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Daily Tck: Day four of the UN climate talks in Bonn

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 climate talks.

UN climate talks in Bonn

Courtesy of: Climate Action Network International, 2015

  • Draft Paris text shrinks 5% after three days of streamlining, but little progress on substantive issues
  • Japan wins three dubious ‘Fossil of the Day’ awards for blocking progress
  • IKEA announces plans to invest €1 billion into climate change response

National climate action plans dominated the conversation in Bonn on Thursday. Negotiators kicked off a round of semi-public ‘interrogations’ on their climate action plans, taking questions and comments from their peers. Participation in the exchange was limited to government delegates, but civil society made their voices heard through other means. Presentations by some of the biggest laggards among developed countries – Australia, Japan and Canada – spurred a twitterstorm harping the missed opportunities born of weak pledges, and what could be gained by adopting more ambitious plans.

Japan’s continued and well-deserved beratement continued in the form of three ‘Fossil of the Day’ awards from the Climate Action Network. The award, which is a dubious honor reserved for governments judged to have done their ‘best’ to block progress, was given to Japan for its extremely weak Paris contribution; for blocking a G7 proposal to curb development bank coal finance; and for being among the worst offenders in funding carbon intensive coal projects in developing countries.

Climate Action Tracker underscored the laggard critiques, widening the lens to include all G7 and EU countries’ Paris contributions in newly released analysis. Overall these contributions have made a small step toward limiting warming to below 2ºC, but small is the operative word – at least relative to the pollution cuts we need. The combined effect of the G7+EU plans would get us 20-30% of of way there, and current plans meet only half of the countries fair share of pollution reductions relative to the rest of the world.

Governments also took stock of efforts to streamline the new climate agreement’s draft text, releasinga new version that reflects progress made this week. The text shrank from 90 to 86 pages, but without yet addressing any substantive issues between its various more and less ambitious options.

News, links & useful grist that caught our eye

After days of meetings and briefings by technical experts, businesses, governments and our partnerson how we can rapidly scale clean energy today, negotiations also moved in that direction. Thursday evening marked the beginning of official talks on the pre-2020 part of what governments are expected to agree in Paris.

A group of some of the most climate vulnerable countries led by the Philippines won praise from our partners for putting forward a series of potential solutions that could speed their abilities to cut emissions and become more climate resilient without compromising their development.

The drumroll of climate action from outside the negotiations continued. Legislators in the US state of California passed a landmark climate bill that will enable the region to cut emissions 40% by 2020. IKEA announced plans to invest €1 billion into responding to climate change; with €600 going toward solar and wind to power its operations, and another €400 million pledged toward communities most impacted by climate change.

Campaigners in South Africa and France won a two-year fight to get the French energy company Engie (ex GDF-Suez) to withdraw their efforts to build the 1200 MW Thabametsi coal power plant in South Africa.

And an 11 year-old boy with a sign stood alone for hours outside the negotiations in hopes of moving government officials to take faster action. His sign read ‘stop climate change,’ and was peppered with the signatures of his classmates at a nearby school.

Resources

Check out our latest alert from The Tree, breaking down Ikea’s big announcement, previewing the G20, and summarizing the latest from UN climate talks in Bonn.

Rockstar campaigner Louisa Casson has two updates on the E3G website, laying out the summer of summits that will each mark an opportunity for the EU to increase ambition, and the building momentum tipping us close to a zero-carbon future.

Climate Trackers around the world are flooding the media with stories about some of the climate issues most important to them. From climate change refugees in India to renewable energy hope in the Bahamas, inspiring young people are making their voices heard in a global #call4climate action. Look out for more blogs and news stories by Trackers in Bonn here.

If you prefer your info via video, check out Climate Matters. One of their latest daily shows, broadcasted live from Bonn, digs into the question of Adaptation.

Climate Action Network International’s Friday edition of the ECO Newsletter digs into carbon sinks and agriculture, energy efficiency in cities, and more.

Useful hashtags for tracking the negotiations in real-time are #SB42, #ADP2015, and  #UNFCCC. We’ll join the conversation on twitter via @tcktcktck and @adoptnegotiator.

IISD’s reporting service has high-resolution pictures from Day Three inside the World Conference Center, and more to come throughout the next two weeks. They also have a detailed overview ofWednesday’s negotiations.

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