Building resilience has advantages that go far beyond climate change – improvements to infrastructure, and a better evolved response to natural disasters such as tsunamis and earthquakes that have nothing to do with global warming – and can also help to improve the quality of people’s lives, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, improved public transport systems would have a huge economic benefit in many developing countries, would reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and could be built in such a way as to be resistant against encroaching climate change. Buildings constructed with climate change in mind would also be more efficient, resistant to extreme heat, and against the storms, floods and droughts that are likely to become more frequent under global warming. At Bonn, discussions are likely to focus on how to help developing countries become more resilient, and the financing that may be available for them to do so. The latter could be a combination of overseas aid from major economies, and investment from the private sector. These discussions, however, are still at an early stage and there may be little concrete outcome on them from the talks other than a decision to keep talking. Yet the most pressing issue of the conference is likely to be the one that receives least public attention, and deliberately so. Known as the “facilitative dialogue”, this is a crucial – but overlooked – rider to the Paris agreement. At Paris, countries acknowledged that their pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions fell well short of the reductions advised by scientists. In order to forge the agreement, they made a compromise: in future years, they would ratchet up their pledges to the levels required. This made agreement at Paris possible, but it effectively put off the toughest negotiations to future years o f talks. The difficulty of resolving this should not be underestimated. Currently, none of the world’s biggest emitters can agree on how any such ratchet mechanism would work. Should countries, for instance, take on more stringent emissions goals simply by adding a certain amount to their current pledges? Or should their future pledges be calculated based on their projected economic growth? How should the responsibility for historic emissions be taken into account? What status should be given to scientific advice on how to keep within the 2C limit?
Guardian 6th Nov 2017 read more »
UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa underscored the urgent need to close the current gap in national emissions reduction pledges to keep the world on track with Paris Agreement targets in her opening speech to the UN climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, this morning. Addressing delegates following a traditional warrior dance ceremony organised by host country Fiji, Espinosa praised the swift global ratification of the 2015 Paris Agreement for having set a clear path forward to addressing climate change but stressed that “it is an incomplete journey”.
Business Green 6th Nov 2017 read more »
The World Meteorological Organisation says 2017 is among the three warmest years recorded, with human wellbeing facing mounting risks.
Climate News Network 6th Nov 2017 read more »