UN Conference on climate change COP21 Paris & aftermath 2018 –

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

2 December
COP25 Kicks Off with Calls to Make Serious Progress on Climate Action
In his speech at the opening, Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, underlined the importance of women in climate action. Mr. Sanchez celebrated the memory of an American woman scientist who back in 1856 was the first to identify CO2 warming effect.
“I wanted to start by evoking the memory of Eunice Foote for two reasons: first, to rescue her memory, and the memory of so many other women scientists, from the injustice of oblivion. Second, to remind everyone that it has been a long time since science started warning us about climate change.
This double paradox is an invitation to reflect. For so many decades, progress has been conceived without involving half of humanity, and at the same time, the notion of progress has not taken into account the physical limits that make human life viable on our planet,” he said.
Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway
(UN News) The tasks are many, timelines are tight, every item is important
Mr. Guterres outlined the work programme for what will be a busy two-week event covering multiple aspects of the climate crisis, including capacity-building, deforestation, indigenous peoples, cities, finance, technology, and gender. “The tasks are many”, he said, “our timelines are tight, and every item is important”.
Some key UN-backed climate reports

1 December
Former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney to serve as UN special envoy on climate
Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who previously served as Canada’s top central banker, will be taking on a new role as the United Nations’ special envoy on climate action and climate finance.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made the announcement while speaking to reporters in Madrid on Sunday, adding the move will take effect next year.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of a climate summit that opens in Madrid on Monday, Guterres described Carney as “a remarkable pioneer in pushing the financial sector to work on climate.”
Carney, who is due to step down as head of the Bank of England in January, has urged the financial sector to transform its management of climate risk, and led various international initiatives to improve supervision and disclosure.

4 November
Trump has formally pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. This is a dark time for America.
By John F. Kerry and Chuck Hagel
(WaPo) The Paris agreement was a start, not a finish line. But it was the best ignition switch the world could agree on to spark international cooperation on this critical issue, something that many leading Republicans agree is essential to do because the United States can’t solve this problem alone. Without this agreement, China, India and many other major emitters would not have a commitment to the world to reduce their emissions, let alone one with transparency and international oversight for all.

1 November
As UN climate talks switch from Chile to Spain, Greta Thunberg seeks a way to attend
(Reuters via Global news) Spain will host UN climate change talks in December after Chile withdrew, the United Nations said on Friday, a last-minute switch which raises big logistical challenges and has left activist Greta Thunberg stranded on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
The UN climate change talks, known formally as COP25, will be held Dec. 2-13, as originally planned, but in Madrid — over 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) away from Chile’s capital Santiago where it was initially meant to take place.
Chile’s government on Wednesday announced it was withdrawing as host of both the December climate summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit scheduled this month, after two weeks of riots over inequality in the South American country left at least 18 people dead.
“Excellent news: Madrid will host the Climate Summit on December 2-13,” Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter. “Spain is working from now on to guarantee the organization of the #COP25.”
Alexander Saier, a spokesman for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that the Spanish government would help expedite the issuance of visas and set up an agency to help organize the travel and accommodation of the roughly 25,000 people expected to attend.
“It is more important that the conference takes place, politically. I think it would have been not a good sign if the conference would have been canceled or postponed,” Saier said.
Chile will continue to assume the presidency of the climate talks while in Madrid. The so-called Conference of the Parties (COP) conference is aimed at fleshing out details of the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015.

30 October
Unrest in Chile prompts cancellation of U.N. climate conference
(Science) Chilean President Sebastián Piñera announced this morning that Chile would not host the United Nations (UN) climate talks that were set to begin in Santiago on 2 December.
UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa released a statement this morning stating, “I was informed of the decision by the government of Chile not to host COP25 in view of the difficult situation that the country is undergoing.” She added, “We are currently exploring alternative hosting options.”
The news that Chile would not host the COP—or Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change—came as a surprise to U.S. environmental advocates, who said the Chilean COP presidency had signaled optimism earlier this week that plans for the conference would go forward despite massive protests that have rocked the country since 18 October. Espinosa’s statement suggests that the United Nations is looking to hold the conference outside of Chile, though Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt would remain president of the COP.

26 September
Bjørn Lomborg: How Climate Policies Hurt the Poor
(Project Syndicate) The world is in great danger of spending scarce resources on climate policies that hurt rather than help its poorest people. Governments should instead focus on growth-enhancing measures such as trade liberalization, which provide a pathway to increased welfare and greater equality.
Rising protectionism is imperiling economic growth – including in the world’s poorest countries, which would benefit most from a more open global trading system. Concluding the long-stalled Doha Round of global trade talks, for example, could make the world $11 trillion richer each year by 2030 and lift 145 million more people out of poverty.
… there is another, arguably greater threat to progress on reducing poverty: governments’ blinkered pursuit of hugely expensive climate-mitigation policies.
Globally, the 2015 Paris climate agreement is the most expensive international accord in history, because it aims to wean entire economies off fossil fuels, even though alternative energy sources such as solar and wind remain uncompetitive in many contexts. As a result, the agreement will slow economic growth, increase poverty, and exacerbate inequality.

