Backwards Australians on carbon pricing

Source: AFP

Tony Abbot has fulfilled his campaign promised and repealed Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism (CPM). What his Coalition Party has misnamed a ‘carbon tax’  and made a political football. The cost to the climate will be paid by future generations, including Australians. It takes a huge step backward for Australia doing its fair share. A sad day for the climate. The ‘carbon tax’ was in fact a very well-designed emissions trading scheme, which in its first phase had fixed prices. New… Read moreBackwards Australians on carbon pricing

Of INDCs, elements and plumbing

The UNFCCC climate negotiations in Bonn focused in the big picture on national contributions, the 2015 agreement and rather fuzzily on pre-2020 ambition. The is the work in the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), and lest one forgets, there are two standing Subsidiary Bodies keeping on building the ‘plumbing’ of the Convention on many detailed issues. The future of the climate regime attracts attention, but the devil– and sometimes perhaps also the solution… Read moreOf INDCs, elements and plumbing

When Loss and Damage is as good as it gets (reflections on Warsaw)

You know you’re in trouble when – the Warsaw international mechanism on “loss and damage” is as good as it gets. The climate negotiations the ended last week in the Polish capital launched a mechanism. Loss and Damage (L&D) is what happens when you can no longer adapt to impacts. The damages of typhoon Haiyan were a striking reminder how extreme events can lead to irreparable losses. And in the final hours, well beyond finishing time, negotiators did agree a… Read moreWhen Loss and Damage is as good as it gets (reflections on Warsaw)

US best-we-can plan not good enough to change the climate

The US President’s Climate Action Plan is the first time in a long while that the US has been proactive on climate change. It is certainly not enough, as in the US contributing a fair share of the cuts needed to actually address climate change. Yet as a refreshing change from decades of inaction it has led many observers to welcome the move. Perhaps too many of us have internalized the domestic constraints in the US, so much that we are inclined… Read moreUS best-we-can plan not good enough to change the climate

Australia’s -0.5% commitment

Australia made one of the few major moves in Doha – well, if you consider 5% or 0.5% “major”. Numbers aside, joining the EU with a commitment (QELRO in climate-speak) for the next period was a welcome move. That the reduction is 0.5% below 1990 levels, is what raised some queries nonetheless (for a funny take on -0.5%, watch this video by climate activists).. And that it is with existing land use rules and carrying over units. The -0.5% is… Read moreAustralia’s -0.5% commitment

Mitigation targets and actions at the Bangkok talks

At the UNFCCC climate negotiations starting in Bangkok this week, there will be further workshops on mitigation. Some about commitments, umm, targets for developed countries, and another about mitigation actions by developing countries. There are important issues for both: 1. Workshop on developed country mitigation targets, or more formally quantified economy-wide emission reduction targets by developed country Parties. Key issues here will be how progress can be demonstrated against a clear target.  What is clear is that rules and targets… Read moreMitigation targets and actions at the Bangkok talks

Is private finance the silver bullet for the 100US$billion US by 2020?

An interesting discussion was brewing at the side event hosted by CAN Europe ‘ Private Sector Finance and its role in enhancing climate action’ amongst the presenters and respondents (representatives from the European Investment Bank, European Commission, kfW, Government of Pakistan as well as CAN Europe & Eurodad). There was agreement that private finance has potential, but it’s not a silver bullet for the 100US$ billion by 2020. Concerns were raised by Eurodad about the leveraging, accountability and monitoring of… Read moreIs private finance the silver bullet for the 100US$billion US by 2020?

“NAMAs are about more than just mitigation”

On Saturday Ecofys hosted a side event on the latest development in NAMAs. It included speakers from Ecofys, ECN, MAPS (Harald and Marta), CCAP and the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. The variety of presentations and discussions provided an overview of the development of NAMAs to date. The session proved to be a refreshing injection to the NAMA debate and demonstrated that at least things were actually happening – a contrast to inside the UNFCCC plenaries where there is yet to… Read more“NAMAs are about more than just mitigation”

One thing we all agree on: NAMAs are diverse!

…but are we any clearer on their format? That issue sadly wasn’t to be resolved at today’s workshop. Today’s LCA workshop on the diversity of NAMAs offered various Parties including: Brazil, Gambia, Georgia, Bangladesh, AOSIS, Chile and China to demonstrate their current approaches to NAMAs. Without going into great detail, some issues that were raised: Gambia outlined the potential co-benefits (improved health, energy security) from their proposed NAMAs Implementation Plans  & attribution of these plans in achieving mitigation actions were… Read moreOne thing we all agree on: NAMAs are diverse!

Bonn UNFCCC talks 14th-25th May

Harald Winkler, Andrew Marquard, Marta Torres-Gunfaus and Anya Boyd from the Energy Research Centre are all attending the UNFCCC talks from 14th-25th May. Live feeds from plenaries and side events are available at (internet permitting…) We will also do our best to give our own insights as the discussions unfold.