Talanoa Call for Action on Climate Change
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) launched the Talanoa Dialogue a year ago to share positive stories and to build commitment to more action on climate change. The International Environment Forum submitted a written contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue, and two IEF members took part in face-to-face dialogues with diplomats at the Talanoa Dialogues in Bonn, Germany, in May 2018. Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen again participated in the Ministerial Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 in Katowice, Poland, on 11 December 2018. See her blog at http://sylviakarlssonvinkhuyzen.blogspot.com/.
The Talanoa Dialogue closed on 12 December with the Talanoa Call for Action (see below and download as pdf) which reflects the IEF contribution to the dialogue. We encourage all IEF members to join the Talanoa Call for Action. See the press release below. See also the IEF position on climate change.
UN Climate Change News, 12 December 2018 – Today, at the closing of the Talanoa Dialogue, the Presidencies of this and last years’ UN Climate Change Conferences (COP24 and COP23) issued the Talanoa Call for Action. This statement calls for the urgent and rapid mobilization of all societal actors to step up their efforts with a view to meeting the global climate goals agreed in Paris in 2015. The calls to action were delivered by youth champions Timoci Naulusala from Fiji and Hanna Wojdowska from Poland.
The closing session concluded 21 ministerial roundtables – convened on the previous day at COP24, which runs to the end of the week here in Katowice, Poland. The roundtables brought together nearly 100 ministers and over 40 non-Party stakeholders to chart a way forward for global climate action.
“It is with great joy and commitment that the Polish Presidency co-leads with Fiji the Talanoa Dialogue,” said COP 24 President Michał Kurtyka. “The exchange of experiences and good practices, which is guided by the idea of Dialogue, is particularly important at this stage – the Dialogue’s discussion will focus on the question: how do we want to achieve the goal? A similar question constitutes the main issue of COP24, that is, the establishment of the Katowice Rules mapping out the viable paths that each country will follow in their efforts at intensifying actions for climate protection. The Talanoa Dialogue is therefore closely interwoven with the main task of COP24 – developing specific methods of combating climate change that are optimal for each Party.”
Afterwards, the Prime Minister of Fiji, H.E. Frank Bainimarama, President of COP23, said that the time for talking and listening – as important as that has been and will continue to be in the Talanoa process – must now also give way to action.
“The Talanoa Dialogue now must give way to the Talanoa Call for Action. Together, we must recognize the gravity of the challenge we face – the need to increase our collective nationally determined contributions fivefold – five times more ambition, five times more action – if we are to achieve the 1.5 degree target. Together, we must unreservedly accept the science and the advice that our present NDCs have us on target for warming of at least 3 degrees by century’s end. Together, we must commit to continue exchanging ideas and best practices to raise our NDCs and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Together, we can overcome the greatest threat humanity has ever faced – with the entire global community eventually emerging more prosperous and more resilient,” he said.
Overall, today’s “call for action” represents the outcome of a year-long process that has, for the first time in UN Climate Change’s history, brought together governments and thousands of actors from across the world in informal discussions on international climate policy that have seen virtually all segments of society have their say.
The call is issued against the backdrop of stark warnings in several recent UN reports – including the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 and UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report – which show that greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow and only rapid and far-reaching action on an unprecedented scale, together with adequate resources and technology, can prevent the worst climate impacts, and help transition economies to a just, clean future.
It therefore sends a critical political signal to governments as they embark on updating their national climate pledges and preparing long-term climate strategies, due by 2020.
In the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue – which was inclusive of the inputs of all actors throughout 2018 – the statement captures a series of “calls” directed at governments, international agencies, non-Party stakeholders, civil society, spiritual leaders and youth, as a means of fostering greater political will and action. The Presidencies now invite all stakeholders – including the general public – to join the Talanoa Call for Action to amplify the message and spread support.
The Talanoa Dialogue – borrowing from the Fijian traditional way of holding conversations to tackle collective issues – was convened as part of the UN climate talks and gathered views on three guiding questions in relation to the climate crisis: Where we are? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
Its purpose was to take stock of global efforts since the Paris Agreement was adopted and inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions. The response has been overwhelming, showing unprecedented levels of climate action by governments, businesses, civil society, citizens, and many others. Under the third question, the process identified myriad solutions and ways forward to meet the Paris goals.
It is noteworthy that in many cases the views gathered from non-Party stakeholders are those of coalitions of actors spanning many different countries and representing a sizeable share of the world population and world economy.
Virtually all contributions show alarm at the gap between current levels of ambition and action and what is required to achieve Paris Agreement goal, and call for enhanced determination from all to create an enabling environment and remove barriers to unleash untapped potential.
Talanoa Call for Action
Issued by the two presidencies of COP23 and COP24 on 12 December 2018
In the Pacific tradition of Talanoa, the world came together this past year to share experiences and help make wise decisions to inspire a global response to the threat of a changing climate. People shared stories of the widespread devastation already inflicted on our communities by climate change, and the increasing risks for human and food security. They also shared stories of ambitious action already being taken all over the world in response to these threats.