The Secretary General will host a Climate Summit in September 2019 (on the margins of the 74th General Assembly) with the objective of increasing ambition and accelerating climate action towards 2020 and beyond Climate Action Summit, 23 September 2019.

23 September
Greta Thunberg condemns world leaders in emotional speech at UN
Thunberg, 16, says governments have betrayed young people
(The Guardian) Greta Thunberg has excoriated world leaders for their “betrayal” of young people through their inertia over the climate crisis at a United Nations summit that failed to deliver ambitious new commitments to address dangerous global heating.
In a stinging speech on Monday, the teenage Swedish climate activist told governments that “you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal.”
Days after millions of young people joined protests worldwide to demand emergency action on climate change, leaders gathered for the annual United Nations general assembly aiming to inject fresh momentum into efforts to curb carbon emissions.
But Thunberg predicted the summit would not deliver any new plans in line with the radical cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are needed to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” a visibly emotional Thunberg said.
If world leaders choose to fail us, my generation will never forgive them

20 September

Photos show huge climate-change protests around the world, which have spread across continents as millions strike to demand action
(Business Insider) Millions of people around the world are expected to walk out of school and work on Friday as part of the global climate strike inspired by the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
It is the first of several planned events ahead of and during the United Nations Climate Action Summit next week.
Strikes started in Australia on Friday morning. School Strike 4 Climate, the organizers of the event, say over 300,000 people took part across the country.
The protests and strikes are spreading across the planet over the course of the day, reaching Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America.

8 August
This Land Is the Only Land There Is
Here are seven ways of understanding the IPCC’s newest climate warning.
(The Atlantic)  There is no shortage of scary facts in the major new report on climate change and land, a summary of which was released today by a United Nations–led scientific panel. Chief among them: For everyone who lives on land, the planet’s dangerously warmed future is already here. Earth’s land has already warmed more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the industrial revolution, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. That’s the same amount of warming that climate activists are hoping to prevent on a global scale.
If the report has an overarching theme, it’s that land is extremely scarce, we need it for everything, and we are already using most of it. More than 70 percent of the planet’s ice-free land is already shaped by human activity, the report says. As trees are felled and farms take their place, this human-managed land emits about a quarter of global greenhouse-gas pollution every year, including 13 percent of carbon dioxide and 44 percent of the super-warming but short-lived pollutant methane.
In some ways, this is the most unavoidably political document that the IPCC has ever published. Its report last year, on the dangers of global warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, called for an unprecedented transformation in the globe’s energy system. It demanded a rapid switch to carbon-free energy systems. But talking about the energy system is, in this context, relatively easy. No one’s ever gone to war over electric cars or renewable portfolio standards. But land is different. It is home, and the possibility of home.

5 August
Here’s how the hottest month in recorded history unfolded around the globe
“This is not your grandfather’s summer,” said United Nations Secretary General António Guterres
(WaPo) Four years ago in Paris, world leaders committed to doing all they could to prevent the globe from warming more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 Celsius), with the goal of keeping warming to no more than 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 Celsius), compared to preindustrial levels.
But the commitments that countries made in Paris are far too modest to meet those targets. Last week, as the head of the United Nations recognized the likelihood that the world had just experienced its hottest month on record, he pleaded with national leaders to summon the will to take the kind of aggressive action that could put the globe on a more sustainable trajectory.
“This year alone, we have seen temperature records shattered from New Delhi to Anchorage, from Paris to Santiago, from Adelaide and to the Arctic Circle,” Guterres said. “If we do not take action on climate change now, these extreme weather events are just the tip of the iceberg. And, indeed, the iceberg is also rapidly melting.”

27 July
Pressure grows around climate-change summit
(Axios Trends) Young people and Big Oil executives will join world leaders in September for the most high-profile summit on climate change since the 2015 UN conference that led to the Paris Agreement, Amy Harder writes.
Why it matters: The New York event is aimed at encouraging countries to increase their pledges to the Paris deal, in the face of rising global carbon emissions, falling investment in renewable energy and an American president who denies there’s a problem at all.
Driving the news: The United Nations is hosting the event and there will be two notable developments outside its Manhattan headquarters…
On Sept. 20, thousands of people, led by students, are signing up to walk out of their jobs and schools to demand the world stop using fossil fuels. Millions could participate globally in what organizers say will be the largest such movement.
On Sept. 23, the world’s biggest oil and natural gas producers will huddle at an invite-only forum, where CEOs are expected to face critical questions from environmental experts.
What’s next: This is all building up to the UN’s 2020 climate-change conference. That’s when countries are expected to formally establish more aggressive commitments. Next year is also when President Trump plans to formally withdraw from the Paris deal.

