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Latest news on COP24 climate discussions

Greta Thunberg, 15-year-old climate activist, speaks at COP24

Greta Thunberg, 15-year-old climate activist, speaks at COP24.

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Article
10 December 2018

CEOs of 50 companies sign open letter appealing to world leaders to urgently address climate change

"...In 2015, our coalition the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders – an informal group, facilitated by the World Economic Forum, of major global businesses from a range of sectors – called on governments to reach an ambitious climate deal, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

When the Paris Agreement was reached, we confirmed our commitment to work together with the public sector and civil society to help deliver on its goals.

Since then, we have collectively reduced our own emissions by 9%* and are committed to reducing these further. We have introduced innovations and solutions, as shown in our recent Two Degrees of Transformation report.

But global greenhouse gas emissions remain at historic highs. The aim of limiting global warming to well below two degrees is clearly not on track. We need to do morefaster, and together..."

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Report
10 December 2018

Global Coal Exit List identifies 282 companies planning to build new coal-fired power stations, calls for impact divesting

"...The GCEL provides key statistics on companies’ annual coal production and coal share of revenue, their installed coal-fired capacity and coal share of power production. These statistics were drawn from original company sources such as annual reports, investor presentations and company websites. All in all, the companies listed in the GCEL represent over 88% of world coal production and 86% of the world’s coal-fired capacity...

...A unique feature of the GCEL is the fact that it also provides information on companies’ plans to expand coal mining or develop new coal-fired power stations. It is thus the first “forward-looking” coal divestment tool. The GCEL identifies 225 companies that are planning to expand coal mining and 282 companies that are planning new coal-fired power stations.[2] 'We’ve discovered that a significant portion of these companies are not traditional coal industry players,' says Schuecking..."

 

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Report
10 December 2018

International Labor Organization (ILO) maps how green jobs benefit workers and economies, mitigate climate change, prevent health & safety risks and increase productivity

"...Some 23 countries have decoupled economic growth from GHG emissions as a result of the increased use of renewable energy, carbon pricing, green product subsidies and green jobs, among other policies. Environmental sustainability can be achieved alongside the advancement of decent work.

Some 1.2 billion jobs, or 40 per cent of total world employment, most of which are in Africa and Asia and the Pacific, depend directly on ecosystem services, and jobs everywhere are dependent on a stable environment. Every year, on average, natural disasters caused or exacerbated by humanity result in the loss of 23 million working-life years, or the equivalent of 0.8 per cent of a year’s work. Even in a scenario of effective climate change mitigation, temperature increases resulting from climate change will lead to the loss of the equivalent of 72 million full-time jobs by 2030 due to heat stress. Developing countries and the most vulnerable population groups are most exposed to these impacts..."

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Article
10 December 2018

London School of Economics and Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment launch investor guide

"A ‘just transition’ for workers and communities as the world’s economy responds to climate change was included as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This guide sets out how investors can address the social dimension of climate change and pursue the goal of a just transition as part of their core operating practices..."

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Article
10 December 2018

Poland's restrictions on protest keep representatives from civil society groups barred from participating in COP24

"...Human Rights Watch is aware of at least 13 people whom Polish authorities, over the past week, barred from entering Poland and making their voices heard at the climate change gathering in the city of Katowice.

The ground invoked to deny them entry at the Polish border, at least in some cases, was that the person was considered to pose a threat to public order, internal security, public health, or international relations to one or more members states of the European Union. However, all the NGO representatives had valid visas and UN accreditation. Two of the activists are nationals of European Union countries and entitled to free movement in the EU. Moreover, at least five of the environmental activists who were denied entry were held and questioned at the border for several hours...

 

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Article
5 December 2018

Call to end the Clean Development Mechanism in order to meet goals of the Paris Agreement

Author: Carbon Market Watch

"...If we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the CDM must not be allowed to undermine future efforts for the following three reasons:

  1. The CDM undermines domestic climate action

The CDM is, at best, a zero-sum game: one entity is able to emit while another will reduce its emissions by the same amount...

