¿Un nuevo Marco Global de Biodiversidad o un Fraude Global de Biodiversidad?

La 15ª reunión de la Conferencia de las Partes del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CDB) se llevó a cabo en diciembre de 2022 en Montreal, Canadá, junto con las reuniones del Protocolo de Cartagena y el Protocolo de Nagoya del CDB.

El contexto

La naturaleza es esencial para la existencia humana y sustenta la calidad del aire, el agua dulce y los suelos de los que depende la humanidad; distribuye agua dulce, regula el clima, proporciona polinización y control de plagas y reduce el impacto de los desastres socio-naturales. Nuestros medios de subsistencia también dependen de la naturaleza, ya que más de 2000 millones de personas dependen de la leña para satisfacer sus necesidades energéticas primarias; alrededor de 4000 millones de personas dependen principalmente de medicamentos naturales para el cuidado de su salud y alrededor del 70 % de los medicamentos utilizados para el cáncer son productos naturales o sintéticos inspirados en la naturaleza. Más del 75 % de los tipos de cultivos alimentarios mundiales dependen de la polinización animal y los ecosistemas marinos y terrestres son los únicos sumideros de las emisiones antropogénicas de carbono, con un secuestro bruto de 5,6 gigatoneladas de carbono al año (el equivalente al 60 % de las emisiones antropogénicas mundiales).

Los humanos somos parte de la naturaleza, pero la vemos como algo separado de nosotros que puede ser usado y destruido a nuestra discreción. Según el Informe de Evaluación Global de IPBES sobre Biodiversidad y Servicios Ecosistémicos, alrededor de 1 millón de especies de animales y plantas desaparecerán de la tierra y muchas en las próximas décadas; en gran parte de los trópicos altamente biodiversos, se perdieron 32 millones de hectáreas de bosques primarios o en recuperación entre 2010 y 2015; y aproximadamente la mitad de la cobertura de coral vivo en los arrecifes de coral se ha perdido desde la década de 1870, con pérdidas aceleradas en las últimas décadas debido al cambio climático que exacerba otros factores.

El informe IPBES también identifica claramente los impulsores directos del cambio en la naturaleza que son: (1) cambios en el uso de la tierra y el mar, (2) explotación directa de organismos, (3) cambio climático, (4) contaminación y (5) especies exóticas invasoras; y también destaca que desde 1980, las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero se han duplicado, elevando las temperaturas globales promedio en al menos 0,7 grados centígrados y se espera que sus impactos aumenten en las próximas décadas, en algunos casos superando el impacto del cambio en el uso de la tierra y el mar y otros factores.

Para hacer frente a la crisis de biodiversidad del mundo, se estableció el Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica (CDB) con la misión de lograr una vida en armonía con la naturaleza para el año 2050 a través de tres objetivos centrales; conservación de la biodiversidad, uso sostenible y distribución equitativa de los beneficios derivados del uso de los recursos genéticos. Para lograr la misión y los objetivos, en 2010, las partes del CDB adoptaron un plan de trabajo de 10 años que, en esencia, contenía 20 metas, conocidas como Metas de Aichi, que abordaban diferentes temas, entre ellos: la integración y el respeto del conocimiento tradicional (T18), el aumento de los recursos financieros de todas las fuentes (T20), la reforma de los incentivos (T3) y la producción y el consumo sostenibles.

Al final del plan de trabajo, estaba claro que los objetivos de Aichi no se cumplirían y que cualquier plan posterior tenía que centrarse principalmente en la implementación. Es así como se establece un grupo de trabajo en el marco del CDB 1 con el objetivo de conducir el proceso que conduciría a la adopción de un Marco Global de Biodiversidad post 2020 en la COP 15 del CDB en 2019. Pero la pandemia del COVID-19 golpeó al mundo y la CBD COP 15 no sólo se pospuso hasta diciembre de 2022, sino que también cambió su sede de Kunming, China, a Montreal, Canadá. A lo largo de los años, el grupo de trabajo celebró 5 reuniones en total, tanto en línea como en persona.

¿Cuáles son los resultados después de años de negociación?

El largo y lento proceso de negociación produjo lo que ahora se llama el Marco Global de Biodiversidad de Kunming-Montreal [Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)] que, en esencia, contiene lo siguiente:

Una teoría del cambio que reconoce la necesidad urgente de una acción política para lograr el desarrollo sostenible, de modo que se reduzcan y/o reviertan los factores del cambio no deseado que han exacerbado la pérdida de biodiversidad.

Una visión que es la misma que figura en el texto de la Convención de vivir en armonía con la naturaleza para 2050 y una misión para tomar medidas urgentes para detener y revertir la pérdida de biodiversidad para poner a la naturaleza en el camino de la recuperación. Impulsado especialmente por grandes grupos conservacionistas, el concepto de ‘naturaleza positiva‘ cuestionado por la sociedad civil no fue incluido en la misión.

Un conjunto de metas que es básicamente un texto alineado con los tres objetivos de la Convención, pero con la inclusión de la meta D sobre los medios adecuados de implementación, incluidos los recursos financieros, la creación de capacidades, la cooperación técnica y científica, y el acceso y la transferencia de tecnología, para también cerrar progresivamente la brecha financiera de la biodiversidad de 700 mil millones de dólares por año.

La sección H del marco contiene los Objetivos Kunming-Montreal 2030 que comprenden un conjunto de 23 objetivos. Si bien todos están conectados, cada uno aborda un tema en particular, algunos representan un paso adelante, otros un paso atrás de las Metas de Aichi y otros son una simple referencia al texto de la Convención.

La meta 17, por ejemplo, sólo tiene como objetivo fortalecer la capacidad para implementar el artículo 8(g) 2 del Convenio que habla sobre la regulación, gestión y control de riesgos asociados con el uso y liberación de organismos vivos modificados. No representa nada nuevo para la Convención.

La meta 3 relacionada con la conservación basada en áreas disfrutó de mucha atención en detrimento de todas las demás metas, incluidas aquellas que abordan los factores impulsores de la pérdida de biodiversidad. Promovida principalmente por grandes grupos conservacionistas, la propuesta de aumentar las áreas protegidas en al menos un 30% 3 fue cuestionada por organizaciones de la sociedad civil y grupos de pueblos indígenas por diferentes razones, incluidas las asociaciones para “fortalecer la conservación” y sus impactos negativos principalmente en los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales, quienes han sido criminalizados y desplazados de sus tierras ancestrales durante décadas en la búsqueda de un enfoque colonial y estrecho de conservación a través de Áreas Protegidas. La Meta adoptada sí incluye este aspecto cuantitativo, pero también incluye importantes referencias a los pueblos indígenas y el reconocimiento y respeto de sus derechos, incluidos los derechos sobre sus territorios tradicionales.

La meta 15 no fue muy popular y probablemente esa sea la razón de su lenguaje débil. En lugar de apuntar a regulaciones más estrictas para el sector privado, en particular las empresas transnacionales, sólo pide a los gobiernos que tomen medidas legales, administrativas o políticas para alentar y permitir el negocio y, en particular, para garantizar a las empresas e instituciones financieras grandes y transnacionales: Monitorear, evaluar y divulgar de manera transparente y regular sus riesgos, dependencias e impactos sobre la biodiversidad; Proporcionar la información necesaria a los consumidores para promover patrones de consumo sostenibles; e Informar sobre el cumplimiento de las normas y medidas de acceso y participación en los beneficios, según corresponda.

La meta 22 es algo que vale la pena destacar como positivo, ya que dice: Garantizar la representación y participación plena, equitativa, inclusiva, efectiva y con perspectiva de género en la toma de decisiones, y el acceso a la justicia y a la información relacionada con la biodiversidad por parte de los pueblos indígenas y las comunidades locales, respetando sus culturas y sus derechos sobre las tierras, los territorios, los recursos y los conocimientos tradicionales, así como por las mujeres y las niñas, los niños y los jóvenes y las personas con discapacidad, y garantizar la plena protección de los defensores de los derechos humanos ambientales.

La meta 23 también es una victoria gracias a y para la sociedad civil y dice: Garantizar la igualdad de género en la implementación del marco a través de un enfoque sensible al género donde todas las mujeres y niñas tengan las mismas oportunidades y capacidad para contribuir a los tres objetivos de la Convención, incluyendo el reconocimiento de su igualdad de derechos y acceso a la tierra y los recursos naturales y su participación y liderazgo plenos, equitativos, significativos e informados en todos los niveles de acción, compromiso, política y toma de decisiones relacionadas con la biodiversidad.

La relación entre el cambio climático y la biodiversidad

Según IPBES, el cambio climático ya está impactando a la naturaleza desde el nivel de los ecosistemas hasta el de la genética, siendo los ecosistemas marinos y terrestres los únicos sumideros de las emisiones antropogénicas de carbono, con un secuestro bruto de 5,6 gigatoneladas de carbono por año (el equivalente a unas 60% de las emisiones antropogénicas globales).

