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The ten biggest stories from COP23 so far — 8 November

An activist holds a black balloon symbolize the CO2 emissions of the coal plants near COP23. Image via Flickr: bund_bundesverband
An activist holds a black balloon symbolize the CO2 emissions of the coal plants near COP23. Image via Flickr: bund_bundesverband

What is going on at this year’s COP23 climate change negotiations?

In the run-up to this yearly milestone event, data on emissions suggests they have peaked in many countries, while the UNEP has suggested six ideas to make sure we stay on track to keep within a 2°C target.

With talks preparing the ground for 2018, there are worries that the US may remain problematic. The US is now the only country in the world opposing the Paris Agreement after Syria agreed to sign on Tuesday. Despite this, US cities and states are stepping up, and the EU is partnering with California to take climate action.

With news of investment and innovation, here are the ten biggest COP23 stories so far this week.

1. New data gives hope for meeting the Paris climate targets

In the run up to COP23, new data from the EU Joint Research Centre revealed that global carbon emissions appears to be close to peaking. Over the past four years, economic growth and carbon dioxide emissions have been de-coupled from economic growth. Further World Resource Institute data also suggested emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries.
Read more on The Guardian

2. UNEP: Six crucial actions to help close the world’s emissions gap

Current pledges by nations to reduce their emissions add up to no more than a third of the reductions needed to avoid 2°C of global warming, according to a new UN Environmental Program (UNEP) report. The report says a large portion of reductions could come from six areas: solar energy; wind energy; efficient appliances; efficient passenger cars; afforestation; and halting deforestation.
Read more on Carbon Brief

https://twitter.com/WYeates/status/926171803269070848

3. The COP23 climate change summit in Bonn and why it matters

The Guardian writes that the Bonn meeting is vital in building the rules that will enable the Paris deal to work. The president of this year’s COP is the Fijian prime minister. Having suffered damages of well over $1bn after Cyclone Winston struck in 2016, Fiji is likely to focus attention on the issue of compensation for climate damage and adapting to future threats, as much as cutting emissions.

With the US set to pull out of the Paris Agreement, many US states, cities and businesses have pledged to honour the deal instead, and will have a high profile in Bonn. Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he will pay the $15m in UNFCCC administration costs if the US government does not.

The strand of negotiations tackling loss and damage, the Warsaw mechanism, has little money, according to aid groups. Rich nations are opposed to loss and damage payments. The issue needs to be resolved to prevent harm spreading to other areas of negotiation. Widespread and cheap insurance against extreme weather is a compromise being proposed.

There is also the pledge by rich countries climate finance by 2020. The US was expected to be a big contributor and so a question to be tackled in Bonn is whether other countries will pick up the tab.
Read more at The Guardian

4. Four market signals to watch at COP23

GreenBiz asks what will make tangible, constructive progress on the Paris Agreement? It mentions four signs to look out for:
1. Tangible progress on making the Paris Agreement operational
2. A strong foundation for 2018, the first moment for countries to assess progress and readiness
3. Heightened attention to climate impacts and concrete steps for vulnerable communities
4. A growing wave of support from non-state actors such as cities and business
Read more at GreenBiz.com

5. ‘Don’t wake the bear’: fragile climate talks begin in Bonn

Despite calm rhetoric, negotiators are nervous of the Trump effect, telling Climate Home News the Paris consensus could unravel quickly.
Read more at Climate Home

6. Private sector investment puts Paris climate target in reach, says report

Global investment could hold the key to fighting climate change, with $1 trillion dollars already invested in solutions such as renewables and energy efficiency, says International Finance Corporation.
Read more on the Guardian

7. The seven megatrends that could beat global warming and reason for hope

Until recently the battle to avert catastrophic climate change – floods, droughts, famine, mass migrations – seemed to be lost. But with the tipping point just a few years away, the tide is finally turning, thanks to innovations ranging from cheap renewables to lab-grown meat and electric airplanes.
Read more on The Guardian

8. Tropical islands to team up with rich cities on climate change

Cities in tropical island states, led by Fiji, plan to team up with cities such as New York and Malmo to tackle rising sea levels and other threats linked to climate change.
Read more on Thomson Reuters Foundation

9. Syria joins Paris Climate Accord, leaving only US opposed

Syria announced on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris Agreement. Now the US is the country standing alone in its stance on climate change.
Read more at New York Times

10. EU and California to discuss linking carbon markets

The EU and California are beginning talks to potentially create a common carbon market that could also include China.
Read more at Edie.net

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