The Quarterly Newsletter from CAN
View this email in your browser

Welcome to the CAN Newsletter...

In the April edition:

  • Setting expectations - from the signing ceremony to Bonn
  • Good things come to those who wait- phase-down of hydrofluorocarbon within reach
  • Breaking Free from Fossil Fuels from Germany to Nigeria
  • CAN Australia strengthening the movement through mobilisation
  • CAN South Asia regional knowledge sharing workshop on low carbon development
  • strategies
  • CAN South East Asia regional workshop on loss & damage and slow onset events

Melbourne Climate March, November 2015

Upcoming Events

Setting expectations - from the signing ceremony to Bonn


COP 21 delivered the Paris Agreement we worked towards over the last 5 years. When the gavel went down at Le Bourget we had a chance to breathe a sigh of relief, but now implementation and getting the agreement to enter into force occupy our attention.

The first step towards this is the April 22nd signing ceremony in New York. The ceremony is convened by the UNSG and will be attended by over 150 countries, represented by high level delegates including nearly 60 heads of state. Most countries have indicated that they will be signing the agreement - showing that they want to be part of the Paris Agreement and abide by its provisions. Signing also implies that the countries will undertake the required national steps towards consenting to be bound by the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is expected to enter into force by 2020. The entry into force is triggered when at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 % of total greenhouse gas emissions, have consented to be bound by the agreement (AKA ratifying the agreement).  As national processes within countries are diverse it will take time for this to happen. Some experts suggest that the “50/50” threshold might be surpassed before 2020, but for the time being we need to wait and watch to get a better sense of the number game. If countries with the largest share of GHG emissions ratify the agreement early on, the entry into force of the Paris Agreement might come much earlier than 2020.

For entry into force the numbers game will play a crucial role but the details within the agreement will also play their part. The first UNFCCC negotiating session post-Paris will be held in Bonn this May. While there has been camaraderie within different negotiating blocs during informal meetings, there are a lot of uncertainties on the way forward.

The May negotiating session will set the tone for the coming years. There is a lot to be covered with respect to interpretation of the various legal provisions within the agreement. Countries need to come to a common ground on how different legal provisions are to be implemented and elaborated. Countries in Paris agreed on the game to be played - but the rules of the game are to be determined.

The negotiating session will have to establish the negotiating body for the Paris Agreement, select the co-chairs for this negotiating body, and agree on the sequencing of rules to be adopted. There is a bucket load of rules that need to be fleshed out, ranging from how the global stocktake would work, what standardised information needs to be provided with the NDCs, workings of the new market mechanism, how adaptation actions will be accounted and supported, standardised information around climate finance flows, and how to deal with the issue of capacity building around MRV.

Countries will have to prioritise issues and set timelines for themselves to deliver on these rules. It is not going to be an easy task as different countries have differing priorities and implications of rules that are applicable to all will have to be understood better.

The negotiating session will not just be about the Paris Agreement, it will also have to take into consideration important issues like pre-2020 ambition, the facilitated dialogue to be convened at COP 22 for enhancing pre-2020 mitigation efforts from all countries, and identifying relevant opportunities to enhance the provision and mobilisation of support and enabling environment.

The tenuous and complicated task of implementation is just starting and the May negotiating session will just be the starting bloc. The Paris Agreement was not the end but just the beginning in establishing an effective global architecture for combating climate change.

Good things come to those who wait- phase-down of hydrofluorocarbon within reach


As the vast majority of CAN members was busy dealing with Paris, having little head space for any other activity (even sleeping or eating), the Obelix group within the network paved the way for a big emissions reduction win in 2016.

In November 2015, after six years, the Dubai Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP) agreed to launch formal negotiations on a proposed amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production and consumption, and delivered a roadmap to work on an amendment in 2016.

A fast phase down of HFCs by 2020 would prevent 100 to 200 billion tonnes (Gt) of CO2-equivalent (CO2-eq) emissions by 2050, and avoid up to 0.5ºC warming by 2100. The agreement to be achieved would require developed countries to act first and provide implementation assistance to developing countries.

Countries have given assurance that they remain committed to reach agreement on phase down of HFCs by the end of this year. To achieve this aim they have already discussed options to provide the world’s hottest countries with suitable alternatives for air conditioning, and have promised that finance will be available for developing countries for capacity building and better alternatives. Negotiators also started discussing improving of energy efficiency - which is crucial to meet climate goals as demand for air conditioning and refrigeration expands all over the world.

This progress, delivered through the open-ended Working Group meeting, demonstrates that an HFC deal can be reached. Now is the time to show some muscle and to harvest the fresh momentum to achieve a strong agreement.

A couple of things that CAN can do to ensure success include increasing pressure on all countries in the MOP and putting pressure on governments in the UNFCCC negotiations to include short lived climate pollutants in their INDCs, creating conditions for fast implementation and to support HFC reduction as part of countries pre-2020 action.

The rate of action on all climate-related emissions will determine the success of Paris: MOP, ICAO, IMO we are coming!

Breaking Free from Fossil Fuels from Germany to Nigeria


The Paris Agreement emphasises the need to speed up transition away from polluting, climate change-causing fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy. This means that governments and businesses need to break free from their waning dependence on extractive energy industries: coal, gas and oil.