Desde una perspectiva de justicia climática y ecológica, los vínculos e interdependencias entre la atmósfera y la biósfera son evidentes, así como las causas estructurales comunes de la crisis del clima y la biodiversidad. Sin embargo, para los países desarrollados y los intereses conservacionistas y privados específicos, parece que la única conexión es cómo incluir la contribución de la biodiversidad a la mitigación en un sistema basado en el mercado a través de soluciones basadas en la naturaleza (SBN).

La Decisión 23 de la COP sobre cambio climático y biodiversidad perdió su objetivo real a lo largo de los años y fue simplificada en exceso por los países desarrollados que redujeron la conexión entre el cambio climático y la biodiversidad al uso del término “soluciones basadas en la naturaleza”. Después de dar vueltas y sin concesiones del norte global en incluir siquiera una referencia al principio CBDR, esta decisión no pudo alcanzar ninguna salida y fue enviada de vuelta al Órgano Subsidiario de Asesoramiento Técnico y Tecnológico (SBSTTA) de la Convención para más discusión.

La meta 8 del Marco adoptado se centra en minimizar el impacto del cambio climático y la acidificación de los océanos en la biodiversidad y aumentar su resiliencia a través de acciones de mitigación, adaptación y reducción del riesgo de desastres, incluso a través de soluciones basadas en la naturaleza y/o enfoques basados en los ecosistemas. La concesión final para tratar con SBN fue colocarlo junto con los enfoques basados en ecosistemas, que es un término bien definido en el CDB.

La meta11 también se resolvió juntando los enfoques basados en SBN y ecosistemas como una forma de restaurar, mantener y mejorar las contribuciones de la naturaleza a las personas, como la regulación del aire, el agua y el clima, la salud del suelo, la polinización y la reducción del riesgo de enfermedades, así como protección contra peligros y desastres naturales.

Otros elementos importantes

A través de la decisión sobre movilización de recursos (CBD/COP/15/L.29), la COP15 adoptó una Estrategia de Movilización de Recursos, reconociendo que implica una fase inmediata (2023-24) y una fase de mediano plazo (2025-30). También reconoce la urgencia de aumentar el financiamiento internacional para la biodiversidad y establecer un Fondo GBF dedicado y accesible en 2023 para movilizar y desembolsar rápidamente recursos nuevos y adicionales de todas las fuentes, de acuerdo con la ambición del GBF. Solicita al GEF (Global Environmental Facility):

  • establecer en 2023 un fondo fiduciario especial para apoyar la implementación de GBF para complementar el apoyo existente y ampliar el financiamiento para garantizar su implementación oportuna;
  • preparar una decisión para ser considerada por el Consejo del GEF sobre la aprobación del Fondo GBF, con su propio órgano rector equitativo, que se dedicará exclusivamente a apoyar la implementación de las metas y objetivos del GBF;
  • promover los arreglos institucionales y de gobernanza necesarios para permitir que el Fondo GBF reciba, además de la asistencia oficial para el desarrollo, financiamiento de todas las fuentes; y
  • diseñar e implementar un ciclo de proyecto con un proceso de solicitud y aprobación simple y efectivo, proporcionando un acceso fácil y eficiente a los recursos del Fondo GBF.

Observaciones finales

  • El nuevo Marco no está a la altura de las altas expectativas y el arduo trabajo realizado durante años de negociación. No aborda los verdaderos factores que determinan la pérdida de biodiversidad e incluso no aborda las causas estructurales de la destrucción de la biodiversidad. La crisis medioambiental a la que nos enfrentamos responde a problemas estructurales comunes de nuestra sociedad y de nuestro modelo económico que antepone el lucro a cualquier otra consideración. A la biodiversidad no se le atribuye derechos, y por el contrario es algo de lo que podemos beneficiarnos y podemos explotar y destruir. Este viejo enfoque antropocéntrico y capitalista ya no es compatible con la sola existencia de millones de especies en el mundo ni con la vida y el sustento de los seres humanos.
  • La formulación de las nuevas metas no es una mejora significativa en comparación con las metas de Aichi, pero ha habido avances en asuntos específicos relacionados con su implementación, incluido el trabajo en indicadores. Mientras existen vínculos explícitos con el cambio climático como la Meta 8, todas las demás metas abordan asuntos importantes para proteger la biodiversidad que, como resultado, tendrán contribuciones positivas en la lucha contra el cambio climático.
  • La plena implementación del Marco también está vinculada al progreso de la decisión sobre la movilización de recursos y el mecanismo financiero del CDB. Los países desarrollados se han creado una reputación basada en hechos de incumplimiento de sus obligaciones en materia de mitigación y financiación en el marco de la CMNUCC. El CDB no puede recorrer el mismo camino pedregoso a pesar de los intentos de los países ricos de descuidar sus responsabilidades históricas en la destrucción de la biodiversidad.
  • Los resultados de la COP 15 se verían muy diferentes sin la participación activa de la sociedad civil que tiene un papel en la configuración del Marco Global de Biodiversidad Kunming-Montreal adoptado. La CMNUCC y el CDB no son la respuesta al mundo y necesitamos crear espacios fuertes y alternativos, pero el proceso multilateral sigue siendo relevante y un espacio estratégico importante para trabajar. Sin el involucramiento de la sociedad civil no hubiera sido posible la inclusión y reconocimiento de los derechos, en particular de los pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales, y la adopción de las metas 22 y 23.
  • Por otro lado, el papel de los grandes grupos conservacionistas y los intereses privados es evidente y también tiene un impacto en los resultados de la COP 15. La promoción de términos y esquemas como Nature Positive y Nature-based solutions tiene, por decir lo menos, contribuciones adicionales a la biodiversidad cuestionables y distraen la atención de los verdaderos factores de la pérdida de biodiversidad.
  • El CDB y su nuevo Marco no son la solución a la crisis de la biodiversidad, pero si se implementan por completo, los nuevos objetivos tienen el potencial de contribuir a un cambio en la trayectoria de la pérdida de biodiversidad. Los gobiernos por sí solos no lo harán posible porque los intereses económicos siguen estando por encima de todos los demás. El papel de la sociedad civil para velar por la implementación en los territorios junto con la responsabilización de los gobiernos por la destrucción de la biodiversidad será crucial en los próximos años. Como sociedad, necesitamos trabajar urgentemente en modelos claros de desarrollo alternativo a través de transiciones justas que puedan hacerse efectivas en el corto plazo. No hay tiempo que perder. Necesitamos crear nuevas realidades que dejen atrás las antiguas.

1Open Ended Working Group on Post 2020 

2(g) Establecer o mantener medios para regular, gestionar o controlar los riesgos asociados con el uso y la liberación de organismos vivos modificados resultantes de la biotecnología que probablemente tengan impactos ambientales adversos que podrían afectar la conservación y el uso sostenible de la diversidad biológica, teniendo también en cuenta los riesgos para la salud humana

  3Su antecesora, la meta 17 de Aichi, apuntaba a que el 17 % de las tierras terrestres y el 10 % de las áreas costeras y marinas se conserven a través de áreas protegidas y otras medidas eficaces de conservación basadas en áreas 

A new Global Biodiversity Framework or a Global Biodiversity Fraud?

The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) took place in December 2022 in Montreal, Canada together with the meetings for the Cartagena Protocol and the Nagoya Protocol of the CBD. 

The context

Nature is essential for human existence and it sustains the quality of the air, fresh water and soils on which humanity depends, distributes fresh water, regulates the climate, provides pollination and pest control and reduces the impact of socio-natural hazards. Our livelihoods also depend on nature as more than 2 billion people rely on wood fuel for their primary energy needs; around 4 billion people rely primarily on natural medicines for their health care and some 70 % of drugs used for cancer are natural or are synthetic products inspired by nature. More than 75 % of global food crop types rely on animal pollination and marine and terrestrial ecosystems are the sole sinks for anthropogenic carbon emissions, with a gross sequestration of 5.6 gigatons of carbon per year (the equivalent of 60 % of global anthropogenic emissions).

Humans are part of nature, yet we see it as something separated from us that can be used and destroyed at our discretion. According to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment Report, around 1 million animal and plant species will disappear from earth and many within the next decades; across much of the highly biodiverse tropics, 32 million hectares of primary or recovering forest were lost between 2010 and 2015; and approximately half the live coral cover on coral reefs has been lost since the 1870s, with accelerating losses in recent decades due to climate change exacerbating other drivers. 

The IPBES report also clearly identifies the direct drivers of change in nature that are: (1) changes in land and sea use; (2) direct exploitation of organisms; (3) climate change; (4) pollution and (5) invasive alien species and also highlights that since 1980, greenhouse gas emissions have doubled, raising average global temperatures by at least 0.7 degrees Celsius and its impacts are expected to increase over the coming decades, in some cases surpassing the impact of land and sea use change and other drivers. 

In order to address the biodiversity crisis of the world, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established with the mission to achieve a life in harmony with nature by 2050 through three core objectives; conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use, and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.  To achieve the mission and objectives, in 2010, parties to the CBD adopted a 10-year work plan that at its core contained 20 targets, known as Aichi Targets that addressed different issues including: the integration and respect to traditional knowledge (T18), the increase of financial resources from all sources (T20), reform of incentives (T3), and sustainable production and consumption.  

