November 19, 2013

Beyond Copenhagen Side event at COP 19 - "Climate Change in Post 2015 Development Agenda"

Climate Change in Post 2015 Development Agenda
Beyond Copenhagen Side event at COP 19
13th November, 16.45 hours, Room Crakow, National Stadium, Warsaw 

Beyond Copenhagen organized a side event on ''Climate Change in Post-2015 Development Agenda" on 13th November 2013 at COP 19. The side event discussed how climate change has not been addressed adequately in post 2015 development agenda, and why it is extremely crucial to have a global agreement before 2015. The panellists included Ajay K Jha (PAIRVI), Soumya Dutta (Bharat Jan Vigyan jathha), Samuel Samson (PACJA), and Manu Shrivastava (CECOEDECON). Justice (Retd) V S Dave chaired the panel discussion.


In his opening remarks Ajay Jha said that there are three processes (UNFCCC negotiations, post 2015 development agenda of the United Nations, and Open Working Group on the SDGs), which will have a significant bearing on the future of the world. He added that while there have been no visible progress negotiations in the UNFCC, other two processes have not addressed climate change in the right earnest. He said that in light of new evidences (IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2015, WMO Report 2001-2010, A decade of climate extremes, 2015, and UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2012), it was imperative that discussion on climate change in post 2015 development agenda should be reviewed. Referring to Haiyan, floods and landslide in Uttarakhand, Nargis in Myanmar and Floods in Pakistan, he said the decade has signature of climate extremes. He also added that science is clear and categorical that more concerted and urgent efforts are needed for climate stabilization. Referring to the Report of the HLPE, he remarked that while the report has many good things, it is an opportunity missed in terms of many aspects of development. He elaborated that the report reiterates the commitment to prevent rise in temperature beyond 2 degrees, but does nothing more to encourage political polarization around the issues.
Mr. Samuel Samson (PACJA) dwelt on climate impacts in Africa, and explained how the climate smart agriculture, and investments in land are divesting small farmers of their rights, land, and natural resources. He referred to the droughts in East Africa, and that many countries are suffering serious drought like conditions. He added that climate change impacts call for urgent attention, financial and technology support. He added that agriculture is under immense pressure and farmers in many countries like Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda have been belied by Climate Smart projects. They have neither helped production, not they have provided any financial help to the farmers, who are feeling cheated. He added that climate change impacts have also exacerbated forced migration. He added that here at COP 19 PACJA demands a new framework to protect climate refugees and a mechanism on loss and damage.
Soumya Dutta from Bharat Jan Vigyan Jathha spoke on the energy, climate change and sustainable development linkages. He emphasized that the HLPE report lays down a business as usual approach and does not offer anything new. He emphasized that it envisions and an increased role for business and private enterprise, and thus provides an opportunity to the rich countries to abrogate their responsibilities. Referring to the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEA4ALL) initiative, he said that, equity in access to energy is clearly a missing link. He added that though the HLPE Report acknowledges right to access to modern energy services, the approach is riddled with problems and false solutions. He also referred to the extreme climatic event in the Uttarakhand and Himachal in India, and said that Beyond Copenhagen’s assessments of Loss and damage revealed huge gaps between rehabilitation efforts and needs of the people who have been impacted. Elaborating on the impact he emphasized that never in the history Uttarakhand received so early and heavy monsoon, and there are sufficient evidence to say that the phenomenon was caused due to climate change impacts. He emphasized that more than 7% population of the world today faces climate threats, and there is an urgent need to address impacts within and outside the UNFCCC negotiations, post 2015 being one, there must be a greater convergence among them. He also demanded that a climate agreement must be reached by 2015, and it must be based on core principles of equity and CBDR, and a mechanism on loss and damage is set up to help people in poor countries who are facing climate extremes.
Manu Shrivastava (CECOEDECON) shared her experiences of state of play and discussion on climate in the post 2015 development agenda. She said that climate does not figure very prominently in the regional processes on post 2015, and though NGLS conducted an extensive regional processes, where climate change was emphasized, yet the report gave a short shrift to climate change by only acknowledging the global commitment to prevent rise in temperature below 2Degrees Celsius. She added, that CECOEDECON’s experience and work with farmers and women shows that impacts like unpredictability of rains, delayed monsoon withdrawal, lack of adaptation support and adaptation limits, capacity building and risk coverage etc. threaten not only agricultural production but also entire rural economy.  She emphasized that countries whose economy is dependent on agriculture, and countries, which are highly vulnerable (climate extremes), they ask for increased attention to climate change in post 2015 world.

Justice VS Dave, in his chair’s remarks emphasized that all the speakers have reiterated that climate stabilization should be high priority in post 2015 development agenda, which must support early reduction of emissions in rich countries and low carbon development pathways in developing and poor countries. He highlighted that impacts are affecting a large part of humanity world over and demands a comprehensive, science based, just climate deal without delay. He also added, that within climate change, agriculture and food and energy services must also be looked at from the equity point of view rather than in only in terms of reduction of emission.
A Beyond Copenhagen Publication “Engaging with Climate Crisis; Perspectives on Critical Aspects of Climate Change” was also released at the side event. Justice Pana Chand Jain delivered the vote of thanks.


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