Eco Digital Blog

Submitted by ECO Editor on Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 02:06

Closing the Short-Term EU Mitigation Gap

We all know that if the ambition gap is not closed or significantly narrowed by 2020, the door will close on many options to limit temperature increase to 1.5° C.

An interesting truth is that the EU has already met its 20% target for 2020 eight years ahead of schedule. Including international offset credits, European greenhouse gas emissions were actually down nearly 27% on 1990 levels in 2012!

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 04:30

Australian PM Tony Abbott said yesterday that he will cut greenhouse gases by no more than 5% below 2000 levels by 2020. This shock move would back away from Australia's longstanding commitment to a 15% to 25% target range.

However, the PM has previously indicated that his "off the cuff" remarks can't really be taken as gospel. Sometimes, you see, he gets carried away in the heat of the moment, and so only written statements could really be trusted as actual policy.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 04:23

Rumour has it that that Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is going to announce its new 2020 target here in Warsaw. This would be Japan’s contribution to closing the gigatonne gap, right?

But ECO is puzzled by the target number circulating in media reports. At first we thought Japan must have made a mistake on where to put the decimal point.  But it seems the number really will be one digit smaller than it should be.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 04:16

Everyone needs to take part in the battle against climate change, and we all agree that includes the private sector. Still, it was a shock to learn that the COP Presidency invited fossil industries to sponsor these climate talks, even while these very same companies do their utmost to fight against climate policies.

Corporate sponsorships to 'brand' stadiums have been around for a while.  All the same, ECO wasn't quite ready for this new trend at the COP. Branding is all about visibility and alliances. And money. So what message are we seeing here in Warsaw?

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 04:11

Parties in Doha requested expert advice to ensure the scientific integrity of the 2013-2015 Review. Well, yesterday they got it, fresh from IPCC Working Group I. In the first of two dialogues in Warsaw, IPCC experts provided advice on the adequacy of the 2oC goal in light of the ‘ultimate objective’ of the Convention.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 04:06

Global food production and food security are threatened by the greater variability of the climate and increasing occurrence of extreme weather events. Yet the agriculture negotiations are not moving with the urgency required to support the world's poor, especially those engaged in agriculture and related activities, in adapting to these adverse impacts. A vast majority of the world’s population is dependent on small-scale food producers -- climate change puts all of this at risk.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 03:19

At the ADP opening yesterday, ECO waited in vain for bold and innovative ideas to ensure each Party proposes its equitable share of the global effort.  We are all agreed that equity matters (the WHY) – so let's figure out the HOW.

The COP and ADP opened with clarion calls for ambition – and the key to ambition is equity. Your mission this week, dear Parties, is to move beyond vague statements about fairness and map the all-important Convention principles onto a common list of equity indicators.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 01:58

The Warsaw city bikes are a good choice to explore this place which we call home for the next two weeks.  The main task of ADP workstream 1 is to chart the course of work needed to deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement no later than COP 21 in Paris.  So we should not spin our wheels in the same old direction with the same old interventions.  

Here are some of the key points for the ADP WS1 outputs that will set the right course:

* The deadline for tabling commitments: 2014

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 01:51

As Parties pave the road towards the 2015 agreement under ADP Workstream 1, a crucial brick seems to have gone missing. According to the UNEP Emission Gap report, pre-2020 mitigation efforts currently fall 8-12 GtCO2e short of what is needed to keep global temperature increases below 1.5/2°C.

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Submitted by ECO Editor on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 01:46

Yesterday, we heard from the Philippines lead negotiator, Yeb Sano, who addressed the opening session of the UN climate negotiations, calling for an end to the madness and taking urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit much of his country this past weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan was nothing the world has ever experienced, taking thousands of lives in just two days. Yeb Sano even declared that he will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in sight.

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