By the end of the work plan, it was clear that the Aichi targets would not be met and that any subsequent plan had to mainly focus on implementation. This is how a working group  is established under the CBD 1 with the aim of conducting the process that will lead to the adoption of a post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at COP 15 of the CBD in 2019. But the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and CBD COP 15 was not only postponed until December, 2022, but also changed its venue from Kunming, China to Montreal, Canada.  Over the years, the working group held 5 meetings in total both online and in person

What are the results after years of negotiation? 

The lengthy and slow negotiation process produced what is now called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework that at its core contains the following:

A theory of change that recognizes the urgent need for policy action to achieve sustainable development so that drivers of undesirable change that have exacerbated biodiversity loss will be reduced and/or reversed. 

A vision that is the same as contained in the text of the Convention of living in harmony with nature by 2050 and a mission to take urgent action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss to put nature on a path to recovery. Pushed by specially big conservationist groups, the concept of ´nature positive´ contested by civil society was not included in the mission. 

A set of goals that is basically text aligned with the three objectives of the Convention but with the inclusion of goal D on adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, technical and scientific cooperation, and access to and transfer of technology to also progressively close the biodiversity finance gap of 700 billion dollars per year. 

Section H of the framework contains the Kunming-Montreal 2030 Targets that comprise a set of 23 targets. While all of them are connected, each addresses a particular matter with some representing a step forward, others a step backwards from the Aichi Targets and others being a simple reference to the text of the Convention. 

Target 17 for example only aims to strengthen capacity to implement article 8(g)2 of the Convention that talks about regulation, management and control of risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms. It represents nothing new to the Convention.

Target 3 related to area based conservation enjoyed hyper attention in decrement of all other targets including those addressing the drivers of biodiversity loss. Promoted mainly by big conservationist groups, the proposal to increase protected areas by at least 30%3 was contested by civil society organizations and indigenous peoples groups for different reasons including the associations to “fortress conservation” and its negative impacts mainly on indigenous peoples and local communities who have been criminalized and displaced from their ancestral lands over decades in the pursuit of a colonial and narrow approach to conservation through Protected Areas. The adopted Target does include this quantitative aspect, but it also includes important references to indigenous peoples and recognition and respect to their rights including the rights over their traditional territories. 

Target 15 was not very popular and probably that is the reason for its weak language.  Instead of aiming at stronger regulations for the private sector, in particular transnational corporations, it only asks governments to take legal, administrative or policy measures to encourage and enable business, and in particular to ensure that large and transnational companies and financial institutions, to: Regularly monitor, assess, and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity; Provide information needed to consumers to promote sustainable consumption patterns; and Report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures, as applicable. 

Target 22 is something worth highlighting as positive since it reads: Ensure the full, equitable, inclusive, effective and gender-responsive representation and participation in decision-making, and access to justice and information related to biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities, respecting their cultures and their rights over lands, territories, resources, and traditional knowledge, as well as by women and girls, children and youth, and persons with disabilities and ensure the full protection of environmental human rights defenders.

Target 23 is also a victory thanks to and for civil society and reads: Ensure gender equality in the implementation of the framework through a gender-responsive approach where all women and girls have equal opportunity and capacity to contribute to the three objectives of the Convention, including by recognizing their equal rights and access to land and natural resources and their full, equitable, meaningful and informed participation and leadership at all levels of action, engagement, policy and decision-making related to biodiversity.

The relation between climate change and biodiversity

According to IPBES, climate change is already impacting nature from the level of ecosystems to that of genetics when marine and terrestrial ecosystems are the sole sinks for anthropogenic carbon emissions, with a gross sequestration of 5.6 gigatons of carbon per year (the equivalent of some 60 % of global anthropogenic emissions).

From a climate and ecological justice perspective, the linkages and interdependencies between the atmosphere and the biosphere are evident as well as the common structural causes for the climate and the biodiversity crisis.  However, for developed countries and specific conservationist and private interests, it seems that the only connection is how to include biodiversity’s contribution to mitigation in a market based system through nature based solutions (NBS). 

COP Decision 23  on Climate change and biodiversity lost its real aim over the years and was oversimplified by developed countries that narrowed down the connection between climate change and biodiversity to using the term nature-based solutions. After going in circles and with no concessions from the global north on including even a reference to the CBDR principle, this decision could not reach any way out and was sent back to the Subsidiary Body of Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA)  of the Convention for further discussion. 

Target 8 of the adopted Framework focuses on minimizing the impact of climate change and ocean acidification on biodiversity and increasing its resilience through mitigation, adaptation and disaster risk reduction actions, including through nature-based solutions and/or ecosystem based approaches. The final concession to deal with NBS was to place it together with Ecosystem Based Approaches which is a well defined term under the CBD. 

Target 11 was also resolved by placing NBS and Ecosystem based approaches together as a way to restore, maintain and enhance nature’s contributions to people such as regulation of air, water, and climate, soil health, pollination and reduction of disease risk, as well as protection from natural hazards and disasters.  

Other important elements

Through the decision on Resource Mobilization (CBD/COP/15/L.29), COP 15 adopted a Resource Mobilization Strategy, recognizing that it entails an immediate phase (2023-24), and a medium-term phase (2025-30). It also recognizes the urgency to increase international biodiversity finance, and to establish a dedicated and accessible Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) Fund in 2023 to quickly mobilize and disburse new and additional resources from all sources, commensurate with GBF ambition. It requests the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to:

  • establish in 2023 a special trust fund to support GBF implementation to complement existing support and scale up financing to ensure its timely implementation
  • prepare a decision to be considered by the GEF Council on the approval of the GBF Fund, with its own equitable governing body, to be dedicated exclusively to supporting the implementation of the GBF goals and targets;
  • advance the necessary institutional and governance arrangements, to allow for the GBF Fund to receive, in addition to official development assistance, financing from all sources; and
  • design and implement a project cycle with a simple and effective application and approval process, providing easy and efficient access to resources of the GBF Fund. 

Final remarks 

  • The new Framework is not up to the level of the high expectations and the hard work put in years of negotiation. It fails to address the real drivers of biodiversity loss and even address the structural causes of the destruction of biodiversity. The environmental crisis we are facing responds to common structural problems of our society and our economic model that puts profit over any other consideration. Biodiversity is not attributed rights but instead, it is something we can profit from and can exploit and destroy. This old, anthropocentric and capitalist approach is no longer compatible with the sole existence of millions of species in the world nor with the life and livelihoods of human beings.   
  • The formulation of the new targets is not a remarkable improvement in comparison to the Aichi targets, but there has been progress in specific matters related to their implementation including the work in indicators. While there are explicit linkages with climate change like Target 8, all other targets address important matters to protect biodiversity that in result will have positive contributions to the fight against climate change. 
  • The full implementation of the Framework is also linked to the progress of the decision on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism of the CBD. Developed countries have created upon themselves a fact based reputation of non compliance of their obligations on mitigation and finance under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The CBD cannot travel the same rocky path despite the attempts of rich countries to neglect their historical responsibilities in the destruction of biodiversity. 
  • The results of COP 15 would look very different without the active participation of civil society that has a role in shaping the adopted Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The UNFCCC and the CBD are not the answer to the world and we need to create strong and alternative spaces, but the multilateral process is still relevant and an important strategic space to work on. Without the involvement of civil society, the inclusion and recognition of the rights, in particular of indigenous peoples and local communities, and the adoption of targets 22 and 23 would not have been possible. 
  • On the flip side, the role of big conservationist groups and private interests is evident and also has an impact on the results of COP 15. The promotion of terms and schemes such as Nature Positive and Nature-based solutions have, to say the least, questionable added contributions to biodiversity and distract from addressing the real drivers of biodiversity loss. 
  • The CBD and its new Framework are not the solution to the biodiversity crisis but if fully implemented, the new targets have a potential to contribute to a change in the trajectory of biodiversity loss. Governments alone won’t make it happen because the economic interests are still above all others. The role of civil society to look after implementation in the territories together with making governments accountable for the destruction of biodiversity will be crucial in the coming years. As society, we need urgent work on clear alternative development models through just transitions that can be made effective in the short run. There is no time to lose. We need to create new realities that leave the old ones behind.

1Open Ended Working Group on Post 2020 

2(g) Establish or maintain means to regulate, manage or control the risks associated with the use and release of living modified organisms resulting from biotechnology which are likely to have adverse environmental impacts that could affect the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account the risks to human health;

  3Its predecessor, Aichi target 17, aimed at 17% of terrestrial land and 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved through protected areas and other effective area-based conservation 

People’s power wins at COP27 as loss and damage fund established but talks fail to deliver on other key demands

20 November 2022

Sharm El-Sheikh

As the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) closes, the collective power of civil society groups and grassroots climate activists saw a historic outcome with the establishment of a loss and damage fund. But this victory cannot be attributed to the developed nations who have been blocking and delaying this outcome for years. It is the consistent and powerful mobilization of the frontline climate defenders and those inside the venue who refused their voices to be drowned when negotiations came to a standstill. It is time for developed countries to finally step up and deliver on this fund because an empty fund is an empty promise made at the expense of millions all over the world suffering from the consequences of climate change they cannot adapt to any longer. 

