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Hi CJ Writers,
This is John Foran, from UC Santa Barbara. Below you will find lots of information, some of it from my group, the Climate Justice Project, a piece I have just written, and below that is the "COP 21 Media Brief" in the form of a long series of talking points and recommended news stories that is sent out to an activist list I belong to. Some of that will be for insiders with lots of knowledge about the COP from past experience; just sift through it for anything of interest.
Here are the
latest pieces from our group in Paris
, which are posted on the Climate Justice Project website:
Emily Williams, "The struggle for a global climate deal for peace in a time of violence" (November 29, 2015)
Emily Williams, "Raising the heat" (December 2, 2015)
Mariah Brennan Clegg, "La Place de la Republique" (with video of what happened in Paris on Sunday) (December 1, 2015)
This is an open letter to the COP that I signed as part of group of international scholars and activists:
OK, I tried to upload this long analysis I have done of the first three days of the COP, but I don't seem to know how to do it, so here it is in text form!
COP 21, Round One:
Battle Lines Are Drawn
A Report on the Global Climate March and the Opening of the Paris COP 21 Negotiations
December 3, 2015
The much-anticipated UN climate summit COP 21 kicked off in Paris on the last weekend of November as heads of state, national delegations, activists, NGOs, and journalists took up residence in a city whose world had been shattered just two weeks before by suicide bombs taking 129 lives. The French government decided that while the COP would go on as planned, the climate movement’s plans for mass demonstrations to bookend the start and finish of the talks would not. This seemed strange, as concerts, Christmas fairs, and sporting events in large public venues were allowed to continue, and in fact, all that was banned was the gathering of two or more people for the purposes of a public event with political content. This has changed the story of the summit from the outset, and decidedly not for the better.
Sunday’s Climate Marches: the missing million
So on Saturday and Sunday, November 28 and 29, climate marches were held around the world to try to send the messages to global leaders that those in Paris could not. May Boeve of 350.org, one of the principle organizations behind the day,
that no less than 785,000
marched and demonstrated
and made themselves
in at least 2,300 cities in over 175 countries, marking November 29, 2015 as one of the greatest days of climate action mobilization ever. The 50,000 mark was surpassed or approached in London and Melbourne, but it was the fact that so many places came out on the day that made it significant. One of the central demands of the mobilization was “
Keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050,” summing up the minimum conditions for climate justice at the COP.
No fun and games in Paris
What happened in Paris was another story, part of which I witnessed myself. The most well attended event was the formation of a human chain along the route of the banned People’s Climate March, and the most creative was the deposit of pairs of shoes at the Place de la République, where the march was to have started. Upwards of 10,000 people defied the ban on the march and stretched out in a line many blocks long on the sidewalk along the three kilometer route of the march, expressing their demands on hand-held signs. This was definitely the most upbeat message of the day and the atmosphere was positive, an attempt to redeem the authorities’ efforts to shut things down with creativity and improvisation -- do people holding the hands of their neighbors constitute an “illegal assembly”? The police decided they did not.
Back at la République, another planned statement of symbolic indignation was made, when a large swath of the square was covered in footgear of all sorts, including a pair from the Pope and many children’s shoes making tiny but poignant statements of their futures at stake.
The Place de la République was also dotted by a couple of thousand climate activists, waving flags, dancing, and chanting. Around 1 p.m. small groups of black-clad anarchists, mostly young and mostly male, started to claim street space on one end of the square, and hundreds of police, many in full riot gear, formed ranks on the side streets on the corners. By 1:30 there was a tense stand-off with the two sides no more than a meter apart, the crowd having grown to more than 500 people. When some pushing occurred at the point of contact in one of those side streets, the first tear gas was launched, close enough so I could taste it. The crowd retreated slowly, throwing some of the shoes that they had picked up, with other projectiles, the police advancing toward the square under cover of lots more tear gas. The action ended with over 200 people arrested and many hundreds more “kettled” in by the police, who kept them there for several hours without permission to leave.
Opinion was divided on the political meaning and efficacy of the actions that led to the confrontation. For a sympathetic account, see the Democracy Now!
from on the spot, which clearly shows the all-too-normal brutality of the French police, who trampled on the flowers and candles of the memorial to the victims of the November 13 massacres to get at the activists. We also have a
video and account
from Mariah Brennan Clegg of the Climate Justice Project who was caught in the kettle, but eventually let go.
Other sectors of the movement were not so sanguine. DN! made it all about police violence but to me it felt like both sides got what they came for and I’m dubious that the climate justice movement or the planet was the winner. This signals a certain division within the movement and its links with other important struggles over what tactics are most appropriate to the tasks at hand. Emily Williams, also of our CJP, has
perceptively about this, raising the question: “As this tension builds between civil society that uses peaceful tactics and civil society that uses violence to force the hand of the state, an uncomfortable question surfaces—who
the climate justice movement?”
What’s crystal clear is that the ban on demonstrations, which is being selectively and arbitrarily enforced, is dampening down our ability -- and I think especially the ability of ordinary people -- to get their messages heard. But there are many smart people doing lots of what they do well both inside and outside the COP so their publics are getting good information and analysis. It’s more the general media story that concerns me, as movement building has to go through that route as well.
The French state is most concerned about what will happen when lots of people are angry and unhappy at the outcome on December 12. The house arrest of two dozen activists the week before the COP began and the police operation at the Place de la République are meant to send a signal to the movement and weaken its resolve. It is a very damning indictment that the French hosts of COP 21 are bent on shutting down popular participation, and that, in turn, has angered people beyond the climate movement, and should concern us all. At bottom, as former Bolivian delegate Pablo Solón
the day before the COP started, “They are using fear to hide a very bad agreement…. The Paris agreement is an agreement that will see the planet burn.”
Trying to generate momentum
As the talks started, some bold new initiatives were announced, each aimed at showing commitment to the cause by key players:
India is going to head a coalition of 120 countries to
an International Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (Iasta), which “aims to spread cheap solar technology across the globe with pooled policy knowledge.”
-- The US and eighteen other major emitting nations, including the UK, Canada, China, Brazil, India and South Africa, “have
to double funds for clean energy research to a total of $20bn over five years.
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and other global billionaires launched the
Breakthrough Energy Coalition
, which will combine governments, researchers, and investors to speed the global transition to renewable energies.
One can look at these announcements in various ways, with a skeptical eye noting that these are some of the countries whose national pledges fall squarely into the “inadequate” range, and a set of investors whose carbon footprints and unfulfilled past promises in the case of Branson leave much to be desired. But such a transition we do, indeed, need, and so…
One possible game changer was
by the African group here, which set up the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) with the goal of building 100 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2010 and 300 GW by 2030, an enormous ambition and emissions reducer considering that the total electrical generation capacity of the whole continent at the moment is 150 GW.
Meanwhile, at the COP itself, the crucial body negotiating the treaty, the ADP, began its work on Sunday, November 29, giving themselves an extra day to accomplish their task. But they only worked for an hour. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said, without irony, “Never has the future of so many been in the hands of so few,” her attempt to summon courage and greatness from the assembled delegates unwittingly revealing the privilege and injustice at the heart of the process.
On Monday, and into Tuesday at noon, opening statements were delivered. There were lots of grand statements and few surprises here; instead a day and a half was lost for the negotiations. Groups representing well over 100 countries – the LDCs, G77 plus China, AOSIS, and even BASIC – reiterated their calls for a 1.5 degree limit, stating “our very survival is at stake.” Among with representatives from civil society, there was a strong call for phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to a completely renewable energy economy by 2050. There was a common call also for a five year review of INDCs [national climate action pledges], and revisions to make them stronger in emissions reductions. The words “climate justice” were uttered by the representative for indigenous peoples – a call for climate justice that comes from “mountains, rivers, forests, oceans, and people,” saying that a two degree target would be “catastrophic” to nature and to people, and make achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals impossible. This was one intervention that received applause from the audience.
