- Latest draft text is ambitious, but significant work remains
- Ministers negotiating through the night to deliver a new global climate deal
We’re rolling this quick update out at just past 2am on Friday morning. The Paris Climate Change Conference is still underway, with ministers once again working through the night to usher in a new global climate agreement.
There are many important impacts of this deal, but three stand out particularly:
195 Countries, the world, has committed to tackling climate change and they have all done it together. Almost every country made a contribution in the run up to this meeting and that spirit of constructive co-operation has pervaded this meeting.
The developing countries have made it clear for years that this agreement needs to reflect the fact that the developed countries, and the fossil fuels they have burned, have caused most of this problem to date.
But every country now acknowledges that all countries, big and small, rich and poor, have to act if we are to avoid further dangerous interference with the climate system.
On that basis it is vital to all parties that the deal is Fair if it is to be legitimate and sustainable, and we see the building blocks of a fair deal in this text.
It’s ambitious. The long term goal as expressed here sets the objective for the reduction of greenhouse gases to zero this century. That means 100% clean energy by mid century. The fossil fuel era end here in Paris. It will take some years to complete the transition, but this deal will massively accelerate the growth of clean energy infrastructure, scaling the technology we already have and driving further innovation.
Everyone has won something significant in getting this far, and that was the only way this agreement was ever going to be reached. It’s fair, fairly ambitious and creates the platform we need for the final Paris Agreement.
Marshall Islands Minister, Tony De Brum, offered a reaction to the text that helps capture the sense of ambition within in the coming hours:
“There is a clear recognition that the world must work towards limiting warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and that it would be much safer to do so. With this, I would be able to go home and tell my people that our chance for survival is not lost.”
“The language on emissions neutrality sends a clear signal that the world will rapidly bend the emissions curve and phase out fossil fuels by the end of this century. Governments and businesses across the world would know that renewable energy is unquestionably the new game in town.”
Dr. Bettina Menne, Climate Lead, WHO Europe brought the health perspective:
“This new Presidents’ text takes us one step closer to a Paris Agreement which could secure this future, protecting the public from the impacts of climate change – the defining health issue of this century. A strong agreement in Paris must bolster community resilience, strengthen our health systems, and help tackle inequalities.”
Speaking at a press briefing Friday evening, Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the WRI’s Climate Program, warned that work to finalize the will be difficult:
“At this critical summit, the negotiations must be exceptional. The big question is which leaders are going to step forward to grasp this moment and make the agreement both fair and ambitious? Ten days ago leaders came to Paris calling for a strong climate agreement. Now those leaders need to start picking up the phone and work together to turn those words into action.”
GreenTV produced a video on of all the numbers that are thrown around in these negotiations. They also pulled together a quick summary of the Fossil of the Day Award went to pretty much every country in the world, because we need everyone to step up as the negotiations near an end (pics here).
The Climate Action Network is publishing daily ECO newsletters, laying out their case to negotiators.
We’ll also keep you abreast of developments in the wider world of climate activism and action at tcktcktck.org.