Weekly wrap: could EU bring the Paris pact into force?

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

EU president Donald Tusk in Bratislava, where he is set to raise Paris ratification with leaders (Pic: European Union)


As the Paris climate deal nears its double threshold for entry into force, peer pressure is coming into play.

UN officials expect to get close to, but not cross, the finish line at a special event hosted by Ban Ki-moon event in New York next Wednesday.

It is near enough to embarrass the EU into proposing a fast-track plan that would bypass leisurely member state processes.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned in his state of the union address foot-dragging made the bloc “look ridiculous” and lose credibility.

If he can convince national leaders at a Bratislava summit on Friday, Brussels could ratify within a month, pushing the pact into action.

**Climate Home will be in New York next week covering the General Assembly and climate week – if you’ve got an event or story worth following please email me: [email protected]

Meanwhile, countries are closing in on a climate deal for aviation. Ahead of the critical summit in Montreal starting 27 September, more than 50 states including China, US and the EU28 say they will opt in to a proposed voluntary carbon offset scheme.

Major growth markets including Brazil, South Africa and Korea are holding out, though, which will limit the environmental gains.

Numbers of the week

Lanzatech has made 1,500 US gallons of low carbon jet fuel from waste industrial gases, in a process it claims could eventually produce 15 billion gallons a year – enough for 19% of air travel

Carbon cargo

Emerging economies are similarly lukewarm on calls to tackle emissions from international shipping, as Climate Home exclusively revealed.

An emissions cap would be “fundamentally unfit” for the sector, said a coalition including China, Brazil and India in a submission to the International Maritime Organization ahead of its October environmental committee meeting.

Officials grounded

Negotiators for poor countries could be priced out of the next round of talks, as donations to pay for their flights are falling short.

That risks worsening chronic inequalities between developed and developing world delegations, Ed King reports.

Out, but not down

Former climate chief Christiana Figueres has quit the race to become the next UN secretary general, after polling poorly at the security council.

It is not clear where the co-architect of the Paris Agreement will go next, but her twitter bio gives a mission statement: “Continuing to seed Global Optimism.”

Clean race

For the first time in 2015, renewables investment outstripped rising power demand, the International Energy Agency’s latest report shows.

Wind and solar now offers cheaper electricity than new fossil fuel power stations on average, Carbon Tracker calculates, when you factor in that coal and gas plants are running less than they used to.

Quick hits

Arctic: Sea ice falls to second lowest extent, despite cool summer
Interview: Scotland won’t take the soft option on climate
Nuclear: UK mends China links with Hinkley deal
Transport: Climate targets mean an end to oil-fuelled cars by 2035
Finance: UK pitches China for climate-friendly trillions

Read more on: UN climate talks