Global civil society tried, as ever, to make its voice heard, sometimes in conjunction with national parties. Christopher Loeak, President of the Marshall Islands delivered “millions of petitions calling for 100% clean energy for all” to heads of state as talks began. The first of dozens of “side events” that civil society puts on inside the COP began, as did the press conferences held during the negotiations. One of the most powerful was that of indigenous peoples, with Tom Goldtooth insisting on “The sacredness of all nature, of all of life. That is why we are suspicious of solutions coming from the hallways of the UNFCCC,” and in particular the market-based REDD centerpiece on deforestation, labelled a “deceitful scam” that trades emissions for the protection of forests. This all too often involves taking away the rights of indigenous peoples who already live there, repeating the colonial crimes of rendering the inhabitants of this part of the world invisible, or worse, taking their lives in the process. Meanwhile the purchasers continue to emit CO2, while being hailed as contributing somehow to reducing emission.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum – now comprising forty-three countries – assumed moral leadership of COP 21 by declaring that they would achieve full decarbonization of their economies, running on one hundred percent renewable energy – by 2050, and called on the world to do so. This is big for two reasons: the CVF has more than doubled in size, now representing more than one billion people, and they have set the most ambitious emissions reductions in the world as their goal. Bangladesh’s Minister of Environment Anwar Hossain Manju issued the
: “We refuse to be the sacrifice of the international community in Paris. Anything that takes our survival off the table here is a red line. All parties have an obligation to act. Not doing so is a crime.” Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel Gonzalez also had justice on his lips: “
Keeping warming to a minimum – to below 1.5 degrees – won’t simply deliver safety and prosperity, it will also deliver justice.” The message that the prescription of conventionally measured capitalist growth in GDP as the way toward a just energy transition must also be given the lie.
A Strike for the Planet
On Monday, November 30 I witnessed the public launch of the student climate strike movement, joining a gathering of about twenty-five people for a day-long workshop. Organizer Kjell
of the Leave It in the Ground initiative [
] told us: “There’s not much time. But we have to do this, to stop fossil fuel extraction. We have no other choice. But there
hope.” In his view, hope lies in all the things that make our enemies weaker: the fossil fuel divestment movement, law suits and legal action for the climate; pushing for 100 percent clean energy; and creating an economy for the common good.
Fifteen year-old eco hip-hop artist
Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh was in attendance, and told
reporters Marienna Pope-Weidemann and Samir Dathi, who have given us this excellent
of the day’s events, “In the light of a collapsing world, what better time to be born than now? Because our generation gets to rewrite history.” And that is precisely what this movement of students from five continents intends to do in the coming year, and far beyond.
Of Leap Years and Manifestos
On Wednesday, December 2, we went to hear the group that has spearheaded Canada’s
, including filmmaker Avi Lewis, author Naomi Klein, and leaders and activists of indigenous, labor, water rights, and other movements. The “momentum of the no” that has built a series of wins against extractivism in the tar sands, the Arctic, and elsewhere in the past year, must be balanced by “a vision of the yes” that channels the deep desire for radical, ambitious and bold change. We have a choice between “The politicians locked up in Le Bourget [who] are living in a dream world,” and a politics of intersectionality that does the difficult work of building bridges between movements who have rarely worked together until quite recently, across generations, racial divides, gender lines, and classes. “A time of multiple, overlapping crises requires integrated solutions that radically build more just economies and societies based on radical equality.”
Maude Barlow, of the Council of Canadians, told us to look behind the fine words of the heads of state assembled in Paris to the real agenda of COP 21, based on a globalization of unlimited growth, austerity, and secretive trade agreements while three-quarters of the world’s people cannot find permanent work with decent pay and benefits.
It is fitting to give the last word on the opening days of COP 21 to an activist described by writer
There is a pervasive sense of courage in the face of extreme adversity. When I ask people if they are frightened, they say that they are but that they are also completely determined, and that they are proud to be able to be here and take action. One unnamed young French woman goes further: “With climate change we are talking about unimaginable violence, violence on a massive scale. Climate change is a war, the biggest war we have ever seen. We must represent everyone and we must act now. If you do not come here to fight for climate justice, act in your own homes, in your own towns and cities.”
