Civil Society Urges Ministers To Up Game In Final Push

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For Strong Climate Deal

A new streamlined draft agreement for a comprehensive climate deal has been released in Paris, with the French presidency urging for the finalisation of the deal by tomorrow. Members of the Climate Action Network (CAN) have called on countries to choose the strongest possible options in the final hours of the Paris Climate Summit in order to better protect vulnerable communities and speed up the transition to renewable energy.CAN experts Michael Brune (Executive Director, Sierra Club), Kaisa Kosonen (Climate Policy Advisor, Greenpeace), Celine Charveriat (Advocacy and Campaigns Director, Oxfam International), and Sven Harmeling (Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International) spoke to media briefly in Le Bourget following the release of the new text.

On the occasion, CAN members made the following comments:

Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid
“The next 24 hours are critical. This is where the real negotiations will begin. We really need countries to fight to keep in the high ambition options on climate finance, the long term decarbonisation goal and a ratchet mechanism to ensure the agreement evolves to meet the needs of a changing world.”
Joe Ware, JWare@christian-aid.org, +44 7870 944485May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org 
“We’re asking for a clear signal out of Paris, but some parties are still muddying the waters with weak text. If countries are serious about keeping warming below 1.5°C, we need to see a firm commitment get off fossil fuels and move to 100% renewable energy by 2050, and an ambition mechanism to help us get there. Politicians need to start living up to the title of ‘leader’ in the next 48 hours.”
Jamie Henn, jamie@350.org,  +33 6 27 91 89 25

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
“The updated climate text today marks a key moment for the Paris agreement.  Political leaders will make final choices in the coming hours about how we take global action to fight the climate crisis.  Sierra Club urges ambitious and just action to leave a safer home for our children and protect the world’s most vulnerable nations.”
Maggie Kao, Communications Director , +1 (919) 360-0308, maggie.kao@sierraclub.org Kaisa Kosonen, Climate Policy Advisor, Greenpeace
“Some of the words in this text are smeared with the fingerprints of the oil-producing states. It’s a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly, but we’ve got three days to force the worst stuff out and get a decent deal. It’s crunch-time now, it’s going be hard, but there’s a lot still to fight for. It’s good that a temperature goal of 1.5 degrees C is still there. It’s bad that countries’ emissions targets are so weak and there’s very little in the text that makes them come back soon with something better. But worst is the deadline for phasing out carbon emissions. Right now this draft deal contains wishy-washy language instead of setting a tight deadline of 2050. Without a date it won’t have weight.”
Tina Loeffelbein, tina.loeffelbein@greenpeace.de +49 151 16720915

Alden Meyer, Director of Policy and Strategy, Union of Concerned Scientists
“It’s encouraging to see a cleaner text that contains fewer brackets as a result of agreements being reached on issues like technology development and transfer and capacity building. However, the agreements on the core political issues—the long-term goal, review and revision of INDCs, transparency, loss and damage, and finance—have yet to be resolved. We’re now at the critical point of the negotiations. Over the next day or two, ministers need to rise above their differences to create a final agreement that rapidly transitions the world to a clean energy economy and allows us to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”
Ashley Siefert, ASiefert@ucsusa.org +1 (952) 239-0199.Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International 
“All the elements for a meaningful deal are on the table, but now the fight begins on trade-offs. It’s encouraging to see ‘loss and damage’ recognised in the draft text, but its place is not yet secured. The means to deliver solutions for climate impacts are also falling short from what is needed. This is a question of survival for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and communities.”

Viivi Erkkila: +44 (0)7 7924 54130 , Email: verkkila @careclimatechange.orgAdriano Campolina, Chief Executive, ActionAid International
“The draft agreement continues to leave developing nations hanging.  There are just two days to reach a deal that is fair and just for the world’s poorest.  With what’s currently on the table, rich nations are still holding the purse strings, unwilling to commit to their fair share of action to save the people and their planet.”
Grace Cahill in Paris +44 7734 131 626 or grace.cahill@actionaid.org

Helen Szoke, Executive Director, Oxfam
“There is still a long way to go: this is crunch time. The chance to set new funding targets from when the Paris deal comes into force in 2020 is still very much on the table and needs to stay there if developing countries are to have any hope of more support in the years ahead. Adaptation hangs on a thread but there is recognition of the need for grants and innovative sourcing to help meet climate funding needs. Despite women being most affected by climate change, any reference to gender equality has been dropped.”
Simon Hernandez-Arthur: Simon.Hernandezarthur@oxfaminternational.org +33 (0)7 68 16 64 25   

Duncan Marsh, Director of International Climate Policy, The Nature Conservancy
“On Wednesday evening in Paris, negotiators have succeeded in boiling down remaining issues to those that can only be decided by their political leaders. Of course, these are the ones that have divided countries for years, so resolving them will still not be easy. It is essential that compromise be found that establishes a strong but flexible system of strong transparency and accountability for all countries, and affirms the important role that lands, oceans and other ecosystems can play in minimizing and protecting against climate risks.”
Kirsten Ullman, Senior Media Relations Manager, +1 703 928 4995l, kullman@tnc.org

Alex Doukas, Senior Campaigner, Oil Change International
“Big fossil fuel interests have infiltrated the new text in a number of ways. For example, by weakening text that would have ensured that scarce international public money goes to solving the problem, and not fueling it. Countries will have to push back to make sure that big polluters don’t leave their dirty fingerprints all over this deal. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, the end of the fossil fuel era is inevitable. World leaders have a chance to catch up to a growing movement here in Paris, but they will have to spend the next two days working on behalf of people, not polluters.”
Alex Doukas, alex@priceofoil.org, +1-202-817-0357Paul Cook, Advocacy Director, Tearfund 
“A climate deal which works for the poorest people on the planet is still within reach, but in the next few hours countries need to do a lot of work to back the right options. Parties need to back 1.5 degrees, 5 year ratchets to strengthen planned emissions cuts and significantly scaling up from $100 billion of climate finance for developing nations to make this a good deal for the world’s most vulnerable.”

  • Jon

    I keep seeing references to eventual average temperature gains, but nowhere do I see anything about shutting down coal-fired power plants or ceasing fossil fuel infrastructures. Too much emphasis on the “pie in the sky by and by,” as Joe Hill used to say, and not enough of what must be done in the next year.

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