To this end, the 4th -15th May will see a global series of coordinated civil society mobilisations demonstrating to those in power that people everywhere are prepared to resist the fossil fuel industry, to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy.  According to, “fighting climate change requires the courage to confront polluters where they think they are most powerful. For years, communities on the front lines have led that struggle, and this May we can join them.”

Actions will happen in Canada, US, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey, Nigeria, South Africa, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Nigeria. CAN has many members involved in these actions, including in Germany where the action known as Ende Gelande will resist coal mining in the Lusatia lignite region, near Berlin. Our members in Nigeria, in particular Climate Change Network Nigeria, are hard at work planning actions targeted at ending gas flaring, which will take place from 10-14 May at three gas flaring locations.

Notably Nigerian CSOs will organize a gathering at Oloibiri - the most iconic fossil fuel location in Nigeria - to show it is a metaphor to what happens when your well runs dry, when you can extract no more. Here we will make a stand to show corporations and the government that they must take responsibility for the clean-up of the Niger Delta which impacts the homes, health and livelihoods of the local communities.

If you want to learn more about Breakfree or get involved in amplifying the actions around the world, please see their website

CAN Australia strengthening the movement through mobilisation


More than 140,000 people gathered in cities and towns across Australia to call for strong action on climate change on the weekend of 27-29 November 2015, in the lead up to the Paris UN climate negotiations.

The People’s Climate March (PCM) was Australia's biggest-ever nationwide gathering on climate change, with events in more than 50 centres and record attendance in every capital city. Australia punched well above its weight, representing around one-fifth of global turnout.

Melbourne was the largest march in the world, with Sydney not far behind. Australia kicked off the global narrative and helped ensure that the People’s Climate Marches reverberated in Paris, in spite of the ban on public protests there.

The PCM was a collaborative effort of the Australian climate movement in which significant financial and human resources were invested. It brought together hundreds of organisations in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community (ATSI), development, environment, faith, grassroots, health, union and other sectors. Many of Climate Action Network Australia’s members were key to making the marches a success, and CAN Australia’s Network Support Team facilitated the National Organising Committee.

The organisers’ objective for the march was not just to bring large numbers of people to the streets to send a powerful message to Australia’s political leaders.  Organisers also hoped to build power by strengthening and diversifying the relationships within the climate movement, and develop organising capacity. In this, the Australian PCM was successful.  

We also learnt some valuable lessons about collaboration, some of which echoed more loudly than others: start planning early; make sure the fundamentals are clearly in place and well understood by all (objectives, organising methods, decision-making structure and responsibilities); and plan thoroughly and inclusively for next steps.

Now the Australian climate movement is turning its mind to what’s next: how best to continue the momentum and build on the strengths developed through the PCM.

CAN South Asia regional knowledge sharing workshop on low carbon development strategies


CAN South Asia (CANSA) organised a regional knowledge sharing workshop on "Promoting Pro-Poor Low Carbon Development Strategies" on the 31st of March in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The workshop observed that urban public-serving transportation projects such as the Metro train cater to the poor and are steadily shifting to solar and other renewable options, and that the successful energy efficiency initiatives of Indian government that are benefiting the industry and climate, are also serving the poor with enhanced energy access and reduced emissions. Now we must see a rapid uptake in these types of programmes by sub-national governments.

The Sri Lankan President’s Blue-Green Economy Plan was seen as a renewed vision to address key concerns in Sri Lanka such as food security and balancing environmental sustainability with economic security.

Former CANSA Board Member and energy advisor to President of Sri Lanka, Asoka Abeygunawardana, remarked on low carbon development’s transition from one option out of many option to the only solution, especially in the imported fossil-fuel economy such as Sri Lanka. He saw greater role for both private sector-owned large projects and community-owned decentralised renewables in country’s energy mix.

Participants presented their work with urban and rural poor such as scheme for solar dryers, training of rural youth to build low-cost bamboo poly-greenhouse, organic farming through rural women, renewable energy micro-grids in rural clusters, and improved cook-stoves.

The participants recognised the co-benefits of regional renewable energy co-operation in the new climate regime, and thus, identified strategies for NGOs to engage the SAARC forum to ensure this cooperation is pro-poor.

CAN South East Asia regional workshop on loss & damage and slow onset events


CAN South Asia (CANSEA) organised its regional workshop on loss and damage from slow onset events induced by climate change on 1-2 April, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The event was organised in partnership with Asian Pacific Network for Global Change Research, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network and ActionAid International.

It saw the participation of policy makers, academicians, civil society actors as well as field practitioners. It provided key recommendations on how slow onset events need to be addressed, and the way forward for the region to make effective and efficient steps to address the needs of the vulnerable communities impacted by the effects of slow onset events such as salinisation, desertification, sea level rise, soil degradation and glacial melting.

The participants put together recommendations to amend policies on land-use planning to incorporate impacts from slow onset events and to form migration policies including developing a toolkit for loss and damage assessment. Specific measures suggested included puncturing of glacial lakes to avert (GLOF) disasters, promotion of crop diversity through drought-and-flood resistant seeds, indigenous seeds and multiple-cropping system, and introduction of compensation and insurance mechanisms upon recognition of slow onset events as a form of disaster and loss/damage.

Copyright © 2016 Climate Action Network - International, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences