EU Steps up Collaboration With China, Warns Trump at Climate Summit – As it Happened

EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Xie Zhenhua, China's special climate representative, after their meeting yesterday. Photo: European Commission
EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Xie Zhenhua, China's special climate representative, after their meeting yesterday. Photo: European Commission

Welcome to the Tuesday, 15 November 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s COP22 live blog.

  • High-level politicians take part in plenary sessions today
  • Europe to announce increased cooperation on climate action with China
  • Paris reverse not in “interest of the US” EU commissioner Cañete warns
  • Carbon tax on imports from US in case of Paris Agreement exit is being discussed
  • EU announces new activities in North America, collaboration between cities
  • Two key non-party stakeholder discussions take place today at 3pm and 5pm
  • Big business calls for price on carbon and fossil fuel subsidies abolition
  • Catch up with today’s newsletter or our COP22 Week in Review

Drawing on our team on the ground in Marrakesh, social media and press coverage around the world, our digital reporters keep you updated on the latest efforts to accelerate the Paris Agreement’s implementation at the twenty-second UN climate conference in Morocco.

Marrakesh Climate Show

9:49 GMT by Molly Redmond

Last night Alma the Whale stunned audiences in her appearance at the Marrakesh Climate Show.

COP22 attendees were treated to an amazing musical show with performers from around the world including Natacha Atlas, Anggun and Oum.

Alma, as seen in the video below, took flight over the audience as a symbol for the survival of the species.

What does Akon have in common with the COP22 president?

9:50 GMT by Molly Redmond

International music star Akon joined COP22 at a special Momentum for Change event yesterday to discuss smart lighting systems.

Akon, Co-Founder of Akon Lighting Africa, aims to develop solar-powered solutions that will provide African villages with access to clean and affordable electricity.

Akon also recorded a special message for Moroccan climate minister Hakima El Haite urging viewers to get involved by learning more about the environment and how to be effective in fighting climate change.

Royal Lunch

14:55 GMT by Peter Koekoek

I’m just taking over here in Toronto from Molly in London, as heads of state and government and other senior politicians in Marrakesh are making their way to a “royal lunch” following the official opening of the high-level part of the COP22 conference.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI addressed the delegates earlier this morning and warned a lack of action on climate change “will lead to more crises and conflicts around the world,” according to a tweet from the UNFCCC.

Thanks Obama

14:56 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Addressing delegates today, French president François Hollande said outgoing US president Barack Obama played a crucial role in achieving the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a tweet by COP22.

Filmmaker and climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio recently asked the president what would happen if a future president wouldn’t believe in climate science. “Reality has a way of hitting you in the nose if you’re not paying attention,” Obama replied, saying that he has faith in the electorate and their increased understanding of the science “because it’s indisputable.”

Hollande also warned that the US must continue to honour its agreements, according to a tweet by Sam Metz, who says the audience responded with applause. Metz points out Hollande didn’t name Donald Trump but just call him the “new president.” One of the possible contestants in the next French presidential election has called for a carbon tax on US imports should Trump pull America out of the Paris Agreement.

Dutch parliamentarian Stientje van Veldhoven quoted Hollande as saying “inaction would be disastrous for the world.”

Just a few blocks from Trump Tower, nations keep ratifying the Paris Agreement

15:34 GMT by Peter Koekoek

While Donald Trump is putting together his new administration from the comforts of his lavish Trump Tower complex in Manhattan, diplomats from around the world continue to ratify the Paris Agreement in a building just a few blocks away.

Quick visit to the UN Headquarters before the event tonight #worktrip #unhq #nyc

A photo posted by Chris Harbour (@charbour12) on

The UK is likely to send its ambassador to the UN headquarters to formally ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change tomorrow or Thursday, according to Climate Home. So far 110 out of 197 signatories have formally ratified the agreement, with Australia, Italy and Japan among those joining last week.

Australia’s ratification of the agreement just days after the US election gave the COP22 summit a welcome boost. Finland ratified the agreement yesterday, and the country’s UN delegation tweeted photos from the small ceremony in New York.

Australia announces climate-friendly building in middle of Washington D.C.

16:28 GMT by Peter Koekoek

Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, confirmd that Australia would go ahead with its plans to cut carbon emissions and that it is committed to the Paris Agreement which it ratified last week.

According to the Daily Telegraph, she said the aim of COP22 is to turn the agreement in Paris “into concrete results and outcomes.’’ She said Australia “will actively and fully implement” the terms of the Paris Agreement. Although most observers agree that Australia’s emission reduction targets are not yet ambitious enough, the country’s ratification of the accord last week provided a welcome morale boost following the US election.

Yesterday, Bishop announced a new piece of Australian, climate fiendly real estate in the middle of Washington D.C. The country will tear down its current US embassy – which is “just a short walk to the White House” according to Bishop, “perfectly positioned for close engagement with the United States government” – to replace it with a new one. “Innovative environmental design solutions will be used throughout the building which will have the highest global environmental design standards,” she said.

“Awesome women”

17:19 GMT by Peter Koekoek

A lot of side-events at the COP22 summit focus on gender issues today. UNESCO director general Irina Bokova tweeted that women and gender equality are driving forces for climate action. “Glad to see such commitment from so many women ministers at Gender Day,” she added. 

Canadian climate cange minister Catherine McKenna tweeted “So many awesome women here showing climate leadership at COP22,” adding “You all inspire me.”

Just a few years ago, “women and climate change did not exist in the same sentence,” remarked Yannick Glemarec of UN Women. “Today it is self-evident,” he said.

In a twitter video, Lakshmi Puri, one of UN Women’s deputy executive directors, explains how climate change has a “disproportionate and differential impact on women and girls, in so many different ways.” It is particularly in poor communities and countries that it affects their health, food security, work and livelihood, she says.

“In increases the discrimination, inequalities, violence and the burden of care and domestic work that women already disproportionality carry,” Puri explains. But “irrespective of the fact that their contribution is not recognised or supported adequately, they have been on the front lines of climate action,” she said.


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