Towards a Just Climate Deal in 2015 Reflection of Lima COP 20 and Action towards Paris COP 21

NGO News Report :: Today, on the 24th of December 2014, we got together to express our views on the outcome of the 20th Conference of Parties (COP 20) that took place in Lima, Peru from December 1-12, 2014. We are also here to state the outlook for the year 2015 where world leaders in Paris are expected to make a long term climate deal which is equitable and just.

The event is chaired by Dr. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies. Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and lead author of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report on Adaptation was the key note speaker. Mr. Golam Rabbani, Fellow of Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS) gave an overview of the role civil society of Bangladesh played in COP20. Ms. Farah Kabir, Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB) discussed key moments of 2015 and how those will reshape overall development paradigm impacting Bangladesh.

Plan of Action for Paris 2015Later, the experts on the panel shared their views on what Government of Bangladesh and LDCs should do to ensure the Paris Deal is a people’s deal and reflects the climate impacted most vulnerable countries.  The panel also shared their plan of action for 2015 and invited different stakeholder especially media to join hands.

During his opening remarks, Dr. Atiq Rahman said that “There must not be any scope for further disappointment on climate deal in Paris”. “We have been hoping that the world leaders will understand the urgency and will listen to the demand of people living in poverty across the world, however since Copenhagen, we are being denied of an equitable deal” – he added.

“The Lima decision is a major disappointment as it fails to deal adequately with adaptation and also loss and damage, which the vulnerable developing had asked for”

                                                                                     -Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director ICCCAD

“There must not be any scope for further disappointment on climate deal in Paris”

                                                                                    – Dr. Atiq Rahman, Executive Director, BCAS

“If we don’t deal with climate change now, then no other issue matters”

                                                                       -Farah Kabir, Country Director, ActionAid Bangladesh

“Success of the Paris deal is the demand of the humanity and the whole planet”

                                                                                    -Md. Golam Rabbani, Fellow, BCAS

Prior to the COP 20, the momentous agreement by President Obama and President Xi gave the world’s vulnerable people hope even though in reality, the agreement would not necessarily reduce CO2 emissions as required. Nevertheless, it was expected that this will open the negotiation deadlock and set the building blocks for Paris in 2015. However, the Lima outcome has failed to deliver what was expected from it. It is enough for the show to go on till Paris, but ultimately sends the message to not expect a deal which is equitable and just for the most vulnerable.

Why Lima was important?

The UNFCCC is among other UN bodies facilitating a global deal for a sustainable future. The year 2015 will see three major decisions being made – Hyogo Framework of Action 2nd Phase, Sustainable Development Goals and a UNFCCC climate agreement. These three processes are inseparably connected and the Lima outcome will impact other two decisions and also lay the foundation for Paris next year.

Lima Outcome and Most Vulnerable Countries (MVCs)

In brief, the Lima outcome is heartbreaking for the MVCs, because building on this, Paris will not be able to deliver a just deal unless major changes are undertaken. Mitigation commitment from developed and major economy counties still falls short to achieve 1.5 ° C goal. The current emission trajectory suggests that the world is heading towards  a 4° C pathway which would mean a higher cost of adaptation. The finance allocation for adaptation support to MVCs in next the next years (pre 2020) has not been clarified – meaning LDCs and small island developing states (SIDS) will have to allocate heir own limited resources to combat climate change.

The Lima outcome also dropped the reference to Loss and Damage which is very disappointing from the MVC point of view. Inadequate mitigation will lead to the need for increased adaptation action.  The agreement has failed to address the needs of the most vulnerable and going in this trajectory will lead to unavoidable loss and damage to life, livelihood and ecosystem. The issue of Loss and Damage must be reflected in the 2015 agreement to ensure the deal is a fair one.

On finance, the USD 10 billion in the Green Climate Fund over four years is insignificant. Not providing a roadmap to scale up the amount to USD 100 billion by 2020 indicates a lack of commitment, clear thinking and action from developed countries. Poor, vulnerable communities across the developing world who need the finance will again be denied their rights to a fair and just deal.

Plan of Action for Paris 2015:

“COP21 in Paris in December 2015 is the last chance for the leaders of the world to show that they are able and willing to tackle a problem of global significance for the people and planet” – says Dr. Saleemul Huq. According to Ms. Farah Kabir, the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh “Gender equality should be one of the key principles in all the negotiations, policy and intervention in 2015, otherwise half the population of the world will be deprived and sustainable development will remain a mere dream”.

Considering the current progress of international climate negotiations, at the national level, civil society has a significant role to play in creating a space for a dialogue with the government. Governments, especially the LDCs and SIDS must not agree on a deal that does not facilitate their survival.

CSOs in Bangladesh must come together and engage in a dialogue with other CSOs across the globe and convey the message that Bangladesh will not accept any deal that is unjust and inequitable.  Bangladesh will also send a message that it will hold accountable the people of the rich countries for not putting pressure on their governments.

Finally, it is important for the Bangladesh media to connect with media across the world and share stories of suffering and resilience. It is important to collectively strive to hold the world leaders accountable for climate actions.

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