Copenhagen Climate Conference

Club de Madrid Members Mary Robinson and Gro Harlem Brundtland, joined by Margot Walstrom, concluded a very successful two day Road To Copenhagen conference today. The initiative, held simultaneously during the first two days of UN climate deliberations in Copenhagen, explored the necessary drivers for ensuring a Copenhagen climate change agreement based on climate justice: human rights, technological diffusion and the financial mechanisms ensuring fair burden sharing. The “Three Ladies of Climate Change” personally closed the event by presenting the recommendations of the initiative to the U.N.’s top climate official in Copenhagen, Mr. Yvo de Boer.

FINAL COMMUNIQUE – Road to Copenhagen
8-9 December Malmö 2009

COMMON GOALS – A SHARED VISION

As representatives of civil society, business and legislators our objective for COP15 is clear: the final outcome of the climate negotiations should be a comprehensive, ambitious, fair, science-based and legally binding international treaty, aimed at limiting the global temperature increase to at most 2°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve an agreement that will be universally accepted and respected – climate justice will be key. Therefore we urge parties of COP15 to unite around the 2°C objective – we are all in this together.

Recognising their historical responsibility, developed countries must assume leadership by committing to an aggregated reduction of at least 30% from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition developed countries must contribute – with a proportionate share reflecting their level of emission’s – to the financing of the net incremental costs in developing countries for mitigation and adaptation, which will amount to at least, €100 billion per year by 2020, including a fast start in 2010-2012.

Notwithstanding the responsibility of developed countries, we acknowledge that enhanced contributions by developing countries to reduce the growth of emissions are imperative for reaching a peak in global emissions by 2020 which – according to the IPCC – is necessary to have a fair chance of reaching the 2°C target. In quantitative terms, developing countries need to reduce the rate of increase of emission to 15-30% below business as usual by 2020. As agreed by parties, in the Bali Action Plan, developing countries should take “nationally appropriate mitigation actions”.

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WG1 CLIMATE JUSTICE – key messages

Climate change causes widespread damage on human life today. Millions of people globally are suffering because of climate change, as extreme climate-related events become more frequent causing death, disease and displacement. As the poorest people in developing countries, those least responsible for climate change, bear over 90% of the burden this calls for the need of fairness and respecting development needs. The negotiations in Copenhagen must address the human impact of climate change and embrace climate justice as a guiding principle.

Today 50% of the global population is under the age of 25. If intra and inter-generational justice is to be ensured, the voice of the young must be heard and be an integral part of any global agreement on climate change.

1. The shared vision for long-term co-operation must make clear reference to climate justice as a core guiding principle of the post-2012 agreement. Respect for Human Rights and a strong linkage to the Millennium Development Goals are essential to connect climate issues with the development and human rights agenda. We also urge negotiators to include an explicit reference to climate justice in statements and documents at COP15.
2. The final text shall ensure that actions taken for adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer support internationally agreed principles and legal frameworks on human rights and gender equality.
3. Special attention should be paid to those people displaced as a consequence of climate change. Their protection should be seen as a shared responsibility. There is a need to establish alternative forms of protection or migration management systems.
4. Among those suffering from climate change, women bear the greatest burden. Hence, all aspects of climate change – mitigation, adaptation, policy development and decision making – should include a clear gender perspective. As women often hold the key to successful adaptation strategies, special attention should be paid to the fact that women are powerful agents of change and that women’s leadership is critical in all aspects of sustainable development.
5. The UNFCCC is urged to set up a transparent and accountable mechanism on climate justice to monitor the implementation of COP15 outcomes and develop consumption based indicators for future commitments on climate justice.

WG2 FINANCING – key messages

The Bali Action Plan takes a holistic approach on finance. The financial architecture must enable a complex interplay of different sources of funding, roles for both private and public funding and the use of grants and loans under multilateral and bilateral efforts.

