CAN News Blog

VIP Checklist

ECO is delighted to hear that approximately 80 Heads-of-State and Ministers made their way to Marrakech to show continued climate leadership in the high-level segment of the COP, the CMP and the CMA today.

Want to know the level of leadership shown by your Heads-of-State and Ministers? Keep track by completing this check list (tick all that apply). Come on, you know you want to…


Ministers Wanted

The Facilitative Dialogue on ambition and support will be held on Wednesday at 10am. ECO knows this should be obvious to all, but we would like to emphasise that the whole point of a high level “ministerial deliberations” is the presence of Ministers. This is particularly important when the topic is how to muster the political will needed to significantly ramp up Parties’ ambition and support!

ECO reminds Ministers that the planet is already suffering from a climate-induced high fever. Unless Ministers are able to present a note from their personal physicians justifying their absence, their countries will stand an excellent chance of receiving a Fossil of the Day.

Capacity Building Takes Off

ECO welcomes the capacity building decisions adopted yesterday.

Given the increased expectations that have been placed on developing countries by the Paris Agreement, capacity building—as well as other means of implementation—will be crucial to enable these Parties to successfully implement their commitments. This is especially true for those Parties with the least capacity, and for those most vulnerable to climate impacts.

Cooperation on matters related to capacity building represents, perhaps, one of the most promising avenues for accelerating implementation of the Paris Agreement. Working together can enable Parties to develop collective ambition, while simultaneously providing important benefits for participating countries. The adoption of the Paris Committee’s terms of reference will enable the Committee to become operational as early as next year, and to rapidly initiate its work.

The decisions adopted yesterday also invite the Paris Committee to take into consideration cross-cutting issues such as gender responsiveness, human rights and indigenous peoples’ knowledge. ECO welcomes this important mandate. It will enable the Committee to support Parties as they implement climate actions in a manner that is coherent with existing human rights obligations and related international principles, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

ECO hopes this commitment to consider cross-cutting principles in climate action, as reiterated in Paris, will also be reflected in the negotiations under the APA more broadly.
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Be Trudeau To Your Word

The United States has dominated COP22 headlines with orange becoming the new black. However, ECO noticed there is another corner of North America that has a key role to play in negotiations. Yes, we are looking at you, Canada. ECO waits with bated breath to see how consistent Canada will be with their policy and action.

It was thrilling to see Canada involved in hammering out the Paris Agreement last year. Their efforts now mean that eyes are on them to help ensure they get the details right at COP22, the time for implementation. To date, the delegation has been constructive in negotiations, aiming to get the necessary pieces in place by 2018. Canada has also been heard on the boulevard of Bab Ighli heralding a Pan-Canadian Climate Plan it is developing to meet its 2030 commitments.

While ECO is very pleased to see such progress, apparent contradictions between Canada’s climate policy leadership and energy infrastructure decisions dampen our joy quite a bit. Canada recently approved a controversial liquefied natural gas project, and rumour has it that other polluting projects are in the pipeline.

No conference is complete without a heckler, and this one has been no different: Earth Institute Director Jeffrey D.
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Event: 100% Renewable Energy for 1.5°C

When: November 15, 1830-2100

Where: Arctic Room, Area E

Hosted by the COP 22 Presidency, in partnership with the Climate Vulnerable Forum, this exciting event brings together a diverse group of leaders from civil society, governments, and businesses for an unprecedented dialogue.

“100% Renewable Energy for 1.5°C” will make the case for a transition to 100% renewable energy as the ethical, feasible, financially sound, and logical approach to address climate change and keep global warming below 1.5°C.

Full programme and speaker overview available at

Access to the event is by RSVP only using this link:

Marrakech: From Regime-Building to Ambition-Building

Dear Ministers, We warmly welcome you to COP22 with its cool breeze and dusty trails.

The entry into force of the Paris Agreement less than one year after COP21 is a remarkable achievement. But if ECO has learned anything in more than 25 years of climate change negotiations, it is to not rest on its laurels.

Last week presented us with a stark reminder that all countries need to focus on delivering the promises of Paris. Ministers, you came to Marrakech to spell out the necessary details of the decisions taken in Paris, and by doing so seek to underpin real climate action at home.

You came to tell fellow ministers how, inspired by the Paris Agreement, you have taken immediate further action, so that the ambition gap can be closed. This early action is essential to achieving the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C.

