Live from Copenhagen : WECF at the Climate Summit
With five side events, an exhibition a book-launch and 55 delegation partners, WECF emphasised the need for a strong and equitable outcome of the Climate negotiations
03.12.2009 |WECF Press Release
December 2009 WECF will be present at the Climate Summit in Copenhagen, the largest conference on Climate Change since Kyoto, where international agreements will be made to combat climate change.
All eyes will be on Copenhagen in December when the international community gathers for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to seal a new agreement on CO2 emission targets.
Through its activities at the COP 15, WECF will emphasize the need for an equitable global climate agreement, which respects the rights and needs of women, Indigenous Peoples and the poor.
According to WECF, women have to be involved as full stakeholders in the climate negotiation process. Women in Europe for a Common Future will cooperate with the Global Forest Coalition and other members of the Women and Gender Constituency to elaborate more specific policy advice on the need to integrate gender considerations in the Copenhagen outcomes.
Furthermore, WECF is co-organising a two-day training for non-governmental women’s and environment organisations from transition countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The specific climate burden and needs of people in this region have so far been little or not present in the climate negotiations.
In addition to the women’s and gender constituency meetings, WECF will contribute to other major group “caucuses”, including the CAN – Climate Action Network meetings, as well as the “climate justice now” meetings.
Another issue WECF focuses is on combating (mitigating) climate change through a transfer to sustainable energy. Especially for poor communities, decentralized household-level solutions can provide a much needed contribution to improving livelihoods and health, among other through reduced indoor air pollution which kills more than 1,5 million people annually (WHO 2009).
WECF promotes a special instrument for household and community level energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Such an instrument could build on the existing Kyoto-Protocol-Mechanism CDM (Clean Development Mechanism), but be improved and learn from the lack of sustainability in current CDM projects. These household level projects are better adapted to the local realities and reconcile the needs of reducing poverty whilst mitigating climate change. But so far the bureaucratic barriers for these kinds of household level CDM projects are too high. WECF and partners have demonstrated suitable sustainable energy solutions for poor households and communities, measured the CO2 reductions, and developed policy recommendations how these projects should be supported via a specific CDM-type mechanism, only accessible for household and community projects. With minor investments of around 150 Euro, poor households can save over 1 ton of CO2 per year. WECF is confident that through such a new mechanism, women and vulnerable groups can finally obtain access to global financial climate instruments.
WECF position Copenhagen:
- 45% reduction in domestic emission for EU and other industrial countries – offsetting excluded WECF believes a global agreement can only be found if industrialized countries agree to accept their cumulative CO2 emissions as part of their overall climate debt to developing countries. Therefore, it are the industrialized countries which need to make the largest and fastest reductions in CO2 emissions. Based on the latest scientific data, WECF promotes a reduction of 45% of CO2 emissions in industrialized countries by 2020 (based on 1990 levels). Countries such as the USA, with the highest historic cumulative emissions, should make the largest effort. These emission reductions should be made domestically, in the industrialized countries, and not “bought” via, often, little effective and unfair “offsetting” projects in developing countries. Of course any emission reductions above the 45% could be achieved in cooperation with developing countries, but then the main focus should be of poverty reduction and sustainable development, in a low-carbon manner.
- Women are critical for effective and equitable Climate policies. WECF supports the call of the Women and Gender Constituency to propose a “Women and Gender” paragraph in the UNFCCC “shared vision” document.. Women, - representing half of the world population - have to be equal stakeholders in all climate related processes and implementation: “recalling the international commitments to gender equality and participation, the full integration of gender perspectives is essential to effective action on all aspects of climate change, including adaptation, mitigation, technology sharing, financing and capacity building.” See for the proposed policy statement this document.
- Safe energy is more important than marginal CO2 reduction effects WECF opposes that fossil fuels and nuclear and other high-risk technologies become part of climate protection instruments. The coal industry pretends that with the unproven Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS) coal fired power plants should benefit from climate protection funds. The nuclear industry, - based on a nuclear fuel chain which from beginning to end is causing irreparable damage to humans and the planet, - should not benefit from climate protection instruments. WECF will launch its new publication “Nuclear Energy – The Critical Questions: first hand reports from the frontlines of the nuclear fuel chain”
- Legally binding global climate agreement needed. WECF says that a legally binding agreement with a robust compliance system is needed, which means that this will require both a strong enforcement and facilitation component. If Copenhagen is going to succeed, developed countries will need to know that any failure to meet commitments (by themselves or others) will be monitored and sanctioned consistently, see also Climnet.org
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