From our correspondent in Paris
Things are starting to get underway as negotiators delve into the nitty-gritty details of a climate Paris deal. Delegates stayed until well past midnight on Monday and yesterday there was definitely a serious lets-get-working vibe in the air.
Topics up for discussion so far have included loss and damage, climate finance as well as a 2 vs 1.5 degree target. A coalition of vulnerable countries has been calling for a new 1.5 degree global warming target.
Day 2 of COP21 saw plenary talks on the Kyoto Protocol and meetings on climate change and agriculture. The schedule of the negotiations is also starting to take shape with a new text expected to be submitted on Friday morning.
Today, there will be more side-events on agriculture and climate change as well as one on climate change and human mobility. There will be a press conference on the impact of climate change on the Pacific Islands which you can watch here at 10:30 am Paris-time. Curious about the impact of national climate pledges on renewable energy capacity? You can watch that live webcast here.
COP21: Global coal plans could derail climate target
Any attempt to limit global temperature increases to two degrees would be blown wildly off course if all the planned coal plants across the world are built.
Researchers from Climate Action Tracker presented their findings at the UN climate conference yesterday.
The group say 2,440 coal fired power stations are scheduled to be built by 2030 and that the emissions from these plants would be four times the level needed for temperature rises within the danger mark of two degrees.
The analysis is based on studies of eight countries including India, China, Indonesia and the European Union; all of which have pledged to reduce carbon emissions as part of the Paris agreement, but all have new coal plants scheduled.
The BBC report that India gave a robust defence of its coal programme at Paris yesterday.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said: “My energy consumption is one twelfth that of US and one tenth that of Europe, so don’t you think that my people also have a right to grow and use energy?”
“Should they remain in the dark? Is that humanity? That is why I will need power from all sources. We are increasing our renewable targets tenfold in the next 15 years but we will require coal because it is the need of the hour for my people to grow.”
Read more about India’s energy strategy on Bloomberg here.
US: Congress looks to undermine Obama’s climate rhetoric
Hours after President Obama affirmed his country’s commitment to laying a leading role in the fight against climate change, Republicans in congress set about working on legislation to undermine him.
The House approved a resolution, already put accepted by the Senate to scuttle attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions from US coal plants.
In another sign of the gulf between the President and the US body politic, Republican Presidential candidate told reporters yesterday that if he were, which judging by his current poll numbers doesn’t look likely, he would have skipped the Paris talks.
UK: Drax boosted by European ruling
Back home, shares in the UKs biggest power station jumped 15% yesterday on the news that the European Commission allowed its rival RWE to receive state aid to help the transition from burning coal to wood pellets.
Shares bounced after the commission ruled that RWE’s Lynemouth plant in Northumberland could claim £105 from the government per megawatt hour of electricity to aid in the transition away from coal. RWE’s shares rose 8.5% on news of the decision.
The FT report that this move has sparked hope among investors that Drax could get a similar deal.
This a rare bit of good news for a company that has been hit hard by UK government plans to phase out coal from the Uks energy mix in the next decade.
In other news