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Day 4 of the Paris Climate Change Conference

By December 4, 2015 No Comments
  • New text out Thursday shows uneven progress, with finance remaining a key sticking point
  • Germany joins France in developed country support for more ambitious long-term goal
  • New Climate Risk Index details the huge destruction caused by extreme weather events in 2014 across the globe

Thursday’s climate talks opened with buzz over the release of an updated negotiating text and descriptions of hardening positions that seem to contrast with the essence of Leaders’ statements earlier this week.

The latest version of the draft agreement captures some of the progress made in topic-focused meetings over the last few days. We saw progress made around the edges of core issues like mitigation, and there’s a sense that the text is more readable overall. Key cross-cutting issues like finance and support for implementing the transparency provisions don’t appear to be moving – at least on the surface.

Expectations that we might see the release of a major report on climate finance, laying out developed countries’ plans to achieve their US$100B goal, went unrealized. Instead we heard rumors of delay over fears that it failed to adequately address questions around post-2020 climate finance or balance funds for adaptation. All three issues will need resolution before we see a return to Monday’s ‘can-do’ spirit.

In a stocktaking meeting on Thursday evening, co-chairs agreed to put out another, more consolidated, version of the text out Friday morning – giving delegations the chance to make further progress before handing off the results of their work to ministers on Saturday.

News, links & useful grist that caught our eye

Germany held a press conference early Thursday morning where the country’s environment minister said the agreed 2C goal was too weak and 1.5C “must be mentioned” in a UN treaty. Germany’s move toward a more ambitious long-term goal follows French president Francois Hollande’s assertion that global warming should be limited to 1.5C “if possible”, in his speech to world leaders on Monday.

In a CAN-International Press Conference today, Oil Change International’s Alex Doukas said: “The truth is there is no need for rich countries to resort to dodgy accounting practices, we know where we can find some of that much needed cash.” Today, the group released new analysisshowing that G7 countries, along with Australia, spend 40 times more on support for fossil fuel production than they do in contributions to the Green Climate Fund.

Germanwatch released their latest Climate Risk Index today, detailing the huge destruction caused by extreme weather events in 2014 across the globe. While the report showed that the world’s poorest nations are most at risk, it also says no country is immune to the threats of rising temperatures.

The Green TV team spoke to Germanwatch’s Sönke Kreft about the index, while our Tree alert team has more about the Climate Risk Index and the importance of supporting vulnerable nations in Paris.

A coalition of parents groups from around the world brought their call to action to COP21 today,presenting UN climate chief Christiana Figueres with a petition calling for a strong, ambitious climate agreement.

Meanwhile, young people were also out in force today at Le Bourget. The Canadian Youth delegation took part in an action calling on their new government to ensure youth are both seen and heard when it comes to climate change.

Indigenous leaders from forests of Latin America, Indonesia and Africa also brought their voice to the COP today, welcoming governments’ contributions to date but calling on leaders to take stronger and faster action.

Fossil of the Day today, went to Denmark as Environment Minister, Lars Christian announced he was in favor of scrapping his country’s ambitious national carbon reduction target of 40% by 2020, while also signaling the government’s intent to amount of money it would pledge for climate finance.

Resources

Yesterday, Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner spent some time with the UNFCCC talking about how poetry can help engage people on climate change. Kathy joined four young spoken word artists in Paris this week to perform climate poetry to audience across the conference and city. The five poets also took part in the final stretch of the Run for Your Life. In their moving performance, they brought the pebble that’s been carried all the way from the Arctic to the UN climate talks venue in Paris.

It’s been another busy day for the Green TV team. They’re posting exceptional daily COP21 video summaries – today focused on climate impacts – and regular short explainers on key issues and events as they happen. You can find their COP21-relevant videos and photos on The Tree’s media hub, which also includes a host of great pictures and social graphics for you to help share your story from inside the COP.

From press conference land – the G77 and China held a press briefing today on their take on the first few days of talks, while the Least Developed Countries gave their assessment of the latest negotiating text. WWF dug into differentiation and how the lack of resolution it locking up progress. Jubilee South held a presser with representatives of front-line communities. Get the full list here.

If you’re in Paris, join our Daily Tck meeting in Observer room 7. If not, you can tune in live online. The Daily Tck meeting is a chance for civil society actors from across the UNFCCC to gather intelligence, share tactics and ignite collaboration. You can also sign-up for our COP21 mailing list, where we’ll share meeting notes and resources. Catch the live-stream here.

The Climate Action Network is publishing daily ECO newsletters, laying out their case to negotiators.

There’s a slew of quality blogs on with updates from inside the negotiations from our Climate Trackers. Our Paris team is also writing for newspapers around the world. You can find some of those stories via their twitter group.

The most useful hashtag for tracking the negotiations in real-time is #COP21. We’ll join the conversation on twitter via @tcktcktck.

We’ll also keep you abreast of developments in the wider world of climate activism and action attcktcktck.org.

AAN Editors

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