• Updates from the talks

     

    The story so far

    1. Negotiators have made progress: Texts on the various elements of the Paris Rulebook were prepared by negotiators in week 1 for ministers to continue working on in week 2, and were nearly 2/3 shorter than the first iterations.
    2. Despite some countries trying to block negotiations: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia and the US defied every other country and the latest science by refusing to formally “Welcome” the IPCC 1.5˚C report in the UN text. 
    3. Still, ministers have some important issues to sort out in week 2: Differentiation, finance, and enhanced ambition still need to be discussed by ministers in week 2, as do some key rulebook questions such as transparency, reporting requirements and the date from which all countries will follow the same rulebook. Some ministers, like Canada’s Catherine McKenna and Spain’s Teresa Ribera, will be expected to lead complex working groups on some of these issues.

    Recent updates

    1

    10.12. Urgent appeals

    This week the voices of climate vulnerable but also of emerging and some developed countries as well as subnational and business actors are expected to get progressively louder and call for an ambitious COP24 outcome.

    2

    11.12. Talanoa Dialogue Closing of the Political Phase

    Ministers, country representatives, businesses, regions and cities shared their experiences and plans for the transformation of our economies in line with the Paris Agreement. The Dialogue illustrated significant progress across all sectors and the opportunities available, and as such will inform countries decisions on ambition levels required by 2020.

    3

    11.12. IPCC chair: governments must take action

    In the opening of the Talanoa Dialogue the chair of the IPCC Hoesung Lee reminded countries that it was them who invited the IPCC to write the 1.5 report. He stressed that it’s now up to governments to take action and to travel away from reliance on fossil fuels and the risks of stranded assets and to invest a new inclusive, resilient economy.

    4

    12.12. Talanoa call to action

    Poland and Fiji, the COP24 and COP23 presidencies, released a joint statement in the Closing Meeting of the Talanoa Dialogue that calls for more action from governments and stakeholders ahead of 2020. Observers say this is good signal heading into the final – and crucial – days of negotiations, but this must be accompanied by a final COP 24 decision that urges countries to update their NDCs by 2020.

    5

    12.12. Frontrunners to update their NDCs in time

    During the Talanoa Dialogue a number of countries detailed their plans to update or enhance their NDCs: Vietnam wants to update their NDC by 2019, Norway by 2020, Lebanon tries to revise theirs before 2020. Qatar and Barbados also mentioned new NDCs. Fiji and the Maldives have already communicated new climate targets.

    6

    12.12. Updated rulebook texts

    After an extra session last night, the Presidency released updated rulebook texts today. The texts are now in the hands of Ministers. The presidency appointed ministerial pairs to chair high-level talks on unresolved issues. https://unfccc.int/documents

    7

    13.12. Ministers continue consultations

    A new round of rulebook texts is expected later this afternoon or tonight. Ministers will focus on solving finance issues first. See this “COP24 text tracker” for details.

    8

    13.12. Extra time expected

    As for most COPs, delegates prepare for the talks to be extended until Friday night or Saturday.

    9

    15.12. Rulebook signed off

    With one day of delay governments agreed to a final set of texts on late Saturday night. They agreed on common rules to operationalise the Paris Agreement, putting all countries on a level playing field to account and report on their climate action.

    10

    15.12. Next stop: UNSG summit in 2019

    Governments at COP24 agreed that they will update their climate plans by 2020 and use the 2019 climate summit of the UN Secretary-General as an opportunity for Heads of States to demonstrate their plans to enhance ambition by 2020.

  • Major announcements

    The most newsworthy announcements and reports related to climate change that have been shaping conversations at COP24 in the last couple of days.

    13.12. UK and Italy apply to host COP26

    Claire Perry, UK environment minister, has officially confirmed UK’s application for hosting COP26 in 2020. Shortly after, Italy’s environment minister Sergio Costa proposed his country’s candidature on Twitter.
     

    13.12. Coal phase out momentum

    The Powering Past Coal Alliance announced 6 new members including: Scotland, Israel and Senegal. The coalition that now counts 80 members (states, subnationals and businesses) works to accelerate clean growth and foster the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.

    13.12. 1,000+ companies divest

    A new milestone in the divestment movement, 1,000 institutions from around the world have said “no” to fossil fuels and committed to divest. New York, Cape Town and Ireland are some of the leading examples of this movement. The total divestment is worth nearly $8 trillion and shows a growing commitment to a fossil free future.

    13.12. Climate Vulnerable Countries demand action:

    The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a coalition of the 48 most exposed nations, today called on all parties to unite against any mediocre outcome from COP24 as their home countries “face extinction”. The forum signalled the necessity of strong pre-2020 commitments and the update of climate plans from all countries by 2020.

    12.12. EU against bifurcation

    EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said that the EU believes in differentiation when it comes to providing support to those developing countries that lack capacity in reporting back to the UN on emissions and climate action. However, they oppose the proposition from developing countries to have two separate track of rules for developing and developed countries.

