SA ratifies Paris Agreement

South Africa has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, it has joined the growing momentum to take climate action. 87 countries had ratified already, exceeding the requirement of 55 Parties – and on 5 October, the second ‘trigger’ of representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions was also met. Thirty days after these two triggers were met, the Agreement formally ‘enters into force’ – on 4 November 2016.   SA snuck in with its instrument of ratification… Read moreSA ratifies Paris Agreement

China and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

Image credit: HOW HWEE YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images

The US and China have jointly announced that both countries are ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change. This has increased, the percentage of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covered by countries that have ratified dramatically. The  official UNFCCC website now shows 26 Parties having ratified, accounting for 39.08% of emissions. That latter number gets the world closer to the 55% required. And with the political momentum generated, it seems highly likely the Paris Agreement will enter into force soon. Before… Read moreChina and US ratify Paris Agreement on climate change – SA next?

IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out

A scoping meeting for the IPCC special report on 1.5 °C, (SR 1.5),[1] was held in Geneva 15-18 Aug 2016. In the Paris decision, the UNFCCC had invited the IPCC to provide a speicial report (SR) in 2018 “on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways”. The Paris Agreement (PA) includes the aim to keep temperature increase “well below” 2 °C and pursue efforts limit to 1.5 °C.  Ambitious climate… Read moreIPCC special report on 1.5 degrees scoped out

Development paths consistent with zero poverty and 1.5°C

The world faces the twin challenges of development and climate change. 2015 saw the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement (PA) on climate change.1 An IPCC special report on keeping temperature below 1.5 °C is being scoped, relating to the global temperature goal in the PA;1 at the same time, the imperative is to eliminate “eliminate poverty, in all its forms, everywhere”. 2 And those are not all the challenges we face – at global,… Read moreDevelopment paths consistent with zero poverty and 1.5°C

Documentation on ‘Agroforestry systems as CER providers: an analysis for the Peruvian Amazon region’ by IIAP

Almost half of all Peru’s greenhouse gas emissions come from forestry, and other land use or land use changes. These activities also contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth and development. Global efforts to encourage clean development in developing countries includes efforts to stimulate the preservation of existing forests, and rehabilitation of degraded ones or the reforestation of abandoned areas after a cropping period, through paying for the forests’ carbon sequestration properties. A policy brief (see here) considers the findings of… Read moreDocumentation on ‘Agroforestry systems as CER providers: an analysis for the Peruvian Amazon region’ by IIAP

What might the Paris Agreement mean for South Africa?

What are the implications for South Africa of the Paris Agreement on climate change? Here is my initial take, following an earlier assessment of the contents of the Agreement The Paris Agreement is characterised by much broader participation than the Kyoto Protocol. Much more will be required for South Africa, together with all other countries, in terms of regularly communicating contributions. These contributions will be ‘nationally determined’, but subject to strong international review at the individual and collective level. This… Read moreWhat might the Paris Agreement mean for South Africa?

Paris Agreement: after climbing a great hill, many more to climb

Late on Saturday 12 December, a new Climate Agreement was adopted in Paris. Here is my take on the key elements. Be warned, it is a longish read – but then climate is a complex, super-wicked problem. And solving it is not easy. The key points are in bold … As Nelson Mandela said on his long walk to freedom: “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to… Read moreParis Agreement: after climbing a great hill, many more to climb

Geneva was quick – but how deep will Paris go?

Climate negotiators almost pride themselves on talks going beyond the deadline. So when the most recent round finished its main task, to agree elements of a draft negotiating text, on Day 3 of six, there was confusion. In a mild panic attack, the collective unconscious said “What do we do now?” Various reasons may have contributed to fast work. The new Co-Chairs (from the US and Algeria) cracked the whip, with a refreshingly business-like style. The G77& China, chaired this… Read moreGeneva was quick – but how deep will Paris go?

How low can you go? Climate talks in Lima

Climate negotiations in Lima[1] last week decided on national contributions – with light information and very weak scrutiny. It did put together the elements of a deal in Paris, though differences on detail remain large. But with lack of adequate long-term finance, and a refusal to balance support of adaptation and mitigation, Lima did not make reaching in a deal in Paris easier. INDCs: Intended nationally determined contributions A major outcome expected from Lima was to specify “contributions” by countries… Read moreHow low can you go? Climate talks in Lima

US-China: Going in the right direction, but far and fast enough?

The US and Chinese Presidents announced on 11 Nov 2014 that the US is to cut net greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 China is to peak CO2 emissions around 2030, with the intention to peak earlier, and to increase the non-fossil fuel share of all energy to around 20% by 2030. The annoucements were a concerted move by the two largest economies in the world, and so has undoubted political significance. They have potential to create momentum… Read moreUS-China: Going in the right direction, but far and fast enough?