Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

Siim-Valmar Kiisler, Minister of the Environment of Estonia, on the right, and Miguel Arias Cañete.
Date: 14/11/2017. Location: Bonn. © European Union , 2017 Photo: Ina Fassbender

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) concluded last Saturday in Bonn but little progress was achieved and everyone is now awaiting next year’s negotiations in Poland where a rule book for the Paris agreement has to be finalised.

All member states should reconsider their emission cuts upwards via the “Talanoa dialogue” from 2018; the year the agreement enters into force. This is one of the tools in the Paris Agreement which allow counties to raise their ambitions before 2020.

However, one of the thorny issues in COP23 was climate finance. Under Article 9 of the Paris Agreement, developed countries have committed to “provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation” and to increase their financial aid every two years.

Climate finance

Developed countries had specifically pledged to raise 100 billion US dollars each year in climate finance but till September 2017 only 10,3 billion US dollars were promised. The developing members are relying on the developed ones to a great extent. The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance mentioned that: “COP23 has fallen short of the momentum and pathway for the implementation of the Paris Agreement”. Moreover, Shaddad Mauwa, a scientist, said on the matter: “If you look at the article on finance, we are not seeing it coming. And as a result, we are suffering in Africa”.

During COP23, Germany and Sweden pledged 50 and 186 million euros each to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund respectively. Furthermore, Belgium will provide a financial support of 10,25 million euros to the Least Developed Countries Fund. But all these contributions are far below the initial pledges.

France’s initiative

Europe is one of the main participants and contributors of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing temperature increase above 2 degrees Celcius compared to pre-industrial levels. This was once more revealed by Emmanuel Macron’s statement that the EU will take the place of the U.S. as the latter will drop the Paris Agreement in 2020. More in detail, the French President said: “I propose that Europe replaces America. And France will meet that challenge.

Angela Merkel though was not so optimistic and didn’t make any promises about Germany’s actions. The German Chancellor said that: “We know we have a responsibility here – we still use a lot of coal, particularly lignite. Even within a wealthy country like Germany there are conflicts need to be solved in a calm and reliable manner.” Also the fact that Germany’s power sector depends by around 45% on coal and that the country is most likely to miss its 2020 emissions reduction targets are inhibitory factors and slows down Europe’s effort to provide additional support to the fight against climate change.

EU is not expected to reach its 2030 reduction emissions target (40% below 1990 levels by 2030) if policies remain unstable, the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) reported last Wednesday. The director of Climate Action Network Europe, one of the organizations that publish the CCPI, mentioned that the statements of France and Germany still await to be materialized. Wendel Trio said that: “The report reveals that the EU vows commitment to the Paris Agreement, but avoids real climate action at home. The EU needs to translate words into action and commit to deeper emission cuts than currently foreseen.”

Commission’s optimism

Miguel Arias Cañete, the EU’s commissioner for climate action, mentioned during COP23 that the EU is going to meet its climate goals based on the emissions trading reform and the expected proposals.

But a strong pledge by the 28 European nations is mandatory according to the climate chief who is very optimistic for the next meeting in France held by President Macron.

All in all, there is still a long way to go till the implementation of the Paris agreement but it seems that it is very hard for Europe alone to replace US. All member states, especially the ones that can contribute even more that already pledged, need to join their forces in order to be able to fight climate change more effectively. The next climate summit (COP24) which will be hosted by Katowice, Poland in December 2018 will be crucial for the finilisation of the rulebook as it is also the only EU member state which still hasn’t ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which includes the commitment by the EU to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

However, there will be several meetings till COP24 to enhance the ongoing situation and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The next climate stop is the UN Environment Assembly taking place in Nairobi from 4-6 December where all 193 member states of the United Nations will discuss on how to deal with pollution and move towards a pollution-free planet.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Coronavirus response: How the Capital Markets Union can support Europe’s recovery

Cybersecurity: agreement reached on better protection for citizens and companies

E-cigarettes are killing us softly with their vapor

OECD, UN Environment and World Bank call for a radical shift in financing for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future

Brussels terrorist attacks: Schengen in danger once again while leaders gather Europe’s multiple broken pieces

FROM THE FIELD: Weaving profits in Azerbaijan

Bolivia crisis: UN chief sends envoy to support peace, amidst renewed clashes

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

Lifting the lid on policy decisions across Africa

Budget MEPs approve €104.2 m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

DR Congo: ‘New waves of violence’ likely, UN warns, unless State acts to prevent intercommunal reprisals

The EU-US trade agreement, victim of right-wing extremists and security lunatics

UN resolution paves way for mass use of driverless cars

A new dawn for Europe: Joint op-ed by President von der Leyen, President Michel and President Sassoli

Is mental health really ‘health’?

A record number of people will need help worldwide during 2020: Global Humanitarian Overview

The Five Chinese Girls

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

Italian archaeological trafficking group dismantled

Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Service and Sacrifice: Malaysian peacekeepers in Lebanon proud to serve their homeland and the United Nations

Canada grants asylum for Saudi teen who fled family: UNHCR

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

Unemployment and exclusion brings EU cities to boiling point

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

European Business Summit 2014: Sting Report, Day I

Commission reports on 2019 European elections: fostering European debates and securing free and fair elections

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

How a chocolate bar gives hope for a new economy

Approving most of EU’s accounts, EP requests new measures to protect EU spending

This is how climate science went mainstream

Jakarta is one of the world’s fastest disappearing cities

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation procedure into measures in favour of Béziers airport in France and Ryanair

In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

The 5 things you need to make your teams more effective, according to Google

India’s mega-rich are on the rise

Palestine refugee agency chief resigns amidst mismanagement probe

Buzzkill: why the hype around drones and COVID-19 is misplaced

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

New York’s rooftop farms provide fresh local produce – and help stop a sewage problem

Brexit: Only Corbyn and May in concert can make the needed compromises

Vile act of torture prohibited ‘under all circumstances’, UN chief affirms on International Day to support victims

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

Berlin repels proposal for cheaper euro

‘Leaders who sanction hate speech’ encourage citizens to do likewise, UN communications chief tells Holocaust remembrance event

2019: A deadly year for migrants crossing the Americas

Conflict diamonds and climate change: Cooperate, don’t compete over natural resources urges Guterres

Can the EU assume the mantle of global leadership?

We know ethics should inform AI. But which ethics?

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

US-EU trade negotiations: pointless tariffs against real economic growth

Schengen: MEPs ready for negotiations on temporary checks at national borders

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s