The Daily Tck: A daily dispatch from the GCCA team at the UN climate talks in Bonn. Sign up to have them delivered to your inbox during the Bonn climate talks!
Today’s negotiations opened with a focus on pre-2020 ambition – namely the climate action required to close the gigatonnes-wide gap between emissions reductions pledged to date and what is needed in order to limit global warming to government’s agreed goal of 2DegC.
Governments explored pre-2020 ambition options in a series of workshops throughout this year – sharing emission reduction policies and best practice, identifying barriers to scaling-up mitigation efforts and to examine options to break those barriers down. Discussions today pivoted to action and scaling-up the opportunities for near-term climate action identified in those workshops. Much of the discussion centred around proposals from two negotiating blocs – the Alliance of Small Island States and theLiked Minded Developing Countries – while negotiators also showed an appetite for more workshops in 2015.
Next week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is expected to confirm that keeping global warming below 2DegC will require leaving the majority of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground; phasing out the use of oil, coal and gas and rapidly ramping up the use of renewable energy. Our partners are stressing that this means in “the pre-2020 period, we should be rapidly scaling up renewable energy, to at least 25% globally, along with doubling the rate of energy efficiency”. They’re also urging developed countries to consider “how actions with high mitigation potential could be supported”.
Meanwhile in Brussels, Europe became the first party to table its climate action contribution for the 2015 agreement. Despite threats of a veto, EU Heads of governments agreed targets to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40%, to increase the amount of renewable energy in the mix to at least 27% and a non-binding target to reduce energy demand by at least 27%.
The EU’s move was welcomed by UN climate chief Christiana Figueres. Switzerland also joined the praise, making an intervention in today’s plenary to congratulate the EU. But many are warning that the numbers on the table are “far from ambitious”, and not in line with the EU’s fair share of the global effort. The document’s wording leaves open the possibility of increasing the 40% target, and many of our European partners stressed that the agreed package should “set the floor not the ceiling of European action”. They called on their governments to arrive in Paris “with a more serious offer” in order to send a clear signal that Europe is serious about moving away from coal and embracing a renewable energy future.
While Europe was the first to put their numbers on the table, civil society stressed that they want “developed countries and major emitters to go even further” in their upcoming climate action pledges. They also stressed the importance of a robust, pre-assessment of pledges ahead of next year’s COP in Paris to ensure all contributions are reviewed on their fairness. For the EU, this will provide an important “opportunity to redeem themselves”.
From our partners
The UNFCCC celebrated CAN International’s 25th birthday today with a tree planting.
Today’s ECO newsletter examines the need to ramp up renewable energy, climate change’s impact on human rights and the threat of coal in Japan as the country transitions away from nuclear energy.
Many of the our partners been commented on the EU’s 2030 package today. Check out our Tree Alert for a round-up of reactions.
In another sign of the growing chorus of voices calling for climate action, tomorrow Bangladeshis will gather in Dhaka to protest a coal plant that would irreversibly impact the Sundarbans – one of the world’s largest mangrove forests and a sanctuary for hundreds of species, including the Bengal tiger.
In the news
RTCC looks at what slow progress in Bonn could mean for this year’s negotiations in Lima.
Bloomberg digs into the link between climate finance and momentum at the climate talks.
Carbon Brief also have a handy Q&A on the decision.
Tools and resources
The co-chairs of this round of climate talks in Bonn released an updated text on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, following yesterday’s discussion on the issue.