Sadly, what in COP-land is called the 2016 ‘facilitative’ dialogue began with only limited preparation and ended with recycled statements. ECO calls on you to use this weeks’ high-level part of the facilitated dialogue to present your enhanced ambition for mitigation, adaptation and support.

The next big moment in climate politics will come in 2018.
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Muffling the Trump-et

Rumours are swirling that President-elect Trump may move swiftly to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, or even the UNFCCC. While withdrawal would certainly be a major setback, ECO reminds its readers that one of the great strengths of the Paris Agreement is that it was built to withstand such an isolated, short-term political setback, even by the world’s second largest emitter.

Indeed, the Agreement is already proving its resilience. No country has said that they would follow the US out of the Agreement. Quite the contrary, many countries and groups, including China, the EU, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the Least Developed Countries, the High Ambition Coalition and others have all reconfirmed their commitment to continue to take aggressive climate action under the Agreement. Others such as Australia, Pakistan and Italy have even joined the Agreement in the days since the US election results came in. In so doing, they have sent a resounding message that the countries of the world will forge on, with or without the US.

If the Trump administration does decide to cede leadership and credibility on an issue of such surpassing global importance, others are ready to take its place. China has said that it is prepared to have a stronger voice—and to reap the rewards in terms of international standing, goodwill and global influence that will surely accrue.
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Transparency is the New Black

ECO hopes that all negotiators had a chance to rest over the weekend and will be back to the conference venue with a renewed sense of common purpose. A good way to demonstrate this would be to ensure that no arbitrary and disproportionate restrictions are imposed on civil society presence in negotiating rooms. Last week ECO saw only 2 representatives allowed in each APA negotiating room to represent the whole range of views and expertise available among environmental and development NGOs.

Having been impressed by the hospitality of the people of Marrakech, ECO really has a hard time accepting these exclusionary rules enforced at the UN venue. Do the secretariat and the APA co-chairs really believe that only two badges allow for a good representation of four-billion women? Or two badges for those representing 1.8 billion of young people?

We call on the presidency, the APA co-chairs and the secretariat to ensure more inclusive arrangements for the second week. Unless they voice their opposition to these new practices, parties remain complicit in this situation.

The first CMA must open in an inclusive context and ECO looks forward to working with Parties to find adequate modalities ensuring a sufficient participation of civil society throughout the second week.

Don’t Leave for Tomorrow What you can do Today

Popular wisdom suggests that you never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, because that increases the chances that you will get it wrong, miss deadlines, or both! Climate  ambition is not an exception to that rule especially when missing the deadline could mean losing lives, ecosystems and countries.

Paris Decision clearly states that NDCs do not set us on a well below 2ºC path (not to mention 1.5ºC). Therefore all countries must review and raise the level of ambition if we wish to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

So far ECO has not seen much enthusiasm for this from any country…except one! Argentina was the very first country to state that a review process for its 2015NDC will start right away after Paris… And it did!

ECO wishes that Argentina’s example will inspire other Parties,to do the same. That’s the only way to be ready for the Facilitative Dialogue in 2018, a decisive moment if we want to achieve the 1.5ºC goal set in the Paris Agreement.

Real Climate Leadership Means Keeping Fossil Fuels In the Ground

Post-Paris, the gap between reductions needed to reach the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C and countries’ pledged reductions remains too wide. Between now and 2018, Parties need to figure out how to close that gap.

The science is clear. The only way to achieve the Paris Agreement commitments is to stop new development of fossil fuels and keep most of the world’s remaining fossil fuels in the ground.

Communities across all continents are taking up the call and demand that their countries halt the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure. In Argentina, indigenous Mapuche communities are mobilising to defend their traditional territories and halt corporate efforts to exploit the planet’s second-largest deposit of shale gas. In Australia, ranchers and other landowners are joining the Lock the Gate movement to block coal mining and unconventional natural gas operations. In the U.S., Sioux protectors in Standing Rock are defending their sovereignty to fight efforts to bulldoze sacred sites to build a $3.8 billion pipeline. This pipeline would threaten water supplies and facilitate the export of dirty fracked crude from the Bakken Shale. In the Philippines, the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development together with other groups are at the centre of a national movement against coal mining and other dirty fossil fuel extraction.
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