The final stretch of years of climate negotiations begin this week, as negotiators over the weekend passed a Paris text on to the French presidency, and ministers get involved. Carbon Pulse will publish news and updates from COP21 as they happen.
1808 CET – FRANCE, US STATES SIGN LOW-CARBON PARTNERSHIP: France, California, Washington state and Vermont signed an agreement to promote innovation and share technology in key low-carbon sectors, creating “non-relocatable jobs” in the process. The plan will focus on renewables, energy efficiency and storage, sustainable buildings, low-carbon transport, and water management.
1801 CET – NICARAGUA DEFENDS NON-SUBMISSION OF “TROJAN HORSE” INDC: Nicaragua, one of the 10 or so nations to have not submitted an INDC, defended its decision, calling the process a “Trojan horse” aimed at killing the principles of CBDR and historic responsibility in the negotiations. “There will be no reinterpretation of historical responsibilities,” Nicaragua’s US-born climate envoy Paul Oquist Kelley said in a speech during COP’s opening plenary, adding that the Latin American nation “does not want to be an accomplice in the death and destruction that will come about in a world with a 3-degree rise in temperatures.”
“The INDC process is all very comfortable, but it doesn’t don’t work … It’s a form of eco neo-colonialism or eco-imperialism,” he said, adding that it is the equivalent to bank bailout, but for the unsustainable way of life exhibited by rich countries for many years. “The voluntary contributions of developing countries are conditioned on financing that may never see the light of day.” In place of submitting an INDC, Oquist Kelley outlined several measures Nicaragua had put in place to curb its GHGs, including a move to 90% renewables in its energy mix, and cutting emissions through reduced deforestation and reforestation programmes and other “trading initiatives”.
1743 CET – GLOBAL CO2 OUTPUT MAY HAVE FALLEN: Rapid growth in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry ceased in the past two years, despite continued economic growth. Decreased coal use in China was largely responsible, coupled with slower global growth in petroleum and faster growth in renewables, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.
It gave a preliminary estimate that CO2 output may have dipped 0.6% in 2015, following a 0.6% increase in 2014 and increases averaging 2.4% a year over the previous decade. But it warned that global emissions are unlikely to have peaked yet. US chief negotiator Todd Stern welcomed the report as “clearly good news” when told about it by a journalist at a press briefing, though he doubted negotiators would be spending much time pondering the implications of it here in Paris. Greenpeace warned against complacency and said that for climate change to be dealt with emissions would need to start coming down rapidly.
1711 CET – CANADIAN CARBON MARKET THREE-WAY: Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba announced that they have formally signed a trilateral deal to link their carbon markets, but Manitoba is for now not joining Ontario and Quebec’s partnership to develop common offset protocols, Quebec environment minister David Heurtel told Carbon Pulse.
1532 CET – CLEAN POWER IN POOR NATIONS HELPS CLOSING EMISSION GAP: Initial analysis of almost 6,000 projects targeting renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries over 2005-2012 has revealed that the projects could reduce CO2 emissions by about 1.7 gigatons a year by 2020, according to the 1 Gigaton Coalition, a voluntary framework steered by Norway and UNEP. This will assist in closing the 8-10 gigaton emission gap that UNEP has identified by 2020 to the 2C goal. The gap is expected to close further because after Paris finance is expected to increase for new projects, the Coalition said in a report released today.
Simultaneously, the Global Environment Facility announced it would contribute $2 million towards the establishment of the “Climate Aggregation Platform”, which GEF said would leverage $100 million in financing from various sources, including the Inter-American Development Bank, that would fund clean energy projects in developing nations.
1331 CET – ANTI-OIL-FLARING GROUP SWELLS, STILL MISSING KEY PLAYERS: The World Bank-steered Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative held an event in Paris, saying that its membership has increased by 20 to 45 oil companies, governments and development institutions since its launch in April. These 45 represent more than 40% of global gas flaring, which as a by-product of oil extraction emits around 350 million tonnes of CO2 a year.
New members include Mexico and firms in Nigeria, India and Angola. The initiative includes the Russian government and many western oil firms but no Gulf nations. For safety reasons and to cut emissions oil producers usually burn or flare gas to turn highly flammable methane into inert CO2, which has a quarter of the global warming impact of merely venting the gas. Flaring or venting of gas associated with oil production is banned or restricted in many countries but is more common in remote or poorer areas keen to cash in on lucrative oil profits but without a ready market for the gas.
1115 CET – CANADA TO HEAD GROUP ON MARKET TALKS: Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna will chair a group on carbon market talks in Paris, Carbon Pulse understands. The group will operate as a subgroup under the track on differentiation, headed by ministers from Brazil and Singapore (see below), according to sources. With the recent increased focus on emissions markets in Canada, the appointment might boost the outlook of negotiators reaching consensus on a market text to include in the final agreement.
0904 CET – INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR BLUE CARBON: Australia, together with Costa Rica, Indonesia and several research organisations and NGOs, launched a new international initiative “to increase understanding of, and accelerate action on the important role of coastal blue carbon ecosystems in climate change action”. Australia last week announced it would study ocean carbon storage’s potential to help drive domestic emission cuts.
“This growing recognition of the value and importance of coastal blue carbon ecosystems has motivated a range of activities to better manage blue carbon resources, including in the context of REDD+, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), voluntary carbon markets, and post-2020 Intended National Determined Contributions,” a statement from Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s office said Sunday.
0823 CET – FABIUS APPOINTS FACILITATORS TO DRIVE PROGRESS: COP President Laurent Fabius on Sunday set up teams of minister-level facilitators to drive progress in the most difficult areas of negotiations:
– Implementation mechanisms (financing, technologies and capacities): Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet (Gabon) and Jochen Flasbarth (Germany).
– Differentiation: Isabella Texeira (Brazil) and Vivian Balakrishnan (Singapore)
– Ambition: Tine Sundtoft (Norway) and James Fletcher (Saint Lucia)
– Pre-2020 action: Pa Ousman Jarju (Gambia) and Amber Rudd (UK)
– Adaptation: Rene Orellana (Bolivia) and Åsa Romson (Sweden)
– Preamble: Manuel Pulgar Vidal (Peru)
The team of facilitators also includes Catherine McKenna (Canada), Daniel Vicente Ortega Pacheco (Ecuador) and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber (United Arab Emirates), although their missions will only be set out later today, said a statement from the French presidency.
By Carbon Pulse – firstname.lastname@example.org