The first week of COP21 is coming to an end, and delegates from 195 negotiating countries have reached a 21-page document that will hopefully serve as base for a new international agreement for keeping global warming below 2C.
Wrapping up the first week of COP21, delegates from the 195 participating countries arrived at a surprisingly readable 21-page document that will serve as a basis as a new global agreement on keeping global warming below 2 degrees celsius. The biggest questions still remain: how poorer countries will be able to power growth through low-carbon energy – and how emissions will be monitored. Here’s the major events at COP21 this weekend.
– With a midday-Saturday deadlines, delegates from 195 countries worked through the night on Friday to arrive at a 21-page document that will be discussed by ministers on Monday. The comprehensive document accounts for four years of negotiations. The plan is to arrive at a settlement – and what exactly needs to be settled – by the end of next week. “Major political issues are yet to be resolved,” says French climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana to the BBC. Negotiators had hoped to have gotten further by the end of this week. “We’re hoping that in the rush to the end, ministers do not trade ambition for expediency, and remain true to the science,” warned Tasneem Essop from WWF to the BBC. Read more here.
– Saturday marked Action day at COP21. Action Day “highlights the existing momentum for scaled-up engagement by non-state actor as well as state actors and show the power of multi-stakeholder action”. Attending were hotshots like United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President François Hollande of France and former Vice President Al Gore. Amongst the speakers were Swede climate rockstar Johan Rockström. Rockström talked about the need for system-wide perspectives to support prosperity on earth. Listen here.
– Sunday marks the last day of the Oceans for Climate days. Our oceans, covering 71 percent of the globe, are relatively absent from climate discussions, which is strange, as “more than 25 percent of the CO2 emitted annually by humans into the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean”.
– More than half of the 195 negotiating countries have said they are ok with a tougher limit for global warming – 1.5C instead of 2C. Eg. India “could accept a tougher global warming limit of 1.5C in a proposed UN climate deal, but only on the condition richer nations make radical greenhouse gas cuts to meet it”. (Read more here.)
– On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people gathered at Paris’ Peace Wall by the Eiffel Tower with a very simple message: 100 percent renewable energy.
– Long-time environmentalist Robert Redford invited representatives from indigenous communities in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Marshall Islands to talk about the impacts of climate change on their lives. “Ordinary Americans should start by paying attention. Entertainment’s really nice, but there are other things happening,” Redford told the NY Times.
Pictured: One of the most polluted cities of the world, Delhi (credit: Sourav Das/Flickr), Johan Rockström at Action Day, human message by the Eiffel Tower, Robert Redford talks at the UNESCO headquarters (credit: New York Times)
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