Here’s a video interview from Paris via climatematters.tv and the United Planet Faith & Science Initiative discussing the status of climate attitudes among US evangelicals. Features a not-so-bad definition of evangelicalism in the first few minutes that might help any readers who are not that familiar with this group.
Runs about 30 minutes, and thanks to the engaging personalities of both Hayhoe and Cizik, very easy to listen too. Might be worth sharing with others. (At Care of Creation we have contact information for both of these speakers – let us know if you would like to reach out to either of them.)
Will COP 21 produce a genuinely historic agreement or just one more try? With less than 24 hours to go until the next (final?) deadline on Saturday, Coral Davenport of the New York Times holds out hope…
As I wrote earlier, the ultimate measure of whether the Paris pact is a success or a failure is whether it will send a market signal for investors to take their money out of fossil fuels and put it into low or zero-carbon energy sources.
If it does do that, then the Paris accord will play a major role in transforming the global economy from dependence on fossil fuels to reliance on renewable energy, and thus would save the world’s population from catastrophic climate impacts.
If it doesn’t send a market signal, the Paris deal is basically just an expression of political good will. Thursday night’s draft goes a long way toward sending that market signal, but it doesn’t get all the way there. The arguments over the final provisions that will determine whether the deal has teeth will unfold over the next 48 to 72 hours.
The biggest piece missing from the current text is clear language on monitoring and verifying whether and how countries will follow through on their promises to cut emissions.
In a Guardian story posted at 4:30 pm Eastern Time on Thursday (about 45 minutes ago as of this writing), the Foreign Minister of France indicates that we are “extremely close to the finishing line.”
Remaining issues, according to the Guardian, are:
Vulnerable island states and many countries who support the idea of an ambitious agreement are insisting it clearly recognise that climate science requires global warming to eventually be contained below 1.5 degrees. Several ministers told Wednesday night’s indabas that they would not go home with a vague “expression of sympathy” on the issue. While most negotiators are still holding back their final bottom-line position, some – including St Lucia’s environment minister, James Fletcher, are understood to have told the meeting that the inclusion of a 1.5 degree target was his before leaving. The latest draft seeks to resolve this issue, saying countries will “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, recognising that this would significantly reduce risks and impacts of climate change”. This is presented as the final option.
Developing countries are insisting the agreement is clear about the funding they might receive to help reduce emissions and cope with locked-in climate change, with the $100bn a year in public and private finance now promised by 2020 as minimum for post-2020 funding. The latest draft still contains different wording about how ambitious the funding aim should be.
Developed countries including the US and Australia and vulnerable countries are insisting the agreement make it clear that eventually all countries will need to account for and report their emissions in similar ways, with regular reviews of national commitments. Developing countries want to keep the division set up in the 1992 framework climate convention between the requirements of rich and poor nations. This is not yet resolved.
The dispute over loss and damage is also unresolved.
The deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute, Erwin Jackson, said the conference was “on the cusp of getting the best possible outcome … but some key political issues remain to be resolved”.
Another excellent update from Paris by John Elwood…
It’s clear why the countries of Asia are desperate for an agreement on climate pollution. The principal water source for countries from China to Pakistan is the frozen Tibetan Plateau — the “Third Pole” — and it’s melting fast in our warming world.
Vanishing glaciers raise urgent concerns beyond Tibet and China. The 46,000 glaciers of the Third Pole region sustain 1.5 billion people in 10 countries — its waters flowing to places as distant as the tropical Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the hills of eastern Myanmar and the southern plains of Bangladesh. Scattered across nearly two million square miles, these glaciers are receding at an ever-quickening pace, producing a rise in levels of rivers and lakes in the short term and threatening Asia’s water supply in the long run. Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation