UN initiatives can never be binding on nation states and much cynicism exists about their value particularly when delegates assemble from around the world to discuss climate change, their flights emitting much CO2. But awareness needs to be raised and these meetings are a drop in the ocean of conversion of fossil fuels in to atmospheric CO2, just as are own personal travels.
The Climate Action Leadership Network (CALN) was convened in September 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters with the Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa. It will support the Champions and the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action to encourage governments to raise the ambition of their national climate pledges, in advance of when they are scheduled to take effect in 2020.
The Conference of the Parties (COP23) starts in Bonn on 6 November with the hope that negotiators will make meaningful progress on implementing the provisions of the 2015 Paris Agreement. This article suggests five things that the 3000 delegates arriving in Bonn should:
- recognise the “net-zero” emissions goal in the Paris Agreement means the end of fossil fuels
- agree that their commitments to cut emissions, known as “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), are inadequate and announce revised and more aggressive ones
- speed up adding to the US$10 billion in total of the US$100 billion a year by 2020 of the new investments in the Green Climate Fund
- agree on certain rules left vague at COP22 in Marrakech whic need to be agreed on by 2018, in order to help the first stocktake of progress in implementing the Paris Agreement
- explicitly accept that “negative emissions” technologies are no substitute for aiming for zero emissions.
The academic authors of the article conclude:
All five of the above are pretty unlikely. The chances are that negotiations will continue along the path of nothing happening until the last minute (if then).
But here’s one that will almost certainly happen, but . The Climate Action Leadership Network, will be largely meaningless although it will be fully launched, to keep up the semblance of momentum in the negotiations.
Meanwhile, renewable energy technology will drop in price independently of all the fine words, and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide will continue to grow.