China’s climate commitment: ‘We will not backtrack on, renegotiate Paris Accord targets’

Making a veiled criticism of the Trump administration while participating in California’s high-profile Global Climate Action Summit, China’s top climate negotiator said his country will not backtrack on or renegotiate environmental targets agreed upon in Paris three years ago. The comments are being seen in the context of the ‘Umbrella Group’ of countries led by the US, Canada and Australia rejecting the proposal made by developing countries, including China, which allows them to make voluntary rather than mandatory commitments.

The lack of flexibility shown by some countries resulted in the Bangkok meeting ending without any resolution. The negotiators are now banking on pre-COP meetings, bilaterals and an early COP to ensure that the rulebook is agreed upon and adopted.

Poland to formally adopt Doha amendments on Sept. 27th

Poland is set to finally ratify the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol on carbon emissions. Poland’s deputy environment minister Micha Kurtyka told the Economic Times that the ratification will happen in a “symbolic way”, together with other countries at the United Nations in New York on September 27th. Coal-reliant Poland is the only EU member that has not adopted the Doha amendment yet. The amendments will compel Poland to reduce its carbon emission by 20% from the 1990 levels.

India steps up climate action at GCAS 2018

India stepped up its climate action even further at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) 2018, with Pune announcing it would scrap diesel city buses by 2021 and replace them with e-buses. Telangana, too, announced it will only register electric auto-rickshaws going forward and induct 2,000 electric buses in the state by 2019.

Corporate giants Dalmia Cement and Mahindra Group, meanwhile, embraced science-based emission reduction targets and have pledged to go carbon-negative and carbon-neutral (resp.) by 2040.

UN chief asks world leaders to ‘break the paralysis’ on climate change, cites Kerala floods

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has called climate change, “the defining threat of our times”, which is “running faster than we are”, while citing the recent example of the Kerala floods. Guterres said he was alarmed “by the paralysis of world leaders” on climate change and appealed to heads of government to come to New York for a special climate conference next September. Despite the 2015 Paris Accord commitments, the UN chief said the world is way off track and to say it was too expensive to tackle climate change was “hogwash”.

China & California sideline Trump, cut clean energy deals

Officials from China met their Californian counterparts and signed deals at a summit hosted by the American state, which stands against the Trump administration on climate issues. Laurence Tubiana of the European Climate Foundation said, “[the Chinese] struggle to recognize that the US has disappeared on [climate change]…so they are looking for somebody to talk to. I think that’s why they invested so much in [California governor] Jerry Brown.

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