Climate politics

South Korea formally commits to cutting emissions to net zero by 2050

President Moon Jae-in’s announcement follows a three-day visit by Cop26 president-designate Alok Sharma to South Korea

Philippines declares moratorium on new coal power plants

The move could scrap 8GW of planned coal projects which haven’t been fully approved, sending a strong signal to investors in the region coal is out of favour

Carbon offsets make a comeback – Climate Weekly

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Japan set to announce 2050 net zero emissions target – report

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to unveil plans to achieve carbon neutrality in a speech on Monday, following growing pressure on Tokyo to step up ambition

China hits out at US climate record, in pointed message ahead of election

In an extraordinary diplomatic attack, Beijing suggested “troublemaker” US must answer to the international community for breaking the consensus on climate change

New Zealanders vote for climate ambition of Jacinda Ardern and Greens

Jacinda Ardern won a second term as New Zealand leader with a landslide majority, in an endorsement of her government’s net zero emissions goal

In New Zealand’s deep south, Māori landowners make money by keeping their forests intact

Selling carbon credits has enabled Mike Gibbs’ community to end destructive farming and logging practices

Debt is a climate issue – Climate Weekly

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Latest climate politics


UK government appoints Alok Sharma as Cop26 president

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed the former secretary of state for international development to lead the critical UN climate talks in November

Don’t shop till you drop: advice to UK citizens on net zero climate goals

UK holds ‘citizens’ assembly’ to seek ideas for cutting emissions to net-0 by 2050. But some participants doubt the government will listen

‘Miles off track’ – Climate Weekly

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UK walks diplomatic tightrope for 2020 climate summit after shaky start

Boris Johnson officially launched Cop26 on Tuesday but gave little indication as to how the government is going to leverage the world into taking bolder climate action

UK leaders debate climate, with Boris Johnson replaced by ice sculpture

Leaders of most major parties presented their ideas for meeting tough climate goals, but the Conservative prime minister declined

Brexit must not distract from UK’s biggest job in 2020: the Glasgow climate summit

Next year’s climate talks are absolutely vital and as hosts the UK could determine whether the talks fail or succeed. The government must start preparing now

London bids to host 2020 UN climate talks to show UK remains ‘open’

Mayor Sadiq Khan writes to UK prime minster urging every effort to win the presidency of Cop26 in the face of a competing bid from Italy

UK and Italy bid for 2020 climate talks, amid political uncertainty for both

Both countries face potential general elections and economic problems before the crucial Cop26 meeting and the UK may still be in a Brexit imbroglio


UN Climate Talks

Brazilian spies intimidated government’s own delegates at climate talks

Bolsonaro sent four secret agents to the Cop25 climate summit in Madrid, where campaigners said Brazilian negotiators were afraid to talk to them

Where are US emissions after four years of President Trump?

Donald Trump has overseen a small decline in US emissions, but his claim to have the “lowest carbon” is false by most measures

Nigeria, Jamaica bring closure to the Kyoto Protocol era, in last-minute dash

With hours to the deadline, Nigeria became the 144th country to ratify the Doha Amendment, ensuring it would come into force before it expires this year

China host of major nature talks fails to step up at UN biodiversity summit

Campaigners had hoped President Xi would surprise the world again this week with tough measures to reverse biodiversity loss. They were left disappointed

UK, UN bill Paris Agreement anniversary as key moment for raising climate ambition

An online summit on 12 December offers a last chance for leaders to show off increased climate ambition by the end of 2020, the UN deadline

5 burning questions about China’s carbon neutrality pledge

It is the biggest climate policy milestone since the Paris Agreement in 2015, but the strength of China’s carbon neutrality pledge depends on these key details

‘China is willing to contribute more’: Beijing signals carbon neutrality intent

After a virtual summit with the EU, China trailed plans to go carbon neutral by mid century, in a move welcomed by climate advocates

Vietnam brings cement sector into new climate submission to the UN

The southeast Asian nation has made slight improvements to its 2030 climate plan but still expects emissions to increase rapidly over the next decade

UN climate talks

Paris Agreement

A Biden victory could spur global climate action, but the US has much to prove

If elected US president, Biden must balance domestic and international pressures to set a 2030 emissions target on a tight deadline, with a view to inspiring others

Fate of UN-led carbon market to be decided behind closed doors

The executive board is considering an extension of the Clean Development Mechanism beyond 2020, under industry pressure but with no political mandate

China among nations likely to miss 2020 deadline for climate plans – UN’s Espinosa

UN climate chief expects only 80 updated national climate plans this year, as preparations are delayed by coronavirus pandemic and US political uncertainty

On the ticket – Climate Weekly

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Angola ratifies Paris Agreement promising more ambitious climate plan

The government is working to develop its climate plan in time for a UN deadline at the end of the year – leaving just seven countries to formally endorse the 2015 deal

Which countries have not ratified the Paris climate agreement?

More than four years after the Paris Agreement was adopted, seven of 197 signatories have not formally backed the deal. Angola, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon ratified in 2020

Kamala Harris might help ‘night and day’ shift for US on global climate diplomacy

If they defeat Trump, Biden and Harris will have to prove they can cut emissions at home to rebuild US global leadership on climate change.

South Africa tightens restrictions for new coal power in ‘landmark’ ruling

A top tribunal scrapped water licences for the 600MW Khanyisa coal plant, saying the developer had failed to consider the impact of climate change

Paris Agreement