Climate action is on the rise, but not at the speed and scale we need. Actors in all countries, including Parties and non-Party stakeholders at the national, regional and community levels are already taking action. Pre-2020 action is vital for putting the world on a path towards achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. But it is not only governments that must act. Non-Party stakeholders can and should join in pre-2020 action and complement action by states.
According to the science, global emissions continue to rise. This leaves a significant gap in the effort needed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees highlights, among other things, the benefits of holding warming to below 1.5 degrees. It also concludes that to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees, global emissions need to be halved by 2030. And according to the Paris Agreement, in the second half of the century, we aim to achieve net-zero emissions, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
The window for action is closing fast – we need to do more and we need to do it now. We may have already caused warming of 1 degree Celsius and we can no longer push significant and effective action further down the road. Existing possibilities to limit global warming must now be matched with the necessary will and engagement of all levels of government and society.
The key messages emerging from the Talanoa Dialogue and synthesis report can show the way forward. They can inform Parties’ Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020, as well as their participation in the 2019 Secretary-General's Climate Summit, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and other important processes.
We must fulfil the goals of the Paris Agreement.
• We saw overwhelming support for the Paris Agreement and its goals. We agreed to hold temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.
We must achieve a just transformation towards a better world.
• We celebrate a vision – shared by many – of a better world. A world with universal access to sustainable and affordable energy sources, emissions-neutral infrastructure and buildings, zero-emission transport systems, energy efficient industries, and the elimination of waste by reducing, recycling or reusing all materials. A world of productive and efficient carbon reservoirs and sinks. A world of clean air, climate-resilient food production; healthy lands, forests and oceans; an end to ecosystem degradation; and, sustainable lifestyles worldwide.
• In this transformation, based on nationally defined development priorities, no one should be left behind. The benefits of this journey must be spread across society and, in getting there, a just transition must be available for all.
We must unlock the full potential of technology.
• Many solutions already exist and more can be developed. They can take us forward and we must act now to start the transformation. Climate action brings opportunities for economic growth and gains in productivity.
We must demonstrate bold leadership.
• Climate action must remain at the top of the political and strategic agendas of world leaders. They must now translate the global vision of the Paris Agreement into national and local action, provide the necessary resources, and motivate and mobilize all stakeholders to help support and deliver a net-zero emission and climate-resilient future.
We must act together.
• Multilateralism and cooperation will enable us to address problems together, find solutions, and build consensus for the common good. Only a global coalition of actors – including Parties, national and sub-national governments, private sector companies, the investment community, civil society and all non-Party stakeholders – can take us there.
We call upon Heads of State and Government to maintain climate action at the top of the political agenda. Governments must continue to strengthen national policies and regulatory and institutional frameworks that deliver action and support until 2020 and beyond; provide grounds for bold, integrated and coherent policies; and, create a stable environment that stimulates investment in and action on adaptation, mitigation and building climate resilience. We recognize governments must anticipate and address any negative effects, particularly on workers.
We call upon Parties to work closely with non-Party stakeholders to enhance global ambition by 2020 and to develop long-term, low-emission development strategies. Together, Parties, working with non-Party stakeholders including sub-national governments, should pursue efforts to strengthen mitigation and adaptation commensurate with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. They must work together in the planning and pursuit of low emissions and climate-resilient development.
We call upon government and international agencies to step up financial, technical and technological cooperation. We must ensure the resources, technology and capacity for climate action are widely shared, and the barriers in the way of unlocking potential are removed. We also call upon governments and non-Party stakeholders to scale-up cooperation and resources for research and development, and transfer technologies for achieving low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
We call upon private sector leaders to be drivers of change. We call upon the business community – from large, medium and small-sized enterprises, investors and entrepreneurs – to establish technology and science-based targets and transition plans, provide leadership in their sectors and supply chains, cultivate innovation and creativity, and invest in pursuit of the goals of the Paris Agreement.
We call upon civil society leaders to marshal the public and political will needed to drive action. We call upon them to engage political leadership, influence and challenge norms, enhance awareness, and mobilize action at the regional, state and local levels.
We call on spiritual leaders to unlock spiritual pathways for addressing climate change. We call on them to help their followers reconnect with the wonders of nature and creation, nurture love for the planet and foster compassion and reconciliation.
We call on the youth of the world to mobilize at a larger scale to ensure that their future is secure. We call on everyone to engage with the concerns that climate change poses for youth, and to take decisive action that leads to better opportunities, security and wellbeing for young people, today and in the future. We call upon decision-makers to adjust education systems to help young people understand, address and adapt to global warming.
We call upon everyone to take forward a clear signal from the Talanoa Dialogue. We call upon everyone to act with urgency and recognize that we are in a race against time – we must act now to ensure sustainable development and the preservation of life on earth as we know it.
Last updated 13 December 2018