LIVE IN LIMA – DAY 8: UN COP20 climate change summit



– Australia pledges $165 million to Green Climate Fund
Ed Davey: Oil-rich states should diversify their economies
– Net zero emissions by 2050 “maybe too ambitious” – IEA
– UN deal should prioritise mitigation, says NZ minister
– Peru incorporates gender into national climate policy

1839 – Australia’s $165 million pledge to the Green Climate Fund was an unexpected finale to a day of high level ministerial talks.

The day began with a blistering attack on rich country “thieves” from Bolivian president Evo Morales.

While Australia’s pledge represents something of a U-turn in the country’s attitude to climate change, it is unlikely it has convinced Morales otherwise; green groups have already accused Australia of failing to deliver its fair share into the fund.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon congratulated delegates here in Lima of capturing the spirit of the New York summit in September. He said he was “cautiously optimistic” for a positive outcome at the end of next week.

Meanwhile, Peru became the first country in Latin America to incorporate gender into its national climate change policy.

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1739 – Surprise announcement – Australia has pledged AUS $200 million to Green Climate Fund. This will be delivered over a period of four years. We have the full story here.

1736 – Granada’s minister says that he would liked to have seen $15 billion in the Green Climate Fund by this stage: “The contributions to the GCF are not enough…We have a long way to go. What can do is explore ways we can begin to address this gap.”

1725 – Finland environment minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen voices support for carbon markets: “The support for carbon pricing in New York showed a lot of potential.”

1719 – Ministers are discussing finance at a high level meeting in Lima. US climate envoy Todd Stern is speaking. The US pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund last month. He says: “Donor countries are on their way to meeting their $100bn commitment,” but adds that some of this will come from private sources. “Public funds won’t be nearly enough to meet the challenge.”

1639 – Kate Willett, a climate scientist at the UK Met Office, joined Ed King at the TV studio today.

They discussed how certain scientists can be on attributing specific extreme weather events to climate change. The answer – so far – is not much…

1638 – Over at the TV studio, we’ve had an update on the state of negotiations over carbon markets in Lima.

Talk was they had collapsed at the end of last week – Dirk Forrister from the International Emissions Trading Association says more political guidance is required for country delegates.

1445 – It’s gender day at COP20 in Lima, and Peru has announced that it will become the first country in Latin America to integrate gender into their national climate policy. It is the 14th country in the world to to adopt a Climate Change Gender Action Plan; others include Mozambique, Liberia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cuba and Egypt.

“In Peru, we want to include women in high-level decision-making on environmental threats and opportunities, as we know this will increase our odds of success,” said Gabriel Quijandría, head of the Peruvian delegation at the UN climate talks.

Gambia’s environment minister Pa Jarju Ousman also took to Twitter to call for more gender equality in the talks.

1400 – Beer company SABMiller is backing climate action. They have found that the warmer weather is harming their productivity in water scarce countries – 70% of the brewery’s business is in developing markets, where there is increasing competition for these resources.

And one third of its business is in Latin America. “In Peru, like in our other markets, we are committed to growing sustainably – water security has become an important element of our work,” said Fernando Zavala, SABMiller’s managing director in Peru.

1345 – Countries have finished with their national statements for the morning session. Tim Groser, New Zealand’s environment minister, was the last to speak. He seemed unmoved by Bolivian president Evo Morales’ haranguing of rich countries this morning. He emphasised the importance of carbon markets to New Zealand, and said that the priority for the new deal should be emissions reductions, rather than adaptation. Many poor countries are pushing for parity between the two.

1339 – Joss Garman, a climate change fellow at the UK think tank IPPR, said he supported a five-year cycle for commitments to the UN climate deal.

“The approach the UK pioneered with the Climate Change Act where targets for cutting carbon pollution are established for each five year period through to 2050 provides the best model for the global agreement to follow.

“Crucially this would ensure that if, as expected, the deal signed in Paris next year is not sufficient to stop the most extreme impacts of climate change, ambition could be ratcheted up in coming years as the cost of clean technologies continue to fall.

“It’s good to see the United States and many other countries supporting five-yearly targets, and its time that Europe did the same.”

1243 – Megan Darby has been at an International Energy Agency (IEA) press conference. Executive director Maria van der Hoeven poured cold water on proposals to go carbon neutral by mid-century.

Net zero emissions in 2050 is “very ambitious and maybe it is too ambitious”, she said, noting that 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity.

The IEA recommended five actions to decarbonise the energy sector, which accounts for two thirds of global emissions.

Van der Hoeven added that slumping oil prices give policymakers “a golden opportunity” to slash fossil fuel subsidies and put a price on carbon.

They can take actions that “would have been unthinkable a year ago”, as prices of US$70 a barrel or lower give economies a boost.

