Letter to European Commissioner and EU Ministers on the Petersberg Climate Dialogues

Dear Executive Vice President Commissioner Timmermans,

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue (PCD) to be held on 18-19 July, and co-chaired by the COP27 Presidency and the Government of Germany, comes at a critical time.

Hundreds of millions of people in developing countries are suffering from multiple crises including impacts of climate change, caused in particular by the burning of fossil fuels.

It is of utmost urgency to accelerate and scale-up climate action in relation to all goals and areas of the Paris Agreement in this critical decade, to reduce future impacts and to increase support to deal with impacts we are already locked into. In particular we call on the EU to urgently accelerate a just phaseout of fossil fuels and their subsidies. Moreover the EU should not achieve its emission reduction targets and energy security at the expense of outsourcing its energy transition to developing countries, locking them into the wrong development pathways.

This is essential to safeguard vulnerable communities all over the world, to support global stability and to keep the +1.5°C goal within reach.

At the Dialogue governments will have the opportunity to reflect on the recent UNFCCC SB56 session and how to get from there to ambitious COP27 outcomes. The EU has a critical role to play, and CAN Europe would like to share the following key priorities to support progress:

Loss and Damage: At the first sessions of the Glasgow Dialogue at SB56, Loss and Damage finance gaps were increasingly recognized both by developing and developed country Parties. However, positions and solutions offered by developed country Parties, including the EU, did not speak to the urgency and reality experienced by the most vulnerable people who are bearing the brunt of the climate emergency. Moreover the EU was perceived to be playing an unconstructive role in the negotiations. We must now focus on addressing Loss and Damage in addition to adaptation and mitigation. However existing institutions are insufficient. In CAN’s view Parties must urgently establish the Loss and Damage Finance Facility at COP27, and thereafter focus on further defining governing arrangements, delivery structures and processes for needs-based resource mobilization. At the PCD, the EU should clearly signal their support to take up L&D finance in the COP agenda so as to avoid wasting precious time with agenda fights.

Adaptation finance and the $100 billion climate finance commitment: As we expect you are also preparing your inputs for the progress update of the Climate Finance Delivery Plan before COP27, as well as for the next round of submissions of climate finance projections under Art. 9.5 of the Paris Agreement, we call on you to scale up public, grants-based finance to meet the USD$100bn goal in 2022 while also ensuring that this level is delivered on average over the period 2020-2025. This should include clear contributor country specific plans on how to increase adaptation finance to 50% of annual climate finance and demonstrate how to meet the commitment of at least doubling adaptation finance by 2025. This would also be a key contribution to operationalising the Global Goal on Adaptation.

Mitigation for 1.5°C: The objective of the work program should be to enhance the ambition and implementation of Parties’ efforts to deliver global aggregate emissions reductions of at least 43% [34–60%] by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in order to be in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. We would like to stress that the WP should in particular contribute to enhancing the role of Non–Party Stakeholders towards raising 2030 ambition and implementation, enhancing the implementation of Parties’ sectoral decarbonisation commitments, and facilitate the mobilization of finance to raise mitigation ambition and deliver implementation and potential overachievement of Parties’ 2030 climate targets, especially for developing countries and their just energy transition. Reflecting on the lack of progress at SB56 and the failure to capture the discussions that were held formally, we call on the EU to explore how it can increase its diplomatic efforts to help achieving an ambitious agreement at COP27.

Civil society participation: We also strongly encourage you to use the PCD to express concerns about the shrinking civic space and situation of environmental and human rights defenders around the world. Remembering the many negative experiences with participation at COP26, as we head into COP27, the UNFCCC Secretariat, the COP Presidency, and Parties need to think about how to enable and promote the free participation of observers, including Indigenous Peoples, women and people of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, persons of colour, persons with disabilities and young people. This means reflecting on accessibility and on how to decrease barriers, including those associated with travel (visas, accommodation costs), access (language, building design), and safety (speech, assembly).

CAN Europe looks forward to continued engagement with you in the run-up to COP27.

Yours sincerely,

Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network Europe