-- Jamey Kelsey-Fry, “To the Inflatable Barricades”
2016 is a leap year. Strange and magical things can happen on that day. May it be a whole year of leaps for climate justice.
And here is the long
COP21 MEDIA BRIEF for the 3rd of December
This is from the EMERGING TRENDS
A lot of coverage of the agreement being legally binding in relation to Obama's mention of some parts being binding--a variety of opinions
Continued coverage of vulnerable island states and their plight
Continued discussion of India, its stance on coal, its stance on renewable energy and its stance on CBDR--pieces seem to be a bit less critical than a few days ago
A few pieces questioning if a 2C target is enough
'Brandalism' is the main civil society action getting coverage
Policy and Negotiations
Pilita Clark and Michael Stothard. 01 December 2015. Sticking points remain over climate talks in Paris. Financial Times.
? The five biggest sticking points for negotiators as they work to create a text for ministers to finalize: review and ratchet, finance (although the reporters focus on pre-2020 finance), legal status, long-term goal, and loss and damage.
Nikhil Kumar. 1 Dec 2015. India?s Need for Coal-Fueled Growth Complicated Paris Climate Summit.
· For India?s leaders, the expansion in coal generation (a cheap
fuel) is needed to power India?s growth and lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty.
· India is also planning a significant expansion in the use of renewable energy sources such as solar.
· From India?s point of view, the burden should fall on the countries responsible for global warming. Modi said the concept of ?climate justice?
demanded that ?developing countries should have enough room to grow.?
· India is also calling for greater support from developed countries for mitigation and adaptation, particularly through finance.
Karl Ritter. 1 Dec 2015. In challenge to Senate, Obama says parts of global climate deal must be legally binding. Associated Press/ U.S. News.
· Obama said that parts of the Paris agreement should be legally binding. He was applauded by many at the UNFCCC, but could run into problems with conservatives in Washington.
· "I think at end of the day everyone knows that for the U.S. to be part of this, it can't have the emissions target itself legally embedded in the treaty," said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
· Nigel Purvis, a former U.S. climate negotiator and president of the non-governmental organization Climate Advisers, said Obama has all the legal authority he needs to enter an agreement where only some elements are binding.
PTI. 02 December 2015. BASIC nations calls for roadmap on climate financing by rich nations. The India Times.
? BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China) nations have called on developed countries to define a clear roadmap for providing $100 billion by
2020 to developing countries to tackle climate change
? The US, the European Union and other developed countries say this time all countries must chip in and that the rich-poor firewall is outdated anyway since it classifies countries like Qatar, the wealthiest country on Earth per capita, as developing.
? India and many others want the Paris agreement to state clearly that the developed countries have a bigger responsibility to fight global warming.
Jeff McMahon. 2 Dec 2015. Paris: How A Voluntary Climate Agreement Can Be Legally Binding. Jeff McMahon. Forbes.
· Observers insist a meaningful agreement must be legally binding, but negotiators conceded even before the conference began that a legally binding treaty is off the table. Aspects of those commitments, however, will likely have the force of law.
· Negotiations stalled in Copenhagen because of the unwillingness of many nations?notably China, India, Brazil, South Africa and the U.S.?to accept an externally imposed limit on carbon emissions.
· Todd Stern said that transparency in INDCs is enormously important, and ought to be legally binding.
· INDCs need to include inventories of GHGs, reports on national climate action, and external reviews of those inventories and reports.
Shankar Venkateswaran. 2 Dec 2015. Adaptation and loss & damage: The forgotten agenda of Paris climate change talks. The India Times.
Looking at the negotiations so far:
· There was a strong, mistaken perception that India was refusing reviews and expecting IPR technology free of cost.
