Negotiations on the 2015 climate treaty pivoted back to substance Friday, with governments continuing their previous work on how to increase climate action in the near-term and close the gigatonnes wide gap between the emissions-cutting trajectory science says we need, and the one we’re actually on. Coming off the back of days of technical presentations on opportunities to make big and fast cuts through land use change, renewable energy, efficiency and more, lots of good ideas on how to leverage the UN process to scale those opportunities were raised. Actually closing the ambition/mitigation gap, however, will only happen if we close the leadership gap first.
Negotiators also dug into what should and should not be included in their “intended nationally determined contributions.” Like any conversation you might try to have amongst 194 people, the diversity of views among as many countries was dizzying. Everyone agreed that cutting emissions should be part of every country’s climate action plan. Significant questions remained over whether climate finance, adaptation, and equity should make the cut. And on all points, we don’t yet have a sense of (but do have opinions on) the potential scope, details or possible differentiation between countries with varied means and levels of vulnerability.
In the more focused and lower-profile subsidiary bodies, we got a taste of the work happening on Loss & Damage. There’s a push by many GCCA partners to ensure that Loss & Damage focuses on the most climate vulnerable people and factors in climate impacts on complicated but key issues like migration and ecosystem services, but Friday’s ‘taste’ barely whet our appetites.
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The roadmap couldn’t be more timely. Earlier this week, the German Environment Minister, Barbara Hendricks stated that “the Paris Protocol has to take use to a zero-carbon future.” Her words have since been echoed by other ministers, including those from the Marshall Islands, Norway, Grenada and Columbia, all of who emphasized the need for a long-term coal of achieving carbon neutrality. Hundreds of civil society groups who have also on the world’s governments to “outline a vision for a carbon emissions-free future in the form of a binding long-term goal” by Paris, 2050.
WWF Paraguay has cooked a lunch on asphalt in order to raise awareness of the impacts of global warming. With near-record June heat here in Bonn, many negotiators have had similar ideas this week.
In the news
Norway became the 11th country to ratify an eight-year extension to the Kyoto Protocol.
Deadly flooding has hit much of the South of Brasil, and a state of emergency has been declared in 130 Brazilian cities. This is a horrible way to start the World Cup, and our thoughts are with Brazil tonight.
The world bank has put together this beautiful infographic of carbon prices around the world. Be sure to check it out for a wonderful reflection on the progress towards the world’s carbon prices.
President Bachelet of Chile just opened Latin America’s largest solar power plant. It has 100 MW of installed capacity, and is a big step forward for the region.