The 18th Summit of G20 (Group of 20) concluded in New Delhi with the adoption of a joint declaration on Sunday, September 10. The declaration reiterated the G20’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals and raised the need to reform global decision-making with the inclusion of more voices from the Global South. The two day meeting of world’s top economies concluded with Indian Prime Ninister Narendra Modi handing over the presidency to Brazil which will host the summit next year. The New Delhi summit with the theme “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future” invited the African Union (AU) as its 21st member with its chairperson Azali Assoumani joining the proceedings.
The world is entering a more difficult stage of the climate and ecological crisis where its symptoms are drawing attention away from efforts to tackle its root causes, according to a new report published by the IPPR and Chatham House think tanks. Huge resources are being deployed to respond to the growing number of climate disasters and complex crises linked to environmental destruction. But such demands could come at the cost of diverting effort away from the rapid switch now needed to decarbonise the global economy. The report argues that this risks creating a vicious circle, or ‘doom loop’: the impacts of the climate and nature crises draw focus and resources away from tackling their underlying causes and the urgent steps needed to address them.
Under the slogan Uniting the world to tackle climate change, the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will be held in Glasgow (UK) from 1 to 12 November 2021, will bring together representatives of some 200 governments with the aim of accelerating climate action to fulfill the Paris Agreement. The Presidency of the conference is already working with civil society and business to prepare the annual event and inspire climate action ahead of the event. What is COP: The Conference of the Parties or COP is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty that sets out the basic obligations of the 196 states (or parties) and the European Union to combat climate change.
The world faces a “rapidly closing window” to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals, warns the latest “emissions gap” report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report, which explores the impact of new pledges and the “gap” toward meeting the Paris targets, finds that while progress has been made in recent years to mitigate emissions and deploy more clean energy, it is insufficient to put the world on a path to limit warming to well-below 2C or to 1.5C this century. Despite ambitious pledges, there has been “limited progress” in the year since COP26, it says. In a stark warning, the new UNEP report says that incremental change is “no longer an option” and that avoiding dangerous levels of warming will require a “wide-ranging, large-scale, rapid and systemic transformation”.
Climate tipping points in the Antarctica, the Arctic and the Amazon are at risk of being reached before or at the current level of global warming of 1.2 degrees Celsius, requiring a “major rethink” of global climate goals and the action necessary to achieve them, according to a recent report. A ‘tipping point’ is a threshold at which a small change initiates a larger, more critical change, taking the climate system from one state to a discreetly different state, which may be abrupt and irreversible. Climate Dominoes: Tipping point risks for critical climate systems, is published by Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration.
In less than a week, world leaders will convene in Glasgow for the most important climate conference of the year, the United Nations’ COP26. One of the biggest questions of the conference is whether developed countries like the U.S. will finally cough up the rest of the money they promised to poorer nations a decade ago to help them cut emissions and adapt to climate change. But as the conference draws near, the paucity of funding isn’t the only thing drawing the ire of developing countries and breeding distrust. Last week, a coalition of 24 developing nations that work together on international negotiations issued a statement criticizing rich countries for proselytizing a universal goal of net-zero by 2050. “This new ‘goal’ which is being advanced runs counter to the Paris Agreement and is anti-equity and against climate justice,” the statement from the ministers of the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) Ministerial said.
The 2021 Production Gap Report, first published in 2019, measures the gap between governments’ planned production of coal, oil, and gas and the global production levels consistent with meeting the Paris Agreement temperature limits. But two years later, the 2021 report finds the production gap mostly unchanged. In fact, over the next two decades, governments are collectively projecting an increase in global oil and gas production, and only a small decrease in coal production. Taken together, their plans and projections see global, total fossil fuel production increasing until at least 2040, creating an ever-widening gap. “The devastating impacts of climate change are here for all to see. There is still time to limit long-term warming to 1.5°C, but this window of opportunity is rapidly closing,” says Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
Brussels - Fear of multi-billion-euro lawsuits from fossil fuel investors is putting the Paris agreement on climate change at risk, one of the deal's architects has warned. Compensation claims from a pact that allows companies to sue countries over policies that affect their investments could amount to more than a trillion euros by 2050, according to one estimate. The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was originally drawn up to protect energy firms as the Soviet Union crumbled, but new analysis suggests it could allow coal plants in 54 signatory states to keep belching carbon dioxide for more than a decade. "The integrity of the Paris agreement is critically undermined by the Energy Charter Treaty," said Laurence Tubiana, the French climate change ambassador during negotiations for the Paris agreement.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will cut emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 as part of its commitment to the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change. Biden’s announcement came during the administration’s virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, which aimed to push climate action around the world. A key goal of the summit was “to keep a limit to warming of 1.5 degree Celsius within reach.” A 2018 special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that global greenhouse gas emissions need to drop by 50 percent by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But Biden’s emissions pledge will not do enough to reach this goal, according to an analysis by Climate Action Tracker, a scientific organization that measures governmental climate action.
