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.
- Ministers’ dig into remaining issues as pressure builds to deliver on new global climate agreement
- Positive moves toward agreement on 1.5C, while important details on how to achieve it fall short
- Global greenhouse gas emissions reached a plateau in 2014, according to new report
Ministers arrived in Paris and are getting down to business in high-level negotiation sessions. They face a distinct choice between a deal that that can keep climate change in check and one that would see climate chaos. High-level meetings kicked off Sunday night, digging into the cross-cutting issues like differentiation and climate finance, that have limited progress to the margins of key issues over the last week. Two major developments were the focus of many our partners Monday.
There was good news on Loss and Damage. It sounds like Saudi Arabia is one of the exceptionally few (perhaps sole) governments blocking 1.5C from landing in the final Paris agreement, preferring the current, higher-risk, warming limit of 2C.
At the same time, there’s concern that even as governments move toward a more ambitious long-term temperature goal, the essential details on how they’ll achieve it are falling short. There’s pushback on language that could send clear signals to markets, like ‘decarbonization.’ There’s no agreement on a clear political moment before 2020 enabling us to review and improve the existing national climate action plans. According to Greenpeace’s Martin Kaiser:
“What we can’t do is wait for the first review or stock-take to happen in 2024 or 2025, because that will set in stone the current pledges. And we know that they are no-where near tough enough to deliver 2C, let alone the 1.5C which the most vulnerable countries want.”
There is also concern over what’s included the ambition mechanism – with the role of adaptation and the means to implement climate action plans falling short of the progress and clarity we need.
News, links & useful grist that caught our eye
As the news broke today that global greenhouse gas emissions reached a plateau in 2014, a flotilla of announcements from both countries and companies at the Paris climate summit confirmed renewable energy’s pivotal role in the future global economy. Saint Lucia became the 29th nation to join an island renewables initiative and made a deal that will see its governor general’s residence powered by the sun. India presented more details of the international solar alliance launched last week, and African nations started building towards their new target of 300 GW of renewables by 2030 by signing a sustainable energy agreement with potential donor nations.
Business is also taking strides towards being clean and green: Coca-Cola, Microsoft, BMW and Google are the latest of over 50 companies to commit to going for 100 per cent renewable electricity through the RE100 programme, with Google intending to triple its renewable energy by 2025. A newly launched ‘Global Geothermal Alliance’ is set to achieve a 200 per cent increase in global installed capacity for heating by 2030, as well as a 500 per cent increase in power generation.
Greenpeace head Kumi Naidoo and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson on behalf the B-teamheld a joint press conference echoing demands for a 1.5ºC warming limit, a strong long-term goal, and an ambition mechanism with five-year review cycles to ratchet up national climate action plans, starting no later than 2020. Branson also emphasized the need for governments to deliver adequate public finance for developing countries, and end fossil fuel subsidies.
As groups from business and health, to faith and parents, as well as local and national governments in both richer and poorer nations throw their weight behind a fully clean energy future, it is clear that renewables are good for everyone.
Avaaz is naming and shaming #ClimateCriminals – shining a light on the most insidious fossil fuel lobbyists attending the talks. The group posted over a thousand ‘Wanted’ posters and handed out flyers across the French capital, highlighting their attempts to derail the climate deal.
Young people from the US are putting pressure on their government to support a strong climate agreement by tweeting #DearToddStern and let the US State Department know they are watching. And an emerging network of climate concerned parents rolled out a new campaign called #DearTomorrow, asking leaders in Paris to deliver a deal that keeps hope for future generations alive.
Saudi Arabia won another Fossil of the Day today for calling for ‘no discrimination’ against any form of energy sources, including fossil fuels.
While the number of people mobilizing around Paris is unprecedented, many of them have kept their focus on local fights. Under growing pressure from climate campaigners to#KeepitintheGround, the Obama Administration announced a last minute delay for a fossil fuel auction scheduled for this Thursday.
Survival Media Agency have a great selection of photos in and around the climate talks, including a great albums from this weekend’s indigenous peoples’ flotilla action, the Global Village of Alternatives, and the latest protests urging climate ambition and support for the 1.5DegC temperature goal.
Activists also joined together this weekend to send a large scale visual message for 100% renewable energy.
The Green TV team have also been busy today examining the power of the renewable revolution and talking to former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the role sub-national governments have to play in the fight against climate change. They also covered this last weekend’s Climate and Health Summit, where more than 1,700 health organizations representing over 13 million doctors, nurses and other health professionals called for a strong climate agreement.
For a selection of great graphics pulled together to help you share the story of the renewable energy transition, check out the Climate Tracker flickr page.
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The Climate Action Network is publishing daily ECO newsletters, laying out their case to negotiators.
There’s a slew of quality blogs on with updates from inside the negotiations from our Climate Trackers. Our Paris team is also writing for newspapers around the world. You can find some of those stories via their twitter group.