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Daily Tck: Day 2 of the UN climate talks in Geneva

By February 10, 2015 No Comments
  • ‘Decent work’ & strengthened role for ‘loss & damage’ among draft negotiating text additions thus far
  • Additions continue through Tuesday morning; consolidation work to begin in afternoon
  • End of expert consultation process affirms need for major increases in climate action
  • Talks on pre-2020 climate action begin Tuesday; our partners push for focus renewable energy, energy efficiency and fossil fuel subsidy reform focus

The year’s first round of UN climate negotiations officially kicked off in Geneva on Sunday morning. Our partners’ snowy walk to the historic Palais des Nations was only the first hint of contrast between this round and Lima’s warm but heated last days. According to Negotiator Tracker Federico Brocchieri, “The wind’s chill here in Geneva seemed to have cooled rival tempers and led negotiators to give up their moments on the opening podium to save time to get straight into negotiating.” Government delegates quickly moved through the opening plenary, and set their focus on their primary goal of shaping the Lima Call for Climate Action into a streamlined draft negotiating text (more on that in our curtain raiser); starting with the sections focused on the general objective of the new agreement and on mitigation.

With the scope and scale of climate solutions increasingly affecting the lives of individuals around the world, some 240 organizations and networks joined a strong push to strengthen the role of human rights as a guiding principle, hoping to see governments champion the cause. And champions there were – Mexico, Uganda the EU and Chile stood up and called on Human Rights and Gender Equity to be included in the general objectives section. Switzerland, Norway and Brazil, however, pushed in the opposite direction. Other countries, like the US and Saudi Arabia, questioned the necessity of a general objections section altogether.

In the session dedicated to mitigation options, negotiators made more than 50 additions before the co-chair closed the meeting. While concerns about ballooning the already 38 page text were realized, negotiations proceeded in a more constructive spirit and more quickly than many expected. In order to get into the more difficult work of consolidating and streamlining the text, governments were asked to make all of their requests for text additions Monday. We expect to see a new version with all those additions Tuesday, and expect negotiators to move into streamlining and consolidating after that. In the mean time, our partners are lining up supporters of the most ambitious text options, to ensure they survive that streamlining process and ultimately feature in the new global agreement.

Action outside of Geneva painted a backdrop of increasing calls to speed the transition to 100% clean energy. An estimated 8000 people took to the rainy streets of Oakland in the US on Saturday, joining what became the largest demonstration against fracking in the country’s history. 40 NGOs called on the Turkish G20 President and all G20 finance ministers to make the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies a priority when they meet Monday and Tuesday to G20 goals for the year. We’re also hearing more buzz about hundreds of demonstrations planned around the world to mark Global Divestment Day at the end of this week.

News, links & useful grist that caught our eye

Our Negotiator Trackers are busting out visual analysis of the additions to the Lima Call for Climate Action, starting with Objectives and Mitigation. Look out for more in the coming days. They’re also getting some attention for an infographic laying out the path from Geneva to Paris.

As talks continue their focus on options for elements of the new global climate agreement, our partners and peers are digging into the potential role of carbon markets, human rights, andinternational aviation and shipping emissions.

Deadly flooding Malawi, devastating floods in Indonesia, and Greece and the increasing toll of drought in Brazil remind us of the importance of climate change resilience and responding to the losses and damages from climate changes that we’re unable to adapt to. Nitin Sethi shares his take on how the issue featured in the talks thus far.

The outgoing chair of the IPCC, Dr Rajendra Pachauri wants the organization to take an official role in assessing countries’ pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in totting up whether they add up to enough to meet global climate change targets.

A new report says that rich nations provided nearly $15 billion between 2003 and 2013 to fund exports of coal-fired power plant and coal mining technology, defying calls to end subsidies for the most polluting of the fossil fuels. News comes on the heels of a push by our partners urging G20 Finance ministers – meeting in Turkey to discuss the group’s 2015 agenda – to speed the phaseout of fossil fuels, and increasing buzz about Global Divestment Day events planned for later this week.

Resources

While we linked to a few highlights above, you can see more of Geneva’s more play-by-play updates and dig into the issues through the lens of Adopt a Negotiator’s trackers on the ground.

Our friends at the Climate Action Network International are publishing daily ECO newsletters laying out their case to negotiators.

IISD’s reporting service is publish daily summaries and photos here.

The hashtags to track are #UNFCCC and #ADP2015. We’ll join the conversation via @tcktcktck and @adoptnegotiator.

We’ll also keep you abreast of developments in the wider world of climate activism and action at tcktcktck.org and publish related communications briefs at treealerts.org.

Joshua Wiese

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