COP in Paris: Negotiations continue

COP day 4 – update from the inside

Key issues discussed yesterday and today:

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1. Energy transition

  • The Climate Vulnerable Forum, which consists of 43 countries including the Philippines, Bangladesh and Costa Rica, has pledged for full decarbonisation so they can run their countries on 100% renewable energy by 2050. This is a very bold and amazing statement that gives the Climate Vulnerable Forum countries the opportunity to lead the way instead of being seen as victims. It also makes many other countries look bad!
  • The US and India have both announced energy transition schemes too.
  • Meanwhile, the Africa group of countries announced that they received pledges of $2 billion to support their energy proposal. There are 1.16 billion people currently living in Africa in 54 countries, that’s less than $2 per person.

tumblr_n7lgorNATJ1qlz5pzo2_12802. Loss and Damage

Loss and Damage is a term for climate-related issues that occur despite of attempts to reduce emissions. For example farmers who can no longer grow crops to eat or fishermen who have lost their livelihoods because rivers have dried up. The loss and damage mechanism seeks to deal with these. There are two current possibilities for the inclusion of a loss and damage mechanism in the Paris agreement. The first proposal is from G77 and is a good one, although not perfect – we will most likely hear more about the details of it later. The second is to not include loss and damage at all. The EU is seeing itself as the group to bridge this gap, we’ll have to wait and see what they propose.  

save3. Differentiation

  • As mentioned yesterday, this (how, and if, the Paris agreement differentiates between countries that do and don’t have to do something, i.e. contribute to climate finance) remains controversial. As far as we know, none of the working groups have found agreement on how to apply differentiation to their area of the text.
  • ‘Dynamic Differentiation’ has been mentioned, meaning that countries could be categorised as they develop and become richer. A country could start by receiving climate finance, but then transition to being a donor when they meet a certain criteria.

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4. The US

America claims its position against a legally binding treaty as their Republican-controlled Congress would never pass it. However, US lawyers contradict that and say it would be possible for such a treaty to pass. Meaning the US position may be more based on their red line against a legally binding mitigation target than a wider legally binding treaty.

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5. Participation

There is still a lot of confusion from observers and delegations about the ADP working group process, as decisions and meetings appear to be happening informally between the formal meetings, meaning some delegations are being excluded or finding the process hard to follow.

I apologise for the dog pictures, it’s been a long day…

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