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Daily Tck: Day 3 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

Creative Commons: UNFCCC, 2015

  • Progress slows, with frustration brewing over process and some developed countries taking a hard line on climate finance
  • Civil society groups remain blocked from text negotiations, with Japan leading the effort to keep our partners out of the room
  • New analysis point to success in delinking emissions from economic growth and increasing electricity demand

After a stormy beginning Monday, and the sun shining down on an improved negotiating textTuesday, hope once again gave way to frustration on Wednesday as progress on streamlining options for Paris slowed to a crawl. In particular the Finance discussions were polarized. We’re hearing that the Umbrella Group – which includes Australia, Japan, Canada and the US, among others – pushed back on the agreement including explicit provisions to scale up developed country climate finance.

The Co-chairs leading the process ceded to requests for a new spin-off group focused on how the agreement will include reviews of climate action plans – a key element in the ambition mechanism.

Negotiations on the majority of our partners’ priorities were held behind closed doors, after Japan’s government spearheaded efforts to prevent civil society participation. Widespread protest, from civil society groups and government delegations alike, pushed to reverse the decision and bring observers back into the meeting rooms – united under the banner#keepusintheroom.

News, links & useful grist that caught our eye

Some might wonder why Japan is leading the charge to limit civil society’s role. The government could be feeling the pressure of increasing isolation, with fellow climate laggard leaders in Australia and Canada tossed out in recent elections. A scorecard published by E3G Wednesday, on G7 countries’ efforts to make good on their commitment to decarbonization, ranked Japan dead last. Japan is also feeling the heat on international finance for coal. With energy policies propping up a dying industry and a shrinking number of allies to help slow the rise in expectations for climate action, Japan’s latest move against transparency in Bonn could be motivated by desperation.

Youth groups from around the world used the civil society shut-out to raise the profile of their key asks for a new global climate agreement. Representatives of YOUNGO, the youth constituency within the UNFCCC, named climate change education, intergenerational equity, health, climate finance, loss & damage and ambitious long-term goals as their priority issues, laying out the details of each in a press conference.

Outside of the negotiations, a new EU report shows that the bloc cut its GHG emissions by 23% from 1990 levels, surpassing its goal of a 20% reduction by 2020. Over the same period, the EU’s economy grew 46%. Decarbonization doesn’t cost prosperity, and can happen more quickly than predicted. Our Tree Alert has more.

A new report from the International Energy Agency gives us a sense of the profound impact that climate action plans are likely to have on the world’s energy landscape, effectively breaking the link between increasing electricity demand and increasing emissions. Describing the new analysis’ findings, IEA head Fitah Birol warned that “companies not anticipating stronger energy and climate policies risk being at competitive disadvantage.”

Another analysis of climate action plans, from the OECD, warned that most advanced and emerging economies are on a trajectory that would see them fall short of mitigation goals pledged to date, suggesting governments will require stronger policies in order to deliver.

Among countries who will need to do more to reach their pledged goals, Indonesia was once again singled out. According to the Climate Action Tracker, Indonesia’s climate plan lacks both credibility and transparency, and is an inadequate contribution to the world’s effort to keep global warming below 2ºC.

Last but not least, The Dalai Lama became the latest faith leader to to call for urgent actionon climate change to ensure “environmental health and sustainability of the entire world.” His Holiness cited dangerous glacial melt in his homeland, the Tibetan Plateau, which has the most ice Arctic and Antarctic and has experienced three times more warming than the global average in the past 50 years.

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Resources

Our friends at the Climate Action Network International are publishing daily ECO newsletters, laying out their case to negotiators. Wednesday’s ECO focuses

We have a small team of Climate Trackers in Bonn, blogging at adoptanegotiator.org and writing for a few newspapers around the world.

IISD’s reporting service has high-resolution pictures from Day 3 inside the World Conference Center, and more to come throughout the next two weeks. They also have a detailed overview ofMonday’s negotiations.

Useful hashtags for tracking the negotiations in real-time are #ADP2, #UNFCCC and #COP21. We’ll join the conversation on twitter via @tcktcktck.

We’ll also keep you abreast of developments in the wider world of climate activism and action at tcktcktck.org.

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