[Lima, Peru - December 14, 2012]
At the end of the UN Climate Summit in Lima, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe1 stated:
"The limited progress that was achieved in Peru, in particular on the provision of financial support to poor countries to adapt to climate change, or repair the damages from extreme weather events, is a big let down after the positive signs that came from the New York Summit and recent announcements about emission cuts and financial pledges."
"Very limited progress was made on how to deal with emission reductions after 2020. Crucially, we’ll be able to see whether governments are doing enough to keep global temperature rise well below the catastrophic 2°C they’ve agreed to avoid. For Europe, it is an opportunity, before Paris, to increase the EU greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030 beyond the agreed weak 40% level.”
"Although the $10 billion pledged to the Green Climate Fund was a welcomed step forward, the agreement gives no clarity on what comes after this 10 billon. Our environment ministers need to work with their finance colleagues to spell out the sources of finance available and work out how they will deliver the rest of the promised money in a clear, predictable and measurable way. This is one of the most pressing issues for developing countries."
"No progress was made in Lima on closing the current emissions gap between what countries plan to do by 2020, and what is needed to keep temperature rise well below 2°C and avoid dangerous climate change. The EU has to ramp up its emission reductions efforts before 2020, by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, ensuring the objective to reduce energy consumption by 20% is reached and engaging in a real reform of the failing Emissions Trading Scheme."
 Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.
CAN Europe is the European node for CAN-International, a worldwide network of more than 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) committed to limiting human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Lima (8. Dec. 2014). Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the UN Climate Conference in Lima today.
"We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection", says Jan Burck (Germanwatch), author of the Index. "The rise of emissions has slowed down, and renewables are rapidly growing due to declining costs and massive investments."
In some countries like Denmark (Rank 4), Sweden (Rank 5) and the United Kingdom (Rank 6) the result is decreasing emissions. On the other side of the globe China, the world's biggest emitter, shows improvements in the efficiency sector and massive investments in renewables. Most recent developments indicate China's decade long coal boom seems to be over, offering new hope for global climate protection.
"Data showing declining emission growth rates together with promising political signs, suggesting that we are able to stabilize global emissions. The Paris Climate Summit in 2015, where countries will make new commitments for climate action, could be a turning point in this respect" – adds Burck.
In Europe, the Index shows a mixed picture: "Many EU countries ranked high this year, but others, like Poland (Rank 40) and Bulgaria (Rank 41) scored poorly because of their opposition to further steps nationally and in the EU," explains Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.
"Neither the current 2020 nor the new 2030 climate target are in line with the reductions needed by Europe to avert catastrophic climate change and achieve 100% renewables by 2050. To do this, Europe must meet its target to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020 against projections, phase out all fossil fuel subsidies immediately, and agree on a fundamental reform of its Emissions Trading Scheme before the Paris Climate Summit”, Trio concludes.
One of the biggest winners in the new Index is Morocco. It jumped into the Top Ten because of its extraordinary renewables policy. With a very good international climate policy evaluation, Mexico also ranks among the Top 20.
In Canada (Rank 58) nothing has changed and nothing is going forward at the state level. For industrialised countries, this bad performance is only beaten by Australia (Rank 60),where the new conservative government reversed the climate policies previously in effect. In between these two, Kazakhstan (Rank 59) and at the very bottom Saudi Arabia (Rank 61) comprise the bottom four.
The CCPI is a tool designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. On the basis of standardised criteria, the Index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. The first three ranks are left out because no country is acting enough to prevent dangerous climate change. (More about the methodology can be found in the brochure “The Climate Change Performance Index – Background and Methodology”).
Climate Change Performance Index 2015: https://germanwatch.org/en/ccpi
National scorecards and a list of national expert contacts are available upon request.
Contact for media:
In Lima (please do not phone before 3 pm CET):
Wendel Trio, CAN Europe’s Director, +51 954 999 357, wendel@caneurope
Germanwatch, based in Bonn and Berlin (Germany), is an independent development and environmental organisation which works for sustainable global development. Germanwatch actively promotes North-South equity and the preservation of livelihoods.
Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.
New research shows that the ten richest EU member states have poured at least 78bn billion euro into propping up the polluting fossil fuel industry.1 The report, produced by CAN Europe2 and CIDSE3, was presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. It calls on the EU and other developed countries to spearhead the elimination of the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible, and no later than 2050. Achieving the elimination of fossil fuel use means that the financial subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry must be phased out immediately.
