Four senior figures behind efforts to limit climate change have warned that the planet “is at a crossroads” as key talks opened a day early in Poland. In a rare move, four former presidents of the United Nations-sponsored talks called for decisive action. The meeting in Katowice is the most critical on climate change since the 2015 Paris agreement. Experts say that drastic cuts in emissions will be needed if the world is to reach targets agreed in Paris. Negotiators at the COP24 conference convened a day early because they are under pressure to make progress. Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced $200bn in funding over five years to support countries taking action against climate change. What’s so different about this meeting? This Conference of the Parties (COP) is the first to be held since the landma rk Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C came out in October. The IPCC stated that to keep to the 1.5C goal, governments would have to slash emissions of greenhouse gases by 45% by 2030. But a recent study showed that CO2 emissions are on the rise again after stalling for four years. In an unprecedented move, four former UN climate talks presidents issued a statement on Sunday, calling for urgent action. They say “decisive action in the next two years will be crucial”.
BBC 3rd Dec 2018 read more »
The UN climate change summit begins on Monday with a warning that today’s generation is the last that can prevent catastrophic global warming, as well as the first to be suffering its impacts. Almost 200 nations were set to meet in Poland for two weeks, aiming to hammer out a vital agreement to turn the carbon-cutting vision set in Paris in 2015 into reality. Moves to rapidly ramp up action would be another key goal, with current pledges leaving the world on track for a disastrous 3C of warming. The negotiations will take place against a background of ominous news: the past four years have been the hottest on record and global emissions were rising again, when they need to fall by half by 2030. Climate action must be increased fivefold to limit warming to the 1.5C scientists advise, according to the UN.
Guardian 3rd Dec 2018 read more »
In the heart of Poland’s coal country, the planet’s future lies in the balance over the next two weeks as leaders gather for the biggest climate change event in years. Scientists, politicians, diplomats, activists and journalists will all converge in the Polish city of Katowice as leaders establish a climate change “rulebook” for countries to follow, and set the stage for more ambitious emissions cuts. This is a crucial time for climate politics. In recent months scientists have outlined the existential threat posed by global warming, even as unashamed climate sceptics are voted into office and act ivists take to the streets to force action from non-committal leaders. The summit has been described by the UN climate change executive secretary Patricia Espinosa as “Paris 2.0”, a reference to the momentous conference that saw the birth of an international climate agreement three years ago. Understanding that agreement is key to understanding the UN’s 24th “conference of the parties”, or COP24, and what it means for climate change.
Independent 2nd Dec 2018 read more »
CLIMATE change will leave more and more people marooned on Scotland’s islands, industry leaders warned last night. State-owned CalMac – the nation’s main ferry operator – said its skippers were now facing longer and increasingly frequent storms amid what scientists say are dramatic changes in the wind systems over the North Atlantic. The company has always had to call off some of its lifeline services because of bad weather – especially in the winter – but has warned passengers to expect more disruption this coming year and in the future.
Herald 3rd Dec 2018 read more »
The World Bank Group today announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action. The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world’s poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.
World Bank 3rd Dec 2018 read more »