Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
from Kyoto to Paris 2015
Sept. 22 2016: Paris climate goal will be difficult, if not impossible to hit. The global target to prevent climate catastrophe, crafted in Paris, will be very difficult if not impossible to hit, said some of world’s top scientists meeting this week in Oxford. All but a few of the hundreds of complex computer models plotting the rapid reduction of greenhouse gases that drive climate change, in other words, zoom right past it. The question stretches back to the chaotic Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, which nearly derailed more than a decade of UN talks, set the threshold for dangerous global warming at 2C. link
Sept.15 2016: Poorer countries represented badly at COP talks. A UN cash crunch means negotiators for poor countries are often at a disadvantage at UN summits, lacking the numbers, technology and institutional support of richer countries. link______________________________________________________
August 2016: UN planning a high-level ceremony. On September 21 in New York, the U.N. is expected to announce the Paris Agreement enters into force. Once the ratification threshold of 55 countries covering 55% of greenhouse gas emissions is passed, it will take 30 days for the deal to become UN law and effectively a new treaty. Then tricky negotiations begin. link
July 2016: After Paris, how are governments tackling climate change? Paris was the beginning not the end: the pledges made amount to less than a third of those needed to reach the 2 degree target, let alone the aspiration of 1.5C. Intended National Determined Contribution (INDCs) is UN jargon for pledges and was produced in a hurry for Paris, with limited consultation: weakly integrated with the rest of the economy, business, politics and other sectors. link
June 2016: Paris summit put planet on course for ‘catastrophic’ warming. In a major analysis of 10 different studies into the effect of what world leaders promised to do, researchers calculated that the planet was still on course for a temperature increase of 2.6C to 3.1C by the end of this century. Their finding was in sharp contrast to the landmark declaration in Paris in November last year that action would be taken to keep the rise to “well below” 2C and try to restrict it to 1.5C. link
First round of negotiation post Paris kick off in Bonn May 16-20 - link
May 2016: Bonn talks underline challenge to deliver Paris deal. Behind closed doors, observers say tensions persist between wealthy nations who are expected to pick up the bill for a proposed green transition, and historically poorer countries. link
April 2016: Paris climate goals may already be slipping beyond reach. While more than 170 countries converge at the UN for the landmark deal to fight climate change reached at Paris last December, economists and scientists warned the accord’s goal of keeping temperatures below 1.5-2C may already be slipping beyond reach. So far, the commitments covered by the Paris agreement would allow warming of about 2.7C which would unleash rising seas, extreme heat and other upheavals. link
April 2016: IPCC green-lights 1.5C report. The UN’s climate science body will produce a special report by 2018 on the impacts of 1.5C global warming and emissions cuts needed to stay within that threshold. link
April 2016: Ratification, not signing, is critical test for Paris climate deal. Ahead of the high-level signing ceremony in New York on April 22, attention has been turning to progress in terms of ratification and entry into force of the Agreement. However a memo from think-tank Third World Network urges developing countries to ‘wait this year’ and not ‘rush into signing’ the Paris Agreement because of outstanding issues from the Paris conference still to be agreed. It’s an interesting and important point, evoking memories of the long-delayed entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, which after US withdrawal, depended on Russian ratification, which was not finalised until November 2004, three years after the conclusion of the Marrakesh Accords and seven after the Protocol itself. link [To take effect, 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions must ratify the agreement.]
March 2016: COP-22 in Morocco faces financing problems. It’s understood that $13 million is being withheld by the EU until the dispute is resolved concerning the contested Western Sahara. The conference venue alone will cost $23 million – about one-third of the total cost of staging the summit. link
January 2016: Paris climate deal seen costing $12.1 trillion over 25 years. If the world is serious about halting the worst effects of global warming, the renewable energy industry will require $12.1 trillion of investment over the next quarter century, or about 75% more than current projections show for its growth. That’s the conclusion of a report setting out the scale of the challenge facing policymakers. link
January 2016: $16 trillion could be deployed because of Paris agreement. At least $16.5 trillion is about to be deployed as countries implement the climate plans they committed to at COP-21 according to Standard & Poor’s. In the next 15 years, the world's wind and solar capacity could double from China and India's ramp-up alone. So, is In other words, is COP21 the turning point we've been waiting for. link
Febrary 2016: Fiji becomes the first country in the world to ratify Paris agreement. link
September 2016:: $100 billion a year pledge advances. A long-awaited plan detailing how developed countries will meet a 2009 promise to deliver US$100 billion a year of climate funds to poor countries will be presented on October 9. Christiana Figueres, UN’s top climate official, said she expected top donors to outline their proposals at the start of the annual World Bank and IMF meeting in Lima next month. “Developing countries cannot transform their economies towards low carbon unless they have financial support – you don’t even have to argue it. It is absolutely clear,” Figueres said. link
