October 25, 2017
Parties to the UNFCCC will soon gather to hammer out critical next steps for implementation of the Paris Agreement. Under the UNFCCC’s first island presidency, Fiji, COP23 will establish the building blocks for adopting the Paris rulebook by the 2018 deadline and clarify the process for the 2018 facilitative dialogue. Current national pledges are insufficient to achieve the Paris Agreement’s stated goal of striving to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C. Strong outcomes from COP23 are essential to lay the groundwork for securing increased ambition by 2020.
Canada’s own nationally determined contribution falls short of our fair-share contribution to the global effort to confront climate change. CAN-Rac advocates for a reduction in national greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and $4 billion/year in climate financing by 2020. Robust implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and a successful 2018 facilitative dialogue are essential to putting Canada on a path to exceed our current target of reducing emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Our Priorities for Canada in Bonn:
- Canada must play a constructive role in securing measurable progress on the Paris work programme. The completion of a robust Paris rulebook by 2018 requires that countries put forward options for elements of the transparency framework (particularly transparency of support), guidelines for future nationally determined commitments and the architecture of the global stocktake. While final consensus on these and other issues will not be reached at COP23, Canada should be focused on ensuring progress in some areas is not stalled by slower negotiations in others and that countries begin to coalesce around having common rules for all, acknowledging different circumstances.
- Canada must establish its expectations for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue and ensure that COP23 lays the building blocks for a dialogue at COP24 that locks-in enhanced ambition of NDCs and finance commitments. COP23 needs to set a clear mandate for the COP24 presidency on the modalities of the technical and political process for FD2018. COP23 must also set expectations for upcoming international climate moments that will play a role in building momentum towards FD2018 and increasing ambition before 2020. Canada’s 2018 G7 presidency is one of these moments.
- Canada must play a constructive role in moving towards outcomes on loss and damage, adaptation and finance. The Fiji COP23 presidency has put adaptation and loss and damage at the top of its agenda, hoping for concrete results on these matters in Bonn. COP23 takes place after a series of climate catastrophes that affected the Small Island States and the South Pacific. These devastating events show us that we are living in a new reality which requires a new set of tools and resources to respond to these realities. Canada is experiencing a higher rate of warming than most other global regions. This trend is particularly visible in the north of Canada, which has experienced as much as 3 degrees C warming in recent decades. Indigenous communities in the north and across Canada, as well as Canadian communities that live in coastal regions and/or rely on an economy based in staple resources effected by climate change, are some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to climate change. The Canadian Government must therefor show leadership at home and abroad by proposing innovative ideas to help the most vulnerable communities on earth face the worst effects of climate change.
- Canada should work to ensure that global pursuits for just transition and decent work have a prominent place in relevant components of the Paris work programme as well as FD2018. Just transition for workers should be maintained as a permanent theme within the forum on response measures under the Paris Agreement. It is critical to have a dedicated technical space, where good practice or challenging situations can be presented and debated and then find a reflection in the work programme. Future work on this issue should be recommended to SBI/SBSTA as the Paris work programme is developed and implemented. As FD2018 invites parties to enhance NDCs, Canada should incorporate just transition commitments into its NDC and encourage other parties to do the same. NDCs supported by zero-carbon development roadmaps are critical for building a longterm vision for transforming our economy, as well as for driving sustainable investments. Factoring-in employment and just transition will align them with broader social priorities in each country.
- Canada can and should play a leadership role in igniting the development of an international framework based on best-practice principles and robust assurances for environmental integrity for cooperative and market-based mechanisms such as on internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs).
- We look forward to Canada playing a leadership role on the following issues: operationalization of the Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Knowledge Platform; operationalization of the Gender Action Plan; advocating for strong participation of civil society organizations in the UNFCCC.
Executive Director, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada
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