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Christian Aid expectations for COP25

Christian Aid's key asks for the COP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain, December 2019. The past 18 months have seen a flurry of new scientific information on the state of the climate. Severe climate impacts are already being experienced, particularly by the poorest and most vulnerable. Communities and ecosystems are already suffering devastation even at the current 1ºC of warming. The fires in the Amazon, Congo and California, the South Asian floods, and other extreme weather events, like cyclones Idai and Fani, point to a climate system already in crisis. The world is in a state of climate emergency. The climate emergency is real and efforts to take action now must be a priority. We call on governments to make a step change in their climate ambition and in the support given to help developing countries achieve it. Key asks Mitigation All countries to recognise the scale of the climate challenge and the need for a fair global effort to achieve the Paris 1.5ºC goal. The Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should deliver a mandate for all countries to enhance the mitigation part of their Nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) in line with the 1.5ºC goal. The common time frame should be in five-year cycles. Long-term strategies should include landscape analyses to plan for nature-based solutions, to increase resilience, and to store and sequester carbon. Finance Adequate climate finance is a prerequisite to greater ambition in poor countries. Developed countries need to step up in providing adequate public finance to both help build resilience, but also to allow clean development and fulfillment – and exceedance - of the conditional parts of the NDCs. Loss and damage The Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM) should put greater focus on averting loss and damage than on post-event addressing of it. New, additional and adequate sources of climate finance are needed to enhance action. The potential of nature-based solutions for resilience should be given greater consideration and implementation priority. Adaptation Developing countries should be supported to complete and implement country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and transparent adaptation plans. The overall financial flows, as well as the proportion of finance for adaptation need to be increased to allow vulnerable people, communities and ecosystems to adapt to the changing climate. Article 6 Rather than rely on ‘flexibility’ mechanisms, countries should instead focus on making transformational changes to their economies. Kyoto credits should play no role in any Paris mechanisms. Article 6 provisions should be adopted as a package. The Article 6 mechanisms should explicitly recognise the non-fungibility of fossil and biological carbon and prevent trade between them. Strong social and environmental safeguards are essential to be agreed before use of flexibility mechanisms. Nature-based solutions COP should recognise the potential co-benefits of nature-based solutions, as detailed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports, and agree means to promote their implementation Nature-based solutions for mitigation should not be seen as an alternative to ending the use of fossil fuels. It should be seen as an additional and precautionary approach, with other co-benefits, including for resilience. Appropriate links with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)’s provisions should be made, and coherent implementation encouraged. Gender and Climate The revision must ensure that gender balance approaches are adopted under all the bodies of the convention. Download the full briefing here

World in disunion: Climate change and the Rugby World Cup

  The effects of climate change are being felt around the world and the Pacific islands are among the worst affected. But unless greenhouse gas emissions fall, the consequences in the coming decades will be far worse than anything seen so far. Fiji, Samoa and Tonga face an onslaught as the world warms. Hotter and more acidic oceans, due to higher levels of carbon dioxide, kill coral reefs upon which fish populations depend, while rising sea levels will swallow land, increase flooding and salinate water supplies. The region is also likely to experience more category 3 to 5 storms, such as last year’s Cyclone Gita which was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Tonga since records began. Together these climate change impacts threaten to undermine the islands’ economies, deter tourists, making life increasingly tough and driving young people away, putting strain on the countries’ ability to field competitive rugby teams. Researchers warn of mass migration from the islands as a result of climate change in the coming decades. Alongside the Pacific island countries at the Rugby World Cup are some of the countries most responsible for the climate crisis. Major greenhouse gas polluters like the US, Australia, the hosts Japan, Russia, Canada, South Africa and the European nations will play at the tournament, to the tune of a world in union. But few, if any, of the most polluting competitors have credible plans to cut their emissions to safe levels - suggesting the World Cup’s theme song is just an empty promise. It is not too late to prevent dangerous climate change and to save the future for the Pacific islands, and the rest of the world. But it requires immediate action to cut emissions.

COP 23: Focus on the most vulnerable, focus on 'loss and damage'

A briefing outlining what Christian Aid are calling for at the United Nations climate change conference (COP23) in November 2017 in Bonn, Germany. What we're calling for at COP23 In 2013, world governments agreed to address the inevitable impacts of climate change that sufficient mitigation or adaptation have not prevented – otherwise known as ‘loss and damage’. Although this promise was reinforced in the 2015 Paris Agreement, they have yet to provide any international finance for this. Christian Aid and ACT Alliance are calling for COP23 to bring the reality of climate impacts into the heart of the climate negotiations and make progress on this crucial issue, to ensure vulnerable communities and countries have the resources to prevent, and respond to loss and damage from climate change.

Power analysis: A learning review

This learning review explores how power analysis is integrated in Christian Aid resilience programmes funded by CHASE and General PPAs 2011-2016.

COP22 briefing paper: moving forward from Paris

This paper sets out Christian Aid's position in the lead up to COP22 in Marrakech in November 2016 - the conference should act as a springboard for accelerated climate action in the period before 2020, when the Paris Agreement is due to enter into force.

Tackling violence, building peace: global strategy 2016

Violence and conflict affects almost one fifth of the world’s population or 1.5 billion people. The daily fear, uncertainty and suffering borne by people living through violent conflicts in countries such as Syria, Iraq and South Sudan is immeasurable and unimaginable. The war in Syria, has contributed to the highest number of displaced people since World War II; nearly five million having fled its bombs and bullets. Meanwhile, the catastrophe continues for people trapped in besieged villages across Syria and Iraq. Other countries like Colombia are striving to end protracted conflicts and push peace over the line. Today, one in every 122 people is now a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum, and the cost of world military spending is said to be nearly 250 times more than is spent on peace building. Christian Aid has adopted ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace,’ as a strategic priority to address these critical trends and because we know that human development cannot be achieved without tackling violence. Seventy years after Christian Aid’s establishment, the root causes and levels of violence in poor communities where we work persists, often at higher levels and irrespective of whether those communities are ‘at war’ or not. Most of the world’s poorest people live outside of any form of protection and remain vulnerable to war and conflict, violent criminal organisations, gender-based violence, police abuse, forced labour and violent theft of land and other assets on a daily basis. People who do not have a safe place to call home, reliable access to food and an income because of violence, cannot plan for the future. Communities living through daily violence cannot thrive. And children who are forced to leave school because of violence are denied a chance at their hopes and dreams. Women and girls are also increasingly subject to physical and sexual violence, a harrowing result of gender inequality. Conflict is complex and even when peace comes, it does not always signal an end to violence. It can mark a shift from militarised conflict to widespread social conflict. For example, in Central America more people die violently today due to crime than during the civil wars of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua combined. Our new strategy underpins our commitment to tackle violence and to promote just and lasting peace and security where we work. The strategy is deeply informed by our work in countries across the globe and reflects the aspirations and vision of our local partners. Peace is both an end in itself and a prerequisite for development. ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace’ is our pledge to work tirelessly and collectively towards a safer future that secures justice and human rights for all.

Time for climate justice 18: moving forward from Paris (Spanish)

Calls for Marrakesh conference to act springboard for accelerated climate action before 2020, while laying foundation for post-2020 climate regime.