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

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)

..and Prof Winkler talks EU, pre & post 2020

And this time at a Side Event at the Bonn Climate Change Conference on Tuesday 11th June, our very own director, Prof Winkler, gets his teeth into the issue of post-2020 European energy & climate policies. Topics of discussion ranged from the role for RE (and how this would impact on developing countries), the consequences of an EU-wide carbon tax. Of course no discussion would be complete without touching on pre-2020 ambition. A succinct summary of the event has already been… Read more..and Prof Winkler talks EU, pre & post 2020

Doha: Vague words & fuzzy numbers

The 2012 climate negotiations under the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol did not quite die in the desert sands of Doha.  But they hardly took the big steps forward that are urgently needed. This kind of reflection, of incremental progress in political terms, but falling far short of what is needed, has now been the my sense for several years running. Also similar to past meetings, COP18 and CMP8 ran over time, as did Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban.  The heart… Read moreDoha: Vague words & fuzzy numbers

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

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?