UN aims for clean energy, climate gains at New York summit

CRIB NOTES 25-31 JANUARY: Ban, Bloomberg and Gore headline Big Apple climate bash, Norway holds oil price crisis meet, UK govt to see 1.5C recommendations

(Pic: Steve Arnold/Flickr)

(Pic: Steve Arnold/Flickr)

By Ed King

After the lull – now the storm.

Global efforts to drive climate change back onto the front pages start this week in New York, as the royalty of climate policy and politics meet for two days to discuss risk, clean energy investment and measuring the threat posed by stranded assets. Expect to hear from Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore, Segolene Royal, Michael Bloomberg plus a raft of business leaders at a UN HQ two-day meet.

“The Summit will explore the significant investment opportunities provided by the global climate deal involving 196 countries, with a focus on the types of capital flows necessary – involving many trillions of dollars – to achieve its ambitious global carbon-reducing goals” – more details on the event website.

Disaster risk

Meanwhile – in Geneva over 1000 scientists, government officials and business types will meet on from the 27-29 – building on Sendai disaster risk framework agreed in March 2015.

“In the decade 2005-2014, the annual average death toll from disasters was 76,000; and 173 million people was the annual average number of people affected by  floods, storms, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis, wildfires and heatwaves,” – more info here.

Watch out for…

More data on global temperatures out first thing Monday. Later in the day there’s a biggish data-heavy study into stranded assets from a coalition of major NGOs. We’ll have the news as and when.

India’s president Shri Pranab Mukherjee will address the nation on the eve of Republic Day (1900 IST)

Later in the week the UK’s Committee on Climate Change could issue its guidance to the government on whether current policies will see it contribute to a new UN goal to try and limit warming to 1.5C above pre industrial levels. The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act is geared for a 2C ceiling.

Norway holds crisis meet

The Norwegian government will meet at 10am on Monday to work out what the consequences of crashing oil prices will have on its economy, reports Bloomberg. “We still have economic growth in Norway,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg told the news agency. “When the oil price falls our currency has depreciated, it means that other parts of our economy are picking up but of course it’s at a lower level than it has been in the last years.”

Oil prices – rallying

Prices for Brent crude rose 10% to $32.18 a barrel on Friday after a turbulent few weeks.

Solar alliance

Later on Monday India PM Narendra Modi and France president Francois Hollande will lay a foundation stone at the new HQ of a 121-nation strong ‘Solar Alliance’ agreed at the start of the Paris climate talks last December. India’s coal minister already thinks progress is being made at him there… solar now cheaper than coal in some circumstances,

Meet the UK’s climate sceptic MPs…

Eccentric weather forecaster Piers Corbyn – brother of Labour leader Jeremy – reckons he has a small roster of MPs who – like him – believe it’s the sun that affects the climate, *not* greenhouse gas emissions. This from an interview in the Guardian:

“Graham Stringer, of Labour, is sympathetic,” he says, “Sammy Wilson DUP, a number of Tories, Boris is very sympathetic [Johnson tends to use Corbyn, in an unlikely alliance, as his climate guru]. Now I think we have George Galloway which is significant, because he can be very persuasive…”


Climate Home: 9 reasons to be cheerful about climate action
Reuters: Obama administration unveils new methane rules
Carbon Pulse: Court rules against Clean Power Plan delay
Guardian: EU aviation emission plans weaker than US
Climate Home: 8 climate takeaways from Davos

Worth watching

Monday + Tuesday: MENA energy summit, Chatham House. Speakers include Qatar’s minister of energy, the CEO of ENI and the head of Saudi Arabia’s top renewable energy body.

Thursday: Top US State Department climate lawyer Sue Biniaz outlines implications of Paris pact (watch live here at 1215 ECT)

Read more on: Breaking News