For immediate release.
Glasgow, 10 November 2021: Current proposals for the overarching decision text on COP26 fall far short of what science and justice require, warned Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada in a series of recommendations sent today to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.
The UK Presidency for COP26’s draft text for decision 1/CP.26 and 1/CMA.3, released at 6 a.m. today, fails to address the emergency and inequities the world is facing, the letter says, urging Minister Guilbeault and negotiators to push for stronger commitments. The note presents concrete proposals for how Canadian delegates can strengthen the final text.
“Glasgow offers an opportunity for the world to signal that we will fight tooth and nail for a liveable planet. This draft only signals that we’ll continue fiddling while the world burns,” said Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager at CAN-Rac.
“Vulnerable countries and marginalized communities – the ones leading the response to the climate crisis – need greater support for adaptation and for loss and damage from climate impacts. They need polluters to pay up and to commit to a rigorous timeline for emissions cuts,” he added.
As it currently stands, the decision text does contain some promising elements: the first-ever mention of the need to phase out coal and fossil fuel subsidies, as well as the recognition of the need to ensure a just transition towards a low-carbon future. Canada must stand up to other high-emitting countries to ensure that these points are not watered down or weakened in the coming days of negotiations, as well as championing the addition of the following elements to the final text:
Centering rights and people: Language on human rights has already been removed from the Action for Climate Empowerment work programme, and Canada did not intervene. Canadian negotiators can make up for this now by pushing for strong language on the rights of marginalized peoples, as well as for specific conditions for a Just Transition internationally.
Centering reconciliation: Article 6 poses real dangers for Indigenous rights and local communities. Canada must ensure the cover decision upholds the principle of free, prior, and informed consent and commits to meaningful inclusion of Indigenous Peoples.
Operationalizing the Global Goal on Adaptation: In the context of keeping 1.5C within reach, it is urgent that all countries scale up adaptation efforts. The cover decision must highlight the need for increased action on adaptation, and commit to operationalize the Global Goal on Adaptation beginning in 2022.
Closing the mitigation gap: We’re nowhere near the level of ambition needed to limit warming to 1.5°C. The cover decision should require countries to urgently increase climate pledges in 2022 and every year thereafter.
Addressing the elephant in the room: The urgently-needed energy transition has been the subtext of this COP, yet there’s no mention of oil and gas in the draft text beyond the reference to subsidies. Canada can show leadership by calling for 1.5·°C-aligned timelines for the phase out of fossil fuels and recognizing the need for countries with higher capacity and historic responsibility to phase out fossil fuels earlier in line with equity and a Just Transition.
Addressing the finance gap: The world’s wealthy countries have an overdue obligation as they have failed to mobilize the funds they committed by 2020. They are late in mobilizing the US $100 billion in climate finance promised in 2009, when we need to unlock trillions to ensure a rapid and radical transition in developing countries. The cover decision must recognize and commit to immediately closing the gap: ensuring annual delivery of the US $100 billion until 2025, dedicating 50% of climate finance towards adaptation, and prioritizing grant-based funding.
Tackling loss and damage finance: Women in the Global South are disproportionately harmed by the impacts of climate change. Canada considers itself a champion of women’s rights; it can prove it now by supporting the establishment of a new stream of funding for needs-based loss and damage finance.
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, CAN-Rac members spent months in the lead-up to COP strategizing around how Canada can show leadership in Glasgow. Throughout COP26, CAN-Rac has convened daily briefings for civil society, including labour unions, faith-based organizations, youth, and Indigenous groups as well as environmental organizations, whose concerns and priorities were reflected in the letter to Minister Guilbeault.
COP26 remains one of the most exclusionary COPs ever, with civil society barred from meaningful participation in negotiation spaces. It is therefore more necessary than ever that Canada listen to and bring forward the concerns and advice of civil society.
“This is a test for Minister Guilbeault as Canada’s new Environment Minister. Our message is simple: support the calls of those on the front lines of the climate crisis, and do everything in your power to ensure the Glasgow cover decision matches the state of emergency our world faces,” concluded Mr. Pérez.
Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada is a coalition of more than 130 organizations working on climate and energy issues from coast to coast to coast.
For media inquiries:
Vicky Coo, Communications Lead, CAN-Rac
+44 7375 375915, firstname.lastname@example.org
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