  1. The CDM has increased greenhouse gas emissions

...In the EU alone, emissions increased by about 580 million tonnes of CO2 as a result of the use of CDM credits in the EU Emissions Trading System. This is because an overwhelming majority of CDM projects essentially issue ‘junk’ credits that do not lead to real-world emission reductions...

  1. CDM projects have violated human rights

Several CDM projects have violated human rights, in particular indigenous peoples’ rights, and led to disastrous impacts, such as the exploitation of land resulting in the displacement of local communities, as was the case in the Barro Blanco hydrodam project..."

 

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Article
5 December 2018

CARE keeps focus on women and girls in developing countries in its key demands for COP24

Author: CARE: Climate Change and Resilience Information Center

"The UN climate change summit, COP24, comes at a critical time, only weeks after the most recent Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made it clear that much greater and quicker action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is needed to keep climate disruption within the 1.5°C limit, a threshold which could avoid many large-scale disastrous impacts on this planet. The report has also shown that such action can come with multiple benefits for tackling poverty and making progress on key Sustainable Development Goals. In CARE’s view, addressing the concerns and challenges faced by poor and vulnerable women and girls in developing countries, as well as their potential as agents of change, must be at the heart of tackling the climate crisis and promoting climate justice.

At COP24, governments must give a strong response to the climate disruption that people all over this planet experience and from which the poorest and most marginalised suffer most:

  1. by promising to accelerate climate protection efforts in line with the 1.5°C limit;
  2. by increasing protection for those most affected by climate damage; and
  3. by setting in place the necessary rules for the Paris Agreement to deliver concrete results in a manner that builds resilience, protects human rights, reduces gender inequality, promotes food security and enhances sustainable development...."

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Article
5 December 2018

EU: Council endorses measures requiring banks to disclose ESG-related financial risks

Author: EURACTIV.com

The ECOFIN Council adopted three sustainability measures of the Capital Requirement Directive and Capital Requirement Regulation for banks as part of the EU’s ‘Risk Reduction Measures package’:

  • A report from the European Banking Authority in the next two years on potential brown and green factors for banks’ capital requirements;
  • A report from the European Banking Authority in the next two years on the potential inclusion of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks in the review and evaluation performed by financial regulators; 
  • Mandatory disclosure of ESG risks for banks in three years.

Capital requirements for banks serve to reduce the risk of default and are in place to ensure banks’ assets... These requirements should as such reflect long-term risks [...] but to date though, banks have not properly been disclosing climate-related risks, nor are such risks adequately monitored by financial regulators...

“The ECOFIN Council decision on these two European Banking Authority reports is an important and necessary step to assess the financial risks posed by climate-related and other ESG impacts... The mandatory disclosure of climate and ESG-related risks for banks is another important advancement,” said Sebastien Godinot, an economist at the WWF European Policy Office...

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Article
5 December 2018

Schedule of Events: Human Rights and Climate Change at COP24

"This schedule lists events related to human rights and climate change organised during the COP-24 in Katowice, whether in the UNFCCC venue or outside..."

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Article
5 December 2018

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stands ready to provide guidance on the protection of human rights in climate action

Author: Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

"...We know that the sum total of States' current nationally determined contributions put us on track for roughly 3*C of warming, more than twice the target the international community agreed to pursue efforts to reach three years ago in Paris.

The consequences of this degree of climate change are unthinkable. Entire nations, ecosystems, peoples and ways of life could simply cease to exist. And countless lives will be irreparably harmed, starting with those who already face discrimination because of their gender; because of their economic status; because they are members of indigenous peoples or minorities; because they are migrants, or internally displaced; because of their age; or because they are people with disabilities...

I am deeply commutted to the struggle to uphold the rights of the millions of people threatened by climate change, now and in the coming years. My Office will extend all possible support to Member States in negotiating and implenting human rights-based climate actions in this critical struggle..."

 

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