on 5th September 2015

Letter to EU ministers: Time for a bold EU climate position for an ambitious and equitable Paris Agreement

Dear Minister,

With less than 100 days before the COP21 in Paris, we are writing to you ahead of key moments which will significantly influence its final outcome, including the informal ministerial meeting in Paris (6/7 September), and the EU Environment Minister’s Council to adopt the EU position on COP21 (18 September).

Climate change threatens the livelihoods of billions of people, but people living in poverty, who are the least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, bear the brunt of climate impacts. CARE is already seeing how climate change is eroding and reversing development gains in the developing world, and exacerbating gender inequality and other social and economic injustices. Further expected impacts represent a growing threat to CARE’s vision of a world where poverty has been overcome and people live in dignity and security. As outlined by the Council Conclusions on climate diplomacy, “a worldwide transition towards a safe, sustainable and climate resilient low-carbon development path is a precondition for a secure and stable future”.

The recent outcomes of the negotiations on the 2030 Action Agenda for Sustainable Development, with a distinct climate change goal (and a gender equality goal), pave the way towards stronger inter-linkages between climate and development action to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable lifestyles for a low-carbon world. We strongly support the reference to the 1.5 degrees limit and the need to increased ambition before 2020.

We urge you to include in your COP21 conclusions the following:

  • Anchor the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the Paris Agreement, in light of the severe risk entailed in higher levels of warming and in support of the demands of all African countries, LDCs, small island states and other stakeholders;
  • The Paris Agreement needs to guarantee the provision of consistent, predictable and adequate public climate finance additional to ODA post-2020 with separate targets for mitigation and adaptation based on countries’ particular responsibilities and capabilities. We urge you to deliver a climate finance roadmap up to 2020 (including milestones for the increase in public finance as a major part of the USD 100 billion) before COP21, to build trust and to deliver on a six year old commitment;
  • Promote the resilience of poor and marginalised people and communities through a global goal on adaptation that recognizes collective and national/individual needs to adapt, through adherence to key principles of good, community-based adaptation, and through sharing experience and knowledge;
  • Support the inclusion of loss and damage for cases where mitigation and adaptation are not sufficient in the Paris Agreement and promise to strengthen the work and impact of the Warsaw Loss and Damage Mechanism.
  • Support provisions in the Paris Agreement which ensure that climate action a) promotes gender equality, b) respects and promotes the fulfilment of human rights, and c) does not undermine food and nutrition security of poor and vulnerable people (in particular in relation to land use)

We also strongly encourage you to scale up the EU’s planned contributions both in climate finance additional to ODA and mitigation. It would indeed send a strong signal if EU countries would commit to a global effort and investments towards 100% renewables and a global decarbonisation goal by 2050.

Paris must become a real game changer and accelerator towards a zero-emission and climate-resilient world, and the EU has a central role to play for achieving this.

Author
CARE

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