Of the countries analysed, the five biggest fossil fuel subsidisers were:
1. Germany with €47.5bn;
2. UK with €12.8bn;
3. France with €7.6bn;
4. Spain with €5.8bn;
5. Poland with €4.2bn.4
A lack of transparency and obligatory reporting on fossil fuel subsidies means these numbers are likely well below the true number. The ranking might be inaccurate as some countries are clearly more untransparent than others. In particular Austria, The Netherlands and Sweden have huge improvements to make in their reporting on fossil fuel subsidies.
The report also recommends governments redirect the money saved by halting fossil fuel subsidies towards addressing the impacts of climate change, as well as increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries. As floods, droughts and other climate impacts increase, there is a clear need to ramp up support for the most vulnerable countries affected whilst also catalysing efforts to address one of the root causes of climate change – fossil fuels.
“Subsidising fossils fuels, one of the biggest causes of climate change is, incompatible with the EU’s commitment to avoiding catastrophic climate change,” said Maeve McLynn, policy officer at CAN Europe. “If we are going to have a clean energy system by 2050 then funding should be stopped immediately and phased out completely by 2020 in the EU,” she added.
In contrast to the huge subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, the EU only started delivering climate finance in 2010. The overall contribution to climate finance amounted to just €7.34bn between 2010 and 2012. In addition, EU Member States are falling short of reaching their fair share of the agreed 100 bn dollar goal for climate finance by 2020.
“The money that goes to developing countries to help them cope with climate change is tiny when compared to the billions spent in fossil fuel subsidies,” says Meera Ghani, Policy and Advocacy Officer for Climate Justice in CIDSE. “We should not make already rich polluting companies richer with public money, instead we should support low carbon development and climate resilience where it matters most. The EU needs to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to measures that will help us stay well below the 2 degree threshold.”
A major finding of the report is that several systematic barriers exist to the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and use. There is no agreed global or European definition for subsidies, commitments made have been voluntary and no agreed reporting method has meant little or no progress on phase out. The report calls on the EU to implement a reporting mechanism and facilitate access to information on subsidies.
“Having a clear definition for fossil fuel subsidies, regular financial reporting and greater transparency on data are three crucial missing pieces in phasing out fossil fuel use and subsidies,” concluded Maeve McLynn, CAN Europe policy officer.
1. The findings show that the ten wealthiest EU countries (by GDP) have spent at least €78bn on fossil fuel production subsidies between 1999-2013. This is a minimal figure and does not necessarily include externalities or export credit agency funds.
2. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.
3. CIDSE is an alliance of Catholic development agencies.
4. All figures are based on data available between 1999-2013
November 2, 2014 - Copenhagen, Denmark: One month after unprecedented numbers of people took to the streets calling for more climate action as part of the Peoples’ Climate Marches, the world’s peak body of climate scientists has issued its starkest warning yet about the choice facing humanity.
The people have spoken, businesses demand action, investors want long term certainty and science could not send a clearer signal than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.
With the release of the final installment of the report - ending a five year process covering 30,000 pieces of evidence and involving over 2000 scientists - the baton has now been handed to governments who need to scale up the ongoing transition from dirty to clean energy and deliver the new, global climate agreement due in Paris next year.
Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative, said the world’s best scientists have given us a good, clear measuring stick for what the world needs to do to combat rampant climate change.
“It’s easy to look at what science requires and be overwhelmed,” Smith said. “But what the IPCC is really telling us is that we have an historic opportunity to secure a clean, just and safer future for the world and the people that live in it.”
The report confirms the experience of many vulnerable communities around the world: impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, ice melt and ocean acidification, are hitting home much faster than previously thought.
Though there is a pressing need to boost support to make communities more resilient to these impacts, Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation for ActionAid International, said the IPCC warns that there are limits to adaptation.
“This means that in some cases floods, cyclones, sea-level rise and drought will be so extreme that people can no longer cope with them,” Singh said.
“That is why developing countries have been demanding meaningful ways to support those communities battered by the climate change impacts that they have not even caused.”
To avoid the worst impacts, the IPCC spells out the need to phase out carbon pollution entirely in favour of a scaling up of the transition to clean energy. The report says switching our investments to renewable energy in the next few decades will be cheaper than paying a rapidly growing bill for "severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.”
Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace climate policy advisor said there had been a huge breakthrough in the affordability and effectiveness of renewable energy as well as technologies for smart energy use since the last IPCC report in 2007.
“Let’s face it - the science is in and it’s game over for fossil fuels,” Kosonen said. “The IPCC spells out the benefits of scaling up the transition to renewable energy, such as affordability, better public health and more jobs.”
“What started with a decade of coal will be known as the century of renewables -economics and co-benefits are on their side, while the opposite is true for nuclear and carbon capture and storage,” she said.
Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists said early next year, governments must put forward their climate action commitments towards an international agreement to limit climate change due to be signed in Paris, in December 2015. That agreement must signal a collective decision by society to end the fossil fuel age and to embrace the dawning renewable energy era.
“The world's scientists could not have made it clearer: to avoid truly devastating climate impacts, we must move rapidly to phase out our use of polluting fossil fuels,” Meyer said.
“Political leaders now face a choice: they can either put policies in place to achieve this essential shift, or they can spend the rest of their careers dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster,” he said.
Contact: Ria Voorhaar, +49 157 317 355 68, rvooorhaar @ climatenetwork.org
Audio available on request
24 October 2014, Brussels
This morning European leaders meeting at the European Council in Brussels agreed on a proposal for a new set of climate and energy targets for 2030. CAN Europe  is disappointed by their failure to adequately increase the levels of ambition for action on greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy and energy savings.
Clearly, this decision does not respond to the urgency to act on climate change as reflected in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which will be finalised next week . Nor does it give the necessary incentives to Europe's industry to invest in low-carbon technologies and reap the full economic and employment benefits of such investments. More ambitious renewable energy and energy savings targets would also substantially increase Europe's energy independence and be one of the best responses to dealing with Russia's threats towards the Ukraine and the EU.
This decision is the first step in a longer process. Further work needs to start now to develop legislative proposals that will greatly increase Europe's ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy and promote energy savings. An improved proposal will be crucial for the EU’s ability to negotiate an adequate international agreement with strong commitments from all major emitters, by the end of the climate talks in Paris in December 2015.
CAN Europe comments on:
“Cutting carbon by at least 40% is clearly not in line with Europe's ambition to decarbonise by 2050. The target will also fail to give the right incentives to Europe's industry to invest in low-carbon technologies and reap the full economic and employment benefits of such investments. This target puts Europe at risk of being locked into a costly high-carbon energy infrastructure and catastrophic runaway climate change.”
“The European Commission must urgently act upon the “at least” placed in front of the 40%, and propose an increase to the emission reduction target. Only then can Europe show the world it is serious about climate action and help create positive momentum for the international climate negotiations.”
“Unbelievably, Member States have further weakened and adopted a non-binding energy savings target of at least 27%. This will effectively slow down progress on energy savings after 2020 compared to current trends. By putting a leash on energy savings, they are losing out on increased energy security while throwing away cost-effective emission reductions and jobs growth in Europe.”
“The 27% renewable energy target is a clear setback from the policies and development that are currently in place, implying a dramatic slow down in the growth of renewable energy . Its a weak target that fails to recognise the on going transformation of our energy system being championed by citizens and many industrial sectors.”
“The low EU renewables target - not accompanied by national binding targets - means Europe risks missing out on the potential benefits that further development of the renewable energy industry would have for Europe's economy, its people and climate.”
Policy experts are available for detailed analysis on request.
1. Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe is Europe's largest coalition working on climate and energy issues. With over 120 member organisations in more than 25 European countries, CAN Europe works to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable climate and energy policy in Europe.
2. The 40th Session of IPCC (adoption and approval of SYR AR5) will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark between 27-31 October 2014 - http://www.ipcc-syr.nl/
3. From 6.4% per cent per year between 2010 and 2020 to 1.4% per cent per year, between 2020 and 2030 (source: Greenpeace, based on European Commission data).
This evening in Brussels, Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner-designate for Climate Action and Energy, faced tough questions from Members of the European Parliament, about his commitment to climate action and the low-carbon transformation of our energy system.
"Whatever the legal judgement, Cañete will never get rid of his image of being linked to the fossil fuel industry. We need a Climate Commissioner from a government with a more progressive record on climate action. One who shows more commitment to the urgency of climate change than Commissioner-designate Cañete has shown tonight,” said Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.
“If Juncker is serious about tackling climate change then he needs to appoint a Commissioner prepared to fight for increased climate ambition, who will challenge Member States to go beyond what they are currently prepared to do. He also needs a Vice-President that treats energy and climate action equally,” added Trio.
“We need all Commissioners to integrate climate change into their portfolios, in particular all those who are part of the climate and energy project team. Which strangely enough is not the case right now,” concluded Wendel Trio, Director of CAN Europe.
We are just one year away from the Climate Summit in Paris, where the world is expected to adopt a new legal global agreement on climate action. The world is looking at Europe to determine the level of ambition with which the negotiations are approached. The scientific evidence is clear, the impacts of current inadequate policies will be devastating, not only for poor people across the globe, but also for the people of Europe. The new European Commission has a clear role to play in setting the bar as high as possible on climate action.