11 Dec 2015

Re-COP - Day 12 at the UN Climate Summit in Paris

By Luca Bonaccorsi in Paris and the BirdLife Team in Brussels

Welcome to Paris; the capital of France and, for the next two weeks, the world's climate capital. Thousands of people, including 151 world leaders, from 195 countries have descended on the 'Parc des Expositions Paris le Bourget' site aiming to agree on a deal which will reduce global carbon emissions. Below you can follow Team BirdLife and some of the main talking points at COP21.

Twitter: @BirdLife_News / @BirdLifeEurope - #BirdsTellUs / #COP21
Facebook: BirdLifeInternational

Day 12 - Friday 11th December

14:00 - Team BirdLife discuss where we're at, with the latest promise of a final text at 9am tomorrow morning - some thoughts after the photo:

We're still here and still trying to make sense of the Paris Agreement which is supposed to save a lot of human beings and species from the potentially disastrous effect of climate change. It's not an easy job. We knew that getting 195 states (+the EU) to sign, and not 50ish like in Kyoto, was a humongous challenge. And that this would come at the cost of the overall ambition. But as time goes by the text seems to be getting weaker and more vague on a number of crucial issues.

Ambition: the 1.5°C target (the limit to average global warming above pre-industrial levels) is little more than an "aspiration" in the current text.

Implementation/review: "Global stock-taking exercises" are envisaged every five years starting in 2023. Essentially, the first time Nations will sit down and discuss whether or not their targets (INDCs - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) work will be eight years from now. There is a sit-down planned for 2019, but it's probably too late to make sure that the "self-assigned voluntary targets" (that's what INDCs are) are appropriate and coherent with the ultimate goal. Put simply, imagine you are BAD STATE X - you would present phony INDCs in 2020, then you're told off in 2023 so that you review them and submit new ones in 2025 that will then be assessed in 2028. By the look of it, if you are that BAD STATE you have just gained 13 years of...coal and oil? Hopefully the final text improves this situation.

Money, money, money: the phantom Green Climate Fund is still there on paper. Now it has a "floor": a minimum of 100bln US dollars a year from 2020. Unfortunately that is the lowest estimate for just the adaptation needs (people's homes going underwater and having to retreat, re-settle etc.). But the fund will be split roughly 50/50 between adaptation and mitigation. So majorly underfunded here. Additionally, we are still talking promises; there are no clear commitments (eg. the EU will give X% of the fund or XXbln per year...).

Yes, there are good things still in the agreement (forests, land use accountancy etc.), but hopefully the final text looks better than this.
Stay tuned

13:00 - A new text is promised by 9am tomorrow morning - that from COP21 President Fabius. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, tells press conference he 'remains encouraged' by COP21's progress:

10:00 - So last night COP21 President Laurent Fabius presented the new Draft 3 text. All through last night and all day today is expected to be devoted to negotiating the final text, due to be presented tomorrow morning. Despite all the good intentions, an agreement will not be reached on time, with today originally having been the deadline. Negotiations ended at 5am this morning with still much to decide and a final text is only now expected tomorrow morning, passed a strict deadline the French set. COP21 President Fabius announced 2pm tomorrow afternoon as the cut-off time for negotiations on this latest text to end. Today we'll be analysing the contentious points where agreements are still lacking.

This infographic from Climate Tracker breaks down the situation into bitesize pieces.
Stay tuned for detailed analysis throughout the day.

09:00 - Another Draft text published, with long negotiations into last night - more details here:

More soon