Daily Tck: Day 4 of the UN climate talks in Bonn

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UN climate talks in Bonn

Courtesy of: Kiko Network, 2015

  • Finance negotiations are major source of tension between developed and developing countries
  • Increased pressure driving unusual collaborations between governments to develop bridging proposals that bring us closer to a deal 
  • New report quantifies massive potential impact of an ambition mechanism and long-term goal

With pressure building, Thursday’s climate talks offered up a mix of controversy and stepped-up efforts to build bridges between disparate proposals. Differences over how the Paris agreement should address climate finance spurred developing countries to unite under the G77+China banner, demanding more specifics on the levels of funding and where they’ll come from. At a rare G77+China-convened press conference, Ambassador Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, who chairs the group, put the issue in stark terms.

“It’s a matter of life or death… and we are dead serious. As a matter of urgency we need finance both now and far into the future. Paris will succeed on whether this is part of the core agreement in Paris.”

Of the remaining options in the draft text, finance proposals from the G77 are closest to the what the majority of our partners have advocated for.

On other issues, government delegates from across the political and geographic spectrum joined offline groups to develop potential bridges on their positions. The LDCs and AOSIS came up with a bridge on options for the long-term goal. While a number of unusual groupings of countries worked on bridging proposals for mitigation.

We also learned more about the co-chairs’ intentions for the taking work forward between this session and Paris. It’s likely that informal spin-off groups, which civil society remain excluded from, will continue through the first half of Friday. A new text will capture whatever progress was made over the course of this week, and will likely go unchanged by the co-chairs until the start of Paris.

News, links & useful grist that caught our eye

Japan was the target of Thursday’s most lively action in the conference center. Activists from around the world filled the halls with a Japanese phrase meaning ‘stop coal finance.” Here’s afact sheet on what inspired the action. While the government’s adamant defense of coal’s role in our future energy mix was criticized in Bonn, active corporate lobbying efforts to increase Japan’s coal finance also came into focus.

Our partners spent a lot of their energy Thursday on the ‘ambition mechanism‘ necessary to make any new global climate agreement credible. With climate action plans not yet bending the warming curve enough to safeguard our future, it’s essential that the Paris agreement includes a strong enough ambition mechanism to bend that curve the rest of the way.

E3G’s Louisa Casson laid out the details in clear terms during a press conference, calling for 5 year cycles, with the first review and opportunity to scale-up plans set for 2018, before the new agreement comes into force. Each review cycle needs political teeth, going beyond a stocktake on progress-to-date. It should be forward-facing with the goal of increasing ambition. Finally, the ambition mechanism needs a broad scope, beyond mitigation. It needs to include regular predictable cycles on finance, to unlock more mitigation; which is linked to adaptation, so we know what kind of impacts to prepare for given our trajectory.

Former Heads of State, a growing number of business groups and subnational governmentsare throwing their weight behind the idea.  Greenpeace created an infographic to illustrate how the pieces fit together.

On a related note, a new report from the Potsdam Institute and IDDRI shows that by combining the national climate action plans with clear signals on an ambition mechanism and a long term goal we take more than 5 gigatonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere.

The United Arab Emirates became the latest country to submit its national climate action plan, laying out the goal of getting 24% of energy from clean sources by 2021, up less than 1% clean energy in the UAE’s mix in 2014.

The Carbon Levy Project released a new report called “Making a Killing: Who pays the real costs of big oil, coal and gas?” The report analysed three climate-related events that have led to actual loss and damage, and compare those costs with the profits of some of the 90 “Carbon Majors” who are responsible for more than two thirds of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere today.

With refugees and migration hovering at the top of political agendas in Europe and beyond, a press conference in Bonn drew attention to the role climate change plays in exacerbating the issue, and the role a new global climate agreement could play in solving it.

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

Climate Justice Info published a detailed storify overview of what happened throughout Day 4.

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 4 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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