Weekly wrap: Paris hosts pre-COP, UNEP warns of climate gap, HFCs deal in Dubai

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(Pic: Yann Caradec/Flickr)

(Pic: Yann Caradec/Flickr)

By Ed King

Four so-called ‘landing zones’ for a global climate accord will be discussed by over 70 ministers at a 2-day meeting Paris which starts on Sunday.

A background note circulated to governments and obtained by Climate Home says one main focus will be on differentiation between rich and poor countries in a UN deal.

The three other key areas relate to finance, carbon cuts ahead of 2020 and the potential for regular reviews of progress once an agreement is signed off.

French government sources insist this will not be an official round of negotiations or lead to a new draft text – but it will inform the UN and governments on areas of convergence.

Ministers will also get a tour of the Le Bourget venue, which will host the COP21 summit from 29 November to 11 December, and also have a nose around the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

COP21 profiles

Our first in a series focusing on the key characters ahead of Paris starts with Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief since 2010. Just 5ft but walking tall as the summit draws near.

Bilateral moves

Country-to-country agreements are also taking shape.

This week China and France confirmed they both support the principle of 5-yearly reviews of emission levels, finance and progress on building climate resilience.

The EU and Brazil achieved a similar understanding, according to a tweet from Brussels’ climate chief Miguel Arias Canete.

Next week, India PM Narendra Modi visits London for a state visit, where climate change is also expected to be on the agenda with his counterpart David Cameron.

Quote of the week

“I personally am not a big fan of long term goals. They have a tendency to distract from short term priorities” – former UN climate chief and now GGGI head Yvo de Boer

Mind the gap

According to UNEP’s latest ‘Emissions Gap’ report, greenhouse gases should not exceed the equivalent of 48 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2025 and 42 billion tonnes by 2030.

If all climate plans, known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), are rolled out in the coming decade, emissions could hit 53 Gt CO2e in 2025 and 54 Gt in 2030.

Saudi CCS

“We are here today because we are united in a common cause,” said Saudi Arabia oil minister Ali Al Naimi this week, speaking at a carbon capture meeting hosted in Riyadh. 23 countries including the US and Norway agreed to divert more resources towards technologies that can store CO2 underground.

Dubai HFCs

Moves to ban potent greenhouse gases used in fridges and air conditioning gained traction at a meeting of the Montreal Protocol in Dubai this week – countries agreed in principle to a phase-out but delayed a decision till 2016.

Green Climate Fund

At 4:30am on Friday, the GCF board signed off on all eight shortlisted applications for the flagship fund’s new projects. These range from an energy efficiency green bond in Latin America to an early warning system for climate-linked disasters in Malawi.

Around the world

Taiwan: Taipei outlines emissions target of 50% cuts by 2030
Nigeria: What happened to Abuja’s climate plan?
Bangladesh: Outrage intensifies at Rampal coal plant
Maldives: Cost of climate adaptation soars
Australia: Government hints at “constructive” Paris announcement
Canada: Trudeau announces new minister for climate change
US: Exxon, Peabody face legal inquiry over climate denial

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