Updates from the talks
The story so far
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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. Press Event: Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Members, Champions & Partners
The “Jummemej Declaration”, outcome of the world’s first intergovernmental Virtual Summit.
Press Conference Room Warszawa
13.12. PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM WITH PARTNERS
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.
A few explainers of the concepts that are essential for understanding COP24.