21st Session Of Conference On Climate Change COP21 : Day 5  In Paris

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COP21: Second week, second phase of the negotiations

From Kyla in Paris:

“The second and final week of the Paris climate talks is here. Negotiators produced a draft text on Saturday and many are saying it seems like we’re in a pretty good place. People are even going so far as to say that, compared to Copenhagen six years ago, things are much more positive.

There are, of course, still clear divides to be fixed before the end of the week, including a general split between richer and poorer countries on climate finance.

Today the negotiators hand over the baton to ministers, so expect lots of grand speeches and promises to be made.”

As Kyla says this week ministers are stepping up to do the high level negotiations this week – and they have quite a job ahead of them. There are around 900 square brackets in the draft text which will need to be straightened out and as Wired writes, the text is “about 25,000 words complicated”.

The ministers have five days to turn the draft text into a long-term deal all 195 parties will agree to – “That will not be easy,” writes the BBC’s Matt McGrath.

The success of the talks comes down to two issues, trust and money, writes the NYT’s Coral Davenport. On trust, there is pushback on a transparent carbon emissions counting and reporting mechanism from India and China.

Oil price: plummets after OPEC decides to continue producing flat out

The oil price is at its lowest since August – below $40 per barrel, after OPEC agreed last week to continue to maintain production levels. Or at least, they didn’t agree a production target.

OPEC called for Russia, Kazakhstan and other producers join forces before there can be output cuts.

As the New York Times pointed out this was despite climate concerns about burning more and more oil against the backdrop of the climate talks.

In other oil news, the ISIS oil trade has been the focus of many recent articles asUS as UK airstrikes hit ISIS controlled oil fields in Syria. Also, Russia allegedly hit ISIS oil tankers.

Spain: Renewables giant on verge of collapse

Iberdrola energy group hails Scotland’s renewables policy while back at home Spain’s largest renewables energy company Abengoa teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, putting thousands of jobs at risk. Analysis from OIlprice.com says the possible bakruptcy has wider implications and threatens Spanish banks.

Bill Gates: Breakthrough Energy Coalition means?

There has been some analysis of what the Breakthrough Energy Coalition might mean. In an interview in the Hindu Gates called solar and wind unviable because of their intermittency and said that they could be part of the mix “but you cant do much with them without a storage miracle.”

In The Ecologist, a campaigner investigates the companies that make up the coalition and their ties to the nuclear industry, asking is Gates’s coalition a nuclear spearhead?

And fellow philanthropists don’t seems to be praising the initiative that highly, saying that clean tech is already available and philanthrophy should be directed at grasssroots and policy efforts on climate change.

In other news

Renewables: Uruguay is now generating 95% of its electricity from renewable energy

US solar: The Tea Party leader taking a stand for solar energy: ‘I will do what’s right’

Google RES: Google buys over 800MW renewable generation & looks to triple renewable capacity

Nuclear: James Hansen: “Nuclear Power Must Make a Comeback for Climate’s Sake”

Coal baron Blankenship case: The dark lord of the coalfields is finally found guilty

China coal: New Charts Show The Downward Spiral Of Chinese Coal Use

Gas: Egypt to pay Israel Electric $1.76 bln for halting gas supplies