Welcome to the Wednesday, 16 November 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s COP22 live blog.
- UK set to ratify Paris climate accord today or tomorrow, following Finland’s lead
- Australian government to construct climate-friendly building “a short walk from the White House”
- France’s Hollande praises Obama’s role in forging Paris climate agreement
- Business groups call for more climate action transparency in private sector
- India reportedly committed to Paris Agreement, following talks with EU and China
- Delegates to discuss the promise of crop microinsurance in Africa
- Catch up with today’s newsletter or our COP22 live blog archives
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.
9:33 GMT by Molly Redmond
Good morning and welcome to the COP22 live blog!
Did you get a chance to spot the astronomical supermoon last night? It was the first time a completely full moon has come this close to Earth since 1948.
As people around the world looked to the skies, delegates in Marrakesh were treated to another type of super Moon… UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon arrived at COP22 for the final week of the UN climate change conference.
Finally got to see the super moon. pic.twitter.com/FcHkhi06Gb
— Karl Mathiesen (@KarlMathiesen) November 15, 2016
Speaking at a conference he spoke of the historic Paris Agreement and how it has opened up global cooperation on climate change.
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) November 15, 2016
Women Leaders Summit
11:15 GMT by Molly Redmond
Happening right now at COP is the Women Leaders & Global Transformation Summit.
According to the website, the summit is an opportunity to “create bridges of collaboration between empowered women and others in need, between different networks and initiatives to support the most ambitious and accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement”
COP22 champion Hakima El Haite has just opened the summit with an inspiring, energetic and insightful speech according to Margaret-Ann Splawn, the executive director at the Climate Markets & Investment Association.
— Margaret-Ann Splawn (@masplawn) November 16, 2016
Hakima talked about fighting for peace, human rights and security in the world through the fight for climate action. She also said “we need women to lead the way for climate change.”
— HElHaiteCop22 (@HElHaiteCop22) November 16, 2016
14:08 GMT by Molly Redmond
It looks like EU Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete, has made some strong friendships during his time at COP22.
Mattlan Zackhras, convenor of the High Ambition Coalition, tweeted earlier this morning that they he has spent more time with Cañete than his own wife, clearly showing their commitment to the Paris Agreement!
— Minister M. Zackhras (@MattlanZackhras) November 16, 2016
Cañete also tweeted earlier that he will miss John Kerry, who has been speaking in Marrakesh today but leaves for Peru this afternoon.
I will miss this man. pic.twitter.com/JJEf7WWYWp
— Miguel Arias Cañete (@MAC_europa) November 16, 2016
EU to Trump: Paris Agreement is “irreversible and non-negotiable”
14:31 GMT by Peter Koekoek
Good afternoon, as I’m taking over here in Toronto from Molly in London, EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete has just delivered an official statement in Marrakesh on behalf of the European Union. He vowed to defend and implement the Paris climate accord and called it a “growth engine of our economies.”
— Miguel Arias Cañete (@MAC_europa) November 16, 2016
“We, the Parties to the Paris Agreement. We, civil society. We, cities and provinces. We, businesses and investors. We, developed and developing countries,” are on the “right side of history,” he said, in a clear message to US president-elect Donald Trump.
The commissioner told delegates that they “can count on the European Union to continue to lead the work to face one the greatest challenges of our time.”
He acknowledged that the world was entering “unchartered waters,” but assured the COP22 conference that the European Union “will stand firm on shaky ground. We are here to stand for the Paris Agreement. We are here to defend the Paris Agreement. And we are here to turn the Paris Agreement into action.”
You can find Cañete’s full speech on the European Commission website.
Climate action is… “irresistible”
15:08 GMT by Peter Koekoek
“In terms of climate change … there’s an irresistible force now,” Canada’s climate change minister Catherine McKenna said yesterday, contributing yet another adjective to climate action’s diplomatic lexicon.
The European Union has been calling the low carbon transition “irriversible” for some time, and this morning the EU’s climate commissioner called the Paris Agreement “non-negotiable.”
We can expect two major statements to come out of COP22 this week, both from the entire conference and from the High Ambition Coalition, and it will be interesting to see which language makes it into the delcarations, which will be seen as a message to Donald Trump.
McKenna made her comments at a press conference yesterday, and also said: “There’s no going back. You can’t stop the waves from hitting the beach. And what you’re seeing is, it’s because the market forces recognise the huge opportunity,” according to CTV news.
— Brendon Larson (@BrendonLarson) November 15, 2016
The woman leading Thailand’s solar revolution
15:58 GMT by Peter Koekoek
Solar power is expanding rapidly across Asia, and entrepreneurs like Thailand’s Solar Power Company Group CEO Wandee Khunchornyakong highlight the opportunities at the Marrakesh summit.
Khunchornyakong, who won the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change award back in 2014, has developed a strong enough position to start replicating her success “both in Thailand and the Southeast Asian region” according to the UNFCCC. Khunchornyakong, who attracted some $2 billion in private capital a few years ago, stopped by Climate-KIC’s COP22 stand today and gave the Daily Planet a thumbs up, according to this tweet from Andrea Karpati.