The world is experiencing an unprecedented climate crisis and the United Nations Conferences on Climate Change demonstrate they continue to be held hostage by the rich countries backed by big polluters and failing to deliver real climate action for the people. Rich nations exhausted the capacity of the climate talks this year as they pretended to be leaders on mitigation when they have not met their emission reduction commitments. The developed countries continued their hypocrisy on limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius while locking the world into a fossil fuel dependent future by closing several fossil fuel energy deals on the sidelines as the climate negotiations went on.

Without real solutions, real finance, real actions on reducing global emissions, and real protection of human rights there can be no climate justice.

Representatives of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice share their reactions on this landmark moment in the climate negotiations as well as the key demands the COP27 failed to deliver on.

Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development:

“We welcome an initial partial win on Loss & Damage Fund — it is there but buried with other ‘financial arrangements.’ And this win is overshadowed by lack of progress on fossil fuel phase out and the continued inclusion of false solutions, which means more loss & damage! Lack of progress on Fossil Fuel phase out shows the hypocrisy of governments of rich countries in their blah blah blah about keeping global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, and the corporate capture of the COP by the fossil fuel industries. We need to escalate even more our struggles — in our countries and international arenas! Onwards!”

Meena Raman, Third World Network 

“Since EU and Alok S are disappointed that fossil fuel phase out is not in the text, we would like them to take leadership and revise their NDCs and put into plans their fossil fuel phaseout urgently and stop expansion of fossil fuels including oil and gas! Not enough to play to the gallery but act if they really want to save the planet and not hide behind 2050 net zero targets which will bust the remaining carbon budget for a 1.5 degree C. They have the historical responsibility to get to real zero and in fact negative emissions and not net zero by 2050!”

Sara Shaw, Friends of the Earth International:

“It is a relief that the Loss and Damage fund has finally been established, after decades of struggle. But, right now, it is an empty fund, and we have a huge challenge ahead to ensure that developed countries contribute to it, in line with justice and equity. We must not see a repeat of the abysmal performance of rich countries failing to provide the already inadequate $100 billion a year promised over a decade ago.”

Jean Su, Center for Biological Diversity: 

“The powerful advocacy of climate-vulnerable countries and the global climate justice movement forced a ground shift at this COP on paying up for loss and damage. The failure to commit to a full fossil fuel phaseout will mean even more loss and damage, in a vicious cycle of escalating harm and inadequate reparation. Any further expansion of fossil fuels betrays world leaders’ promises to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and puts our planet in further peril.”

Asad Rehman, War on Want:

Battle lines were drawn at COP27 between rich countries and poor countries. The US, EU, UK and others came to the Summit with empty words, hollow promises & a refusal to take responsibility for having set the planet on fire and destroying millions of lives & livelihoods.

But we leave the Summit with a glimmer of hope that the establishment of a Loss and Damage Fund will provide much needed support to those on the frontlines of the climate catastrophe. It’s a small step, a critical one, but an empty fund means nothing. Rich countries who continue to pollute must now provide real finance to the fund.

This historic victory was only made possible because of people power. The unprecedented pressure by climate justice groups and the refusal of developing countries to be bullied or divided, dragged rich countries kicking and screaming across the line.

But we leave this Summit bitter at the refusal of the rich to cut their emissions, and shift away from their addiction to fossil fuels. This continues to be a life and death fight for the future of humanity. But the growing power of climate justice movements is sending a warning to rich countries that we are not, and never will be defeated.

Babawale Obayanju, Friends of the Earth Africa:

“The fact that the outcome only talks about ‘phasedown of unabated coal power’ is a disaster for Africa and for the climate. Oil and gas must also be phased out, swiftly and fairly. One small word, ‘unabated’, creates a huge loophole, opening the door to new fossil-based hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects, which will allow emissions to continue. We don’t need more gas extraction in Africa, devastating our communities for the benefit of rich countries and corporations. What we needed from COP27 was agreement to a rapid, equitable phase out of all fossil fuels.”

Rachel Rose Jackson, Corporate Accountability: 

“Climate talks bankrolled by Big Polluters, and governments like the US doing their bidding. While the perseverance of movements and Global South governments finally secured a way forward for Loss and Damage finance, amidst a climate emergency this alone is simply not enough. COP27 needed to deliver a package of real solutions, real finance, and Real Zero pathways that equitably phase out fossil fuels. As long as Big Polluters are allowed to write the rules, the name of the game will always be ‘climate inaction.’ It’s time to reset the system, kick Big Polluters out, and make them pay for the damage they cause.”

Adrien Salazar, Policy Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

“This COP brought an opaque, undemocratic process that once again focused on the interests of financial institutions and the fossil fuel industry than in the communities who have real solutions to the climate crisis. The conditions of Egypt and restrictions on democracy made this COP in particular a COP of blatant hypocrisy. We stood by Alaa Abd El-Fattah fight for his freedom, and the freedom of all political prisoners, while our own actions as activists were restricted. While a historic loss and damage fund in this final decision is a result of decades of movements advocating for the lives of our communities, more must be done to make concrete the promise of this fund and ensure no finance mechanisms exploit people and reproduce colonial relations between vulnerable populations and financial institutions. This moment is the result of movements. And further real progress to confront the crisis continues outside of the UNFCCC in the streets and in communities where people are organizing to stop new fossil fuel projects and build real community-led and people-centered solutions,”.

Hemantha Withanage, Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka:

“The decision on carbon markets is deeply worrying. Whilst COP27 has temporarily delayed moves to put geoengineering, dangerous and untested technologies, and nature-based solutions into carbon offset markets, we know these threats will rear their heads again, giving cover for continued emissions by polluters, grabbing of land, forests and water from vulnerable communities, and violations of peoples’ rights.”

Souparna Lahiri, Global Forest Coalition: 

“The outcomes of the COP27 perilously indicate the immense corporate power and their scandalous lobbying for false climate solutions. A multilateral forum like the UNFCCC is fast losing its credibility, not being able to facilitate bridging the existing gap between global climate policy and climate justice. But, Sharm El Sheikh also demonstrated that it is the indomitable power and strength of the unity of  frontline communities, indigenous peoples, women, peasants, workers and the youth that can force our governments and the corporates to junk false solutions  and change the system to move forward towards real climate solutions and real zero.”

Elizabeth Bast, Oil Change International: 

“In a critical year, this COP again failed to recognise that a rapid and equitable phase-out of all fossil fuels — oil, gas, and coal — is our only chance to achieve climate targets and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Despite some important progress toward establishing a loss and damage fund, the final outcome regurgitated unambitious language on fossil fuels that will lead to catastrophic consequences for people and planet. Even with this disappointing outcome, we’re seeing meaningful commitments from the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and countries and institutions ending overseas public finance for fossil fuels. Outside the COP, we will continue the fight for an equitable end to fossil fuels and a just transition to clean energy.” 

Aderonke Ige, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa: 

“For there to be any semblance of justice in the COP, big polluters must first be kicked out of the process! The brazen hypocrisy of the COP and what has now become a game of ‘hide and seek’ as far as the phasing out of fossil fuel goes, coupled with the embarrassing deletion of human rights, labour rights and the rights of Indigenous peoples in Article 6.4 and the unpopular expungement of reference to mitigation of global emissions by the supervisory body is a dangerous game taken too far. It is crystal clear that rich countries and big polluting corporations have no care or regard for the future, dignity of peoples or true justice; for there can be no climate justice without human rights!”

Susann Scherbarth, Friends of the Earth Germany:

“Like an avalanche, the climate crisis is accelerating and overwhelming people and nature. World leaders talked a lot, but it was the rich nations who acted half-heartedly and unfairly. The EU and US are claiming to be 1.5°c champions, yet still don’t accept equity and their historical responsibility. That is an astonishing and unacceptable betrayal of people and nature. There is a glimpse of hope, the pressure of the people and poor nations made it possible to establish the urgently needed fund for the poorest to deal with climate losses and damages.

“The UN climate conference has put the spotlight on the human rights situation in Egypt — where freedom of expression and freedom of the press are not accepted — and particularly the case of political prisoner Alaa Abd El Fattah. Alaa may not yet be free, but the global community will not stop calling for his release when they leave Egypt. There is no climate justice without human rights.” 

Quotes in other languages

Osver Polo, Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climatico, Perú: 

“Es preocupante que la cop27, no haya avanzando los acuerdos de Glasgow y que ahora buscan salir con la suya para retroceder sus compromisos, la llamada frase IMPLEMENTACION, no se ha cumplido aquí en la cop27, lamentablemente quieren seguir dilatando las tareas, los países del sur necesitan los mecanismos financieros para perdidas y daños. Asimismo, los países desarrollados deben redoblar sus esfuerzos en dejar los combustibles fósiles y reducir sus emisiones antes del 2030, el tiempo se agota.”