9 July
Paris se déclare en “état d’urgence climatique”– La mairie a aussi annoncé deux nouvelles mesures: la création d’une “Académie du climat” et d’un “GIEC” parisien.
(AFP) La Ville de Paris s’est déclarée en ”état d’urgence climatique” après un vote en conseil de Paris, ce mardi 9 juillet. Une mesure symbolique pour témoigner de la volonté de la capitale de prendre des mesures rapides pour lutter contre le réchauffement climatique. Il faut “tenir les objectifs de l’accord de Paris” adopté en décembre 2015, a plaidé l’adjointe chargée de l’Environnement à la maire de Paris, Célia Blauel.

29 June

G20 summit: World leaders agree on climate deal
Leaders have agreed on a climate deal similar to the one struck in Argentina in 2018. The US has again refused to commit to tackling climate change.
“We will have a similar text to Argentina. A 19+1 declaration,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on the sidelines of the G20 meeting.
As at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, the new declaration states that the US reiterated its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement “because it disadvantages American workers and taxpayers.”
The document said the signatories to the Paris Agreement reaffirmed their commitment to its full implementation.
To help achieve climate change prevention, the G20 nations “will look into a wide range of clean technologies and approaches, including smart cities, ecosystem and community based approaches, nature based solutions and traditional and indigenous knowledge,” the final document read.
“In our view, climate change will determine the destiny of mankind, so it is imperative that our generation makes the right choices,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a news conference with his French counterpart and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres following the climate change talks.

13 June
U.N. Head: Climate Change Can Prove the Value of Collective Action
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in an interview for TIME Magazine, said “Climate change is not a problem for multilateralism, climate change is a problem for us all. But I think climate change offers an opportunity for multilateralism to prove its value.”
Guterres hopes that the climate summit he is hosting this fall will be another opportunity for the world to tackle global warming — and this time bring commitments to reduce emissions closer in line with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C by the end of the century.
The purpose of the summit is not “to convene a conference to come to a consensus on a document,” he says. “It is to make country by country assume leadership and assume this ambition that is necessary.”
The Leaders of These Sinking Countries Are Fighting to Stop Climate Change. Here’s What the Rest of the World Can Learn
(TIME) To save themselves and raise awareness of the perils of climate change, a collection of these vulnerable states—from Fiji to the Marshall Islands, the Maldives to the Bahamas—has launched an international campaign. It has been, against all odds, a remarkable success. Together, these mostly poor nations with little hard power leveraged the moral force of their peril to shape the global 2015 Paris Agreement.

1 June
The major emitters that are meeting their Paris Agreement pledges
(Axios) Of top 10 global carbon emitters, not a single one is hitting its climate goals as outlined under the Paris Agreement, per data from the Climate Action Tracker.
Why it matters: Even if every country that’s adopted the Paris Agreement were to meet their pledges, it would not avert the worst effects of climate change.
Driving the news: June 1 marks the 2-year anniversary of President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from the deal. Per the Climate Action Tracker, the U.S., the second-largest world emitter of greenhouse gasses (but top historical emitter), falls under “critically insufficient,” the worst category, in meeting its Paris pledge.

28 May
‘Blatant Attempt to Politicize the Science’: Trump Reportedly Moving to End Long-Term Studies of Climate Crisis
“The Trump gang is attacking the scientific process itself in an attempt to prop up fossil fuel industries, delay inevitable action, and run the carbon bubble as long as it will last.”
by Jake Johnson, staff writer
(Common Dreams) In what environmental experts warned could be President Donald Trump’s most dangerous assault on science yet, the White House is reportedly moving to end long-term assessments of the impacts of the climate crisis while pushing a polluter-friendly agenda that is making the planetary emergency worse.
As the New York Times reported late Monday, “the White House-appointed director of the United States Geological Survey, James Reilly, a former astronaut and petroleum geologist, has ordered that scientific assessments produced by that office use only computer-generated climate models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, rather than through the end of the century, as had been done previously.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the United Nations’ leading climate body—warned in a landmark report last October that if carbon emissions are not dramatically and rapidly reduced, catastrophic effects of the climate crisis could be felt across the world as early as 2040.

25 May

Climate change visualized: How Earth’s temperature has changed since 1970
(Axios) 2018 was Earth’s 4th-warmest year on record, coming in behind 2016, the planet’s warmest recorded year, as well as 2015 and 2017, according to information released by NOAA, NASA and the U.K. Met Office.
Why it matters: The yearly rankings don’t tell the whole story of long-term climate change, since natural variability can still push or pull an individual year up or down the rankings. However, the overall picture is growing starker with each passing year. Nine of the 10 warmest years on record since reliable data began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. At the same time, greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels — as well as deforestation and intensive agriculture — have skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than 800,000 years.

