Letter from COP19 Delegates to green youth – Day 9

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Introduction

Today the Polish environment minister and COP-negotiations President was dismissed from his position by the Polish government. Minister Marcin Korolec “will now focus on climate”. Nice, given that he’s still chairing COP19. The new minister is Maciej Grabowski, who was deputy finance minister and will push forward the acceleration of shale gas operations in Poland.

Last night G77+China walk out of Loss & Damage negotiations as rich countries wanted to postpone the discussion. ”Walk out” means to really leave the talks, not allowing further discussions at this point. As consequence, no further negotiations and therefore no consensus is possible. It is the strongest thing that a country can do in the discussions and happened only a few times before.

Progress is very slow and discussions take place behind closed door, which exclude civil society from the process. Also, a figure, which is not confirmed, came up: only 3000 out of 10,000 delegates come from non-governmental organizations, half of them being part of “Big Business”.

 

Intergenerational equity

YOUNGO has been pushing the idea that Intergenerational equity (Inteq) should become one of the focuses of the new agreement that is currently discussed. From now on, the principle of “common, but differentiated responsibility” has been dominant, but some countries are calling for talking rather about “equity”. We think that equity between generations should be taken into account. The YOUNGO Inteq working group has been working closely with countries delegation and found support among several countries who mentioned this principle in some of their speeches. YOUNGO is now working on a common declaration with AILAC (a group of Latin and Caribbean countries) that could be brought by the end of the COP.

 

Momentum of change

We don’t fight climate change with signing an agreement; everything that is discussed during the COP then needs to be implemented “on the field”. Momentum for Change is organized by the UNFCCC Secretariat and recognizes activities demonstrating concrete results to address climate change. It seeks innovative and transformative solutions that address both climate change and wider economic, social and environmental challenges.

The Lighthouse Activities event took place this Wednesday. 17 awards have been distributed to outstanding actions to fight climate change. One on them is the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative that offers the possibility to young people, especially women, to build high quality bamboo bicycles. It doesn’t only help people find a job, it also gives an alternative to people so they can use a carbon-neutral mean of transport.

The event, though fairly superficial, reminded everyone that, behind all the complicated acronyms, mechanisms and agreements, there are real concrete actions that need to take place to tackle climate change.

We need legally binding commitments, but most of all we need governments and civil society to be very innovative and to come up with real solutions!

 

Mitigation

It is quite hard to follow what is happening in the negotiations for short-term mitigation since ADP is now behind closed doors. But negotiations are difficult since EU isn’t showing the way or teaming up with G77+China in climate finance. A new draft text should come out this evening or tomorrow morning.

 

Finance

Today, there was the “Finance Day” with a high-level segment on this topic. This means that the floor is given to ministers who give over length speeches and give their financial pledges.

At the beginning of the session, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Parties for ambition and said that public & private finances are important. He also pointed out that the Green Climate Fund ($ 100 billion per annum paid by developed nations to support mitigation, adaptation, education etc. in developing countries) needs to starts its operation as soon as possible.

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of Global Environment Facility (GEF) said that rapid action is needed to limit global warming below 2°C until 2100. She also said, that GCF and GEF are working together very well.

Germany announced that they will give $ 30 million to the Adaptation Fund (this fund is distributing money from developed nations to developing nations to finance their adaptations needs) and $ 50 milllion to the LDCF. The LDCF was established to address the special needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) under the Climate Convention. The LDCs identified adaptation as their top priority. Specifically, the LDCF was tasked with financing the preparation and implementation of National Adaptation Programs of Action (NAPAs). NAPAs use existing information to identify a country’s priorities for adaptation actions.

In the new text for ADP the paragraph on finance has been weakened. The target of 100 billion USD is not even mentioned. Hopefully this is going to change during future negotiations.

 

As COP19 is getting to its end, NGOs and Youth are thinking about what impact they can have on final decisions. Discussions went on all night; you’ll get more news tomorrow!

 

Your FYEG delegation team

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