Susann Scherbarth, BUND / Friends of the Earth Germany, Germany: 

“Wie eine Schneelawine beschleunigt sich die Klimakrise und überrollt Mensch und Natur. Die Staats — und Regierungschefs der Welt haben viel geredet, aber die reichen Nationen haben nur halbherzig und nicht fair gehandelt. Die EU und die USA nehmen für sich in Anspruch, 1,5-Weltmeister zu sein, akzeptieren aber noch immer nicht ihre historische Verantwortung. Das ist nicht akzeptabel. Es ist ein Verrat an Mensch und Natur.


“Die Weltklimakonferenz hat den Menschenrechten in Ägypten — wo Meinungs- und Pressefreiheit nicht akzeptiert werden — und dem Fall des politischen Gefangenen Alaa Abd El Fattah höchste internationale Aufmerksamkeit verschafft. Alaa ist noch nicht frei, aber die globale Zivilgesellschaft wird nicht aufhören, nach seiner Freilassung zu fordern, auch wenn sie Ägypten verlässt. Es gibt keine Klimagerechtigkeit ohne Menschenrechte.”

Maureen Santos, Fase / Grupo Carta de Belém, Brasil

“Termina a COP 27 e mais uma vez as promessas são adiadas para o próximo ano. Em adaptação e em financiamento. Apesar da criação de um fundo novo para Perdas e Danos, a falta de provisão de montante e de compromissos concretos é frustante, assim como o convite para envolvimento de Instituições Financeiras Multilaterais como FMI e Grupo Banco Mundial, gerando preocupações com mais dívidas para países em situação de emergência climática.” 

Global Campaign to Demand CLimate Justice is a network of over 200 networks and organizations working globally, regionally, and locally on climate justice. Collectively we represent millions of climate activists on the ground.

Our members are available for comments and interviews in different languages. Please contact Rachitaa at [email protected] (+918447445543) to arrange interviews.

LETTER TO THE HEADS OF STATES

November 9, 2022

Dear Heads of States

We, the undersigned constituencies—representing thousands of climate, climate justice, labor, women and gender rights, Indigenous, and youth organizations across the world—respectfully request that you take a strong stand against the human rights abuses of the Egyptian government and urge the immediate release of the arbitrarily detained activist Egyptian-British national Alaa Abdel Fattah and all other prisoners of conscience in Egypt who are targeted for their peaceful activism.

Those who have disproportionately suffered the horrific harms of the climate emergency are also those who have done the least to cause the crisis, and a climate-just world is one that corrects these inequities head-on. There can be no climate justice without human rights. Egypt’s denial of rights to Mr. Fattah and other activists across Egypt therefore undermines climate justice everywhere.

Such treatment also violates the Paris Agreement, which reaffirms the critical importance of a vibrant civil society and respect for civil rights and political freedoms. A just and equitable world is out of reach without the ability for individuals and organizations to speak up and exercise their right to freedom of expression, protest, and association.

As Egypt hosts the global COP27 climate talks, the world watches Egypt—as well as every government participating in the COP27 talks that condones or carries out such abusive behavior in Egypt and their own jurisdictions. The credibility of the entire UNFCCC process is at stake if states participating in the COP fail to reject the abuse of human rights wherever they take place and deny their foundational role in achieving climate justice. We stand in solidarity with those deprived of liberty and urge you to do all within your power to bring about the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Fattah, and all freedom-fighting activists and prisoners of conscience across the world.

Sincerely,

Environmental NGO Constituency

Women and Gender Constituency

International Trade Union Constituency

Children and Youth Constituency

Indigenous Peoples Constituency

Intervention by Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at the Global Stocktake’s Closing Plenary During COP27

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. 

Delivered by: Victor Menotti, Civil Society Equity Review

DCJ and CSER, which includes CANI and TUNGO sisters and brothers from ITUC.

Executive Secretary has reminded us GST (Global Stocktake) is an accountability exercise to see where we stand and to inform more ambitious actions

IPCC has made clear what’s left of our shrinking carbon budget but it is not their role to say how to manage the remaining atmospheric space. 

Parties must do this, but they are not under the Paris Agreement. We still face a free-for-all with the biggest free-riders speeding us over the cliff. It’s the classic scenario anyone learns about in any basic economics class. 

Equitably sharing the remaining carbon space for a global just transition requires a fair shares frame to inform more ambitious actions from all.  Civil Society has proposed its methodology and several Parties have tabled their own methodologies for determining fair shares.

Next year’s political dialogue must reflect on the relevant technical data to transparently assess countries’ CBDR-RC. Operationalizing equity requires deep political discussion and very difficult decisions on which criteria are acceptable as equitable by all Parties to determine fair shares.

So we hope GST Co-Facilitators’ report includes references to the relevant data in used our submissions and repeated in our interventions, such as:

Dependence on fossil fuels by data on:

  • GDP from fossil fuels
  • Government revenue from fossil fuels
  • Employment percentages from fossil fuels

Capabilities to transition equitably such as:

  • Non-fossil fuel economic prospects for diversification
  • Fiscal and monetary health
  • Hard currency reserves to access foreign technologies
  • Education and training systems

That’s why Parties must responsibly manage the carbon budget, as prudently as your own governments’ national budgets, or, perhaps better, your own personal household budgets, precisely because you know all your loved ones depend on you.

COP 27 Through A Climate Justice Lens

Introduction

Facts and information

The world’s average temperature has already increased to 1,1℃ and we are facing unprecedented weather events that would not have been possible without human contribution to climate change. Record-breaking heat has hit North America, Europe, China, India and Pakistan, sparking wildfires in many places. Terrible floods have swept Pakistan, Nigeria, Australia, Bangladesh and South Africa. More than a third of heat-related deaths in summer from 1991 to 2018 occurred as a result of human-caused global heating. European and Latin American cities are among the worst affected by summer heat deaths due to the climate crisis. Hundreds of people a year on average are already dying from this extra heat, including in São Paulo (239 deaths), Athens (189), Madrid (177), Tokyo (156), Bangkok (146) and New York (141). 

Structural causes of climate change

Climate change is not an isolated climate phenomena: it multiplies the sufferings of people already burdened by the global injustices of hunger, dispossession, and human rights violations. The communities and peoples that suffer the worst effects are deprived of the means to respond and bear the additional impacts of false solutions promoted by those who avoid meaningful action, but instead seek to profit from the crisis. Like other global crises, climate change arises principally from historically unequal economic and social structures, from practices and policies promoted by rich, industrialized countries, and from systems of production and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many to the interests of a few. At the root of the problem is a systemic crisis that arises principally from:

  1. Profit- and growth-oriented systems of extraction, production, distribution and consumption that sacrifice the needs of the many, and the well being of the planet, to the interests of a few.
  2. Unequal and exploitative economic and social structures that abuse nature and extend inequality across countries, classes, gender, race and communities.
  3. Policies and practices promoted by global corporations, rich industrialized countries, international institutions, and economic and political elites that perpetuate and foster these systems and structures.

Current geopolitical context 

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the whole world but has disproportionately affected the global south and the most vulnerable groups. Women’s employment world-wide declined by 4.2% between 2019 and 2020, representing a drop of 54 million jobs. Covid-19 has also exposed Africa to high levels of social and economic vulnerability. Even before the onset of the pandemic, much of Africa was already suffering from the widespread and multidimensional impacts of climate change, including flooding, sea-level rise, forced migrations due to climate disasters, drought, locust invasion and crop failure, all of which constitute serious constraints on economic development and aspirations. Covid-19 has exacerbated these climate vulnerabilities by decreasing the adaptive capacities of affected countries and the resources available to respond to climate change.

Added to this, armed conflicts around the world are not only killing and impacting human and non-human lives, but they are deeply connected with the fossil fuel industry and their interests.  The war in Ukraine is a clear example of rich nations’ thirst for fossil fuel to keep their highly consumerist societies, which are now pushing Africa to be completely dependent on oil and gas instead of promoting alternative energy systems. One study shows that between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since the beginning of the so-called modern oil age in 1973 were related to oil, with the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq being an egregious example. Indeed, there is evidence that arms sales are used by countries to help secure and maintain access to oil. The UK’s biggest ever arms deal – the ‘Al-Yamamah arms deal’ – agreed in 1985, involved the UK supplying arms over many years to Saudi Arabia in return for 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. BAE Systems earned tens of billions from these sales, which helps subsidize the UK’s own arms purchases.

COP 26

At COP 26, the Glasgow Outcomes were presented as if they were more relevant than the Paris Agreement (which is legally binding). Thanks to the absence of meetings due to the Pandemic, the UK presidency had enough time to build up a narrative around false solutions including the charade of net zero targets for all by 2050 (undermining again the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC)) through carbon offsets and nature based solutions that further continue with the agenda of commodification of nature for the profit of the same usual polluters. 

The results of COP 26 also have no recognition of fair shares or the historical responsibilities in cumulative emissions since the focus is only on future emissions with no account of consumption emissions. The Glasgow Outcomes also contain pretend ambition on phase out and phase down of fossil fuels but through unabated coal leading to an actual expansion of fossil fuels. 

In Glasgow, there was progress on the Global Goal on Adaptation, a goal that should enhance adaptive capacities, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability, contribute to sustainable development and contribute to the temperature goal. The outcome was the Glasgow-Sharm el Sheikh work program and the work began in SB 56. Developed countries were urged to at least double their provision of climate finance for adaptation. 

