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INSIDER

While much of climate change discussion focused on critical issues of reducing emissions to avoid dangerous levels of warming, it is important to remember that warming is already happening, and that it contributes to worsening drought, floods, extreme weather and other serious impacts. Encouragingly, action to adapt to these impacts are also part of the discussion at the Paris climate talks currently underway.

As of this Monday, 174 countries had submitted their national climate plans to the UN, in preparation for the Paris climate summit that begins next week. These “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) show countries are stepping up to take collective action to address climate change. Governments have set out a variety of different approaches, including specifying absolute emissions-reduction targets, setting economy-wide emissions intensity goals, outlining efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and detailing specific actions they plan to take in a range of...

The international community has adopted a goal to limit global warming below 2°C (3.6°F) above preindustrial levels (and consider 1.5 degrees C) in order to avoid some of the worst climate impacts. However, the 2°C goal does not easily guide every day decision-making because it does not state who needs to act, by how much and by when. So negotiators are considering a second, complementary goal which would operationalize the target to limit warming below 2°C. Many have termed this a “long-term goal” which would aim to send a much clearer signal to the world what pathway key players need to follow to stay below 2°C.

Last week, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board met for its last meeting before the upcoming climate talks in Paris. Countries created the GCF to be the main global fund for climate finance, and as such, it could play a vital role in delivering the goals of an agreement in Paris. If the GCF is to be a key player in the future climate regime, it needs to show that it can effectively spend money. Is it up to the task?

On Friday, the UNEP Emissions Gap Report joined a series of studies released over the past few weeks assessing how much countries’ recent climate change announcements, or intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), contribute to combating warming. Collectively, the studies make it clear that the INDCs make a substantial contribution to bending the global emissions trajectory below our current path. However, the studies also show that without additional...

We’re now halfway towards the 2020 deadline – set in 2009 – for developed countries to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance. It’s essential to show that developed countries are keeping their commitments so developing countries know they have support for ambitious action when countries meet to forge a new global climate agreement in Paris this December. So with five years to go, how close are we to $100 billion a year? And how could we get there?

So far, 56 countries (including 28 member states of the European Union) have submitted their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Reflecting the nationally determined nature of these climate contributions, they vary significantly in form, scope and coverage. Yet a key question for all of them is: Have they provided information about whether they are fair and ambitious?

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