|The climate talks in Paris, COP21, are nearing the end of the second week and the French Presidency is working to maintain momentum and ensure a structured process. The latest on the ‘Paris Outcome’, as it’s currently being called, came out on the 9th Dec at 15:00. Encouragingly a temperature limit of 1.5C is being put on the table, but it doesn’t mean anything until we get a clear plan on how the world would achieve it.
One of the big questions here in Paris has been around levels of ambition. Ahead of the talks countries set out in intended nationally determined commitments – or INDCs – what they are willing and able to do on reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. Analysis of these pledges have shown that collectively they put us on a trajectory toward 2.7+ degrees of warming. There are increasing calls to ensure COP21 delivers an agreement that has sufficient flexibility to allow for ambition to be increased over time. If the deal agreed a long term decarbonisation goal, ensuring a full phase-out of fossil fuel emissions and phasing in 100% renewable energy by 2050, there would remain an opportunity to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees and limit the most dangers impact of a changing climate. (more…)
After much anticipation the Paris climate negotiations, or COP21, are finally upon us. It is no exaggeration to say that governments, businesses, charities and faith communities have been working towards this point for years. Failure to secure a meaningful agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in 2009 made many decide to work differently, building political will from the ground up.
Much good work on communicating the urgency of the climate challenge has already been done, from Ban Ki-Moon’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014 to Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si’. This process will reach its zenith over the next two weeks in Paris. CAFOD, together with sister Catholic development agencies, is now attending the negotiations in Paris to represent the experience of our partners on the ground, advocating for a deal that protects the world’s most vulnerable people. Paris needs to demonstrate the international community working together at its best, delivering a binding agreement which can be assessed and strengthened every few years and ultimately delivers a shift away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy that protects the planet and provides energy for everyone, including the poorest.
As the fifth day of the Lima climate talks get underway the role of climate finance is again emerging as a crucial issue. Recent announcement by developing countries about financial contributions to the initial capitalisation Green Climate Fund – including the UK’s commitment to provide £720 million – has gone a long way in showing willing, but the lack of space for discussion on finance at the COP in Lima is putting that at risk.
The discussion on ‘INDCs’ or intended nationally determined contributions – each country’s individual plan for tackling climate change – are taking centre stage in Lima. There is much work to be done amongst parties to establish what exactly should be contained in the INDCs and how those elements included could be comparable so a clear idea of ambitious could be established ahead of Paris.
“Climate change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger.”
That was the grim message today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – considered the world’s leading authority on the subject – as it published its synthesis report, pulling together the findings of the three reports it’s published since September 2013.
At the invitation of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, 120 world leaders descended on New York for the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014. The Summit was a platform for them to reaffirm their commitment to addressing climate change, and renew political will ahead of the UN Summit in Paris 2015, when a new global agreement is due.
Poor communities around the world know only too well the threat from a changing climate to their homes, livelihoods and wellbeing. As new research by CAFOD shows, almost half of those most vulnerable to a changing climate are already living in extreme poverty. Climate change could push them over the edge.
So did the Summit bring us closer to protecting these vulnerable communities, as well as tackling its causes by cutting greenhouse gases emissions?