    12.12. India and BASIC countries defend Paris

    As newer versions of the Paris Rulebook started trickling in, BASIC country members said that while they are willing to exercise necessary flexibility to move the talks forward, they are not ready to compromise on the principles agreed in Paris. Referring to attempts of backsliding, BASIC members said that there were attempts to remove the principle of differentiation as agreed to in Paris Agreement and that they would not compromise on that.

    12.12. Call for High Ambitions at COP24

    The High Ambition Coalition, a group of developed and developing countries sharing the highest level ambition at the Climate Summit released a “Statement On Stepping Up Climate Ambition”. HAC urges to boost climate plans by 2020, increased short-term action, as well as long-term low-emission development strategies and support of the IPCC 1.5 report. Australia did not sign the statement and was nominated as the Fossil of the Day for lack of aspiration.
    https://twitter.com/MAC_europa/status/1072912080813084672

    12.12. Ukraine steps up

    The Government of the Ukraine announced that it would review and improve its “Nationally Determined Contribution” (‘NDC’) to the Paris Agreement. According to the environmental group 350.org it is the transition at the city-level which has created the policy momentum for the shift at a national level.

    12.11. East Antarctica glaciers showing signs of melting:

    NASA scientists have revealed signs of dramatic glacier decrease. The vast amount of ice in the region had been considered stable up until now. But new findings suggest that the melting of Totten glacier could result in 3 m sea-level rise.

    12.12. Church statement:

    Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, addressed the High-Level Segment of the COP24, on behalf of Pope Francis. He noted the importance of political will to build “collective response”. The Holy See also believes that Paris Agreement can help to build better jobs. Quoting the famous Laudato Si encyclica, the Cardinal highlighted the morality of the climate crisis.

    11.12. Egypt is “Fossil of the Day”

    Egypt was awarded the “Fossil of the Day”. According to CAN International Egypt has articulated in its unwillingness to ambition during the last 11 days of talks. The country has clearly stated its aversion to accelerate its climate ambition and believes that the Talanoa dialogue should have no negotiated outcomes.

    11.12. Record pledges to adaptation fund

    Starting with the outstanding offer of Germany of 70 million EUR, other followed. In total Germany, Sweden, Norway, the EU, New Zealand, France, Italy and Switzerland there has been a record pledge to the Adpatation Fund of 129 million USD at this COP.

    11.12. Businesses, investors, cities, states and regions call for ambitious outcomes

    At COP24, the thousands of leading businesses, investors, cities, states and regions collectively working towards a zero-carbon future have made an urgent call on policy makers involved in the negotiations to deliver the bold outcomes required to achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement.

    Full statement: bit.ly/LowCarbonCOP

    10.12. Countries lining up increased contributions to the Adaptation Fund

    After Norway and the European Union, France promised to contribute €15m to Adaptation Fund and €20m to Least Developed Countries Fund. Joining these efforts Sweden increased it contribution to the Adaptation Fund to €3.3m and to the Least Developed Countries. While, New Zealand will supply €1.9 million to the Adaptation Fund.

    10.12. Fashion brands pledge climate commitments

    Inditex, Burberry and 41 other fast and high fashion companies of the world have committed to support the Fashion Climate Charter for Climate Action. Recognising the harmful effects of the fashion industry, the goal of this new commitment is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

    10.12. Saudi at bottom of climate ranking

    An annual evaluation of the climate performance covering 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions shows that none of the 56 countries evaluated nor the EU are on a 1.5°C pathway, although there are some initial indications that this might change for some countries. The US and Saudi Arabia are at the bottom of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI).
     

    10.12. Laughter at the US Coal Side Event

    The United States’ pro-coal side event titled “U.S. Innovative Technologies Spur Economic Dynamism” was disrupted by activists’ laughter and chants of “keep it in the ground”. At different events throughout the day, US businesses and civil society actors emphasized their commitment to the Paris Agreement.
    https://twitter.com/collinrees/status/1072110011906691073

    10.12. New climate finance pledges

    Miguel Arias Canete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, has announced that the European Union will contribute 10 million EUR in 2019 to the Adaptation Fund. Ola Elvestuen, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, announced today that Norway plans to double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund.

    10.12. Vulnerable countries propose taxing fossil fuel corporations

    The group propose making use of the polluter pays principle by taxing fossil fuel corporations, for every tonne of oil, gas and coal they extract. That money would be run through the Green Climate Fund so it can be accessed quickly when devastation strikes.

    10.12. Attribution of extreme weather events to climate change

    New studies reveal clear ties between today’s extremes and human causes. The study of Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society reflects on extreme weather events in 2017 and brings clear evidence that they are consequences of human induced climate change.

    10.12. Global investors call on leaders

    >400 global investors with more than USD $30 trillion in assets called on global leaders for increased climate action. Asks include to phase out coal globally and to strengthen NDCs starting the process now in 2018 and completing it no later than 2020.
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/big-investors-call-carbon-price-end-coal-power-59720205

    10.12. Polish mayors sign "Solidarity for Climate" declaration

    The Polish "Progressive Mayors Network" presented "Solidarity for Climate" declaration. The mayors pledge to achieve a level of renewable energy buildings of 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 in their municipalities and to eliminate smog and energy poverty. The historical leader of Solidarity movement Lech Wałęsa and the former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski also supported the declaration.

