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Article
13 November 2017

Commentary: Climate policies should address gendered impacts of climate change including effects on women's health

Author: Hwei Mian Lim, ARROW, OpenGlobalRights

"Climate Change Exacerbates Gender Inequality, Putting Women's Health at Risk", 6 Nov 2017

[C]limate change clearly affects human health…[and] exacerbates gender inequality, especially in developing countries. For women already facing poverty…climate change puts them at further disadvantage…and adversely affects women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights...[SRHR].

First, extreme weather…[makes it] extremely challenging for women to manage their menstruation needs and hygiene. Women may also refrain from drinking…which…may result in urinary and reproductive tract infections.

Second…undernutrition is already a major problem for women in some developing countries due to gender bias in the allocation of food within the household, which extreme climate events would exacerbate

Third, women staying in temporary shelters…often experience sexual harassment, rape or other gender-based violence....

Last, extreme climate events also exacerbate the problem of early/forced marriage for girls...

Delegates at international climate negotiations and national policy-makers should ensure that climate policies address the gendered impacts of climate change and incorporate SRHR.

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Article
13 November 2017

Commentary: Indigenous communities should be heard at climate negotiations & supported to defend forests

Author: Matthew Parson, HRW

"Forest Defenders Could Pave Way to a Low-Carbon Future", 6 Nov 2017

A …new report published last week…pointed out that stopping deforestation is crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Indigenous peoples and local communities are a critical part of such a strategy, since emissions and deforestation rates tend to be lower in forests managed by indigenous peoples when land rights are protected...[I]ndigenous peoples are defending their communities and forests from logging, oil pipelines, and coal mining...

Having stewarded the environment and lived sustainably for generations, indigenous peoples can guide others toward a low-carbon future. But so far, the wealth of knowledge they have to offer has only been cursorily included in the climate negotiations, and discussions of the rights of indigenous peoples have been sidelined...At this year’s climate conference in Bonn, negotiators will flesh out details for a new platform to better incorporate indigenous and local communities in the international climate process...

But the reality is that indigenous peoples urgently need better rights protections. Their land rights are frequently encroached upon because of a lack of formal land title or otherwise insecure land tenure, which has a disproportionate impact on indigenous women. And many are threatened, harassed, attacked, or even killed for their environmental activism...[I]f delegates at [COP23]...are serious about fighting climate change, they need to improve protections for the guardians of the forests.

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Article
12 November 2017

Commentary: Business commitments & action key to implementing Paris Agreement

Author: David Wei, We Mean Business

"COP23 to show business is implementing the Paris Agreement", 2 Nov 2017

[T]he business community is steadily building the Paris vision of a resilient, low-carbon economy. Now 89% of the world’s largest, high-emitting companies have carbon emissions targets, with a fifth planning low-carbon strategies to 2030 and beyond. The over 620 companies which have committed to bold climate action as part of the We Mean Business coalition Take Action campaign have a total market capitalization of over US$15.5 trillion.The UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2017 concludes that countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) must be enhanced in 2020 to ensure that the Paris Agreement goals can be met. Businesses have a key role to play in this, by implementing NDCs on the ground, and by innovating to open up new ambition in the future.

COP23 must lay the groundwork for the conclusion of the Paris rulebook at COP24, including rules on the global stocktake to take place every five years, transparency, accounting, markets, and resilience...[refers to Chongqing Changan, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo].

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Article
12 November 2017

Commentary: Oil and gas industry needs to tackle methane emissions

Author: Nigel Topping, We Mean Business

"It's time for the gas majors to tackle methane", 3 Nov 2017

While gas can help drive a switch away from coal, which has potential benefits in stalling the rise in global emissions, there are many uncertainties around how the sector will adapt to the widespread implementation of the Paris Agreement.…With the oil and gas industry being the chief emitter of methane after agriculture, the industry’s seeming inability to tackle the problem raises questions about its future in the low-carbon economy. However…there have been two positive developments that suggest progress can be made.

Firstly, analysis from International Energy Agency (IEA) in its latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2017 found that around 40% to 50% of current methane emissions from the oil and gas sector worldwide could be avoided at no net cost…

Secondly, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which represents ten of the sector’s largest companies – Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Eni, CNPC, Pemex, Repsol, Statoil, Total and BP…announced its goal to work towards net zero methane emissions from the gas value chain…

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Article
12 November 2017

IFC report: Private sector investments are crucial to meeting climate targets

Author: Fiona Harvey, The Guardian (UK)

"Huge private sector investment puts Paris climate target in reach, says report", 2 Nov 2017

The World Bank Group’s subsidiary, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), said [in a report] that... investment [in renewable power, energy efficiency, and public transport around the world] could hold the key to fighting climate change, provided the investment continues and is directed to the right ends...