1. The costs of climate change action are huge but manageable, and significantly less than the costs of inaction. COP15 provides the opportunity to establish a governance structure that enables an effectively regulated and credible transfer mechanism between developed and developing countries. It should also allow developing economies to tackle the challenges brought about by the current recession, especially the shortfalls in investment funding for low-carbon initiatives.

2. Developing countries require fast start funding to enable and encourage early action. A fast start fund is needed to build the human capacities, the systems, the policies and the technology, as well as the investment experience many countries require to address the climate challenge. In addition, adaptation activities in developing countries will demand innovative approaches to financing. Climate vulnerable countries and groups of people including women, children, indigenous people, small scale farmers and others on the front line of global warming must have immediate access to climate funds. They must also play a key role in the governance of institutions that disburse climate finance.

3. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) must be extended beyond 2012. Reform of CDM will be necessary in order to increase its coverage, include more countries, sectors and technologies, and the overall financing of global GHG emission reductions.

4. Developed countries need to contribute to the financing requirements by mobilising funds from different sources – public and private. Public financing mechanisms should be designed to multiply and accelerate the flow of private capital into climate friendly technologies and businesses. It is not enough to ensure access to finance, a new climate regime must recognize the need to create both the Demand for, and Supply of, financing.

5. Carbon markets can contribute significantly to the additional investment needs for developing countries. They need to incentivise action in least developed countries, operate on a sectoral level and be an effective stepping stone towards carbon pricing in key emitting sectors in advanced developing countries. They should also help foster important co-benefits, such as job-creation, environmental protection and health.

6. Clear economic signals must be created to redirect capital away from wasteful, carbon-intensive infrastructure to finance a low carbon, high efficiency economic activity. The fastest way is to create economic incentives that harness the power of innovation, making investments in clean energy sources and energy efficiency more profitable than the dirty alternatives. Subsidies for the use of fossil energy and electricity should be phased out. Instead, governments should double global spending for climate change related R&D by 2012 and quadruple it by 2020 with the aim of increasing the drive towards low-carbon and more efficient technologies to the market.

7. It is imperative that relevant members of national, regional and local Governments are involved in climate change discussions. In particular, Finance Ministers need to be engaged in the discussions on financing and the financial architecture.

WG3 TECHNOLOGY – key messages

Rapid and equitable development, deployment and diffusion of Safe and Sustainable Low Carbon Technology will play a key role in fighting climate change. Our transition to a low carbon future supported by rapid clean technology deployment at scale should follow certain guiding principles and recommendations.

1. Investment in technologies today must deliver significant emissions reductions over the next 10 years, while not losing sight of important R&D investments that are required to lower the costs and increase the options for the future.

Global Sectoral Agreements can cut across the borders of the nation state and allow global industry sectors to agree sector specific technology issues such as technology partnerships, enhanced R&D collaboration, transfer and diffusion distribution agreements and the concept of the public-private partnership can also flourish.

2. Billions of people cannot afford modern energy services even when they are available. Support mechanisms should lower the price of renewable energy and reflect the reality of increasing population concentrations in our global cities. Such mechanisms must be open and transparent and give access to the broadest possible global competition to ensure efficient deployment. The health and development of some 2.4 billion poor women and men are currently affected by the existing unsustainable use of traditional fuels. Those who live and work outside formal markets can be served by sustainable technology and clean energy solutions which should not only be developed in the context of large scale industrialized economies. At a local level a focus on the delivery of health and development benefits will often lead to substantial carbon emission reductions.

3. Low carbon technologies and clear policies have already delivered meaningful outcomes at scale. Building on experience priority should be given to four key areas of technology and global policy related investment and development: Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, REDD+ and Adaptation Technology (which includes Agriculture).

4. Clear and ambitious regulatory and target signals should provide the investment framework required for the global clean technology industry to deliver on its huge potential for value and job creation. Global carbon price visibility together with long-term, stable regulatory environments, shared goals and responsibilities are fundamental for the creation of low carbon technology solutions at the scale required to address the magnitude of global climate change.

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