As development and human rights organisations we participated intensively in the German government’s consultation process for developing the National Action Plan (NAP) for implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: in the government’s steering committee, in the altogether twelve thematic hearings and in the three plenary conferences. In this context, we expected the government to move away from the failed model of purely voluntary self-commitment and legally require German companies to discharge their human rights responsibilities in their activities and business relationships abroad.
The landmark Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2030 provide a new framework for transitioning to a GHG-neutral and climate-resilient future, and towards truly sustainable development. The G20 as a forum of the leading industrial nations and emerging economies provides a platform for joint action towards achieving these global goals. Shifting global investment towards green finance, sustainable infrastructure and the global transition to renewable energy is one of the most urgent tasks ahead, and can only be reached by international cooperation.
On November 30th, the eve of the German G20 Presidency, Germanwatch and Stiftung Mercator hosted an expert dialogue on climate and energy policy priorities for the G20. The outgoing Chinese Presidency had put the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Treaty on the G20 agenda, emphasizing green finance and infrastructure investment. International experts and 60 guests from politics, business and civil society discussed what the German G20 presidency can and should do to counter the global climate crisis against the background of the current changes in the political landscape.
Under the Paris Agreement, climate action was anchored in the context of international law. This requires countries to make their own unique contribution to the prevention of dangerous climate change. The next crucial step to follow this agreement is the rapid implementation by the signing parties of concrete measures to make their individual contributions to the global goal. For the past 12 years, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) has been keeping track of countries’ efforts in combating climate change. The varying initial positions, interests and strategies of the numerous countries make it difficult to distinguish their strengths and weaknesses and the CCPI has been an important tool in contributing to a clearer understanding of national and international climate policy.
The Climate Change Performance Index is an instrument designed to enhance transparency in international climate politics. Its aim is to put political and social pressure on those countries which have, up until now, failed to take ambitious action on climate protection. It also aims to highlight those countries with best prac-tice climate policies.
More than 40 major businesses and trade associations are demanding more climate ambition and a bold implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement in Germany. The companies, from a large variety of sectors, are encouraging the German government to adopt a long-term Decarbonisation Plan with a climate target at the upper end of the current target range of an 80 to 95 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. Businesses need interim sector targets for the power, buildings, industry, transport and agriculture sectors, write the signatories, amongst them the construction major Hochtief, the electricity producer EnBW, the retailer Metro and Commerzbank. The declaration was coordinated by the business associations Foundation 2° and B.A.U.M. as well as the development and environment NGO Germanwatch.
Since the 2015 adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the success of the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it has become clear that “business as usual” is no longer an option for neither industrialized countries nor the developing world. Both the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement (PA) entail substantial consequences for the world financial system. Mobilizing the massive investment required for climate resilient, low-carbon infrastructure and development, transforming the world economy and hedging the climate-related risk to the financial system form formidable challenges to the public and the private sector alike.
In December 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted, in November 2016 it will come into force. A transformation of the energy-, transport- and agricultural sector is needed, to be able to implement the goals agreed upon and to limit global warming to 1.5°C/well below 2°C.
The Adaptation Fund Board successfully concluded its 28th Meeting in Bonn, Germany from 4–7 October 2016 only a month before the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) which will be held in Marrakech, Morocco. The meeting encouraged reflections on how to fully enhance dissemination of knowledge and experiences generated by the Fund in order to leverage the understanding about its relevance and contributions to adaptation efforts of nations and communities worldwide facing the adverse effects of climate change.
This is the Climate Finance Advisory Service (CFAS) Daily Briefing. Produced at key meetings and negotiations by the CFAS expert team, the Daily Briefings try to provide a concise, informative update on key discussions that have taken place at each day of the meeting and give an overview of substantive points of action or progress.