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Daily Briefing

14.12.2018
Today's climate and energy headlines
Carbon Brief Staff

Carbon Brief Staff

14.12.2018 | 9:29am
DAILY BRIEFING COP24: Maldives tells UN climate talks: ‘We are not prepared to die’
COP24: Maldives tells UN climate talks: ‘We are not prepared to die’

News.

COP24: Maldives tells UN climate talks: 'We are not prepared to die'

Coverage of COP24 in Katowice, Poland continues today. Reuters reports that the head of the Maldives’ delegation gave an “impassioned appeal” to the UN climate talks, asking for “nations to overcome their divisions over how to tackle global warming”. “We are not prepared to die. We are not going to become the first victims of the climate crisis,” Mohamed Nasheed told delegates, according to Reuters. BBC News also leads on Nasheed’s words, noting that the country’s former president said there would be “hell to pay” if countries failed to take action on climate change. A second Reuters story reports that negotiators did manage to produce further draft texts on how to implement the Paris Agreement on Thursday “But some disputes remain with only one day left before the official end of the conference,” it says. The Guardian reports that island nations in the Pacific, which are “particularly vulnerable” to climate change, have urged Australia to abandon coal power within 12 years. The 15 island nations warned Australia’s relationship with the Pacific was “being eroded by a perceived intransigence in Canberra over coalmining”, the Guardian says. The same day, Sydney and Melbourne committed to phasing out coal power, according to Climate Home News. The country’s two largest cities join Scotland, Senegal and Israel in a new “Powering Past Coal” alliance, which has been convened by Canada and the UK, Climate Home News says.

The Financial Times reports that China’s chief negotiator has warned of a “deadlock” in certain areas of the talks. Lead negotiator Xie Zhenhua said the negotiations were at their “most intense” point, and that financial commitments to help developing countries address climate change had become “a sticking point”, according to the FT. The Guardian adds that China said it is time for rich countries to “pay their debts” on climate change. Xie told journalists: “Still some countries have not started their mitigation efforts, or provided financial support [to poor nations]. We strongly urge them to pay up on their debts.” Climate Home News reports, however, that China has signalled it is open to following “uniform” reporting rules, indicating a “shift from its usual push for a clear division of responsibilities for rich and poor countries”.

DeSmog UK has a detailed report of how fossil fuel companies are influencing the climate talks. “The business lobby is determined to have its voice heard on how its members should be involved in implementing the Paris accord,” it reports. EurActiv also reports on how this year’s talks are hosting “lobbying for coal and fossil fuels of a scale that has rarely been seen” in previous years. A second DeSmog UK story notes how one coal company hopes to “revitalise” coking coal – which is used in steel production – by renaming the fossil fuel. The Independent reports that, at the talks, more than 1,000 institutions have pledged to withdraw investment from fossil fuels.

Reuters Read Article
UK bids to host 2020 UN climate change summit

The UK is bidding to host the COP26 UN climate change conference in 2020, reports the Guardian and others. Speaking at COP24, clean growth minister Claire Perry told journalists: “We have to make sure we can deliver a good COP, as 2020 will be a really vital COP, and we absolutely want to be part of that process.“ Reuters reports that the host will be decided next year, with Italy having also expressed an interest. BusinessGreen notes that the 2020 climate talks are likely to be “critical” – “marking both the full adoption of the Paris Treaty and the date by which countries are expected to come forward with strengthened national action plans”. DeSmog UK notes how Perry was “repeatedly interrupted” by climate protestors while making the announcement. Protesters challenged Perry over the UK’s fracking policy, DeSmog UK says.

Elsewhere, Reuters reports that the UK aims to open develop the world’s first “net-zero carbon industrial centre” by 2040. Reuters says the government is to commit up to £170m to the project, which could include “capturing emissions from factories and reusing them in industries such as brewing to put the fizz in drinks”. BusinessGreen also has the story.

The Guardian Read Article
Revealed: FBI kept files on peaceful climate change protesters

The Guardian reports that the FBI kept files on climate change protesters active in 2016. According to documents obtained by the Guardian through a Freedom of Information Act (Foia) lawsuit, the move was part of “a larger effort by the FBI to assess the danger posed by the climate change activist group 350.org in the run-up to a series of actions that were part of the Break Free from Fossil Fuels campaign”.

The Guardian Read Article

Comment.

John Kerry: If we fail on climate, it won’t be just Trump’s fault

“This week is the third anniversary of the Paris climate agreement,” writes former US secretary of state John Kerry in the New York Times. “The Trump administration marked it by working with Russia and Gulf oil nations to sideline science and undermine the accord at climate talks underway in Katowice, Poland.” He continues: “Every day that goes by that we’re paralysed by the Luddite in the White House is a day in the future that our grandchildren will suffer. That’s not hyperbole – that’s science.” Instead of accepting inaction, Congress should send Trump “legislation addressing this crisis”, he says. “It will force him to make choices the American people will long remember: Will he say no to deploying solar technology that would turn the American West into the Saudi Arabia of solar? No to turning the Midwest into the Middle East of wind power? Make him choose – and let’s find out.”

John Kerry, New York Times Read Article
We need more than magic beans to help us offset the effects of climate change

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, director of the CGIAR System Organization, a global research group looking at food insecurity, writes in the Daily Telegraph that the challenges to food production presented by climate change require “more than magic beans” to address. “The task is momentous – and increasingly more complex. Most of the world’s population eats too little, too much, or the wrong type or combination of food – at an unsustainable cost to the environment, human health and political stability,” he says. “There is no one silver bullet for a challenge this big – it needs changes in policies, farming practices, awareness and behaviour. ”

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, The Daily Telegraph Read Article

Science.

Attribution of the influence of human‐induced climate change on an extreme fire season

Climate change made the 2017 record-breaking wildfires in British Columbia, Canada two to four times more likely, a study finds. The findings come from a “single-event attribution study” – research that aims to identify the influence of climate change on an episode of extreme weather. The analysis also shows that human-caused climate change could have increased the area burned in the fires by a factor of 7-11.

Earth's Future Read Article
Summer Arctic cold anomaly dynamically linked to East Asian heatwaves

Episodes of unusually cold weather in the Arctic could be linked to heatwaves in East Asia, research suggests. The researchers say that cool weather in the Arctic can be accompanied by a strengthening of the region’s westerly winds, but also a weakening of westerly winds over Asia. The weakening could allow patterns of hot weather to linger over East Asia – leading to prolonged heatwaves, the researchers suggest.

Journal of Climate Read Article

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