- Date published:
12:52 am, December 13th, 2015 - 131 comments
Categories: climate change, global warming, International, leadership - Tags: climate change, cop21, hope, paris, paris cop 2015
Update: Guardian summary this morning: Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era. Inspiring but:
The overall agreement is legally binding, but some elements – including the pledges to curb emissions by individual countries and the climate finance elements – are not.
Ummm – what?
There were big announcements from COP21 in Paris on (their) Saturday morning (midnight our time), with the final draft text of the international agreement to be released soon (Update: the text has been released). There is one more day of negotiations to go. But the final draft is sounding good – surprisingly good.
The Guardian’s Live Blog is here. Here is one of the main entries:
Fabius: Paris deal is a historic turning point
“We all worked a great deal, we didn’t sleep very much, several ministers, facillitators worked to reach a deal, a compromise. “
At each stage the objective was to bring us closer to the agreement we desire. Parties were consulted on best method and substance to bring us closer to a deal, he says.
“Today we are close to the final outcome. It is my deep conviction that we have come up with an ambitious and balanced agreement.”
This text which is necesarily a balanced text, contains the principle elements that we feel or did feel before would be impssobile to agree. The agreement is fair, durable, balanced and legally-binding. It is faithful to the Durban mandate. It acknoweldges the notion of climate justice and takes into account differentiated responsibilites of countries
Says deal has objective of keeping temperatures well below 2C and would endeavour to work towards 1.5C. The mention of the tough 1.5C goal gets applause.
The reduciton of greenhosue gases has become the business of all, thanks to updates of pledges every five year which can only be more ambitious, he says.
The text recognises need for compensation under loss and damage, more help for adaptation, he says.
“It provides that every five years there will be a collective stock-taking of progress made,” he says.
“This text will mark a historic turning point,” in tackling emissions, he says.
Each party put forward its own red lines. Each country will not obtain everything it wanted, he says. If every country had 100% of its wishlist fulfilled our collective efforts would have amounted to zero, he says.
“We need to show the world our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual actions.”
We have come to focus not on the red lines but on green lines of universal commitment, he says.
Our text is the best possible balance… it will enable each country to “go back with heads held high”, having achieved something important.
“Today it is a moment of truth,” he says.
It will help island countries to protect themselves from sea-level rise which is already beginning to submerge their coastlines.
This agreement will help food security, human rights and maintaining peace, he says.
“Here in Paris there is a certain momentum, particularly in connection with mobilising civil society,” he says. “This is a positive environment, this type of planetary configuration has never been as good as today. Our responsbility to history is immense.”
No one here wants a repetition of what happened in Copenhagen, he says.
There were many inadequacies in Copenhagen, he says.
“If today if we were to fail how could we rebuild this hope,” he says. Trust would be lost among countries “irrevocably” if Paris failed, he says.
Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom – Ban to #COP21
— United Nations (@UN) December 12, 2015
— United Nations (@UN) December 12, 2015
Shout out to all climate activists by French Foreign Minister #cop21
— André Hock (@transparency_a1) December 12, 2015
— Green Party NZ (@NZGreens) December 12, 2015
Alastair Thompson at Scoop: #COP21 Delivers On Its Promise And Really Changes Everything
Note, useful piece from the BBC: Six graphics that explain climate change.
The New Zealand footnote:
Appropriate I guess since NZ has been a sorry footnote to this whole process. Our position has been a disgrace. Greenpeace asked NZ not to send delegates fearing that we would do more harm than good. John Key’s speech was widely derided for its hypocrisy. We were awarded Fossil of the Day – twice.
By far the best discussion of the cowardice of our government’s position that I have read is this piece by David Gawith and Paul Young at The Verb:
Putting Lipstick on a Kiwi
It’s a world stage of unique importance and, at times, New Zealand’s acting has been painful to watch.
The government has been working hard to make our emissions reduction targets look sufficient. John Key used a large part of his statement at the world leaders segment of the Paris climate talks making excuses for New Zealand’s low ambition.
In a speech that jarred with the optimistic and urgent tone of other leaders, Mr Key claimed that “New Zealand faces unique domestic challenges in reducing its emissions,” referring to our high proportion of renewable electricity generation and emissions from agriculture.
The word ‘unique’ is misused here, given that there are 29 countries with a higher proportion of renewable electricity – more still with a higher proportion of renewables and nuclear combined – and many of the world’s poorer countries have higher proportions of agricultural emissions than New Zealand. …