A couple of things to watch for in news of COP21

the uncredentialed multitudes in the Green Zone,, searching the internet for news from the Blue ZoneAnother day, another onslaught of information and no assurance I have more than a marginal idea about what is actually going on! But I am learning about some of the major sticking points in the agreement, which can be substantively changed this week from its current not-exactly-what-we-need form.

•  We heard this morning that there is no mention of “fossil fuels,” or of “oil,” “gas,” or “coal” in the current draft.

•  Yesterday we learned that as the document was edited for length they also cut out “ecosystems.” Too many characters, I guess.

•  “Loss and Damage” — a large and controversial topic — is about compensating countries and localities that must rebuild from catastrophy. We heard a presentation this morning from Julie-Anne Richards of the Australian Climate Justice Programme, comparing the fossil fuel companies’ profits to the cost of rebuilding: for example, the estimated cost of cleaning up from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is $10 billion…while Chevron’s profits that year (2013) were $21.4 billion.  The drought in Kenya from 2008 to 2001 is estimated to have cost $12.1 billion, and Royal Dutch Shell’s profits over the same period were $90.2 billion. Her group supports the “Carbon Levy Project” — a levy on fuel extraction that will fund the loss and damage mechanism, “and to ensure that the cost of climaste change is shifted from the world’s most vulnerable people” to the fossil fuel majors. The report and proposal are here.

•  A slightly heartening number of countries are signing on to a push for a global average temperature degree target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, instead of 2.0. Watch for this! And to find out more about it, read Rebecca Solnit’s excellent blog post in Harper’s. SHE gets to go into the Blue Zone.

It’s all exciting. Encouraging! and exhausting…


1 Comment

  1. Evan Hughes on December 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

    NY Times has a Europe story today the 9th on US to double its funding now to 2020 from $430M to $860M for “grant-based public funding” for adaptation to climate change. This is part of response to the poor countries most subject to sea level. etc. per Janet Cox’s list of damage $B amounts. That same NYT article ends with some short text on the issues of disagreement at COP21 as the conference moves toward conclusion.