August 2016:: EU emissions tumbling – exceeding Kyoto targets. Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions are falling fast, mainly because of the rapid spread of the wind turbines and solar panels that are replacing fossil fuels for electricity generation. Many countries that promised to cut GHG emissions under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol are now exceeding their targets. UNFCCC statistics show that the 37 industrialised countries (plus the EU) that signed up in 1997 to the Kyoto Protocol − the original international treaty on combating global warming – have frequently exceeded their promised GHG cuts by a large margin. link
June 2015: Bonn meeting ends with last-minute compromise
on Paris climate text. link
April 2014: IPCC report – averting catastrophe is eminently affordable. link
April 2014: World needs “Plan B’ on climate. The latest IPCC report warns that governments are set to crash through the global CO2 safety threshold by 2030. Humans have tripled CO2 emissions since 1970, it says, and emissions have been accelerating rather than slowing. The experts advise governments that it will be cheaper overall to cut the greenhouse gas before 2030 if they want to hold emissions at 430-480ppm CO2, a level that's calculated to bring a 66% chance of staying within a desired 2C threshold of warming by the end of the century. link
December 2014: New direction for Philippines climate change policy. This article explains why the switch by the Philippine delegation in Lima to side with developed nations and abandon their leading role in the LMDC bloc (Like Minded Developing Countries), is a profound change of direction in COP talks. Developed nations’ pressure, chiefly the USA, is primarily to continue business as usual, profiting fossil fuel corporations, over significant movement on climate change. Refusal to commit support for developing nations suffering from extreme climate events is at the crux of the debate. link
Dec.1 2014: Human rights and social justice take spotlight in Lima. The key questions that face the delegates as they meet in Lima are no longer simply about carbon emissions targets and timetables, but also about people and human rights. One mark of that shift is the $9.6 billion committed so far by rich nations to the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund to help poor countries. But it's not just about money. Nations will consider a pledge not only to "respect", but also to “protect, promote and fulfill” human rights – and to integrate those protections into all climate action. On deforestation – a huge issue in host country Peru – negotiators are being asked for stronger safeguards to protect human and indigenous rights, traditional knowledge and biodiversity. linkDecember 2014: A change in fundamental direction. The agreement in Lima removed the longstanding division of the world into developed and developing countries and paves the way for a model of unity. The talks concluded more than 24 hours after the scheduled close with an agreement that everyone wanted, yet no-one much liked. Negotiators from 196 countries patched together a compromise which keeps the show on the road until Paris December 2015, but in doing so left almost everyone unhappy with one element or another. The Lima deal is weak in many respects and the process has been left to the five sessions of talks scheduled for 2015, starting in February. Given the divergence between all the positions, it will be a huge task to make the draft fit for conclusion in Paris. Developing countries wanted contributions to include plans for adaptation to climate change as well as emissions cuts, and for developed countries to include financial support for poorer nations. They got no commitments to new money, and inclusion of adaptation plans will be optional, not compulsory. Developed countries wanted all countries to provide standardised information on their emissions targets and plans, to ensure transparency and comparability. The key elements were agreed, but only in the form of guidance, not as requirements. link
Background. The series of annual UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) talks can trace its roots to the 1992 Earth Summit in
Kyoto extended after 2012: A second commitment period will begin on January 1, 2013 and end December 31, 2020. This period will bridge the gap between the end of the first commitment period and the beginning of the next legally binding climate agreement, to be created in the Durban Platform track, which is set to be finished in 2015 and take effect in 2020.
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
With 191 member states, the U.N. accord is the only global treaty with binding limits on climate-altering greenhouse gases. The treaty commits nearly 40 developed "Annex 1" nations that emit around a quarter of the world's emissions to cut them domestically by an average 5% by 2012 from 1990 levels. The protocol's first leg runs out Dec. 31 2012, and the Doha talks must agree on the modalities of a second commitment period from 2013, a move agreed upon at the last round of U.N. climate talks in South Africa a year ago. The key issues in Doha are how long the second commitment period should last, who will back it and what targets to set.
What is the IPCC? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme the (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. It is endorsed by the UN General Assembly.
The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.
Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. The IPCC is an intergovernmental body. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 194 countries are members of the IPCC. Governments participate in the review process and the plenary Sessions, where main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. The IPCC Bureau Members, including the Chair, are also elected during the plenary Sessions. link to IPCC
Other news items.
