BirdLife asks for UNFCCC COP19

BirdLife International’s main asks for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 19th Conference of Parties, Warsaw.

1.      Progress towards a 2015 climate agreement to come into effect in 2020 and enhanced mitigation ambition pre-2020

Countries need to strive towards a peak in global emissions by 2015. There needs to be an immediate increase in developed countries’ pre-2020 mitigation commitments, and all countries must put forward fair and ambitious mitigation commitments at the latest by COP 20 in Peru in 2014. A firm timetable for doing this needs to be adopted in Warsaw.


2.      Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+)

REDD+ is a mechanism for delivering financial incentives to developing countries to maintain and restore carbon stocks in their forests. Over recent years, money has been invested in preparing for REDD+, identifying projects, and putting in place national policies and plans. It is essential that robust methodological rules are agreed addressing the calculation of baselines, measuring, reporting and verification of activities and safeguards.  As we enter the third phase of implementation, BirdLife calls on governments to agree that access to results-based payments for REDD+ activities must only flow once safeguards are fully addressed and respected, such that forest governance, biodiversity protection (to ensure ecosystem resilience and permanence of emission reductions), and the full and effective participation of indigenous people and local communities, are safeguarded. 

Briefing paper by the REDD+ Safeguards Working Group (R-SWG):

Back to Basics on REDD+ Safeguards and Finance


3.      Climate change adaptation ambition

Further climate change impacts are inevitable due to past greenhouse gas emissions. We must adapt now to cope with present and future impacts of climate change. BirdLife urges Parties to ramp up adaptation ambition and action to help vulnerable people and the ecosystems they depend on adapt to climate change. We ask countries to work together constructively to strengthen the existing international adaptation regime and advance the implementation of the Cancun Adaptation Framework.


4.      National adaptation planning

BirdLife is concerned that a number of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have not yet implemented their National Adaptation Programmes of Actions (NAPAs) designed some time ago to address immediate adaptation concerns, and calls Parties to pursue their full implementation, with developed countries providing LDCs with the financial and technical support necessary. At COP18 in Doha, countries agreed on the funding modalities for the development of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) – a process to integrate mid- to long-term adaptation into national policies. BirdLife International believes that NAPs are critical for helping vulnerable people and ecosystems adapt. We ask Parties to now pledge the funds such that there is predictable and sufficient funding to both develop and implement the NAPs.


5.      The Nairobi Work Programme

In Warsaw, BirdLife is closely following the negotiations on the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP), of which BirdLife is a Partner. The NWP is designed to facilitate the development and sharing of knowledge among a wide range of stakeholders in order to help countries better understand climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. BirdLife asks for an agreement at Warsaw on a new work plan that will adequately consider the vulnerability of ecosystems, and the role of biodiversity and ecosystem services in human adaptation. It must address the knowledge gaps, scale up knowledge-sharing and effectively inform adaptation action.


6.      Loss and Damage mechanism

Addressing the residual climate change impacts after appropriate adaptation measures have been taken (referred to as ‘loss and damage’) is essential. BirdLife believes it is important that work on risk reduction should promote integrated risk assessments for loss and damage, in order to appropriately value the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services to adverse impacts of climate change in economic and non-economic terms. It is imperative that progress on modalities and institutional arrangements for loss and damage are agreed in Warsaw.


7.      Finance

BirdLife recalls the industrialised countries commitments to providing USD 100 billion per year by 2020 in climate change finance, of which 50% should go towards adaptation.  A clear roadmap must be agreed for meeting the USD 100 billion per year commitment by 2020, through new and additional sources of public finance. USD 50 billion must be committed to adaptation finance needs. All developed countries must state what climate finance they are providing over the period 2013-2015, and commit to a mid-term finance target of USD 60 billion in public finance before 2015. BirdLife asks developed parties to make pledges at COP19 to replenish the Adaptation Fund (AF) and the Least Developed Countries Fund. First round pledges to the Green Climate Fund must also be made and will be essential to support readiness activities (e.g. for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)) and implementing early action.


BirdLife is an active member of the Climate Action Network (CAN), the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries.