Fighting hard: BASIC countries have come out in strong opposition to the developed world’s attempts to do away with the principle of differentiation in the Paris rulebook. | Image credit:

Won’t allow developed countries to backslide: India, China raise alarm

As versions of text for the Paris Rulebook started trickling in, BASIC group of countries (India, China, Brazil and South Africa) at a press conference said that backsliding on the Paris agreement was not acceptable. They said there were attempts to push for equal set of rules instead of differentiated rules mandated in the agreement. They warned that there can’t be equal treatment where there is so much capacity and resource differences between different countries.

EU Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, said that, the principle of differentiation should be applicable only to the Least Developed Countries, while their should be equal rules for the developing and the developed countries.

COP24: Will negotiators be able to sort out contentious rulebook issues in time?

In a race against time, negotiators are struggling to finalise the text of the rulebook to implement the provisions of the 2015 Paris Agreement. Differentiation (difference between developed and developing country), finance, and enhanced ambition have become the bone of contention, along with other important rulebook questions such as transparency, reporting requirements and the date from which all countries will follow the same rulebook.

French Yellow Vest protests “a wake-up call” for inclusive climate action, “Russia hand” probed

In Paris, the fourth weekend of the gilet jaunes (Yellow Vests) anti-fuel tax protests turned violent. US president Donald Trump “waded in” on the debate suggesting that the protests were actually against the Paris agreement, but the Yellow Vests were also spotted marching with “climate comrades” with the slogan, ‘End of the month, end of the world, same fight’.

AFP sources said French authorities have launched a probe into allegations of Russian trolls fanning the  unrest through fake pictures of police excesses.  According to the UK’s Times newspaper hundreds of social media accounts linked to Russia were used to provoke violence.

Climate campaigners said “the protests are not against climate action, but a wake-up call for social justice. The transition to a cleaner, greener economy cannot be top-down: it has to be truly inclusive.

India on track to meet climate targets, solar capacity grew 370% in the last 3 years

India informed delegates at the UN climate conference COP24 that the country’s ‘solar capacity has risen by 370% in the past three  years, and tariffs are down by over 75%,’ India highlighted the target of adding 227 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022. The country’s  environment minister said India on track to meet many of its current climate targets by  the early 2020s. A study by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) says India may even achieve its 2030 targets for non-fossil fuel power generation and emission reductions 10 years before the 2030 deadline.

Carbon emissions to hit all-time high In 2018, rising like a “speeding freight train”

The Global Carbon Project and the International Energy Agency, in separate reports, announced that carbon emissions from fossil fuels used in developed countries will increase in 2018 for the first time in five years, and global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high, growing by more than 2%.  Scientists have compared the quickening rate of carbon dioxide to a “speeding freight train”.  

World Bank to double investments in climate action
World Bank plans to double investments in climate action to about $200 billion from 2021-2025, with a major component targeting adaptation to higher temperatures, extreme weather and rising seas. It plans to give equal weight to curbing emissions and helping poor countries deal with the impact of global warming as it steps up investments to tackle climate change in the first half of the 2020s.

Banks to align their lending portfolios with Paris goals
At the Global Climate Action Opening, leading banks announced a landmark finance collaboration. ING, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Société Générale committed to measuring the climate alignment of their lending portfolios, with the aim of steering them in line with the Paris Agreement.

MDBs make joint declaration on climate finance alignment
Nine multilateral development banks (MDBs) agreed to align their work on reducing emissions, building resilience to their  effects and ramping up financial aid. MDBs contributed $35 billion to tackle climate change in developing and emerging economies last year, and helped mobilise another $52 billion in public and private money.

Countries pledge to contribute to climate finance

France promised to contribute €15m to Adaptation Fund and €20m to Least Developed Countries Fund. Sweden increased it contribution to the Adaptation Fund to €3.3m and to the Least Developed Countries. New Zealand will supply €1.9 million to the Adaptation Fund. The European Union will contribute 10 million EUR in 2019 to the Adaptation Fund. While, Norway plans to double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund.

Germany admits it will miss 2020 climate target

Europe’s climate leader Germany conceded in the Multilateral Assessment that it will miss its 2020 emissions reductions target of 40% (compared to 1990) by 8%, prompting it to delay its plan for pre-2020 climate action until after COP24.  
But ahead of COP24, Germany pledged to double funding for developing countries to fight and adapt to climate change, and pay another €1.5 billion ($850 million) to the UN Green Climate Fund, having already paid in a previous pledge of the same sum.

New Zealand calls climate change a security threat

New Zealand has termed climate change as the country’s most significant security threat. It  identified climate action and adaptation cooperation with Pacific Island States as an important strategic goal for the country. Earlier this year, the country’s defence policy warned that China’s rising influence in the South Pacific could undermine regional stability.

UN launches people’s campaign at COP24, WWF supports with logo change
Sir David Attenborough launched the new UN campaign to promote “climate action by the people”. Pushing for greater climate ambition, Attenborough said human civilization stands on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, WWF endorsed the people’s campaign by replacing its black and white panda logo with the faces of leaders, celebrities and everyday people.

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