September 2013: Climate scientists call for overhaul of IPCC. link
August 2013: The more CO2 emissions are cut, the better the world economy will be. An IPCC report shows that the more carbon emissions humanity cuts, the better the global economy will perform over the next century. The last report, the AR4, was put out in 2007, and while the AR5 is not due until 2014, numbers from it are already making their way out. The new models build in greenhouse gas emissions, climate changes, population changes, technological development, land use, and a host of other factors and more importantly they also model what would happen if governments got proactive about cutting carbon emissions through policy changes. link
August 2014: Rising economies ‘ahead on climate’. Ahead of the Ban-Ki-moon conference in New York, Brazil, South Africa, India and China (known as the BASIC bloc in international climate negotiations) have accused developed nations of keeping their carbon emission cuts ambitions at a low level. India's environment minister said “Our [climate change] mitigation efforts are more than developed countries. We are going ahead with our voluntary actions which will reduce carbon emissions and also bring about increased energy efficiency from 25% to 50%. We want the developed world to walk the walk." The two sides have been at loggerheads for years, presenting hurdles to a deal on climate change. link
January 2014: Analysis. The diplomatic road to a new
climate agreement may not end in Paris next year. A review of previous
breakdowns since Copenhagen, and too high hopes for Paris talks. link
Nov. 23: Last minute deal saves process. COP19 approved a pathway to a new global climate treaty in Paris in 2015. By themselves, the compromises are not major breakthroughs and delegates know that far bigger battles lie ahead. Harjeet Singh from Action Aid said, "It is the barest minimum that was supposed to be achieved at Warsaw on loss and damage anyway. A few rich countries including the US held it hostage till the very end”. link
November 20: Talks collapse with walk-out. Representatives of most of the world's poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015. linkAn impassioned speech by Yeb Sano of the Philippine delegation has focused attention on the serious consequences of inaction following typhoon Haiyan - view here
December 8: Doha talks end today in colossal failure - link
December 8: Kyoto Protocol survives. At the UN’s annual climate change conference just concluded in Doha, 194 countries agreed to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol through 2020. But the second phase still omits the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, China and the United States. Without agreement at Doha the protocol would have expired in just 23 days. Governments agreed to work toward a universal climate change agreement covering all countries from 2020, to be adopted by 2015, and to find ways to scale up efforts before 2020 beyond the existing pledges to curb emissions. link
The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - or its shorthand "COP17" - were held in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9 2011. No one expected that any significant new agreement will be signed, and there will be another, bigger conference at the end of 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.
December 2011: Climate talks end with late deal. link
October 2011: The death of the Kyoto process? There seems little possibility that the summit in Durban will produce an emissions reduction
agreement, meaning the world will soon lack any binding CO2 targets. Europe
may soon find itself alone in the fight against global warming. link
Cancun wrap-up - The world's governments agreed to modest steps to combat climate change and to give more money to poor countries, but they put off until next year tough decisions on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
May 2011: Major nations abstain from Kyoto process. Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year and the US reiterated it would remain outside the treaty. The future of the Kyoto Protocol has become central to efforts to negotiate reductions of carbon emissions. They argued that the Kyoto format did not require developing countries, including China, the world's No. 1 carbon emitter, to make targeted emission cuts. US President, Barack Obama, confirmed Washington would not join an updated Kyoto Protocol. The US, the second-largest carbon emitter, signed the protocol in 1997 but in 2001 the then president, George W. Bush, said he would not put it to the Senate for ratification. link [June 9: Canada confirms that it would not support an extended Kyoto Protocol after 2012, joining Japan and Russia in rejecting a new round of the climate emissions pact - link]
April 2011: Bangkok. Delegates from nearly 200 countries began a six-day U.N. meeting in the Thai capital Bangkok today on crafting a tougher climate pact that boosts global efforts to curb emissions from industry, farms and deforestation. The radiation crisis at the quake and tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan will probably have repercussions on the international climate negotiations. link
October 2012: Why climate talks may be failing. According to a new study, focusing on the 2°C goal guaranteed climate talk's failure as there’s no hard evidence that any specific temperature target marks a dangerous threshold, with clear consequences for crossing it. Instead, there is plenty of evidence that more and faster warming entails greater risks of major consequences, such as the collapse of the polar ice sheets. This uncertainty, the study argues, provides an incentive for countries to be free-loaders, jumping on board with the agreement without making potentially costly emissions reductions. link
of Copenhagen - What
was agreed and what was left out
Bolivia- April 2010: More than 90 governments are sending delegations to Cochabamba, Bolivia's third largest city. Also expected to attend are scientists such as James Hansen, James Cameron, Noam Chomsky, and actors Danny Glover, Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon. Bolivian President Evo Morales will use the meeting to announce the world's largest referendum, with up to 2 billion people being asked to vote on ways out of the climate crisis. Morales says it will give a voice to the poorest people of the world and encourage governments to be far more ambitious following the failure in Copenhagen. "There will be no secret discussions behind closed doors. The debate and the proposals will be led by communities on the frontlines of climate change and by organisations and individuals from civil society dedicated to tackling the climate crisis," said Morales. link
Call for International Climate Court. Cochabamba conference closes with call for rich countries to halve greenhouse gas emissions and set up a court to punish climate crimes - linkNearly 100 Countries Formally 'Associate' with Copenhagen Accord. Since the Conference of the Parties neither adopted nor endorsed the Accord, but merely took note of it, its provisions do not have any legal standing within the UNFCCC process even if some Parties decide to associate themselves with it. … The accord is a political agreement rather than a treaty instrument. The fact that so many countries have explicitly associated with the Accord (and at least as important, have submitted targets and actions) goes a long way to towards curing some of the procedural difficulties that surrounded the finalization of the Accord in Copenhagen. link
January 2010: Investors
with $13 trillion in assets call for governments rules.
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