· The Indian delegation kept bringing up the issue of equity, which others seem to agree with in principle but not in practice: there were calls for removing the Annex and Non-Annex country distinction and for having a uniform method of Monitoring, Review and Verification (MRV), which contradicts "Respective Capabilities".
· Where equity really takes a beating is the forgotten agenda of Paris - Adaptation and Loss & Damage.
· India needs technology and finance because India is attempting to do what has never been done - human development delinked from carbon. If India succeeds, the rest of the developing world has a new, real example to follow (unlike Europe, the US or China)
· Everyone accepts the need for finance, but they often believe that much of it will come from the private sector. This is unrealistic because private capital will seek a return, and, in most adaptation and loss and damage (some mitigation) actions, that will not be possible.
PTI. 2 Dec 2015. Developed world must ?walk the talk? in honouring climate
commitments: India. The India Times.
· India asked the developed world to honour its pre-2020 commitments, supported by the rest of BASIC
· Javadekar also stated that India will be flexible and will be a facilitator in finding a solution.
· China issued a statement on behalf on BASIC stating that BASIC will work pragmatically with all other parties, that the Paris agreement should follow CBDR, that differentiation should be in each element of the Paris agreement, that the Kyoto protocol?s second commitment period should be implemented and that the $100 billion by 2020, and the $30 billion in fast-start finance should be fulfilled.
L'Agence France-Presse. 02 December 2015. Climate talks must step up pace, says host France. Yahoo! News.
? France's top diplomat Laurent Fabius, presiding over 195-nation talks for a UN climate pact, urged negotiators Wednesday to pick up the pace so as to finish the job by December 11.
Elise Scott. 2 December 2015. Paris UN climate conference 2015: Australia accused of ?struggling with its climate position?. Sydney Morning Herald.
· As the richest country in the region, Australia faces Pacific calls to push for a strong deal, but so far that hasn?t happened.
· Australia and New Zealand refused to sign on to the 1.5 degree goal at this year's Pacific Islands Forum - however, it is understood that Australia is working behind the scenes in Paris for the 1.5 degree goal, or at least the vulnerability of the Pacific Island nations to be referenced somewhere in the agreement.
· The Pacific Islands also want a loss and damage mechanism: there have been suggestions that the text could instead include reference to risk insurance or disaster preparedness.
Joshua Busby. 2 December 2015. People think that the Copenhagen climate talks failed. Here?s why they?re so wrong. Washington Post.
· Why was Copenhagen a success? It rejected the top-down approach and introduced the bottom-up, INDC approach.
· Why did we need to kill off Kyoto? The U.S. did not ratify it because it aligned with CBDR.
· Will Paris deliver a new treaty? No, because the U.S. will not ratify it, so the Paris agreement cannot be legally binding.
· How can the Paris agreement be more ambitious? By implementing frequent review cycles that ratchet up ambition. But a big fear is that India will not support this level or regularity of intrusiveness.
· The Paris agreement is promising because it?s more pragmatic and reflective of real-world politics.
Robinson Meyer. 2 Dec 2015. The Thorny Problem at the Heart of the Paris Talks. The Atlantic.
· Some countries (like the U.S.) want something less legally binding than a treaty, because if not, they will face opposition from Congress.
· However, France, many developing countries and the wider international community all want legal force.
· Obama provided a possible resolution, saying that some aspects (specifically, the revision timetable) could be legally binding: but the targets and commitments made towards emissions need to remain voluntary.
· Kyoto didn?t work in part because it adopted a compulsory ?top-down? approach. By keeping INDCs voluntary, the Paris deal could actually work: nations would agree to the architecture of a climate treaty, in a way, without locking themselves into much of the content of a deal
Alex Scrivener. 2 Dec 2015. COP21: Paris climate talks have failed by letting the rich off the hook. International Business Times.
· Looking at the negotiations at the moment, it is unlikely that the Paris deal will be effective enough to combat climate change in the way it needs to. So, what would a "good" Paris deal include?
o far more ambitious and legally binding emissions cuts
o climate finance: the $100bn per year by 2020, as grants not loans, channeled to the people who can least afford the economic costs of climate change.
o Going beyond a statist model of regulation, mechanisms should be created that penalise the worst corporate emitters.
o Recognition that the power to shape the transition to a post-fossil fuel world must lie with communities, not negotiators or special interest groups.