Philippe Le Houérou, chief executive of the IFC, said: “The private sector holds the key to fighting climate change. We can help unlock more private sector investment, but this also requires government reforms as well as innovative business models, which together will create new markets and attract the necessary investment. This can fulfil the promises of Paris.”

The IFC report, entitled Creating Markets for Climate Business, found that governments could work with businesses by fostering renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels...However, in many countries, developed and developing, fossil fuel companies have the incumbent advantage, and in some cases policies have been developed to suit them… 

Christian Aid, the development charity, called on the World Bank Group to stop lending to fossil fuel projects. Funding by the group’s members for fossil fuel projects has increased to $4.7bn in 2016, according to the charity...

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Article
12 November 2017

Interview: Mars discusses sustainable land use and efforts to combat climate change

Author: Ashley Allen, We Mean Business

Ashley Allen, Senior Manager Sustainability at Mars Inc. spoke to the We Mean Business coalition about the critical role of sustainable land use for the company’s success and calls on companies to double down on their climate action…

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Article
12 November 2017

Interview: Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas reaffirms its commitment to sourcing 100% renewable energy by joining "RE100" initiative

Author: The Climate Group

"'We Are Committed to a Future Powered by Renewable Energy': Morten Dyrholm, Vestas Wind Systems", 26 Oct 2017

"Vestas has decided to make its own operations powered by 100% renewable electricity...We set our first renewable electricity target back in 2010 and two years later we decided to increase that target to 100%. The target was reached in 2013...As our operations and electricity consumption grows, our commitment is to stay at 100%...RE100 helps to bring attention to the growing private sector commitment to a greener and more sustainable future through sourcing renewable energy. In addition to making sense from a sustainability point of view, it also makes economic sense...Companies and the larger private sector play a huge role in shifting the energy markets. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, US$11.3 trillion will be invested in power generation to meet the rapidly increasing energy demand. And it is the private sector that will provide the technologies and innovations that will make this shift happen...In 2011-15 we promised to reduce our product carbon footprint by 5%, but we actually reached 15%.

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Item
12 November 2017

We Mean Business NGO network & corporate partners express support for COP23 vision of a "grand coalition" to accelerate climate action

Author: We Mean Business

"Making the Paris Vision a Reality", 2 Nov 2017

We Mean Business is a global coalition of nonprofit organizations working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change... 

We reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement...We call on all Parties to do the same, and to implement their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) with sound policies...Just as Parties’ NDCs set emissions reduction targets, leading businesses are setting bold targets in their operations and across their value chains...We strongly support the grand coalition envisioned by the COP23 Presidency to unite civil society, the scientific community, the private sector and all levels of government to build the Paris vision...[refers to BT, Carlsberg Breweries, General Mills, Konica Minolta, Mars, Walmart, and Hewlett Packard]

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Article
11 November 2017

Commentary: Governments need to address protection of environmental defenders at 2017 UN Climate Change Conference

Author: Katharina Rall, Human Rights Watch, OpenGlobalRights

"Protecting environmental defenders should be a central issue at climate talks", 31 Oct 2017

…Delegates from around the world will gather [for the UN Climate Change Conference], to continue their discussions on how the Paris Agreement... should be carried out in... international and domestic policy... Human rights advocates, indigenous peoples, environmental groups, and women’s rights advocates are asking their governments to take leadership on... incorporating human rights in climate action… The frequent attacks and threats against environmental rights defenders throughout the world are an example of why governments need to include protecting rights in their climate policies... In addition to ignoring direct attacks..., some governments use laws to criminalize the actions of environmental defenders or limit the space for activism…

Unless governments stop the criminalization of defenders, protect those who defend the environment, and respect due process show a larger commitment to human rights, any efforts to protect the climate will easily be blocked... But so far, governments have been reluctant to integrate rights protections in key sections of the “Paris Rulebook.”… If [represented countries] avoid addressing human rights in their climate policy, they will invariably be shirking their international human rights obligations... [and] ultimately, emphasizing rights protections in climate policies will help protect the lives and health of those working to protect the climate.

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Article
11 November 2017

Commentary: Intergenerational efforts are critical to addressing climate change

Author: Leah Davidson, OpenGlobalRights

For many children in developing countries, the reality of climate change is intricately intertwined with children’s human rights to education, healthcare, shelter and sanitation...There is a generational divide between the people in leadership positions with spending and voting power and the people who will be most affected by climate-related policy decisions and government action: our children and grandchildren… [W]e must think not only of the problems these children face now; we must consider what they will face when they become the next generation of leaders…

According to a recent report from…the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…many effects of global warming…will persist even if we stopped global emissions today and thus will inevitably affect future generations... One first step to ensuring children’s rights...is to bring current leaders and future leaders together in an intergenerational effort… By encouraging dialogue between different generations, we can ensure that each generation is able to contribute their unique assets…to solve the most critical challenges connected to climate change.

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