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1200 – Welcome to RTCC’s live coverage of day 8 of the UN climate talks in Lima. What a morning. Here are the headlines…

– Belgium offers 50m Euros to Green Climate Fund, taking it over $10bn mark
– UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon says more cash needed from rich, outlines 5 point plan
– UN to host climate leader’s summit in June 2015, probably in NY
– Evo Morales, Bolivian president, says developed countries are “thieves and liars”
– Tuvalu president says leaders who deny climate change are “empty and shallow”
– UK climate chief Ed Davey says fossil fuel producers should get no compensation under climate deal
– Talks on 2015 global deal continue, with line-by-line negotiations on draft text underway

1155Tuvalu president Ratu Epeli Nailatikau: “I carry a huge burden and responsibility. This keeps me awake at night. No national leader in the history of humanity has ever faced this question, will we survive or will we disappear under the sea. I ask you to think what it is like to be in my shoes, and pause and ask what would you do? I ask you to pause. What would you do? This is the biggest single challenge facing our country.


“Can you imagine what the world would be like with the lowest projection of the IPCC? I believe it would be hell on earth. We are facing the biggest moral crisis if humanity. There is no place for denial. It’s time to ignore the climate deniers driven by the fossil fuel industry. It’s time to ignore leaders who deny climate change. They are empty shallow creatures, they only see the face of dollars.”

He also calls on the 23 million people in Taiwan to have “meaningful participation” in this process. Here’s our article on that from yesterday.

1149 – Nauru president Baron Waqa is now speaking.

“After 2 decades of delay and wilful ignorance there are losses and damages that cannot be adapted to. I urge you to seize this opportunity before it falls into the abyss.”

1140 – Evo Morales is still talking. This could be the longest speech ever at a climate summit, unless Fidel Castro made any appearances. He concludes by calling for an international tribunal for climate justice.

1137 – Sophie Yeo is back from a press conference given by UK climate chief Ed Davey. Here’s her summary…

Ed Davey, UK secretary of state for energy and climate change, says that Lima is about building upon year of political momentum – including commitments from the New York summit in September and the EU’s 2030 climate commitments – and taking it towards Paris.

Any deal should be legally binding he said. He stressed Paris next year would not be another Copenhagen disaster: “I’m more confident that we can achieve a climate deal than I’ve ever been before,” he says.

Priorities for the UK include reaching an agreement about what information countries need to provide when they make their contributions to the new deal early next year, so that everything can be compared. It is also important to have a formal period to review these pledges.


On the issue of whether the ultimate goal of the deal could be to keep temperatures below the more ambitious threshold of 1.5C, Davey said he was “open for discussion” over a long term emission cutting target but stressed he wanted to make sure it did not distract from the other elements of the text.

Asked why the UK’s climate minister Amber Rudd was not at the talks, Davey said “she is as disappointed as I am” but directed any further questions to the UK Conservative party chief whip Michael Gove, who reportedly made the decision to keep her in London to take part in a vote today.

1115 – Bolivian president Evo Morales is now speaking. He stresses he doesn’t want a deal “based on capitalism or the markets.”

“In principle let’s not be thieves, don;t steal what belongs to others and recently the IPCC concludes if we don’t want an increase in temperature beyond 2C we cannot emit more than 1000GT of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and if we don;t want the temporary to rise beyond 1.5C this quantity has to be smaller. This atmosphere has to be shared with all, respecting the principles of equity. But there are some greedy countries who want to consume this on their own. These countries are stealing our future, the future of our children and grandchildren.”


“There is a large group of countries that has historically abused the atmosphere and has committed ecocide. But there are other countries who are following the same mercantile path… with consumption path which concentrates wealth in the hands of the few. We cannot have harmony with nature if we continue with the same consumption and production patterns of capitalism.”

“Developed countries do not want to increase the ambition of their emission cuts…if developed countries had established actions called for by the convention we would not be at the stage listening to their apocalyptic forecasts. But there are countries that do not want to reduce emissions domestically or do anything to help developing countries.”

“After 20 years we have had talks with no results. This is a failure. We have not reached any substantive agreements. Today we found ourselves at the beginning of the disappearance of the human race. Developed countries are not fulfilling their duty. Climate change has become an escape valve for not discussing the model of capitalistic development. The colonialism of our peoples has continued tirelessly.

“Developed countries have not been able to stop larger corporations who do not care about the environment. This is not a dialogue among equals. It is a monologue.”

“Voracious capitalists are only interested in markets. It requires endless free trade agreements. Mother earth is becoming a commodity. What are we doing?”

1110 – We’re hearing Belgium will make a contribution to the Green Climate Fund later today. It’s likely to be 50 million euros, edging the fund to past its $10 billion goal for 2014.