Nitin Sethi. 2 Dec 2015. Multiple closed-door meetings make smaller nations protest. Business Standard.
· The multiplicity of closed-room meetings running in parallel caused consternation among countries with smaller delegations: not every country has the capacity to fly in dozens of negotiators in order to present and fully prepared at so many spin-off meetings
· Civil society and observers were barred from many of the closed-door meetings
· The Africa group supported the LMDC proposal on the issue of reflecting differentiation and ensuring that the developed countries?
obligations to provide finance and technology are linked to the emission-reducing actions of poorer countries.
John Vidal. 2 December 2015. India pushes rich countries to boost their climate pledges at Paris. The Guardian.
· India has emerged as a pivotal player in the climate talks, championing CBDR. But, desperate for a strong deal to protect it from the ravages of climate change, it is also backing the US-led principle that all countries should act.
· Modi announced $30m (£20m) of investments in solar energy, and has also argued for a deal that would allow India to continue to grow its economy with coal and fossil fuels for many years.
· But India is not a deal breaker. It definitely wants a deal, according to negotiators from Africa and the least developed countries, who have been working with India.
Coral Davenport. 2 December 2015. The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing.
New York Times.
· Many low-lying nations are threatened by rising seas
· In Paris, negotiators like Tony A. deBrum of the Marshall Islands are focused squarely on the West?s wallets?recouping ?loss and damage.? The debate over loss and damage has been intense because it could require developed countries, first and foremost the United States, to give billions of dollars.
· Mr. deBrum is credited with strengthening crucial points in the draft accord set to emerge from Paris ? in particular, putting a price on the destruction caused by climate change. He has also pressed to require meetings every five years after the Paris summit meeting to ratchet up the stringency of international carbon-cutting policies.
Amitabh Sinha. 3 December 2015. To bind or not to bind, that is the question. The Indian Express.
· Obama only wants transparency, and periodic INDC reviews, to be legally binding?he still doesn?t want the agreement to be a treaty, because it would face the same problems that the KP did: that Congress wouldn?t ratify it.
· The EU wants the entire agreement to be legally binding
· India says it can live with either formulation
Nitin Sethi. 3 Dec 2015. US wants developing nations to also share finance costs. Business Standard.
· The Umbrella group has asked developing countries to contribute on conditions on a par with those of developed countries.
· This goes against the Convention, whereupon finances from developed countries are understood to be a response to the fact that developed countries caused the problem of climate change in the first place
· The developed country commitment to $100 billion annually by 2020 has not been met
· A developing country negotiator said this Umbrella group proposal was being done to stall the talks in the first week so that the Umbrella group can say this needed political resolution and then push the ministers from the developing world to agree to their ideas in the second week.
· Another developing country negotiator said, ?This is the stage to find a compromise. But the US wants to instead introduce more regressive proposals, knowing that these would not fly and would lead to a logjam.?
Climate politics outside of the negotiations
Amy Goodman. 2 Dec 2015. The Global Poor vs. the 10%: How Climate Inequality Hurts the Most Vulnerable and Least Responsible. Democracy Now!
· Author Tim Gore of the Oxfam report, ??Extreme Carbon Inequality:
Why the Paris climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first."
· There?s a lot of talk at COP about the responsibilities of middle income countries like BASIC, but the lifestyle emissions of those countries are still far, far lower than in the U.S. and EU.
· Population growth is actually in the poorest countries where emissions are incredibly low, so population is not a problem. The problem is the richest people on the planet.
· We?re not saying this is solely the responsibility of people in that richest 10 percent. The real problem is the divested interests in the fossil fuel industry. That?s a tiny elite and they?re the ones who are really holding back progress.
