Australian news, and some related international items

Here’s What’s Happening at Bonn Climate Conference

The World’s Largest Climate Change Summit Starts Today. Here’s What’s Happening. Huffington Post 6 Nov 17 It is the first annual meeting of the United Nations group since President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Representatives from nearly 200 countries gather at the United Nations’ 23rd climate change conference beginning Monday, an annual effort to tackle global warming and its impacts already inflicting havoc on the planet.

 This year, however, the U.N. faces a new challenge: Addressing the phenomenon after U.S. President Donald Trump, leader of the planet’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter, pledged to do nothing to curb emissions.
The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will deal with that question in Bonn, Germany, from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17 as countries work to firm up their commitments to adapt to a warmer world in line with 2015′s landmark Paris Climate Agreement. Scientists say the world should prevent the planet from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a benchmark set by the Paris accord. Meeting the target means dramatic reduction in global emissions, and the Paris pact urges signatories to craft voluntary pledges to do that.

However, the agreement is not legally binding, and Trump followed through on a campaign pledge to withdraw America from what he calls the “draconian” pact in June. It is a multi-year process to do so, and the U.S. cannot leave until Nov. 4, 2020 ― the day after the next presidential election.

The Trump administration announced last week it would actively promote fossil fuelsduring a presentation at the climate conference, also known as the Conference of the Parties, or COP. Delegates sent by the White House will host a talk titled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation,” which will tout the supposed benefits of coal, natural gas and nuclear power.

delegation of U.S. negotiators are expected to work in Bonn to help write the rulebook for the Paris agreement, but their presence will be awkward. It’s unclear if negotiators from other countries will be willing to listen to a White House, which, under Trump, would not abide by any rules that emerge.

The summit will feature some U.S. star power, however. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire activist Tom Steyer are funding a pavilion to showcase climate action by U.S. cities and businesses. The federal government usually pays the $200,000 or so cost of the showcase, but declined to do so this year.

“The American people and American industry are pretty much all behind doing what the Paris agreement is designed to do, and that is to cut the amount of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere so we will slow down and maybe even stop climate change, which has the potential to destroy the world,” Bloomberg told The New York Times last month.

Environmental groups and local governments around the U.S. reacted with fury following Trump’s decision to quit the Paris deal, but pledged to do their part to combat his agenda with or without federal support. Other world leaders have vowed to move forward regardless, and in July, every member of the G20, aside from the U.S., unveiled a detailed policy to abide by the Paris pact in a clear rebuke of the White House. …..

China and India, are on track to meet their emissions-reduction targets years earlier than expected, and both have invested heavily in renewable energy.

The talks in Bonn will be relatively low key compared with prior summits, as countries work to refine guidelines and review procedures to ensure signatories are meeting their commitments. The U.N. has agreed that negotiators will need to have such a framework in place by a 2018 deadline to make sure nations are doing enough to combat climate change.

November 8, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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