2021년 영국 글래스고에서 개최된 제26차 유엔기후변화협약 당사국 총회(COP26)에 참석한 기후변화청년단체 GEYK의 워킹페이퍼 전문.
GEYK call for action on COP26
Jihye Lee, Yoojung Kwon, Jintaek Woo, Jiwoo Lee, Jiwon Han, Gyeongcheol Kim, Sunryul Kim, Haechan Kim, Jiyun Gim, Jiyae Yim, Yunjoo Cho, Hyejeong Lee
GEYK would like to express our stance on the ongoing Paris Agreement negotiations and agreements, demanding call to action to the stakeholders. The UN Climate Change Conference COP26, should be momentous in the history of climate action recognized as the last chance to avoid catastrophic damage and hold global temperature to 1.5 degree. We highlight that the Paris Rulebook should be finalized under certain emphasis on mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology transfer, including carbon sinks, market mechanisms, loss and damage, and transparency. We also welcome the inclusiveness for all climate delegates especially for Least Developed Countries(LDCs), Small Island Developing States( SIDS), and other delegates from climate vulnerable countries to ensure all the participants, including registered Parties, admitted observers, and media representatives, are involved in a turning point to build back better and secure a sustainable future.
Article 4: mitigation
We express grave concern that the 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) of each party are insufficient to achieve the 1.5 degree target. Considering that IPCC reports require at least 45% reduction from 2010 levels in greenhouse gases by 2030, we recognize that 2030 NDCs are an important gateway to achieving the 1.5 degree target. Recalling Article 4, we affirm that the NDCs should aim for a clear ‘common reduction target’. The NDCs should be revised by reflecting the scientific based measures and carbon budget, and ensure goals are set through science-based reduction. We welcome the launching of the International Methane Emissions Observatory(IMEO) at the G20 Summit, and highlight world leaders to ensure 30% of methane is reduced by 2030. We strongly urge the Parties to agree on carbon neutrality and phase out coal by 2030. Since coal power generation accounts for a very serious portion of greenhouse gas emissions, coal power generation exit must be carried out first and preemptively. We would like to stress that fossil fuel power generation other than coal also needs to be removed as soon as possible. Fossil fuel power generation cannot be a bridge power source because it essentially emits greenhouse gases. Strong prioritization needs to be made for renewable energy transition. We expect such decisions to be ‘national and therefore responsible and ambitious decisions’.
Article 5: sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gas
We express deep concern over the ongoing loss and degradation of our sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gas, including forest and wetlands. We would like to stress that nature plays a crucial role in combating climate change, improves flood protection and provides up to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. The essential ecosystem services provided through nature are vital to the livelihoods of more than 1.6 billion people. Expressing our concern on nature conservation and land-use activities, around 80% is due to the conversion of forests to agricultural land.
Hence, we highlight that bioenergy projects need to be guided through national standardization for complementary and sustainable use, such as EU RED II, as land use contributes to nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Recalling Article 5, we stress all parties to take complementary actions to implement, support and welcome efforts to mitigate climate change through mainstreaming action and global climate finance on nature based solutions, sustainable management of our land use, and ensure timely implementation to transform land use sector carbon neutral by 2040. We urge for due diligence and traceability of land-use management, involving standard tools and techniques such as satellite imagery. We reaffirm to enhance transparency and reporting practices to eliminate deforestation such as fossil fuel subsidies on deforestation. We further welcome addressing scientific and policy facing issues for blue carbon, and urge to strengthen pledges and commitments such as facilitating investment for ecosystems, implementing sustainable agriculture, and strengthening national biodiversity strategies to safeguard biodiversity loss and nature.
Article 6: market mechanisms
We would like to call for the efficient and significant process to reach an agreement on Article 6. Recalling Article 6, we affirm that the market mechanisms would enhance voluntary cooperation in order to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Despite the governments’ strong belief on the importance of the international carbon market to achieve their NDCs, the spread of the global pandemic has inevitably delayed progress in introducing the international emission trading system. Nonetheless, the Parties should take into account key matters on integrity, sustainability, and transparency – especially, in the market mechanisms – as robust accounting rules are needed in order to prevent double counting. Sustainable development mechanism(SDM) also should be improved in terms of the regional disproportion. Weakness under the clean development mechanism(CDM) system can be managed when international organizations including financial institutions provide incentives for the investments to be fairlydistributed to developing countries, not merely proportioned to newly industrializing countries(NICs). In addition, we would like the Parties to take into consideration all aspects of social, economic, and environmental objectives with respect to the essence of ‘sustainability’.