On Loss and Damage the expectation was to obtain additional finance from developed countries and an effective mechanism and approaches for loss and damage action and support.  No additional finance was achieved and instead only a Glasgow Dialogue and some progress on operationalising the Santiago Network which is mandated to deliver technical assistance for loss and damage to developing countries 

Glasgow also delivered ´mitigation ambition´ but without finance ambition, establishing a work program to urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation with no links to a finance ambition. This is why developing countries were calling for this program to complement the GST. Under the PA, we are supposed to take stock of how parties have progressed on meeting the goals of the PA in all fronts. 

Our call 

The 27th Climate Change Conference comes at a time of unprecedented challenges due to the magnitude and and the interconnected nature of our multiple structural crises. We call on governments to end years of delay and meet their moral, historical and legal obligations. We urge all movements, peoples’ organizations, civil society groups and all concerned citizens to come together in a Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice! 

Demands for Climate Justice at COP 27

At COP 27, DCJ will continue with its demand for a profound social transformation and the achievement of immediate concrete results in terms of drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and enabling people to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. As part of a broader struggle to achieve climate justice, reparations for climate debt and a profound global transformation, we demand from all governments that if international negotiations are to mean anything, they must deliver outcomes that will:

1. Prevent catastrophic climate change and ensure just and fair sharing of drastic emissions reductions. We must limit temperature rise to well below 1.5º C and bring it down to 1º C as fast as possible. Rich industrialized countries must fulfill their existing legally binding commitments and undertake drastic emissions cuts without offsets in line with their fair share of the global carbon budget that takes into account historical per capita emissions. Offsets and other loopholes must be removed.
2. Stop false solutions. We must stop the implementation and pursuit of false solutions and disguises in the form of nature-based solutions that include carbon trading, market-based approaches to forests, soil and water, large-scale geo-engineering and techno-fixes, nuclear energy, mega hydro dams, agro-fuels, large tree plantations, biomass energy, waste incineration and clean coal.
3. Ensure adequate and appropriate finance on the basis of countries’ responsibility for climate debt and obligation to make reparations to all affected peoples. Rich, industrialized countries should cover the full costs of enabling peoples of developing countries and other affected communities to deal with the impacts of climate change (including past, present and future losses) as well as the costs of enabling developing countries to shift to equitable, post carbon sustainable systems. Climate finance must not be in the form of debt-creating instruments and should be channeled through a democratic and accountable global fund that is independent of other international financial institutions and upholds the principles of direct access and country-determined, participatory decisions on the use of funds. 
4. Ensure appropriate technology transfers without intellectual property barriers. Developed countries must ensure free sharing of safe, appropriate and ecologically and socially sound technologies. We must advance the transformation to equitable, democratic, post-carbon systems. 
5. Take decisive steps towards the profound transformation of the system based on equity, science and the rights of peoples to live well in harmony with and respect for Mother Earth. We must transform social and economic structures and technologies and re-orient policies to move away from profit-driven, growth oriented, high-carbon, elite-dominated exploitative systems and instead ensure a just transition to people-driven, sovereign, equitable, and democratic post carbon sustainable development. 
6. End corporate capture of climate policy and kick Big Polluters out.We know who is to blame for the climate crisis. Big Polluters have rigged the very system meant to coordinate a global response to climate change. As a result, climate action failure is on our doorstep. We must end the ability of polluters to write the rules of climate action and end their ability to bankroll the climate talks. We must also reset the system so that it centers people and nature. We need real, just, accountable, gender responsive, community-led, nature-restoring, and proven and transformative solutions to be implemented rapidly and justly.

Expectations for COP 27

While wealthy countries are expected to continue trying to run away from their responsibilities, climate justice advocates are amplifying demands to make the most of the moment by alerting the world as to what our governments must agree to now.  In the case of the US, coming to COP27 claiming “climate leadership” after finally passing legislation with a weak emissions target that’s only one-fourth of its fair share of the necessary global mitigation effort by investing in renewable energy alongside false-solution techno-fixes for their own fossil fuel expansion, the divide-and-conquer approach towards the Global South sadly persists in the rhetorical posture and policy proposals.  Their meta-narrative has been to dismiss developing countries’ demands for loss and damage funding as a false front to avoid any more ambition on mitigation, when the US itself is unable to increase its own inadequate ambition, as reflected in its ambiguous proposals for the Mitigation Work Program and the Global Stocktake (the Paris Agreement’s only mechanism to “ratchet-up” ambition).  DCJ calls on governments to agree to the following:

Mitigation Work Program

  • An equity and a fair shares approach must be taken in the Mitigation Work Program, where the wealthiest producers with the most capabilities to transition are the first and fastest to phase out production while supporting others in their own just transitions. 
  • Parties must act with urgency on an equitable fossil fuel phase out and just transition to clean, renewable energy and address the energy poverty to ensure energy sufficiency for all, energy sovereignty, energy democracy, energy as a common good, 100% renewable energy for all, community-owned, low-impact renewable energy.
  • The New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on Climate Finance must be aligned with 1.5°C in support of developing countries’ actions.

Global Goal on Adaptation

  • New and additional finance must be committed in-line with the principles of Locally Led Adaptation, ensuring the financial needs of marginalized people and communities are represented. New and additional finance must be grant-based, as opposed to loans or investments.  
  • The Glasgow-Sharm El-Sheikh work program (GlaSS) on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) must be financially supported to ensure robust tracking mechanisms to measure and assess progress on adaptation. 
  • An adaptation goal should measure progress on: enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience, reducing vulnerability and contributing to sustainable development and ensuring adequate responses. 
  • Promises made at COP 26 to double adaptation finance to 40 billion USD until 2025 must be adhered to in the short-term. 

Santiago Network on Loss and Damage 

  • The Santiago Network should be operationalised with foundations in climate justice and human rights so that it can deliver tailored assistance to the people that need it.
  • An advisory body for the Santiago Network should be installed by COP 28 and it must be representative of those people and communities it is intended to serve. The advisory body should be tasked with the operationalisation of the Santiago Network.
  • The host institution for the secretariat must be located in the global South. 
  • The Santiago Network must have strong links to the national and sub-national levels, center leaders in the global South and must be able to be directly accessed by marginalised communities. ​​
  • The technical assistance that is delivered must be based on needs, demand-driven, locally-led, gender-transformative, promote equality and non-discrimination, and be guided by the best available science including Indigenous and local knowledge.
  • There must be opportunities for input that are open to a range of constituencies, particularly groups from the global South who are systematically marginalized and have increased vulnerability to climate change. 

Loss and Damage Finance

After long being blocked by wealthy polluting countries with the greatest historical responsibility, the US and EU are finally agreeing to an official COP27 agenda item to formally discuss “financial arrangements” for loss and damage since they see that establishing a fund for “loss and damage” created by climate impacts could be a litmus test for trust in Sharm El Sheikh and they do not want to be isolated in their opposition.  Yet as they try to escape yet again by appearing to agree to something yet actually conceding nothing. 

COP27 must deliver an outcome that firmly establishes a Loss and Damage Financing Facility (LDFF) now, not further down the road. The LDFF must:

  • Be funded by new and additional finance, committed as part of Northern countries historical responsibilities for the climate debt and obligations to make reparations to affected peoples, with a fair sharing of efforts.
  • Be mobilized according to the “polluter pays” principle and should be adequate, reliable and consistent, and adhere to human rights-based approaches, giving priority to marginalized groups.
  • Be operationalized as quickly as possible, as part of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement Finance Mechanism, with a clear and urgent way forward agreed at COP27.
  • Provide new and additional public finance that is grants-based, not insurance, loans or other private finance that further in debts Global South countries and communities.
  • Be further shaped and implemented with involvement from, and made directly accessible to, the frontline communities who are experiencing Loss and Damage and are owed support and solidarity.  

$100B climate finance promise + New Collective Quantified Goal 

  • The New Collective Quantified Goal for climate finance (NCQG) must deliver beyond the $100 billion goal from a decade ago in-line with current climate finance requirements of developing countries, and access to funds needs to reflect the unequal impact of extreme events on marginalised communities.
  • The NCQG must be based on the needs of developing countries. 
  • Loss and Damage must be reflected as a third pillar of climate finance alongside Mitigation and Adaptation within the NCQG. 

Article 6 

  • Non-market approaches in Article 6.8 should be advanced to help deliver the real solutions we need right now to keep temperature rise under 1.5° celsius. We encourage the creation of a mechanism under Article 6.8 to scale up non-market and cost-effective approaches. 
  • The false solutions in Article 6.2 and Article 6.4 which are dependent on offsets and emissions trading must be rejected.  
  • All geoengineering technologies and soil carbon for generating carbon credits must be excluded from the negotiations of the Paris Agreement, specially in relation to Article 6.4 and Article 6.8.
  • The consideration and promotion of geoengineering technologies at the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogues, the Global Stocktake and in any other instances at UNFCCC must be rejected.