For the Biden administration to meet its long-term target of net-zero emissions by 2050, the United States must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 60% below 2005 levels by 2030, according to a new report released Thursday. In its analysis (pdf), Climate Action Tracker (CAT) found that in order for the U.S. to do its fair share to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C by the end of the century—the goal of the Paris Agreement—the country must slash at least 57% to 63% of its emissions by the end of the decade and provide financial support to developing nations striving to transition away from climate-destroying fossil fuels. Having officially rejoined the Paris Agreement earlier this year, the Biden administration is currently preparing to unveil a new domestic emissions reduction target, known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
The United States officially rejoined the Paris Agreement Friday, with climate envoy John Kerry warning that high-stakes negotiations at COP 26 in Glasgow this fall represent the “last, best hope” to avert catastrophic climate change. “This is a significant day, a day that never had to happen,” Kerry said. “It’s so sad that our previous president, without any scientific basis or any legitimate economic rationale, decided to pull America out. It hurt us and it hurt the world.” Now, he added, the U.S. is re-entering the landmark 2015 accord “with a lot of humility, for the agony of the last four years”. The expression of “contrition” from the Biden administration is “balanced by a desire to resume the mantle of leadership at a time when almost every country is struggling to undertake the swift emissions cuts required to avert disastrous global heating of 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era, as outlined in the Paris deal,” The Guardian writes.
Future climate scenarios are not only in the hands of state and corporate leaders; they depend upon the extent to which climate movement activists’ current political philosophies, analyses, strategies, tactics, and alliances either weaken or strengthen the prevailing balance of forces. The most important barrier to reducing climate change remains Washington’s philosophy, crudely expressed in 1992 when President George H. W. Bush told the Rio Earth Summit, “The American way of life is not up for negotiations” (Deen 2012). In the same spirit, the Donald Trump administration removed the US from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement in June 2017 on the grounds that compliance will be too expensive for the world’s largest economy (Trump 2017).
The executive, Shell’s Chief Climate Change Adviser David Hone, made his comments at the international climate change conference COP 24 on Friday. Hone was candid about just how much of a hand his company — through their involvement with the International Emissions Trading Association — had in writing the Paris agreement. The agreement is the centerpiece of the conference in Poland, where delegates are trying to draft a rulebook for how to implement it. IETA is a business lobby comprised of corporations including fossil fuel producers that pushes for “market-based climate solutions,” including at United Nations climate talks.
By Georgina Gustin for Inside Climate News - President Donald Trump may be yanking the United States from the Paris climate agreement, but states, cities and businesses are filling the vacuum by making their own commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and the numbers are mounting. On Monday, more than 1,000 companies and institutions, including more than a dozen Fortune 500 businesses, signed onto a statement—"We Are Still In"—saying they're committed to meeting the Paris targets. The statement calls Trump's decision "a grave mistake that endangers the American public and hurts America's economic security and diplomatic reputation." By Tuesday, the coalition's numbers had climbed past 1,400. A dozen states that together represent the world's third-largest economy and more than 200 cities had also committed to the Paris accord through various coalitions. In the wake of Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, the world's biggest economies denounced the move and insisted they would remain in the pact. While the president claimed he would contemplate a renegotiation of a deal that "puts America first," the UN and several U.S. allies said renegotation isn't in the cards. Many Americans are not wavering, either.