17 April
IPCC Chair among TIME’s 100 most influential people in 2019
As the head of the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres works to solve the world’s thorniest issues from humanitarian crises to international terrorism knowing that the nature of these conflicts prevents any definitive resolution.
But climate change is different, he tells TIME.
As populist leaders around the globe have sowed doubts about multilateral institutions like the U.N., Guterres says that climate change, perhaps the biggest collective action problem, offers an opportunity like no other issue for the system to “prove its value.”
“We are involved in the prevention of conflicts, and we are involved in trying to solve Libya, Yemen, Syria, South Sudan. But those are areas in which what we can do is limited,” he said in a May 22 interview at the U.N. headquarters in New York. “Climate change is for me, clearly an area where the U.N. has the obligation to assume global leadership.”

19 March
School climate strikes: 1.4 million people took part, say campaigners
Activist Greta Thunberg, 16, says action proved ‘no one is too small to make a difference’

15 March
The climate strikers should inspire us all to act at the next UN summit
Without ambitious action, the Paris agreement is meaningless. So I’m bringing world leaders together to build the future we need
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
(Guardian op-ed) Tens of thousands of young people took to the streets on Friday with a clear message to world leaders: act now to save our planet and our future from the climate emergency.
These schoolchildren have grasped something that seems to elude many of their elders: we are in a race for our lives, and we are losing. The window of opportunity is closing – we no longer have the luxury of time, and climate delay is almost as dangerous as climate denial.
My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.


16 December
Katowice Climate Conference
It took long and difficult negotiations to reach agreement on the agreed ‘Katowice Climate Package’ but in the end, countries agreed on a set of guidelines for implementing the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
In Katowice, countries stressed “the urgency of enhanced ambition in order to ensure the highest possible mitigation and adaptation efforts by all Parties.”
Katowice was a major step forward for operationalizing the Paris Agreement. The Agreement, adopted in December 2015 and now joined by 184 countries, aims to limit global warming to well under 2°C, or even 1°5C this century.
COP24: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Katowice
(Carbon brief) This year’s COP24 annual UN climate conference concluded late on Saturday evening in Katowice, Poland, after two weeks of tension-filled talks.
Nearly 23,000 delegates descended on the coal-tinged city with a deadline for hashing out the Paris Agreement “rulebook”, which is the operating manual needed for when the global deal enters into force in 2020.
This was mostly agreed, starting a new international climate regime under which all countries will have to report their emissions – and progress in cutting them – every two years from 2024.
But as countries wrestled with the “four-dimensional spaghetti” of competing priorities – as one delegate put it to Carbon Brief – they clashed over how to recognise the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1.5C and whether to clearly signal the need for greater ambition to stay below this temperature limit.
The final outcome included hints at the need for more ambitious climate pledges before 2020, leaving many NGOs disappointed at the lack of more forceful language.

3 December
Climate Action Campaign Launched by the United Nations
The renowned broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has announced the United Nations’ launch of a new campaign enabling individuals the world over to unite in actions to battle climate change.
In an address to the opening session of United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, Sir David Attenborough urged everyone to use the UN’s new ActNow.bot [link opens Facebook Messenger] designed to give people the power and knowledge to take personal action against climate change directly on the Facebook Messenger Platform.
Speaking for “The People’s Seat” initiative, Sir David Attenborough called it the result of new activism shaped by people from around the world and collected through social media.
“In the last two weeks,” he said, “the world’s people have taken part in creating this address, answering polls, creating videos and voicing their opinions.”

8 October
UN Experts Warn of ‘Climate Catastrophe’ by 2040 Without ‘Rapid’ and ‘Unprecedented’ Global Action
(Common Dreams) “The climate crisis is here and already impacting the most vulnerable,” notes 350.org’s program director. “Staying under 1.5ºC is now a matter of political will.”
Underscoring the need for “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented” changes to life as we know it to combat the global climate crisis, a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—the United Nations’ leading body for climate science—details what the world could look like if the global temperature rises to 1.5°C versus 2°C (2.7°F versus 3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels, and outlines pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.

1 September
The Swedish 15-year-old who’s cutting class to fight the climate crisis
Following Sweden’s hottest summer ever, Greta Thunberg decided to go on school strike at the parliament to get politicians to act
(The Guardian) Why bother to learn anything in school if politicians won’t pay attention to the facts?
This simple realisation prompted Greta Thunberg, 15, to protest in the most effective way she knew. She is on strike, refusing to go to school until Sweden’s general election on 9 September to draw attention to the climate crisis.
Her protest has captured the imagination of a country that has been struck by heatwaves and wildfires in its hottest summer since records began 262 years ago.

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