paris dispatch 4

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Dear Jim,

At the end of the first week of the talks, there are still huge divisions between countries on all the key points. The French formally take over running the meeting on Saturday when negotiators hand over the text of what they’ve managed to agree so far. At the moment they haven’t agreed very much, DESPITE A MYRIAD OF MEETINGS LASTING LATE INTO THE NIGHT TO TRY TO FIND CONSENSUS ON EACH POINT.

There is a big dispute over whether the agreement should be aiming to limit global warming to 2 degrees, or 1.5 degrees, in line with the latest science, for example. Small island states, at risk of inundation, are digging in on 1.5 degrees, along with other countries. But nations like Saudi Arabia and India are adamant it should not be mentioned. Countries are also at loggerheads over whether all should eventually have to properly report their emissions and track progress towards their national target, something that’s pretty important in an agreement that won’t be legally binding and won’t contain any sanctions. I WROTE ABOUT THIS DISAGREEMENT HERE. 

Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, has now appointed a bunch of high level officials to try to crunch agreements before the text is handed over at noon tomorrow. The foreign minsters and other high level officials take over the negotiating for the final, critical week. It’s supposed to be done by next Friday, but these things seldom finish on time . . .

Here’s today’s reading list, with a few extra long reads for the weekend

*__PARIS CLIMATE TALKS: WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL TEMPERATURE RISES REALLY MAKE ?

*__UN ON WRONG TRACK WITH PLANS TO LIMIT GLOBAL WARMING TO 2C, SAYS TOP SCIENTIST

*__THE ‘ RED LINE ‘ ISSUE THAT EXPOSES DEEP DIVISIONS IN THE CLIMATE TALKS

Weekend reading

*__PARIS SUMMIT: THE CLIMATE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

*__THE MEKONG RIVER: STORIES FROM THE HEART OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS

*__CHRISTIANA FIGUERES: THE WOMAN TASKED WITH SAVING THE WORLD

Yours Sincerely,
Lenore Taylor, political editor, Guardian Australia

 

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paris dispatch 3

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Dear Jim,

I’m Guardian Australia’s political correspondent, in Paris to cover the climate talks with Guardian reporters from the UK and the United States.

On day 2 most of the 150 world leaders who had spoken to the summit on Monday had gone home, the motorcades were thinning out and the grinding process of actually negotiating the agreement began.

US president Barack Obama was still around though and AT A PRESS CONFERENCE he confirmed the US was happy for one critical part of the deal to be legally binding – the need for each country’s reduction target to be periodically reviewed.

The US can’t agree to the whole deal being legally binding because it would be virtually impossible to get it through the Republican-controlled Congress, but the president’s remarks are important because the targets now on the table would AT BEST HOLD WARMING TO 2.7C – which would still unleash catastrophic climate impacts on low-lying islands and poor countries. Regular reviews hold open the hope that countries do more over time.

Obama also met leaders of some of the low lying island states, recognizing the extreme threat they face from global warming. I WROTE ABOUT THAT MEETING.

The Australian environment minister Greg Hunt was challenged about why he had approved a coal mega-mine proposed by Indian company Adani in Australia with a production so huge the coal mined would create annual emissions greater than New York City. He came up with a whole new “rationale” – that it wasn’t Australia’s mine and Australia wasn’t a “neo-colonialist” power telling poor countries what to do. Yesterday he DOWNPLAYED SUGGESTIONS that the developing countries would be able to amend the purpose of the agreement to keep global warming under 1.5C ( a harder goal than the current 2C ).

Negotiators are saying the initial talks are “bumpy” with deep disagreement over thousands of points. Their job is to hone down the 50-plus page document before handing the running of the talks to the French presidency on the weekend for the final, critical week.

Here’s my reading list from the last two days:

*__PAYPAL FOUNDER AND TECH INTREPRENEUR ELON MUSK SAYS THE WORLD NEEDS A CARBON PRICE

*__WORLD’S RICHEST 10% PRODUCE HALF THE EMISSIONS, SAYS OXFAM REPORT

*__SURVEY REVEALS “GREENWASH” OF SUMMIT SPONSORS

*__HOW BACKCHANNEL TALKS COULD DECIDE FATE OF THE SUMMIT

*__WHY INDIA IS CRUCIAL TO THE TALKS

Yours Sincerely,
Lenore Taylor, political editor, Guardian Australia

 

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paris dispatch 2

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Dear Jim,

I’m out in Paris as part of the team of Guardian correspondents covering the UN climate talks. Yesterday was the big set piece day for speeches by heads of state and government. They were meant to stick to 3 minutes each but of course many spoke for much longer and the speeches carried on well after dark. Barack Obama said the fact the talks were going ahead was an “ACT OF DEFIANCE” following the terrorist attacks 2 weeks ago.

Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary general, implored countries to come to a deal: “Please, let’s meet on the middle ground, show some flexibility and sense of compromise for the common good. We can’t go on like this. We can’t waste any further time.”

I spent the first two days talking to the heads of the MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPING COUNTRY NEGOTIATING GROUPS and I must say they have rather more faith than I do that they will get a deal. Now that the leaders have jetted out, there are only three days of negotiations left before the politicians arrive and, boy, there are mountains to climb over cuts, long term goals, finance, equity, and the principle that the rich countries should act first and dig deeper because they are responsible for the historical emissions. My feeling now is that there will be a monster collision and rows in a few days time, but then all parties will come to their senses and realise that everyone has to compromise. It will be painful, but it’s the only chance of success.

John Vidal
Environmental Editor

Here’s today’s reading list:

*__FANTASY CLIMATE FOOTBALL: A FOOTY FAN’S GUIDE TO THE PARIS SUMMIT

*__ZUCkERBERG, GATES AND OTHER TECH TITANS FORM CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT COALITION

*__BARACK OBAMA: PARTS OF PARIS CLIMATE DEAL MUST CARRY LEGAL FORCE

*__4C RISE WILL HAVE DIRE EFFECT ON WORLD HUNGER, UN WARNS

*__PARIS TALKS: BEHIND THE SCENES – IN PICTURES

 

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paris dispatch 1

happy to include guardian environment editor’s
daily notes from COP21 paris climate conference
adam vaughan, you sure keep us all onguard

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Dear Jim,

We promised you last week that we’d send regular dispatches from the Paris climate talks. Here is our first from the desk, so to speak. At the email’s end you’ll find my recommended reading list.

I have spent the day editing and watching MORE THAN A HUNDRED WORLD LEADERS PROMISE THE EARTH ON CLIMATE CHANGE. From Barack Obama and Xi Jinping to the heads of tiny Pacific island states, they took the stage in Paris today to tell the world they would act. The rhetoric was lofty, planetary, grave.

“Here in Paris we will decide on the very future of the planet,” said FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE the president of France. “One of the enemies we will be fighting at this conference is cynicism – the presumption that we can’t do anything about climate change,” said US president, Barack Obama. The fact that the climate summit had gone ahead at all WAS AN ACT OF DEFIANCE AGAINST THE TERRORISTS BEHIND THE PARIS ATTACKS OF 13 NOVEMBER. he said. Others talked of ensuring the future of the human race, of leaving a safe planet for future generations. The fight against climate change was a fight for survival, several said.

The sheer number of heads of state in Paris – nearly 150 leaders – bodes well for any climate deal’s prospects. But whether today’s strong rhetoric translates into strong action remains to be seen.

From Tuesday the summit will switch down to the nitty gritty of negotiatiors trying to turn a 50-page text into a deal that 195 countries can agree on, in less that a fortnight. As UN SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON put it, the time for brinkmanship is over. “We have never faced such a test. A political momentum like this may not come again.”

Adam Vaughan
Editor, THEGUARDIAN.COM/ENVIRONMENT

Want to find out more about the Paris climate talks? Here’s my essential reading list:

* __THE PARIS CLIMATE SUMMIT AT A GLANCE

* __FIONA HARVEY ON CHRISTIANA FIGUERES, THE WOMAN TASKED WITH SAVING THE WORLD

* __SUZANNE GOLDENBERG DELVES INTO THE TALKS’ COLOURFUL HISTORY

* __USE OUR DATA INTERACTIVE TO SEE WHICH COUNTRIES ARE DOING THE MOST IN THEIR CLIMATE PLANS

* __PARIS BY NUMBERS – FROM ONE NEGOTIATING TEXT TO 196 PARTIES

 

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at last – dancing with mother

thanks dancing rabbit for showing us how to move

intentionally – presently – humanly
and yes – multo inspirationally !!

what you’re up to sure makes me want to be with you

UN’s IPCC sets it out yet again- got to change it all !

Bangkok's skyline blanketed in a haze

on the way to next global power gathering in paris -one year away
world scientists put it to them -and us- as clearly as possible

as UN leader ban ki-moon summarizes
leaders must act; time is not on our side

YESTERDAY’S GUARDIAN MUST-READ REVIEW OF THE IPCC REPORT
… AND HERE’S BILL MCKIBBEN’S REVIEW OF THAT REPORT, ALSO IN THE GUARDIAN

UN’s turn today in manhattan . . .

WHAT’S POSSIBLE
today’s opening film to UN general assembly at UN CLIMATE SUMMIT
produced by earth day network