UN climate negotiators and G7 leaders to meet in Germany this week
Governments pressed for progress toward new climate deal and transition to 100% renewable energy
Hundreds of demonstrations planned for this weekend as part of the
Global Day of Action to stop dirty energy
- Mobilization comes amidst frenzied pace of new calls for climate action from health, faith, labor, environment & business leaders; more on the horizon
Governments are now just six months out from the UN climate talks in Paris, where they are expected to strike a new universal agreement on tackling climate change. At the midway point in this crucial year for the climate, this week negotiators and world leaders alike will be meeting in Germany to help build momentum towards agreeing an ambitious deal that will lead the world away from dirty fossil fuels and towards a 100% renewable energy future.
In Bonn next week, negotiators are expected to refine the bulky, 90-page draft Paris agreement, removing duplication and fleshing out ideas for how the new regime could deal with key issues such as how countries with changing circumstances are treated fairly. Further understanding on which elements will form part of the agreement, which will go into a complementary COP decision, and which will be parked until after Paris is also likely to be a key – if tacit – outcome of the Bonn conference. Work is also expected on the architecture and tools that will enable government action plans to be regularly reviewed and scaled-up in line with a fossil fuel phase out, as well as ensuring countries and communities are able to build resilience and that vulnerable countries are given the support needed to take action.
As anticipated, national climate plans so far submitted by countries such as Canada, the EU, the US and others move us closer to, but not all the way to, a safe climate, so the new agreement will have to set forth a clear pathway to putting the world on the trajectory towards keeping warming below the internationally agreed danger threshold of 2DegC, or the 1.5DegC limit demanded by vulnerable countries.
Key for developing countries in Bonn will be ensuring the agreement provides adequate support for them to manage climate risks and to empower them to develop sustainably. This support needs to include money and technological capacity: to reduce emissions, to build resilient communities and to prepare for the climate impacts that will leave lasting damages. Finance to make all this happen will be the subject of key reports in coming months from both the German and French governments who are exploring how countries can meet their 2009 commitment to deliver $100 billion in climate finance a year by 2020. Perverse subsidies for fossil fuelconsumption remain the low hanging fruit to pluck in order to speed up the transition towards renewable energy across the globe. Further work is being done to identify what other kinds of sources of money could be tapped to support climate action into the future, including a proposal by the German government to invest in insurance plans for vulnerable countries.
In the middle of the session, leaders of major economies will gather at the G7 meeting in southern Germany, and expectations are that under German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership, they will send a signal that they are preparing for an international agreement which sets a goal in line with the phase-out of fossil fuel emissions. Such a move would put pressure on the laggards within the grouping: Canada and Japan, who have presented draft or final versions of their national climate action plans that are far less ambitious than those previously released plans by the EU, the US and China.
Outside of conference halls and government meetings, real world momentum is also building for climate action. This weekend, people around the world will take to the streets to call for solutions to the world’s greatest problems – climate change, poverty, inequality and unemployment. From major cities in industrialised countries to rural villages in climate impacted regions people will be joining in force to protest. The event will bring together climate activists, youth organisations, trade unions, and gender equality supporters – all demanding climate solutions are at the core of this year’s political efforts to free the world from poverty and inequality. In France, hundreds of events, rallies and actions are taking place across the country. People will gather at events in 13 countries across Africa in an intergenerational stand against climate change and for the empowerment of women. Trade unions will take part in a global week of lobbying governments for climate justice in capital cities around the world. Meanwhile in Jordan, a rally will be raising awareness for 100%t renewable power. In Germany, people will be demonstrating ahead of the G7 summit, and in the UK, a Direct Action Camp is expected to bring together 5000 campaigners for a weekend of training, skill-sharing and direct action.
They will join a wide range of voices from business leaders, faith community, health professionals and major investors calling for strong, ambitious and urgent action to tackle climate change. Last week, businesses and investors, representing some of the biggest companies in the global economy, met in Paris where they too endorsed a phase-out of fossil fuel emissions, and called on governments to fulfill their pledge to provide $100 billion a year for action by 2020. Meanwhile, this week 120 investors with $12 trillion of investments urged G7 finance ministers to support a strong Paris agreement. Banks, pension and investment funds, churches, hospitals and universities are already getting ahead of the curve and pulling their money out of fossil fuels, including Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, the biggest fund in the world, which is on track to become the biggest win to date for the global divestment movement as it looks set to abandon as much as $5.5 billion worth of coal holdings.
In June, the Pope is expected to join the call, as he releases his long-awaited encyclical highlighting the moral imperative of climate action, while world’s leading health publication, the Lancet, will release a definitive report on the devastating impact fossil fuel pollution and climate change have on public health and voice their own call for action. Collectively these voices are raising the pitch of the global chorus calling for the just transition away from a world hooked on fossil fuels, to one powered by 100% renewable energy.
Look out for daily updates on the UN climate talks in Bonn, starting this Monday.
Will you be in Bonn?
If you are planning to attend the upcoming Bonn session and want to collaborate, please let us know. The GCCA will host daily intel and priority sharing meetings at 10am for interested partners and peers. Email me directly or add yourself to our Bonn google group here.
In addition to daily meetings, we will have limited capacity to support with the creation of digital assets (like video interviews) to help raise the profile of your work online. Please email me with any requests.
You can follow this weekend’s exciting Global Day of Action on twitter with the hashtag#GetUpAnd. Further feeding the frenzy, Climate Trackers around the world are flooding the media with a #call4climate action. Get a sense of other events planned between this weekend and Paris here.
For more Bonn background, our friends at the Climate Action Network hosted a press teleconference earlier this week, which you can listen to here. Climate Nexus also hosted apress call, which is summarized here. And the Climate Justice Network’s Bonn media background note gives a great overview of their partners’ focus.
In addition to our Daily Tck (which will also be available in Spanish), you can follow the talks through the lens of our Climate Trackers on the ground; and Climate Action Network International’s daily ECO newsletters, which lays out their case to negotiators.