62 39
Ulriikka Aarnio, CAN Europe International Climate Policy Coordinator, email@example.com, +32 2894 4674
Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator at CARE International, firstname.lastname@example.org, +49 177 6136431
CAN Europe main contact and spokespeople at COP22 in Marrakech – List will be updated with local phone numbers for Morocco
Caroline Westblom, Communications Officer, email@example.com, Local number in Marrakech: + 212 653 604 462 (main contact for media inquiries week 1 and 2)
Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate Policy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, Local number in Marrakech: + 212 6 53 60 43 48 (week 1 and 2)
Maeve McLynn, Finance and Subsidies Policy Coordinator, email@example.com, +32 2893 0950 (week 1)
Elif Gunduzyeli, Turkey Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org (week 2)
Dragana Mileusnic, Energy Policy Coordinator for South East Europe, email@example.com, +32 2894 46 82 (week 2)
Notes to editors
Climate Action Network International Annual Policy document 2016 with key policy priorities for Marrakech available online here
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe’s largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 130 member organisations in more than 30 European countries – representing over 44 million citizens – CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and providing lifesaving assistance in emergencies. In 90 countries around the world, CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to help lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. To learn more about CARE’s work on climate change, visit www.careclimatechange.org