COP-21 Roundup: Nov. 30 – Day 1

Published 08:23 on November 30, 2015  /  Last updated at 13:16 on July 5, 2017  /  Climate Talks, International, REDD  /  No Comments

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting at the UN climate summit in Paris for two weeks to hash out a new global agreement on climate change. Carbon Pulse will publish a daily summary of key developments (that aren't worthy of separate stories), and continuously update it throughout the day.

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are meeting at the UN climate summit in Paris for two weeks to hash out a new global agreement on climate change. Carbon Pulse will publish a daily summary of key developments (that aren’t worthy of separate stories), and continuously update it throughout the day.

2056 CET – EUROPEAN NATIONS SCALE UP REDD+ CASH: Norway, Germany and the UK pledged to increase their annual cash for REDD+ to $5 billion over 2015-2020 to reach $1 billion/year by 2020, with funding dependent on the ambition of the proposals of tropical forest nations. This includes a significant increase in pay-for-performance finance. Money will go to a range of multilateral and bilateral programmes, including for the first time Colombia, which is in line to receive almost $300m. “This is a substantial addition to existing funding, and will truly take advantage of the emissions reductions potential of forests and lands,” said Steve Schwartzman of environmental group EDF.

2041 CET – INDIA SPEARHEADS DRIVE FOR SOLAR: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a global solar alliance spanning 120 nations, mostly from tropical nations, that will seek access to international finance to deploy solar technology in poor countries that often lack universal electricity access. The alliance will seek to raise some $400 million, with India putting in $20m. Liz Gallagher of UK-based think tank E3G said the alliance marks a shift in India’s role on international climate talks. “(It) places India in a more assertive and constructive position on the international stage.  No longer accepting the politics of climate, but now shaping them, using its diplomatic and geopolitical influence.”

1700 CET – AUSTRALIA RATIFYING KP CP2: Australia will ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in his speech Monday. The ratification means Australia will have legal access to UN offsets if it wants to. The Coalition government has so far insisted it will achieve its target domestically, but the move opens the door for the country to use UN credits should it decide to following a 2017 policy review.

1608 CET – MORE CASH FOR CLEAN ENERGY RESEARCH: 20 nations representing 75% of global power-related CO2 emissions committed via a “Mission Innovation” initiative to double their respective clean energy R&D investment over the next five years, according to statement the US administration’s website. The countries are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, UAE, UK, US. They are joined by a parallel private sector initiative spearheaded by former Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” includes 28 private investors from 10 countries that pledged to deploy capital in clean energy, focusing on early-stage innovations. Janet Redman of social justice-focused think tank Institute of Policy Studies wselcomed the private cash but said it should not substitute developed country commitments for stable and long-term climate finance.

1256 CET – CALL TO KILL FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES: A coalition of nearly 40 governments, plus hundreds of businesses and international organisations, called for accelerated action to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, which it said are estimated at more than $500 billion per year.  New Zealand Prime Minister John Key formally presented the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué to UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, calling on the international community to increase efforts to phase out the “perverse” subsidies by promoting policy transparency, ambitious reform and targeted support for the poorest.  Removing fossil fuel subsidies could reduce GHG emissions by 10% by 2050, free up resources to invest in areas including education, healthcare and infrastructure, and level the playing field for renewable energy, the coalition said.  “Fossil fuel subsidy reform is the missing piece of the climate change puzzle. It’s estimated that more than a third of global carbon emissions, between 1980 and 2010, were driven by fossil fuel subsidies. Their elimination would represent one seventh of the effort needed to achieve our target of ensuring global temperatures do not rise by more than 2C,” Key added.

1040 CET – LDC FUNDING BOOST: Eleven donors have pledged close to $250 USD million in new money for adaptation support to the most vulnerable countries.  Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US announced their contributions today to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), a climate fund hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

1007 CET – NORWAY CASH DOUBLING: Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg will later announce that Norway will double its contribution to the GCF to 1.6 billion NOK if the fund establishes a verification mechanism for emission cuts from deforestation projects. She will also announce that Norway will continue its rainforest protection cooperation with Brazil as well as launching a new one with Colombia.

0929 CET – INDC DASH: Last-minute INDCs were submitted from Nigeria, Angola and Palau over the weekend, taking the total to 183 of 195 countries that had entered a climate pledge as the Paris talks began.  Those still missing include war-torn Syria and Libya, earthquake-shattered Nepal, and isolationist North Korea, as well as big-emitting oil exporter Venezuela and the highly vulnerable Pacific Island of Tonga.  Other countries yet to submit are Brunei, Uzbekistan, Nicaragua, Panama, East Timor and Saint Kitts & Nevis. Check out Carbon Pulse’s INDC Tracker for details of all the pledges submitted so far.

0920 CET – LEADERS’ EVENT: Around 150 world leaders are arriving for an 11am special leaders’ event, which includes them each making a three-minute address. The speeches are not expected to go into detail on the key issues of the negotiations, but are intended to provide a high-level push for negotiators to reach a deal (The full national addresses to the COP meeting held every year are due to take place next week).

0800 CET – CANADA: At a press conference on Sunday, Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said her country would within 90 days of the end of COP announce new emissions reduction targets, building on those set by former PM Stephen Harper earlier this year (-30% below 2005 by 2030).  She said the Paris agreement “will be legally binding, and countries will be legally bound to provide targets … [but] the actual targets will likely not be legally binding because that is a difficulty for many countries including the US.”

McKenna said she will press for any agreement to recognise markets. “It is very important that we recognise markets as a mechanism to achieving reductions in emissions … and that will be reflected in the agreement,” she told Carbon Pulse.  Canada is one of the few developed countries to in its INDC say it will rely on international market mechanisms to meet its targets.  McKenna said Canada has three priorities for an agreement in Paris: that it’s ambitious, that it brings has countries doing their fair share in terms of targets, and that it helps provide financing for less-developed countries.

McKenna also appeared to rebuff calls for Canada to rejoin the Kyoto Protocol after it withdrew from the treaty in late 2011.  “We need a new international, framework to tackle climate change.  That is the focus here, that’s what I’m going to be doing, and that’s what the PM is going to be focussed on,” she said.  Observers have added that it would be unlikely that current Kyoto signatories would be willing to let Canada back in after the country flouted its commitments under the pact’s first commitment period (2008-2012).

By Carbon Pulse – news@carbon-pulse.com

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