COP-21 Roundup: Dec. 1 – Day 2

Published 08:56 on December 1, 2015  /  Last updated at 15:16 on December 2, 2015  / Stian Reklev /  Climate Talks, International

All the world leaders have mostly come and gone, and delegates from nearly 200 countries can get around to the business of negotiating a new global climate deal. Carbon Pulse is publishing a daily summary of key developments, and will continuously update it throughout the day.

All the world leaders have mostly come and gone, and delegates from nearly 200 countries can get around to the business of negotiating a new global climate deal. Carbon Pulse is publishing a daily summary of key developments, and will continuously update it throughout the day.

2131 CET – KAZAKHSTAN ETS: Kazakhstan has proposed allocating 737.7 million allowances to ETS participants over the 2016-20 period, a senior government official said Tuesday, which would translate into a 4% drop or a reduction of 6 million units per year compared to the 2014-15 second trading phase.

2036 CET – SOIL AND CARBON MARKETS DON’T MIX: Soil sequestration projects are unfit for use in carbon markets, according to a report published today by Carbon Market Watch.  “Technical difficulties associated with accounting for soil carbon such as proving additionality, measuring sequestration amounts and addressing non-permanence, spur from a fundamental difference in fossil carbon and biological carbon,” it said.  The report was released as agricultural ministers from France, Germany and Uruguay announced support for a new soil carbon climate initiative called ‘4 per 1000’ under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, which will increase sequestration projects in a voluntary action plan backed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). “While not a crediting initiative, there are currently no overarching environmental or social criteria for what projects are to be developed,” Carbon Market Watch added.  “If a project uses genetically modified seeds that help maintain soil carbon but weaken a farmer’s adaptation capacity in a drought because it’s his only crop, it’s not a climate solution.”

2015 CET – FRENCH CASH FOR AFRICAN PROJECTS:  France pledged to increase funding for renewable energy in Africa to more than €2 billion between 2016-2020, representing a 50% increase on its previous commitment.  It is earmarking a total $6.4 billion over the next four years to help with Africa’s electrification, with around a third of that going towards renewables.  France also said it would gradually triple its bilateral adaptation and anti-desertification aid to €1 billion by 2020.  The cash will be directed mainly at projects forming part of African initiatives of the Great Green Wall and the protection of Lake Chad and the Niger River basin.  The Great Green Wall is a planned project by the African Union to plant a wall of trees across Africa at the southern edge of the Sahara in order to prevent the desert from advancing.

Separately, the African Union announced plans to mobilise $20 billion to develop at least 10 gigawatts of renewable energy on the continent by the end of the decade, Bloomberg reported.  The African Renewable Energy Initiative will be partially funded by the GSF and hosted by the African Development Bank, which will also act as a trustee.

1951 CET – COP-22 IN MARRAKESH: A source from the Moroccan delegation told Carbon Pulse that his country has been all but approved to host next year’s UN climate summit in Marrakesh after facing no opposition from other nations to its offer.  The meeting will he held earlier than normal, running from Nov. 7-18, 2016.  After that, there has been some talk in the UN negotiations’ corridors of changing the timetable so that COPs are held every two years rather than annually.

1901 CET – US CLIMATE CASH: President Obama said he expects the US to fulfil its pledge for climate finance that it has made to developing countries, despite efforts from congressional Republicans to block the aid.  “My expectation is that we will absolutely be able to meet our commitments … This is part of American leadership, by the way. This is part of the debate that we have to have in the US more often. Too often American leadership is defined by sending troops somewhere,” he said at a news conference before he was due to leave Paris after two days of talks.  Earlier, he met with AOSIS (The Alliance of Small Island States), highlighting that he himself was “an island boy” and pledging to stand with those endangered nations as the years-long negotiations towards a new global agreement enter their final stage.  He also offered them $30 million to help insure against climate risks.

1608 CET – NEGOTIATORS NEGOTIATING: With the leaders heading home, the UN negotiations have begun in earnest by breaking out into 10 contact groups and a number of less formal spin-off groups to go through the text issue by issue. One such group met until almost 2am last night.  The co-chairs of the process intend to use this work to help them refine the 50+ page working text and produce a new document by Friday, where the full plenary will scrutinise it with the aim of handing over a paper of 20-25 pages to the French presidency by the end of Saturday. One negotiator calculated that a bracket had to be resolved every 90 seconds for the whole week if the version handed over to France was to be bracket-free.

France has been keeping its cards close to its chest as to what will happen next, mindful of the hostility directed at the Danish hosts at the 2009 summit.  A bracketed text could be handed to the incoming environment ministers when they arrive this weekend, or the talks could enter their second week still in the hands of the contact groups, and remain with them until they make more progress.  The discussions are still at a tentative stage, with many negotiators holding back. “We don’t really know people’s red lines yet, only where people ‘have difficulties’,” said one.  A key issue that could be sacrificed to the process is a long-term “decarbonisation” goal, with several oil-rich and emerging nations very wary of the term that the G7 agreed to earlier this year.

1511 CET – NORWAY’S CASH FOR PERU’S FORESTS: Norway, the world’s biggest investor in reduced deforestation, on Tuesday announced it will carry out its first payment to Peru under the deforestation agreement between the two nations. Norway will pay Peru $5 million after the South American nation implemented a monitoring and verification (MRV) system and a new forestry law. “Peru has put in place several political measures necessary to succeed in achieving deforestation reduction,” said Tine Sundtoft, Norway’s climate change minister.

1134 CET – PRINCE CHARLES OPENS FORESTS DAY: The UK’s Prince Charles kicked off a day of sessions on forests featuring Peru’s President Ollanta Humala with a speech urging deforestation to be eliminated.

1113 CET – CHINA WILL NOT ADJUST INDC OVER COAL DATA: For anyone wondering if China will adjust the targets in its INDC over recent reports that coal consumption has been up to 17% higher than reported, the answer is no. China was aware of the new data when it designed its INDC and took it into consideration then, Xie Zhenhua, the special representative on climate change, said in a speech in Paris on Tuesday.

0953 CET – UNHINGED COAL SUPPLY: The Climate Action Tracker released new analysis showing that if all the coal plants in the pipeline get built, the sector’s carbon emissions would be four times higher than what would be consistent with a path to meeting the 2C target. “Even with no new construction, in 2030, emissions from coal-fired power generation would still be more than 150% higher than what is consistent with holding warming below 2C,” the analysts said.

By Carbon Pulse –

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