Article 7: adaptation
We ask the Parties, including the Republic of Korea(ROK), to further strengthen mutual international cooperation in terms of adaptation. The adaptation, as specified in Article 7, is a clear response to the climate crisis corresponding to mitigation. However, in reality, there is a lack of technology transfer and financial resources to strengthen the adaptability and resilience of vulnerable countries in the climate crisis. Especially, in order to encourage scaling up adaptation for finance to developing countries, we call for setting a transformative approach through specific goals on climate adaptation flows. In addition, we strongly urge you to take a bolder and more proactive approach to monitoring adaptation and assessing impacts, vulnerabilities and risks. As we have been going through the pandemic, we have come to realize that more solidarity in the international community is important and necessary. We urge that Article 7 will be further developed in a future-oriented and sustainable direction in accordance with the ‘no backsliding’ principle. The developed countries should keep in mind that a majority of developing countries express deep concern on adaptation by including it in their NDCs, contributing to more integrative international cooperation.
Article 8: loss and damage
Article 8 of the Paris Agreement has great significance to add loss and damage issues as independent provisions. However, there remain grey areas that have not yet been agreed upon: the issue of Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage(WIM) governance and additional support. By failing to solve the attribution problem of WIM during the last COP25, Article 8 has yet alone achieved only superficial results. Moreover, the resolution related to the ‘WIM Review’ in 2019(FCCC/PA/CMA/2019/L.7) also produced uncertain results by excluding compensation subjects and financial expansion measures for loss and damage. In addition, although continuous and additional discussions had to be made on this from the end of COP25 prior to COP26, significant discussions were not realized due to the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, we call for an agreement to be reached in the direction of contributing to the resolution of the climate crisis through discussion in COP26. We further assert developed countries to keep noting their historical responsibility and for developing countries to encourage showing their efforts to alleviate the climate crisis through the support from developed countries. Finally, we strongly insist that the COP26 focus on solving the underlying attribution problem for WIM, preparing a fundamental compensation entity of Article 8 for each Party to satisfy, and preparing financial expansion measures.
Article 9: finance
We demand the developed countries to fulfill the promise to mobilize 100 billion dollars annually. This mobilization is determinant for the developing countries to mitigate their emissions and to reduce their vulnerabilities. To achieve the goal, it is essential to secure enough private resources in the climate fund. Therefore, the Parties are encouraged to gear the basis by establishing a concrete scheme, regulation guided by Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures(TCFD) or public financial resources. We also welcome that the COP26 Private Finance Hub has been launched and put their efforts on developing the well-defined framework on risk management and disclosure system. Especially, the financial support should be overarching to the area of ‘adaptation’, or ‘biodiversity’ which are not highlighted enough, but critical to fight against the climate crisis. These institutional efforts can trigger more robust funding worldwide. In addition, all the flow on climate finance should be transparent and supported to achieve net-zero, as well. Upon this request, we’d like to reiterate the necessity to set the standard for ex-ante/ex-post report. As of August 2021, among the developed country parties, only 9 countries have submitted the ex-ante report, which was supposed to date by 2020. These inactive attitudes are not welcomed by the Paris agreement. By reaffirming the standard, hopefully the Parties can bear in mind the responsibilities.
Article 10: technology development and transfer
As the climate crisis became a tremendous problem in our society and ecosystem, humanities are reaching out to climate technology for the solution. We therefore would like to propose a strengthened process of climate technology cooperation across the globe with transparency and upgraded evaluation criteria. Since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) included technology development and transfer as a method to tackle climate change, we consider its evaluation process and several details of the framework should be enhanced. For sure, technology itself cannot cover all the climate crisis issues, and a lot of developing countries are having difficulty in fully utilizing the technology. When transferring the technology, we suggest providing various types of support with the consideration of the needs of developing countries. For instance, in order to operate successful technology cooperation, the technology mechanism itself has to strengthen the role of the National Designated Entity(NDE). Additionally, as the majority of developing countries are more likely to lack monitoring systems, we call for developed countries to provide systematic systems or at least monitoring guidelines following the technology transfer. Also, we emphasize the participation of private sectors and scientific communities for a well-constructed cooperation process. Developed countries should encourage themselves to improve their own capability to develop advanced technologies in coexistence with humans and nature.
In conclusion, we welcome the upcoming conference in terms of international cooperation to address appropriate global responses to the climate crisis. Although the Paris Agreement is praised, further discussions are needed when reminding our ambitious aim, limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degree above pre-industrial levels, increasing the ability to adapt etc. We strongly believe that COP26 would be successfully conducted and contribute to submitting much higher NDCs with phasing out the coal power plant, introducing an international carbon market system, encouraging technical and monetary cooperation on adaptation, raising finance including private sectors, and enhancing technology transfer with the consideration of needs of developing countries. All the procedures and reporting schemes also must be as transparent as possible.
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