    10.12. Scientists and the Vatican urge to decarbonise

    "Rapid decarbonisation of all economic sectors is crucial for preserving the environmental conditions that allowed humanity to thrive", wrote the heads of Polish, French and Pontifical (Vatican) academies of sciences following a symposium held in Katowice. "The answers given by our symposium clearly demonstrate the feasibility for such a transition", they added.

  • Best of the rest from the first days of COP24 and just before.

    Before COP24

    • 27.11. France presented its revised “national low-carbon strategy”, which aims for net zero GHG emissions by 2050.
    • 28.11. Germany announced it will provide more aid to poor countries to combat the consequences of global warming and double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to €1.5 billion.

    • 28.11. The European Commission called for a carbon neutral Europe by 2050 in the launch of its proposed EU long-term climate strategy.

    • 30.11. France and China teamed up with the UNSG to reaffirm their strong support for the Paris Agreement as an “irreversible process and a compass for strong climate action”.

    • 1.12. 19 of the 20 world leaders present at the G20 summit isolated Trump and reaffirmed their commitment to climate action and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. For the first time, a G20 communiqué stressed the urgency of keeping global warming below 1.5°C.

    Week 1 of COP24

    • 2.12. Four former UN climate talks presidents called on governments to use the COP24 summit to send an “unequivocal message” that all nations will boost their climate plans by 2020.
    • 3.12. The World Bank will double investments in climate action to about $200 billion from 2021-2025.
    • 3.12.India’s environment minister confirmed on Monday that the country is on track to meet many of its current climate targets in the early 2020s.
    • 4.12. On Saint Barbara’s day, the patron saint of miners, CAN International awarded the first “Fossil of the Day Award” of this COP to host country Poland, for President Duda saying that “there is no contradiction between climate protection and coal use” and “for downplaying the urgency of climate action”.
    • 4.12. Leading banks ING, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Société Générale announced they will measure the climate alignment of their lending portfolios to steer them in line with the Paris Agreement.
    • 4.12. The world’s largest container shipping company Maersk pledges zero emissions by 2050.
    • 4.12. Volkswagen announced that it will sell no more combustion cars after 2040 and will put the last fossil-fuel based models on the market in 2032. 
    • 5.12. WHO issued a report that showed the health benefits of meeting the Paris goals outweigh costs by far.
    • 5.12. The Global Carbon Project report revealed that global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise for the second consecutive year in 2018.
    • 5.12. A newly released Nature commentary, co-authored by Christiana Figueres, Corinne Le Quéré, Anand Mahindra, and co-signed by more than 100 leading experts, outlines three reasons for optimism: key technologies are on track; subnational action to reduce emissions is gaining momentum even in countries where national commitments are retreating, and there is growing support for bolder Paris targets.
    • 6.12. New Zealand released a defence policy statement identifying climate change as the country’s most significant security threat.
    • 7.12. Former climate champion Germany was awarded the “Fossil of the Day” by CAN after it admitted in the Multilateral Assessment that it will miss its 2020 emissions reductions target of 40 % (compared to 1990) by 8 %. Germany delayed its plan for pre-2020 climate action until after COP24.
    • 7.12. OPEC, together with non-OPEC members, including Russia, reached a deal to cut oil production removing 1.2 million barrels a day from the world market.
    • 8.12. Around 4,000 people took part in the Climate March in Katowice, including Polish groups protesting against the coal mine expansion in Imielin and the controversial Ostrołęka power plant.
  • What to look out for next

    Which press conferences are worth attending in the coming days? Which reports are expected to be released?

    13.12. Carbon Tracker side event, 'Global coal economics: where are we, where do we need to go and how do we get there?'

     

    13-Dec-2018, 11:00-12:15, UK pavilion

    13.12. 'Unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight: climate security, big data and the Responsibility to Prepare’

    Unprecedented risks and unprecedented foresight: climate security, big data and the Responsibility to Prepare’

     

    13-Dec-2018, 12:00-13:30, EU pavilion, COP24 venue

    13.12. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland side event, 'Powering Past Coal Alliance: Accelerating the Global Coal Transition'

    More info here.

     

    13-Dec-2018, 13:15-14:45, Room Warmia, COP24 venue

    13.12. Reception to celebrate EU climate action

    More info here.

     

    13-Dec-2018, 18:00-20:00, Vienna House Easy Katowice, Sokolska 24, 40-086 Katowice, Poland (short walk from COP24 venue)

    13.12. Press Event: Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Members, Champions & Partners

    The “Jummemej Declaration”, outcome of the world’s first intergovernmental Virtual Summit.

     

    10:15–11:15

    Press Conference Room Warszawa

    13.12. PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM WITH PARTNERS

    10:30-11:30
    Press Conference Room Warszawa, Area B

    The Climate Vulnerable Forum intends to call for the vigilance and solidarity of the international community for decisions at COP24 not to fall short.

  • COP24 Explainers

    A few explainers of the concepts that are essential for understanding COP24.

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