Ministers and high-level officials representing 12 members of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition (CNC) met in Katowice at COP24, just two days before talks are set to end at what has been called the most important climate meeting since the Paris Agreement was adopted. Representing a range of countries from small islands states to G20 members, they emphasized the importance of ambitious long-term action.
“The IPCC report says that we all must do everything we can as soon as possible. Building long-term plans for carbon neutrality is a critical part of that,” said James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change for New Zealand. “Setting ambitious long-term strategies moves away from an incremental approach to climate action.”
According to the IPCC 1.5C report released in October, global emissions need to reach net zero by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Minister David Paul of the Marshall Islands, which is aiming to bring emissions to net zero by 2050, also highlighted the role long-term strategies can play in strengthening NDCs. “Our short-term plans must be consistent with our long-term vision. This makes sense for our economy and our environment, as well as for our people and our planet.”
The 19 members of the CNC account for approximately 10 percent of global emissions, and these countries committed to publishing long-term strategies by 2020 to achieve the Paris Agreement target of reaching carbon neutrality in the second half of the century.
The CNC also discussed the role that the coalition can play at the UN 2019 Climate Summit, which will build on the outcomes of COP24. In Katowice last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on governments to strengthen long-term strategies.
- James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change, New Zealand (Co-Chair)
- David Paul, Environment Minister, Marshall Islands (Co-Chair)
- Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Iceland
- Marcel Beukeboom, Special Climate Envoy, Netherlands
- Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change, Canada
- Mikko Paloneva, Senior Specialist Energy Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Finland
- Lars Ronnås, Ambassador for Climate, Sweden
- Ola Göransson, Deputy Director, Ministry of the Environment and Energy, Sweden
- Karsten Sach, Director General, Federal Ministry of Environment, Germany
- Teresa Solana, Senior Advisor, Coordinator for International Affairs, Spanish Climate Change Office
- Claude Trierweiler – Deputy Head of Mission, Luxembourg
- Iván Darío Valencia, Coordinator, Low Carbon Development Strategy, Ministry of Environment, Colombia
- Tony Ripley, UK Department of Energy & Climate Change
- Keyvan Macedo, Head of Sustainability, Natura (representing The B Team)
QUOTES FROM CNC MEMBERS
“We need a carbon-neutral Planet Earth in the second half of this century. That means that some of us have to get there sooner. We need pioneers – countries, cities, industries and companies. One year ago, Iceland announced its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. We hope to be one of the pioneers.” – Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Iceland
“The IPCC 1,5 degrees report makes it clear that the world needs to radically increase ambition to avoid irreparable climate change. 1.5 degrees is still an achievable target but we need to act. This concerns all sectors of society, and having access to long-term low emission climate strategies will be a fundamental part of the necessary transition.
Sweden aims to be one of the world’s first fossil-free welfare societies. Our target is to have net zero emissions by 2045, and thereafter to achieve negative emissions. In response to this, Swedish industry, including heavy industries as steel and cement, have developed their own roadmaps with innovative action for how to achieve fossil free competitiveness. We believe that the combination of robust and ambitious long-term low emission climate strategies and innovative industry transition can contribute to the UN Secretary General’s 2019 Climate Summit and to raising our collective climate ambition.” – Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, Sweden
“We know the problem and we know the solutions and, as leaders, we have a fundamental responsibility to our citizens to act ambitiously, to deliver a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all. We can and we will. Canada is already on its way. Among more than 50 measures in our climate plan, we are putting a price on carbon pollution. Starting next year, it will no longer be free to pollute, anywhere in Canada.” – Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada
“Long-term strategies are an important enabler of ambitious long-sighted climate policy. The German long-term strategy from 2016 with its goal of being almost GHG neutral in 2050 proofs to be an essential basis for the first Climate Change Act we will adopt in 2019.” – Svenja Schulze, Minister for the Environment, Germany
“The recently published special IPCC report on 1,5°C is clear on that limiting global warming requires a far-reaching transition. For this purpose, the long-term strategies are essential, as they give a straightforward direction for climate action and predictability for all actors. Recently, the European Commission published a strategy for long-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions with a vision towards a climate neutral economy in the EU by 2050, in order to keep the 1,5°C target within reach. This long-term vision will also guide us in our efforts for 2030.” – Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands