Yesterday the ADP contact group finally got down and dirty on the potential finance content in the Paris deal when negotiators discussed the finance section of the co-chairs non-paper. There is no point in denying that ECO was shamelessly excited to finally start the discussions on what must be an integral part of the 2015 agreement. Whilst probably not surprising to anyone that has been following the UNFCCC for more than a few minutes, it was a bit of a let down to have the first half of the session wither away in a flurry of process confusion.
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Germany has a problem. Europe’s biggest economy currently risks missing its national 2020 mitigation target of a 40% reduction from 1990 levels. Despite the boom of renewable energies, Germany’s emissions have been on the rise again for the last two years. If you think this is due to the country’s nuclear phase-out, then think again. In reality, with 27% of German electricity production originating from renewables today,this clean technology represents a higher share than nuclear power used to have.
It’s a fool’s game to think that polluters might get away with not paying for the loss and damage they have contributed to. For Typhoon Haiyan 6,300 people of Tacloban paid with their lives only a year ago, and 4 million of their friends and relatives paid with their houses. 13 million people in Kenya paid with hunger in the drought ending in 2011. And the people of the Pacific, and other low-lying regions, are paying with their land and homes.
Peruvian civil society organisations and grassroots movements are seizing the hosting of COP20 by Peru to join efforts in elevating environmental issues on the government’s agenda, particularly as part of the country’s development policies.
Climate change impacts have already reached Peru. People in Peru are already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change such as water scarcity, thus adding to existing environmental and social challenges.
If you have read yesterday’s ECO (or the IPCC’s newest report), you know why we need ADP Workstream 2 (WS2). We need to close the ambition gap ASAP to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. To stay below 1.5°C, we need to phase out all fossil fuels and phase in 100% renewable energies, with energy access for all by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this transition, we have to avoid any further lock-in into unsustainable high-carbon infrastructure.
Now that the new IPCC compendium has been worked on by the world’s leading climate scientists and published for all to see: What conclusions should countries draw from it? How about the need to phase out fossil fuels ASAP, starting today?
In the next two days, a Structured Expert Dialogue will assess the adequacy of the long-term global goal (i.e. keeping global warming below 2°C), possible strengthening of the goal to 1.5°C (yes please!), and the overall progress made towards achieving the goal.
There are many who consider a 2°C limit for global temperature rise to be an unacceptable climate risk. For them it’s “1.5°C to stay alive,” and the new IPCC report shows that they have a serious point.
The IPCC’s newly updated “Reasons for Concern” indicators (sometimes called “the burning embers,” refers to a chart showing increasing risk for the key indicators in yellow, orange and red colors) show that 2 or even 3 out of 5 key risks would could be at dangerous levels with 2°C warming.
Ok, so we have a long-term goal of keeping global warming below 2°C/1.5°C, but what does this mean in reality? Enter the IPCC AR5 cumulative emissions budgets! This is the maximum amount of tons of CO2 the atmosphere can take before crossing these limits.
According to the AR5, after 2010 we can only emit an additional 1,000 billion tons (Gt) of CO2 into our atmosphere if we want a higher than 66% likelihood of limiting global warming to below 2°C. To keep warming below 1.5°C the remaining carbon budget is consequently smaller.
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Iceland, Greece, Portugal and the European Union are the An-nex 2 Parties yet to make their pledges to the Green Climate Fund. ECO notes the same is true for Poland, Hungary and a few others. Five years ago, developed countries had not only promised to set up the fund but, also fill it. ECO, optimistic as ever, is convinced that all of them know rather well how much in these negotiations depends on the GCF getting off to a good start. They will not let us down.
The IPCC found that in order to get onto a 2°C pathway, there needs to be a massive shift in energy investment flows in the next 15 years. Hundreds of billions of dollars would need to be annually shifted away from fossil fuel investments, and into, first and foremost, energy efficiency, and secondarily, renewable energy.