Crib notes: UN aviation body to debate 2020 climate deal

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The week starts in Montreal, where the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) hosts a two-day ‘friends of the president’ meeting from Monday.

It’s a penultimate chance for countries to discuss a proposed UN-mandated ‘market-based measure’ to cap carbon pollution from international flights due to be agreed on 7 October.

The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation has published an 8-point checklist ahead of the meet, urging governments to improve the current text under discussion. More on that here.

Suggestions include making carbon neutral growth from 2020 compulsory for carriers, ensure exemptions for countries and airlines are minimised and delivery of a tough MRV system by 2018.

G20 focus

The clock is ticking down to the opening of the 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou, China on 4-5 September.

Sherpas will be meeting this week and next to assess progress – below are some of the key asks/deliverables/questions on climate change and energy likely to be discussed.

-Will G20 members develop/publish draft 2050 carbon cutting plans?
-Can the bloc agree on measuring and reporting standards for climate plans?
-Can the G20 Green Finance Study Group publish new investment guidance?
-Do all members back early entry into force of the Paris climate agreement?
-Is there political will to nix fossil fuel subsidies by 2025?
-Is it clear how climate + work on SDGs can be linked?

US floods

Tonnes of coverage on this from media stateside, with many climate activists and green groups claiming this is the “new normal” as a result of warming temperatures.

According to Climate Signals, a project run by Climate Nexus, global warming was a “key contributor” to the flooding.

“On August 11, a measure of atmospheric moisture, precipitable water, was in historic territory at 2.78 inches, a measurement higher than during some past hurricanes in the region. Increased moisture in the air and unusually heavy rainfall are classic signals of climate change.”

It’s the worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy according to the Red Cross, and likely to cost $30 million. 40,000 homes were damaged after 6,900,000,000,000 gallons of rain fell in a week.

Canada’s climate plans

British Columbia released its climate plan on Friday, with premier Christy Clark claiming the province was among the world’s ‘climate leaders’.

Analysts are less than convinced. BC’s carbon tax will stay frozen until there is national agreement on pricing emissions, while the plan switches the target-year focus from 2030 to 2050.

“Under the Climate Leadership Plan released today, carbon pollution will not start to significantly decline for almost 15 years — assuming all the reductions in the plan come to fruition,” said Josha MacNab, BC director at the Pembina Institute.

“This falls far short of the level of ambition needed to reach B.C.’s 2050 target and leaves the hard work for a later day.”

Turkey’s legal bonfire

Unrest and uncertainty in Turkey is continuing as the government consolidates control after the failed coup attempt.

Legal experts at Client Earth are warning Ankara plans to deliver a pro-coal ‘super-law’ to speed the delivery of infrastructure projects and quash opposition.

“The current state of emergency in Turkey is being used to mask wide-ranging and sweeping reforms which undermine environmental protection and fast-track national projects that require close scrutiny,” says Client Earth’s Susan Shaw.

“This scrutiny protects citizens and the environment from projects that can carry huge negative impacts.”

Despite agreeing to support the 2015 Paris climate deal, earlier this year Turkey outlined plans to build over 80 new coal power plants.

UK nuclear

…cost projections for a planned new reactor at Hinkley Point continue to soar, as investors in France and China urge the British government to give the project the green light.

The Daily Telegraph’s Emily Gosden has revealed energy company EDF will make a profit on the deal “even if the nuclear plant is completed four years late and 25pc over budget”.

And as this funky little image by Carbon Brief’s Simon Evans shows, the UK’s energy profile is fast-changing, with demand control and renewables challenging old assumptions.

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