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Day 9: Climate Action Network: Latest Developments at COP21

December 8, 2015

More negotiations of the draft text have been underway. Watch the webcast here to find out more.

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Facilitator: Ria Voorhaar (CAN International)

Speakers: Ruth Davis (Greenpeace), Harjeet Singh (Action Aid), Safa’al Jayoussi (IndyACT)

Ruth stated that citizens expect politicians to cooperate to reach a fair agreement. She mentioned that an adjustment in the temperature limit would be inconsequential without agreed mechanisms, like adaptation and finance, to reach the goal. She held that there is still room for hope if ministers show the same level of passion, dedication and effort that their citizens have shown for climate change. The ministers would also need to live up to their leaders’ words last week.

Harjeet noted that the issue of loss and damage should be discussed along the lines of how people would be helped if they are affected by climate change. He questioned the US intention of reiterating the removal of the terms ‘compensation’ and ‘liability’ in the text, when this text had already been deleted by developing countries. He urged negotiators to keep politics away so that time can be meaningfully allocated to work on actual issues. Nonetheless, he shared that civil society has successfully pressured the Indian government to support the 1.5°C goal.

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Safa’al explained that blockers block because other countries have not shown strong resistance against them. For example, Saudi Arabia has been blocking a lot of the talks because other Arab nations have let Saudi Arabia speak on their behalf. This would mask green efforts by the Arab nations, like how Morocco is pushing for 42% energy. Hence, she encouraged other Arab nations to speak up.

Q&A session:

Is the atmosphere still constructive?

Ruth: While there has been a spirit of cooperation, this cooperation needs to manifest itself meaningful and not lead to an agreement with low ambition. Time is running out. The question is not when the negotiations will end, but what it ends with.

What has civil society in Saudi Arabia done to put pressure on its government?

Safa’al: The climate march in the world should have already set the tone for COP21. Here, we are meeting with many Arab league members to discuss our position.

Outline the process of the negotiations.

Ruth: There have been opportunities for people to report on their progress and to raise massive red flags. Over the last five years, the presidencies have made huge efforts in ensuring negotiations are more transparent.

What is the minimum that civil society wants to see at COP21?

Ruth: A long-term goal sets us on a renewable energy transition, and the provision of opportunities for every citizen to move towards a more sustainable system.

Harjeet: A clear road map on how finance and technology will be provided and how developing countries can achieve their targets.

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