· What we need out of a Paris agreement is adaptation finance from rich countries, a loss and damage mechanism, respect for human rights and gender equality, and drastic mitigation.
Gabe Bullard. 1 December 2015. See What Climate Change Means for the World?s Poor. National Geographic.
· The world?s poor will be strongly affected by climate change?s impacts on agriculture?which will have implications for food prices, malnutrition and disease.
· To take India as an example, India?s relatively low per capita pollution is partially the result of its widespread poverty. If poor residents are brought out of poverty, per capita emissions might increase, thereby raising India?s share of global emissions.
· So countries with sizeable poor populations need two from the Paris talks: support for environmentally-sustainable growth and a commitment from wealthier countries to larger emissions cuts, so that there is space for them to grow.
· The World Bank argues that climate change and poverty reduction can?t be treated as separate issues.
Amitabh Sinha. 2 December 2015. Climate conference: India may face coal heat in Paris. The Indian Express.
· While India has embarked on an ambitious renewable energy pathway, coal is likely to remain its primary source of energy for the next few decades at least.
· India is getting singled out for criticism from both governments and civil society.
John Vidal. 2 December 2015. Paris climate talks: Indian officials accuse OECD of exaggerating climate aid. The Guardian.
· The Indian ministry said the OECD research showing nearly two-thirds of that $100bn target had been already met was ?questionable?.
· Officials suggested that the true amount figure mobilised by rich countries may only be $2.2bn, not $57bn.
· ?OECD data is not available. We would say to the OECD, if you have delivered so much money, why is the UN adaptation fund begging for money? Why is the fund for least developed countries empty? Where did the money go? This money should be new and additional and predictable. Where is it?? said senior South Centre researcher Mariama Williams. ?There are very real concerns about this new claim that over $50bn per year has been provided,? she said.
Michael Le Page. 2 December 2015. Paris climate summit: Earth may warm by 6C?even with a deal. New Scientist.
· Current INDCs don?t reach 2C?they reach between 2.7C and 3.7C.
But there is still hope from the potential to ?ratchet? and the possibility of ?negative emissions.?
· However, even if we reach the 1000 gigatonne goal associated with 2C, that actually means there is only a 66% chance of saying under 2C. With that carbon budget, it is possible that world temperatures could still climb to 6C.
PTI. 2 Dec 2015. Global warming could cause fall in oxygen, mass mortality.
The India Times.
· A change in the ocean temperature could cause a dramatic fall in oxygen, which would severely threaten life on earth.
Karl Mathiesen. 2 December 2015. Should we be aiming to keep global warming to 1.5C, not 2C? The Guardian.
· A 2014 World Bank report found the 1.5C target was ?technically and economically feasible.?
· Meeting the 1.5C would require all action to be brought forward by a decade. This would cost 50% more but would save significantly more by averting climate-related disasters. The target would necessitate a revolution in the economy and particularly investment in disruptive technologies. Some say that Hare?s reading of the models is overly optimistic.
· The other issue with a 1.5C target is the load it will place on the countries set to emit the most over the coming decades ? such as India, Brazil and China. This has led to divides in place of the traditional unity between developing nations.
· Professor Kevin Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said negative emissions were being unwisely treated as a get out of jail free card. ?There?s a lot of naive optimism around these negative emissions. To be thinking about the world just assuming it works is incredibly dangerous. And that?s what we?ve done now.
We have normalised this technology that does not work, that we do not know about,? he said. Anderson concedes that the politics of the 1.5C target are still live and even backs the aspiration of the poorest nations to make it the target of the climate talks. ?From a political point of view, one and a half is a really important dialogue and needs to be hammered home. Even though scientifically it?s not viable,? he said.
Bjorn Lomborg. 2 December 2015. The hot air from Paris won?t lower temperatures. The Telegraph.
· The Paris talks are being greatly applauded but will not amount to anything real
· There isn?t as much emissions reductions as we think there is, because places like the EU just ?export? their emissions elsewhere through carbon offsets.
