In an unexpected development Saturday night, negotiations on the 2015 climate deal ended a day earlier than scheduled. Governments agreed that the co-Chairs should summarize their positions – on cutting emissions, adaptation, climate finance and much more – in a single document, attributing each summary point to countries that support that position. While this approach doesn’t give us a clear path to a draft negotiating text, it does move us in the right direction. Countries will have the ability to see the full range of positions while avoiding lengthy and unmanageable compilation text or relying solely on the co-chairs interpretations of their carefully constructed positions.
The same track of negotiations saw concrete proposals on how to take efforts to cut emissions in the near-term forward. In particular, the Peruvians laid out a vision for how the Lima meeting will move us from scoping opportunities to enabling and scaling climate action.
From the perspective of a UNFCCC wonk, all of the aforementioned is a good outcome. From the perspective of a regular person who cares about their family’s health and future, however, the transition to a clean energy world can’t come fast enough.
The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution prematurely kills 7 million people per year. By that measure, over the last 10 days of climate talks, as emissions from coal power plants to cars to charcoal cooking fires spewed greenhouse gases and a myriad of toxins into our air, nearly 200,000 precious lives were taken before their time. In the weeks before our Heads of Government meet in New York for the Climate Leaders Summit, more than 2 million more lives will be prematurely lost. Between now and this year’s Conference of Parties in Lima – where we only expect a draft of the next climate deal – we’ll say goodbye to 3.25 million fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. It’s no wonder that calls for a fast transition to a ‘net-zero emissions’ world are getting louder.
Tomorrow, negotiations on the UNFCCC’s ongoing work continue and are expected to wrap. We’ll share more details on what happened in Bonn and what happens next.
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The Climate Action Network held a press conference to dig into some of the progress and the challenges around equity and climate finance in the negotiations.
Later in the day, youth activists turned a glossary-building exercise into a teachable moment for negotiators, asking for their help in translating the words ‘we support net-0’ into all of the languages represented by UNFCCC countries.
In the news
Australia’s fastest growing city just set a Net Zero target for 2020. Melbourne City Council set perhaps the most ambitious climate change goal in Australia to produce zero net emissions from the CBD and surrounding suburbs.
Our Negotiator Tracker, Chris Wright was given the honour of selecting the Bonn World Cup All-Star Negotiating team, and put together quite an amazing line-up of talented negotiators.
He also sat down with WWF UK’s Bernadette Fischer to talk about the Sustainable Development Goals, as she explained how the SDG’s fit in with the UNFCCC.
Michalina, our Polish Tracker took some time to break down the INDC’s (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions), and explain what the negotiators have been arguing about all week.
Lastly, CAN International is posting daily ECO newsletters with reflections and advice from civil society aimed at negotiators.