Biodiversity

  • Ecological restoration must be vastly scaled up to recover natural forests, peatlands, and other degraded ecosystems for both climate and biodiversity, through securing of land and tenure rights for indigenous peoples and local communities, proper public policies, and public financing.
  • COP 27 must send a strong political signal to support ambitious outcomes in the CBD COP 15. 

Agriculture

  • The negotiations must deepen discussions and recommendations on agroecology, gender responsiveness, food loss and waste, and adaptation finance. 
  • We must move away from a neoliberal, corporate-controlled industrial food system, towards a system based on the principles of food sovereignty, food as a human right, and peoples’ control over seeds, land, water and other commons.
  • There must be support for peasant agroecology, artisanal fishing, and small-scale farmers. 

Global Stocktake

  • An outcome of the Global Stocktake (GST) needs to include the urgent and adequate consideration of existing science on Loss and Damage finance as well as the identification of opportunities and challenges in enhancing action and support to achieve the Paris Agreement’s aim of equity. 
  • GST must be about assessing progress on existing commitments and structured to reflect Convention/Paris- targets on Mitigation, Adaptation, Means of Implementation and cross-cutting against civil societies’ fair-shares frame.

Human rights & Gender

  • We must strive to raise the ambition and accelerate the work on climate justice and gender equality in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, across all relevant workstreams.
  • Parties should establish a process to revise and improve the Gender Action Plan for agreement at COP 28. 

Disclaimer

This document was prepared in accordance with the core principles of DCJ and in collaboration with DCJ members. It does not represent a joint position document.

Intervention by Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice at the COP27 Opening Plenary

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. 

Delivered by Kevin Mtai, FFT Kenya

My name is Kevin Mtai and I’m speaking on behalf of the Demand Climate Justice constituency.

No one is free until everyone is free. We stand in solidarity with prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders and all those fighting injustice here, and everywhere and demand the immediate release of individuals arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights to freedom of association, assembly, and expression.

The fight for climate justice is the fight for economic justice, political and social justice. As long as the rich continue to extract and exploit with impunity, we are not free. 

For this to be a COP of, by, and for the people, instead of polluters, we demand:

  • A commitment to deliver adequate climate finance well in excess of $100 billion, based on the real needs of developing countries – including the establishment of a Loss and Damage finance facility with public funds rather than loans or insurance;
  • That the Mitigation Work Programme puts us on track to end the fossil fuel era and transform the global energy system through an equitable and just transition;
  • A conflict of interest policy to kick polluters out of COP27, and are disappointed that the call  to require participants to publicly declare their interests was ignored for COP27;
  • Real, proven, gender just solutions to be advanced including through Article 6.8 and elsewhere, and stop the dangerous distractions of offsets,  false “nature based” solutions, and carbon markets.

Governments should be setting us free from the prisons that enslave us and the climate crisis that engulfs us. No climate justice without human rights. We are not yet defeated!

COP27: NADIE ES LIBRE HASTA QUE TODAS Y TODAS SEAN LIBRES

Declaración de Solidaridad de la Campaña Global para Exigir Justicia Climática

Este noviembre, la cumbre climática anual de las Naciones Unidas (COP27) tendrá lugar en la ciudad de Sharm El Sheikh, en el sur del Sinaí, Egipto. Como red global de activistas por la justicia climática y social, la Campaña Global para Exigir Justicia Climática (DCJ) solidariza con la sociedad civil egipcia, con las comunidades afectadas y los presos de conciencia, no sólo en Egipto, sino en todas partes.

La celebración de una COP genera preocupación en torno al lavado verde del régimen en el poder, y no podemos ignorar la crisis de derechos humanos en curso y profundamente arraigada, el complejo contexto sociopolítico, económico y ambiental del anfitrión de la COP. Pero también ofrece la oportunidad de poner el foco en el país y ejercer presión internacional sobre las injusticias perpetradas por quienes están en el poder. A medida que todos los ojos se vuelven hacia Egipto, las campañas de Libertad para Alaa y otros presos políticos, así como para que se abra un espacio cívico en Egipto, cobran impulso. Alaa Abdelfattah, escritor británico-egipcio y defensor de los derechos humanos ha decidido que a partir del 1 de noviembre escalará su huelga de hambre (que inició el 2 de abril de 2022) a huelga de hambre total y a partir del 6 de noviembre con el inicio de la COP27 iniciará una huelga de agua. Si Alaa no es liberado, morirá antes de que finalice la COP27. La solidaridad internacional es fundamental para la justicia climática tal como la entendemos, ya que no hay libertad hasta que todos sean libres. Reafirmamos nuestra creencia más profunda de que no puede haber justicia climática sin justicia social, justicia económica, justicia de género, justicia racial y más.

Desde 2013, el espacio cívico en Egipto ha sido criminalizado. Las autoridades continúan atacando violentamente a activistas, investigadores, periodistas, mujeres y comunidades LGBTQI+, incluso mediante detenciones arbitrarias en condiciones inhumanas. Bajo el gobierno actual, miles continúan detenidos arbitrariamente sin base legal, luego de procesos manifiestamente injustos, o únicamente por ejercer pacíficamente sus derechos humanos. Reafirmamos nuestra solidaridad con todos los detenidos arbitrariamente en Egipto y en todo el mundo, y condenamos la represión, la opresión, las desapariciones y los asesinatos de defensores ambientales y de derechos humanos en todas partes. En la última década, aproximadamente 1733 defensores ambientales en todo el mundo han sido asesinados. Cada vida perdida en la lucha por la justicia climática es una que lamentamos y nos comprometemos a honrar, para continuar resistiendo los sistemas de opresión neoliberal, colonial, capitalista, racista y patriarcal.

Al volvernos hacia Egipto, también nos solidarizamos con las comunidades de Egipto y de toda África que están en la primera línea de los impactos climáticos y que sabemos que serán excluidas del espacio de la COP. Reconocemos la importancia de elevar las voces que se mantienen fuera del centro de conferencias, especialmente las de las comunidades del Sinaí que sufren en la encrucijada de los impactos ambientales, el terrorismo y la represión violenta. En el norte del Sinaí, los impactos ambientales amenazan los ecosistemas terrestres y marinos, desde el aumento de las temperaturas hasta la degradación de los arrecifes de coral y las tierras agrícolas, mientras que al mismo tiempo las comunidades locales están siendo desplazadas y sufren una represión violenta bajo la guerra fingida contra el terrorismo.

Sin embargo, estas comunidades están siendo excluidas de la COP27. Condenamos firmemente la exclusión del Sinaí y otras comunidades egipcias de la COP27, así como de muchas otras comunidades afectadas virtualmente excluidas de los espacios de la COP cada año debido a barreras financieras, burocráticas y fronterizas. La COP está preparando el escenario para legitimar la expansión de la industria de los combustibles fósiles junto con los gobiernos de los países desarrollados y los grandes contaminadores corporativos para obtener grandes ganancias cabalgando sobre los hombros de las comunidades más afecadas. La COP27, como otras COP anteriores, está consolidando una agenda a favor de los grandes contaminadores, y dará un paso más para consolidar las inequidades estructurales y acelerar las múltiples crisis globales. En este contexto, reafirmamos que no puede haber negociaciones climáticas significativas sin una participación significativa del Sur Global, de las comunidades más afectadas y de los movimientos de justicia global.

Al mismo tiempo que la COP27 se llevará a cabo en Egipto y será el escenario de la reunión de líderes y negociadores mundiales, no son sólo las comunidades en el Sinaí las que continúan sufriendo la creciente violencia de los impactos climáticos, sino también las personas en todas partes, con los más marginados -personas de color, pueblos indígenas, comunidades en el Sur Global, comunidades de primera línea, mujeres y niños- como los primeros y más afectados. Nos solidarizamos con las comunidades afectadas en todas partes y reiteramos nuestras demandas de acción urgente y drástica para abordar con justicia la crisis climática.

Queremos dejar en claro que ningún anfitrión de la COP puede usar esta reunión para encubrir u ocultar sus fracasos, desigualdades e injusticias internas. Ya sea que asistamos o no a la COP27 en Egipto, continuamos expresando nuestras demandas de justicia climática y justicia social, y expresamos nuestra solidaridad con aquellos afectados por los sistemas de opresión, desde los pasillos de la COP hasta nuestros hogares y nuestras calles. Frente a los sistemas represivos y opresores que pretenden dividirnos y quebrarnos, estamos más unidos y decididos que nunca.

La Campaña Global para Exigir Justicia Climática reafirma enérgicamente su solidaridad con la sociedad civil egipcia y los presos de conciencia y, respondiendo al llamado de la sociedad civil egipcia, exige la liberación inmediata de las personas detenidas arbitrariamente por ejercer sus derechos a la libertad de asociación, reunión y expresión, y la apertura del espacio cívico en Egipto.

COP27: No One is Free Until Everyone is Free

Solidarity Statement from Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice

This November, the United Nations’ annual climate summit (COP27) will take place in the southern Sinai city of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. As a global network of climate and social justice activists, campaigners, and organizers, the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ) stands in solidarity with Egyptian civil society, and with impacted communities and prisoners of conscience– not just in Egypt, but everywhere. 

The hosting of a COP brings concerns around the greenwashing of the regime in power, and we cannot ignore the ongoing and deep-rooted human rights crisis, complex socio-political, economical, and environmental context of the COP host. But it also offers the opportunity to put the spotlight on the country and apply international pressure on the injustices perpetrated by those in power. As all eyes turn to Egypt, the campaigns to Free Alaa and other political prisoners, as well as for civic space to open up in Egypt, gain momentum. Alaa Abdelfattah, a British-Egyptian writer and human rights defender has decided that from 1 November he will escalate his hunger strike (which he started on 2 April 2022) to full hunger strike and from 6 November with the start of COP27 will be starting a water strike. If Alaa is not released, he will die before the end of COP27. International solidarity is core to climate justice as we understand it, as there is no freedom until all are free. We reaffirm our deepest belief that there can be no climate justice without social justice, economic justice, gender justice, racial justice, and more.

Since 2013, civic space in Egypt has been criminalized. The authorities continue to violently target activists, researchers, journalists, women, and LGBTQI+ communities, including with arbitrary detentions in inhumane conditions. Under the current government, thousands continue to be arbitrarily detained without a legal basis, following grossly unfair trials, or solely for peacefully exercising their human rights. We reaffirm our solidarity with all those arbitrarily detained  in Egypt and across the world, and condemn the repression, oppression, disappearances, and murders of environmental and human rights defenders everywhere. In the past decade, an estimated 1733 environmental defenders across the world have been murdered. Every life lost to the struggle for climate justice is one that we mourn and commit to honour, in continuing to resist the neo-liberal, colonial, capitalist, racist, and patriarchal systems of oppression. 

As we turn to Egypt, we also stand in solidarity with communities in Egypt and across Africa that are on the frontline of climate impacts and that we know will be excluded from the COP space. We recognize the importance of uplifting the voices that are being kept out of the conference centre, especially those of Sinai communities suffering at the crossroads of environmental impacts، terrorism and violent repression. In North Sinai, environmental impacts are threatening both land and marine ecosystems – from rising temperatures to the degradation of coral reefs and agricultural land – whilst at the same time local communities are being displaced and suffering violent repression under the pretend war against terrorism. 

Yet these communities are being shut out of COP27. We firmly condemn the exclusion of Sinai and other Egyptian communities from COP27, as well as the many other impacted and frontline communities virtually excluded from COP spaces every year due to financial, bureaucratic, and border barriers. The COP is setting the stage to legitimize the expansion of the fossil fuel industry alongside developed country governments and big corporate polluters to gain vast amounts of wealth by riding on the shoulders of communities on the front lines. COP27, as other COPs before, is consolidating an agenda in favor of the big polluters, and will take another step to consolidate structural inequities and accelerate the multiple global crises. In this context, we reaffirm that there can be no meaningful climate negotiations without meaningful participation from the Global South, from impacted and frontline communities, and from global justice movements.

At the same time as COP27 will be held in Egypt and stage the gathering of world leaders and negotiators, it is not only communities in Sinai that continue to suffer from the increasing violence of climate impacts but people everywhere, with the most marginalized – people of color, Indigenous Peoples, communities in the Global South, frontline communities, women and children – hit first and hardest. We stand in solidarity with impacted and frontline communities everywhere and reiterate our demands for urgent and drastic action to justly address the climate crisis.

We want to make it clear that no COP host can use this meeting to greenwash or hide its internal failures, inequities and injustices. Whether or not we attend COP27 in Egypt, we continue to voice our demands for climate justice and social justice, and express our solidarity with those impacted by systems of oppression, from the corridors of COP to our homes and our streets. In the face of repressive and oppressive systems that aim to divide and break us, we are more united and more determined than ever.

The Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice strongly reaffirms its solidarity with Egyptian civil society and prisoners of conscience, and, responding to the call of Egyptian civil society, demands the immediate release of individuals arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights to freedom of association, assembly, and expression, and the opening up of civic space in Egypt.

Ambientalistas y movimientos de justicia climática cuestionan Acuerdo de Paris y la razón de ser de la Semana Regional del Clima de América Latina y el Caribe

Santo Domingo. – Las Naciones Unidas, el gobierno dominicano y otras entidades, inician la realización de la Semana del Clima Regional (LACCW 2022) bajo una simulación para dar impulso a la implementación del Acuerdo de París bajo el supuesto de detener el calentamiento global. No obstante organizaciones y movimientos socioambientales en todo el mundo han denunciado que la implementación de este Acuerdo es insuficiente y ambiguo para enfrentar las crisis climáticas, y, por lo tanto, merece una transformación radical y ajustarlo hacia la acción climática que demanda la emergencia en que se encuentra el planeta producto de modelos económicos extractivitas. 

La Semana Regional del Clima de Latinoamérica y Caribe, que tiene como anfitrión a República Dominicana, demuestra la fuerte influencia del sector privado y la complicidad de los Estados para retrasar la acción climática a partir de la agenda prevista para la Semana, estos tienden a evadir las discusiones de fondo sobre las reales causas de la crisis climática y están comprometidos a mantener la impunidad frente a los culpables del calentamiento global y sus consecuencias en los pueblos. 

Las organizaciones y movimientos sociales de justicia climática, aquí reunidos en Santo Domingo, en esta Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, hemos querido estar presentes en esta Semana del Clima organizada por el Gobierno de la República Dominicana, las Naciones Unidas y los organismos multilaterales de América Latina y el Caribe para demandar acciones climáticas reales.

Estamos aquí para denunciar y evitar que la Semana del Clima sea una nueva ronda de negocios donde los gobiernos, las empresas multinacionales y las élites económicas de nuestra región se reúnen, exclusivamente, para profundizar las políticas neoliberales y extractivitas que están llevado al planeta al colapso climático.

Reconocemos que hoy los pueblos y los estados de nuestra región, por cierto, la más desigual del mundo, tenemos la gran oportunidad de trazar un camino distinto para el bienestar de nuestras sociedades, que efectivamente permitan enfrentar el cambio climático y construir democracias y economías basadas en la soberanía, la justicia, la sustentabilidad y la solidaridad entre las naciones.

No es posible frenar o salir de la crisis climática si se insiste en la promoción de tratados de libre comercio basados en el mantenimiento de políticas extractivitas de minerales y agroindustria, producción insustentable, sobre-consumo y generación creciente de basura, que cada vez impactan con mayor fuerza y con mayor injusticia en nuestros territorios.

Y llamamos la atención que sea cual sea la tecnología, la energía no es limpia ni sustentable si es para alimentar el extrativismo, la vulneración de derechos de las comunidades y la destrucción de la naturaleza.

Nosotros y nosotras durante la Asamblea Ciudadana por la Justicia Climática, donde participamos organizaciones de pueblos originarios, afrodescendientes, trabajadores, feministas y cristianos de América Latina y el Caribe apoyamos las demandas de las organizaciones populares de República Dominicana y Haití ante la fragilidad de la isla, vamos a denunciar las falsas soluciones que continúan promoviendo los responsables de la crisis para perpetuar el sistema injusto y sus privilegios, y vamos a fortalecer nuestras estrategias de articulación social y la incidencia política sobre los gobiernos y organismos regionales multilaterales, promoviendo una agenda común basada en los valores de la justicia climática y la soberanía de los pueblos.

Rechazamos que los gobiernos de la República Dominicana, internacionalmente tratan de mostrar ser amigable con el ambiente y a nivel nacional sigue expandiendo la megaminería que pone en peligro las fuentes hídricas, los bosques, la agricultura campesina y los derechos territoriales, a la vez que expande el turismo no sostenible que amenaza áreas protegidas, aprovechando la debilidad institucional del país. 

Reiteramos que para enfrentar el cambio climático se requieren transformaciones radicales y urgentes, fuera de los mercados y emancipadas del extrativismo, con una mirada territorial y de comunidad, que partan de otros modelos de sociedades, basadas en la soberanía energética, alimentaria, económica, territorial, en las prácticas, culturas y economías locales, en condiciones de trabajo y vida dignas, así como en el intercambio solidario entre pueblos y comunidades, que respeten los derechos de la naturaleza,  y nos permitan vivir en armonía con ella.

Demandamos el reconocimiento y resarcimiento de la deuda histórica, social y ecológica que tienen los países industrializados del Norte con los pueblos del Sur quienes no han sido responsables del cambio climático. Esta deuda se debe a la contaminación atmosférica y a la apropiación ilegítima de los ciclos de la Tierra.

Finalmente, sólo podremos evitar el colapso planetario empezando a dejar el gas, el petróleo y el carbón bajo tierra, protegiendo y restaurando los bosques y ecosistemas, terminando con la agroindustria y la ganadería a gran escala y favoreciendo la agricultura campesina y la agroecología, respetando los derechos colectivos de los pueblos que cuidan y viven de los bosques, eliminando las prácticas extractivas mineras y sacando al sector financiero del clima.

18 de julio 2022

Santo Domingo, RD

Conferencia de prensa

Para más información, póngase en contacto con Eduardo Giesen via [email protected] o Rachitaa Gupta via [email protected]