The world committed to taking action on climate change in Paris, and now, all the countries that signed on to the agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius are figuring exactly how that will happen, and how they will hold each other accountable.
U.S. climate policy is in question now, and the political changes definitely featured in the Bonn discussions, but didn’t dominate the proceedings. Some of the international climate negotiators recognized that the world is a dynamic place and that some national policies will come and go. But that won’t stop the world from moving ahead with ambitious climate plans. other experts discussed how the U.S. could hamper the global effort, while others said the U.S. should remain in the agreement, but not at any cost. For the sake of the rest of the world, the agreement should not be weakened. Read more in this report from Bonn.
Some of the most hopeful news from Bonn was that China and India are quickly shifting to a renewable energy economy. That will not only help those countries reduce their significant emissions, but will also drive a global shift by reducing the price for renewable energy to the point where it will quickly become the cheapest option. Even the U.S. reported a drop in greenhouse gas emissions the past few years, primarily because of the switch from coal to natural gas. American envoy Trigg Talley faced polite but insistent and pointed questioning during a disclosure session. Read the details in this story.
It all matters because for the less-developed countries in the global south, climate change is an existential question. There was concern about the Trump administration’s climate stance, but also optimism. Nobody wanted to make a final judgment on U.S. policy, which seems to still be in question, but nevertheless, some of the negotiators from the world’s most vulnerable countries seemed to be responding to Trump’s statements on the Paris climate agreement and on climate policies in general:
“Without increased climate action, no country can ever be great again. We fought hard for the Paris Agreement and the 1.5-degree threshold, the threshold for our survival…. Greatness is most apparent with climate action. Failure is not an option.”
New language helps address concerns of poorer nations
By Bob Berwyn
New language added to the emerging global climate agreement during a Bonn negotiating session this week helps address some of the concerns of developing nations with regard to funding for mitigation. Overall, the 14 new pages resulted in “a more balanced text,” according to outside observers tracking the Bonn talks.
The documents under consideration in Bonn will serve as a starting point when high-level government ministers meet in Paris to hammer out the final details of a deal to try and cap global warming at 2 degrees Celsius, and to figure out to deal equitably with impacts that are already locked into the climate system as a result of heat-trapping greenhouse gas pollution. Continue reading “Bonn talks boost hopes for strong climate deal in Paris”→
Carbon-pricing may be off the table, but there is agreement to keep pushing after crucial Paris talks in December
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Climate activists are encouraged by some measured progress at recent talks in Germany, but said there’s still a long way to go to meet the ambitious goal of creating a global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and slow the pace of global warming.
One of the most positive signs at the recent Bonn talks is that most countries seem prepared to keep talking after the COP21 conference in Paris — crucial because the Paris talks likely won’t deliver a deal that meets the make-or-break goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Continue reading “Bonn talks help pave path for global climate deal”→
‘Science is telling us on a repeated basis … that current mitigation efforts are not sufficient’
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Two weeks of climate talks in Bonn following up on the last year’s Durban summit didn’t yield much progress in some critical areas, although the delegates did take some steps toward finding a way to extend the Kyoto Protocol and on finding ways to help the most poor and vulnerable countries deal with global warming impacts.
Delegates targeting 2015 for legally binding, enforceable climate deal
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Trying to follow the latest round of climate talks in Bonn, Germany is a reporter’s nightmare, with every press release filled with incredible amounts of bureaucratic jargon or technical information so dense that it’s almost impossible to follow — even for someone well-versed in climate science and policy.
In a way it’s a good thing. The time for grandiose speeches is long past; now’s the time for nitty gritty details. There’s no other way to ensure some sort of meaningful reduction in greenhouse gases.
But if the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change wants to connect with average citizens, it’s going to have to do a much better job of translating some of the information into plain talk to give people an idea of what’s at stake in meetings like the current conference in Bonn.