Crib notes: a climate deal for air con

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

Chemicals used in air conditioning units have a potent global warming effect (Flickr/小 雪球)


Refrigeration gets the climate treatment this week. Negotiators are heading to Kigali, Rwanda, to agree a phase-down of HFCs.

There’s momentum for a deal, which could prevent up to 0.5C of global warming. The US, in particular, is eager to get this in the bag and cement Barack Obama’s climate legacy. John Kerry will be at the talks.

Look out for India, though, which is worried about the impact of a switch to cleaner alternatives on its chemicals industry. The Indian delegation is “willing to be flexible”, reports Nitin Sethi in the Business Standard, but will push for developed countries to take the lead.

Lou Del Bello has written this handy bluffer’s guide. She’ll be reporting from the summit. Follow her on twitter for all the news, views and gossip.

Keep it clean

The Green Climate Fund board is meeting Wednesday to Friday. On the agenda is staffing – the Songdo-based body needs to appoint a replacement for Hela Cheikhrouhou at the helm – funding proposals and accreditation of intermediaries to get cash flowing.

Oxfam, Action Aid and Friends of the Earth are among groups urging the board to ban export credit agencies from accreditation. Their purpose – to promote export opportunities for domestic businesses – is at odds with the GCF mission to benefit recipient countries, the NGOs argue. Oh, and some of them subsidise coal plants.

North Korea

Ten months after a climate deal was adopted in Paris and two since it ratified the pact, North Korea has finally got around to pledging its contribution.

The country will cut greenhouse gas emissions 8% from business as usual by 2030, according to its submission to the UN, or up to 40% with international support.

“Under the wise guidance of the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un,” it informs us, “the Republic recently has made much progress in conducting the forest restoration campaign.”

How the notoriously secretive regime will prove its performance, let alone attract finance for extra projects, remains to be seen.

Only a handful of countries, including Syria and Palestine, have yet to file a climate plan.

Chatham House

I’ll be heading to the Chatham House annual climate change conference in London on Monday and Tuesday, where the question is: has the game changed?

With a line-up of new UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa, Paris deal architect Laurence Tubiana and supportive actors from diplomacy, business and civil society, you can expect the answer to be yes.

The agenda doesn’t shy away from the big unresolved issues, though: how to cut carbon in an era of cheap fossil fuels, shift the clean trillion and get into the negative emissions needed to meet the Paris goals.

If you’re there, say hi.

Read more on: Climate politics