— Andrea Karpati (@krptndr) November 16, 2016
The company’s growth has been mostly independent from government funding, demonstrating “the power of early-stage, strategic investments” that are often needed to unlock globally scalable solutions that can be “financed on a commercial basis beyond an initial support period,” the UNFCCC says.
— Ana Marinovic (@Ana1Marinovic) April 18, 2016
365+ American businesses and investors back Paris Agreement
17:01 GMT by Peter Koekoek
More than 365 businesses and investors, from more than a dozen Fortune 500 firms to small, family-owned businesses across more than 35 states, sent a strong message today to Donald Trump.
The companies reaffirmed their support for the historic Paris Climate Agreement and the need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy “at home and around the world,” according to a press statement. We “re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement,” they say.
Among the large and small U.S. businesses signing the statement are DuPont, Gap, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Hilton, Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss, L’Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars, Schneider Electric, Unilever’s US operations and Starbucks. It is vital that the business community demonstrates its ongoing commitment to tackling climate change,” said Barry Parkin, chief sustainability officer at Mars.
“The Paris Agreement was a vital step forward, but its power is in our collective action,” said Lara Birkes, chief sustainability officer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Business and government leaders must urgently work together to drive a thriving, low-carbon economy,” she said. Zaurie Zimmerman, CEO of The Lion Company in Louisville, Kentucky, said that ultimately it is about keeping the United States “truly competitive in the global economy.”
You can find the list of companies on lowcarbonusa.org.
Over $23 million pledged in support of technology transfer
17:31 GMT by Peter Koekoek
The European Union, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the United States have announced over $23 million to scale up the UNFCCC’s technology transfer network.
The Paris Agreement establised a global Technology Mechanism to ensure low carbon technologies and knowledge are availabe around the world. It will rely on the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) for its practical implementation. Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate innovation initiative, is part of the CTCN network.
— CTCN (@UNFCCC_CTCN) November 16, 2016
CTCN Director Jukka Uosukainen recently put it like this: “Through our network, we bring together a diverse global community of climate technology decision makers, suppliers and financiers to identify barriers to technology transfer, exchange technology experience, and provide technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries.”
Climate-KIC head of policy Andrea Karpati recently wrote an opinion piece in the Daily Planet, saying “If the [UN] will be able to deploy innovative partnership orgware at the core of their framework for collaborative action and knowledge exchange – and fully use the knowledge and networks that already exists around the world – the implementation of [the Paris Agreement] could be achieved a lot faster and more effectively than currently imagined.”
US and Mexico first to announce long-term plans
18:47 GMT by Peter Koekoek
According to the Paris Agreement, all parties to the accord should formulate and publish long-term low greenhouse gas emission strategies. Today, the US and Mexico are the first countries to hand them in.
The United States has presented a plan for emissions reductions of 80 per cent or more below 2005 levels by 2050, although it will remain to be seen if Obama’s successor will stick to this. Mexico’s plan entails a 50 per cent reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050 compared to the year 2000. The UNFCCC has published the plans on its websiteand says further long-term climate change strategies are expected to be published by countries in the “near future.”
— Anders Levermann (@ALevermann) November 16, 2016
$50 million “transparency” initiative launched
19:29 GMT by Peter Koekoek
A new fund was launched today to help developing countries build up enough institutional and technical capacity to monitor and report their progress with decarbonising their economies.
The Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) – a trust fund administered by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) – was declared “open for business” by GEF CEO Naoko Ishi at an event in Marrakesh.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was launched just ahead of the 1992 summit that established the UNFCCC to fund environmental projects. The new CBIT initiative has already been promised over $50 million by countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium’s Walloon Region, according to a statement by the GEF.
The GEF has already approved the first set of projects, which are set to be implemented in Costa Rica, Kenya and South Africa. UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa said: “Confidence and cooperation are going be key to the success of the Paris Climate Change Agreement—now and over the years and decades to come. This initiative supports these twin aims as the world looks to build a climate secure future,” she added.
World Bank pledges $1.5 billion per year to support climate action in Middle East
19:39 GMT by Peter Koekoek
The World Bank has announced a new plan today to ramp up support for countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region “to confront the multiple threats of climate change.”
Over the next four years, the bank aims to nearly double the portion of its financing dedicated to climate action, taking it to around $1.5 billion per year by 2020.
Nearly two-thirds of agriculture in the MENA region relies solely on rainfall, which makes it especially vulnerable to changes in temperature and precipitation. As global temperatures rise, they will rise even faster in MENA, causing more frequent and severe droughts, the World Bank says. You can also download the bank’s regional action plan.
Germany: “We cannot tolerate any further delay in climate action”
20:27 GMT by Peter Koekoek
The UNFCCC has published a video recorded by Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks. In the video, Hendricks say “we cannot tolerate any further delay in climate action” and confirms Germany will double its climate action budget by 2020 compared to 2014.
This week, ministers from around the world have been discussing how to increase financial resources for technology development and transfer, and to ensure developing countries have the right skills and knowledge to decarbonise their economies. The high-level talks build on more technical discussions that already took place last week.
“Germany is ready to play its part. We have mapped out how Germany can become an almost greenhouse gas neutral economy,” Hendricks said. In the video, she announces that Germany will be helping other countries implement their national climate target.