· The ?greenest? technology (solar and wind) supply a miniscule amount of our energy?the biggest increase in C02-free energy will come from burning biomass like wood, which destroys forests, reduces biodiversity and drives up food prices.
· If we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be just 0.048°C by 2100
Victoria Johnson. 2 Dec 2015. The politics of climate change. Al Jazeera.
· The INDCs do not meet the 2C target
· Negotiators have apparently virtually given up on the idea of a binding agreement?and even a legally Paris agreement would not require governmenets to stick to targets, since there are no credible sanctions, says economist Nicholas Stern.
· The current systems of national governance may not be capable of passing the requisite climate change laws?the U.S. obviously comes to mind, but the UK is also an example of this.
· The new low-carbon alternatives struggle against incumbent infrastructures, user practices, industry and institutions
Article. 02 December 2015. African launches massive renewable energy initiative. Phys.org.
? African heads of state today announced plans for the African Renewable Energy Initiative that would provide as much as 300 gigawatts of renewable energy ? twice the continent's total current electricity supply ?
? This plan was met with an announcement by France that it will provide
2 billion euros for renewable energy in Africa between 2016 and 2020.
National-Level Climate Developments
Megan Darby. 02 December 2015. Obama offers vulnerable nations $30m for climate risk insurance. Climate Home.
? The US will contribute US$30 million to help insure vulnerable communities against climate risks, President Barack Obama announced in Paris on Tuesday.
? Obama?s $30m forms part of a G7 initiative to extend insurance cover to 400 million people on the frontlines of changing weather patterns.
Alexandra Sims. 02 December 2015. Pacific island Tuvalu calls for 1.5 degrees global warming limit or faces ?total demise.? The Independent.
? A member of The Alliance of Small Island States, Tuvalu, along with
43 other coastal and low lying islands, are calling for a Paris agreement that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100, rather than the proposed two degrees
? ASIS are also demanding a loss and damages clause in the final agreement, allowing small states compensation for the devastating impacts of weather related events.
Tim McDonnell. 2 December 2015. The Fossil Fuel Industry Is Bankrolling the Paris Climate Talks. Newsweek.
· COP21 has more than 50 corporate sponsors.
· According to a new report from the advocacy group Corporate Accountability International, several of the Paris COP's corporate sponsors have direct ties to the fossil fuel industry, and, the group argues, a conflict of interest when it comes to the purported goals of the summit.
· "It's greenwashing," Corporate Accountability International spokesperson Jesse Bragg said. "Those corporations are able to say they're part of the solution just because they write a check."
Civil Society Actions
Tod Perry. 1 Dec 2015. Throughout Paris, Artists Are Making Fun of Companies That Pretend to Care About Climate Action. GOOD.
· On Black Friday, the Brandalism artist collective hijacked more than 600 outdoor ad spaces throughout Paris.
· ?By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF Suez/Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution?when actually they are part of the problem.?
Claire Barthelemy. 2 December 2015. Artists Try to Shame Corporations for ?Greenwashing? During Paris Climate Talks. New York Times.
· Last Friday, activists opened bus stands owned by JCDecaux and replaced its ads with posters criticizing corporations and world leaders.
· ?Corporations are lining up with politicians to tell us they are part of the solution to the climate crisis and that we should trust them with their new technology that they will save the day.?
· ?Following the tragic events on 13th November in Paris, the government has chosen to ban the big civil society mobilizations ? but big business events can continue,?
· The 150 alternative ads are a more subtle form of protest than marches, which have been banned.
Michael Walsh. 2 Dec 2015. Climate change artist-activists sidestep protest ban during COP21 summit. Yahoo! News.
· Activists have circumvented the French government?s controversial ban on public protests by mounting art installations, ranging from sculpture to guerrilla art, light shows and film. Pieces include:
o ?Where the Tides Ebb and Flow,? which showed 30 sculptures of blue men submerged in the lake at Montsouris Park.
o the Brandalism project, which plastered Paris with more than 600 unauthorized artworks.
o ?Particle Falls,? where a sensor ?counts? the number of tiny particles in
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