1100 – We now have a “cultural presentation” – I’ve posted some pictures below.


1055 – UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is now talking. “All countries must be part of a solution, this is not a time for tinkering but transformation. The momentum for action is building.”


He has five requests
– A balanced agreement that will offer a foundation for Paris
– A common understanding for what commitments countries will make
– More pledges to the Green Climate Fund and define a pathway to meet $100bn per year by 2020 for poorer countries
– Help encourage actions from private sector, cities, business and civil society
– Ratify the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol (the second commitment period)

1051 – The head of the UN General Assembly announces plans for a climate summit in New York next June – more on that to come later.

1050 – Fairly blunt temperature warning from the World Meteorological Organisation


1045 – Interested in the technical aspects of the UN talks? You’re likely in a minority. But expect a long day before you see much developments, says Indrajit Bose, an Indian observer in Lima.


1040 – UK climate chief Ed Davey is giving a press conference at the moment. We’ll have a short report from Sophie Yeo once it has concluded – here’s a taster from Ruth Davis, political director at Greenpeace UK.

1035 – UN climate chief Christiana Figueres warns delegates “we are running out of time”. Alluding to the INCA calendar she talks a bit about how the time has come “to leave incremental change behind”. She says leaders must have courage and take “ambitious decisions” promising they will “transform growth” and safeguard resources. It is a pathway to “longterm stability over volatility” she says.

“History will judge us,” she says, slightly drowned out by the helicopters buzzing overheard. Ministers don’t do low carbon travel.


1030 – Manual Pulgar Vidal, Peru’s environment minister, has kicked off today’s meeting. He says he is keeping a close eye on negotiations, especially those over a 2015 climate deal.

“I am assessing its progress continuously. Let me tell you I am ready to take the necessary decisions to ensure you can intensify your work and have outcomes this week. I ask you to help us. Even if this means you sleep less in the next days.”

1027 – The ‘high level segment’ has now started. You can watch it live here.

1025 – We’re hearing that additional Green Climate Fund contributions will be presented later today, which will push it over its goal of $10 billion.

At its best climate finance is a murky business – and it’s very unclear just what the levels of flows currently are. More on that in this RTCC analysis. We’ve been speaking to Tom Mitchell from the London-based Overseas Development Institute which released a report on finance yesterday.

1020 – One issue that has caught the imagination of the media and NGOs since the talks started is that of a zero carbon target for later this century. This could be a date between 2050 and 2100, but according to scientists it needs to be in that timeframe if the world has any chance of avoiding dangerous levels of warming.

World Bank president Jim Kim weighed into the debate yesterday.In a speech in Washington DC he said a proposed global climate agreement should “provide a clear pathway to zero net emissions before 2100.”

Kim said world leaders should agree on “binding language”, and called global warming a “fundamental threat to development in our lifetime.”

And he called on “all countries” to commit to pricing carbon, “a necessary, if not sufficient, step in any journey to zero net emissions.

Read the full story here

1015 – Last night we spoke to Adnan Amin, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency. He’s pretty bullish about the prospects of clean energy – and thinks capacity could be doubled by 2030. “It’s economically feasible based on the technology we have today.”

1010 – The high level segment is running a little late – I’ll bring you updates from the main plenary if and when it starts. Unlikely to be more than the usual platitudes and claims of ambitious policymaking.

1000 – Today is gender day at the Lima climate talks. It’s seen as a vital issue here, because women are frequently the ones facing the worst climate impacts in developing countries. That’s not always reflected at the talks or in the balance of delegations. In Lima women account for 36% of party delegations, a 7% increase on last year.

Here’s the view of former Ireland president Mary Robinson:
Women across all sectors of society are already leading the way in efforts to build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and they are demonstrating their unity, collective ambition and their willingness to act with urgency, regardless of societal or political position. Women’s agency plays a key role in driving innovative climate action and their participation in the ongoing climate debate is a key factor for a fair and equitable climate agreement.

0950 – Welcome to today’s live blog. It’s a busy day, with interventions from the UN secretary general and Latin American leaders later today.

There are two main elements to keep an eye on today. What attending ministers say in the morning’ ‘high level dialogue’ and how much (if any) new finance is delivered during the afternoon’s discussion on climate cash.

Negotiations on the texts (the basis for an agreement) will go on throughout the day. Having sat through half an hour of one of those discussions, it seems unlikely there will be any radical decisions taken this week.

Half an hour yesterday was taken up arguing over the top paragraph, which just sets the scene for the rest of the document.

“The simpler we keep this the easier it will be. I think it will be a time consuming process no matter what,” said the US delegate, a sentiment most participating would probably agree on.

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