Weekly wrap: 2C ‘within reach’, Poles veto Kyoto, Brazil slams Singapore

This week’s top climate politics and policy stories. Sign up here to have our Friday briefing sent to your inbox

(Pic: Moyan Brenn/Flickr)

(Pic: Moyan Brenn/Flickr)

By Ed King

The UN released a much-anticipated technical analysis of nearly 150 national plans to tackle climate change on Friday. The verdict? Right direction, far too slow.

If implemented, they could limit global warming to below 3C by 2100, but greenhouse gas emissions are still likely to push it well above the 2C danger zone.

“These plans set a determined course, clearly recognizing that successful climate action achieves not only low emissions but a host of other economic and social benefits for governments, citizens and business,” said UN climate chief Christiana Figueres.

The submissions cover 86% of global emissions. That’s four times the size of the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only legally binding deal. Per capita emissions will likely fall 9% from 1990 levels by 2030, says the UN.

Quote of the week

“Billions of people and what is left of the rest of a rapidly diminishing creation depend on whether this time real concerted action – not just words – can be taken,” Prince Charles says he will take tough message of urgency to COP21 summit in Paris

Despite the evidence of their collective inadequacy, governments invariably describe their own intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to a Paris climate deal as “ambitious”. So far, most have kept a tactful silence on INDCs from other nations.

That ended this week, with Brazil’s environment chief Izabella Teixeira branding submissions from Singapore and South Korea “inexcusable” for their lack of ambition. Qatar – which has the world’s highest per capita emissions – was also named and shamed.

“We need to convince other countries it is impossible if countries like Singapore and Qatar, countries around the world, South Korea for example presents a ‘business as usual’ scenario as a developing country,” she said.

IMF to analyse climate risk

Huge news from Washington DC: The International Monetary Fund is to start factoring in climate change to its macroeconomic models from next year, Climate Home learned this week.

Its much-cited World Economic Outlook could expose how moves to curb greenhouse gas emissions threaten growth in oil-exporting countries, for example.

The IMF is the world’s leading authority on financial stability, boasting significant influence in the 188 countries it counts as members.

Stat of the week

US$6.1 billion: Third quarter losses reported by Shell, counting $8.6bn charges to quit Arctic drilling and wrap up a huge oil sands project in Canada.

Poland vetoes Kyoto

It makes little difference to Warsaw’s climate policies, but the incoming government plans to play hardball with the EU on its greenhouse gas targets.

President Andrzej Duda said this week he would not ratify a 2012-2020 extension to the Kyoto Protocol as he wanted to see economic analysis on its impacts on Polish industry.

Climate Home understands this analysis was completed… 8 years ago.

Around the world

Japan: US strikes deal to cut coal finance
India: Modi announces Africa solar pact
Pacific: Sinking islands prompt US refugee bid
Colombia: Time to curb coal exports?
China: Officials outline greener five-year plan
Australia: PM Turnbull rejects coal moratorium
Indonesia: Deadly haze prompts emergency plan

VIDEO: Jairam Ramesh

Climate politics has changed since Copenhagen in 2009, India’s ex environment chief tells Climate Home in an exclusive interview:

Coming up in November:

1-5: Montreal Protocol meeting, Dubai
2-5: Green Climate Fund board meeting, Zambia
8-10: Ministerial pre COP21 meeting, Paris
15-16: G20, Antalya, Turkey
26-28: Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, Malta
30: COP21 opening day, Paris

Read more on: Breaking News |