November 19th, 2016
This COP22 nicknamed the "Action COP" was meant to focus on the implementation needed to get the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Close to 200 countries and 25,000 people came out strong and unified against Climate Deniers to respond to Trump's threats to rip up the Agreement that took the International Heads of State and negotiators decades to land, opening up the COP to private sector Climate Profiteers that are bottom lining the Paris Agreement with market-based solutions that will make it impossible to reach our collective goals on climate in any real way that addresses those most affected by the threat of climate here at home and around the world. So, how far have we come really?
These are some areas that we need to keep our eye on moving into Bonn:
- Common and Differentiated Responsibilities (CDRs) and National Determined Contributions (NDCs): all of this jargon stands for no mandatory standards or enforcement on commitments. Under the Paris Agreement, countries make their own plans and set their own targets on limits and contributions, only a handful of countries have submitted long-term “road maps” including the US who committed to reducing 80% in emissions by 2050, which seemed to be more of a wish list with the current political climate question. That said, there is room for us to provide a concerted effort to pressure for human rights, more transparency, and a Just Transition framework where workers rights are part of adaptation plans be adopted in reaching long term goals. The Women’s Contingent has made Just Transition a priority and we will continue to work on integrating worker rights and a Just Transition in these plans where women can lead.
Where’s the Finance for adaptation (planned 100 billion dollars by 2020) that will help developing countries create "clean energy" infrastructure and technology needed to the develop away from fossil fuels in a sustainable way. So far money committed is for counting carbon ($50million) and it is very likely that contributions and plans will rely on techno-fixes and carbon cutting strategies that yet again, offer financial returns to business versus communities. More clarity on targets for the status of Green Climate Fund (GCF), Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Adaptation Fund is critical and will be a point to put pressure on moving forward. no more false promises!
- “Clean Energy” and the Private Sector; John Kerry addressed COP22 in Marrakesh, stating the private sector as the savior of the climate crisis, he mentioned market based solutions, clean energy, entrepreneurs, technology, infrastructure, private sector, and business over 25 times in his short speech, estimating the "Clean Energy" market to be ..."a multi-trillion dollars market, the largest the world has ever known" this is concerning because nuclear, biomass, incinerators, and natural gas among other damaging energy sources fall into the murky definition of “clean energy” that does nothing to address the supply side of energy for real mitigation.
- Fiji will serve as the President for COP23 proposed in Bonn, Fiji is very much on the frontline of climate disasters and has already had to relocate communities due to rising ocean levels, While we will find allies in Fiji at COP23, it has been agreed that the next major COP meeting will not take place until 2018 and will probably take place in Hungary or Poland after a shorter meeting in Germany, making it more challenging for social movements to organize outside resistance and solid pressure to “inside” negotiations given visa, and costs related for the Global South to make it there. For Bonn, we must be committed to bringing our folks both nationally and internationally in to hold that space for resistance and frontline voices since that is also the headquarters of the UNFCC.
- State Carbon Pricing Strategies: With the CPP on the chopping block it is very likely that private sector businesses that want to get into the "clean energy" game will work with States and rely on carbon pricing tools to do so. Applying a broader energy democracy platform to CJA’s climate justice work and understanding how Our Power communities can navigate carbon pricing in their States will be fundamental regardless of Trump’s position on the CPP.
Civil society continued to pressure for stronger Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Women leadership and participation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The It Takes Roots delegation included Jaron Browne from Grassroots Global Justice, Diana Lopez from Southwest Workers Union, who arrived early to participate in La Via Campesina Climate Justice trainings and Alberto Saldomando from IEN, who got in early to anchor negotiations at the Indigenous Peoples Platform. Jose Bravo, from the Just Transition Alliance, Kali Akuno, from Coop Jackson, and me from the Climate Justice Alliance joined them the 2nd week to reinforce the Direct Climate Justice space, the Women's Contingent, and prepare for a large scale Standing Rock Mobilization. Watch videos for some of the folks on the delegation to learn more about COP22.
Jaron Browne Grassroots Global Justice
Alberto Saldamondo IEN
Diana Lopez SWU
Kali Akuna Coop Jackson
Jose Bravo Just Transition Alliance