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COP21: Open letter to the delegates of UNFCCC Parties

Dear delegate,

Climate change poses the greatest threat to our continued way of life on this planet. Together, 121 civil society networks and organisations, from 55 countries call on you to show bold political leadership and do everything in your power to agree on an ambitious, legally binding climate Treaty that will limit global warming below 1,5°C.

While the Kyoto Protocol has been a positive first step to set binding mitigation targets to developed countries, it focused on short term mitigation goals and its environmental integrity has been severely undermined by flawed rules for carbon markets.

The Paris Treaty must be a robust, just and fair agreement and must not end up in last minute compromises and back room trade-offs. We, the undersigned organisation, call you to:

  • Be ambitious and adopt 5-year commitment periods for mitigation to regularly revise the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in order to avoid a lock-in of low ambition until 2030. These periods must be complemented with clear ratcheting requirements that will compel countries to increase ambition levels.
  • Agree on an ambitious long term goal and pledge to achieve decarbonisation by 2050, setting the path to a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
  • Adopt a human rights-based approach to climate policies inter alia to prevent potential negative impacts of projects implemented through the financial mechanisms established under the UNFCCC.
  • Dismiss the concept of international carbon offsets in the new Paris agreement post-2020. Industrialised countries have to contribute to the fight against climate change via domestic climate measures.
  • Ensure climate resilience of all by adopting an adaptation goal, by recognising Loss & Damage as a core element, as well as by providing sufficient, predictable and adequate financial support to help poorer countries take climate action that promotes a low carbon transition.
  • Establish strict eligibility rules to use market mechanisms as well as key principles to ensure environmental integrity of carbon markets, i.e. no double counting and supplementarity.
  • Ensure effective integration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into climate action including mandatory requirements for monitoring, reporting, and verification of sustainability benefits and excluding project types that support technologies or practices associated with high environmental and social costs (e.g. fossil fuels use, nuclear power, large hydroelectric dams).


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