World Leaders Address The UN General Assmebly

From Kyla in Paris

We’re heading into the final days of COP21 and the core differences between countries are becoming very clear. Today around 1pm a new, cleaner text will come out and a final version is due Thursday.

Yesterday saw two big moments. The first was the announcement of 100 country-strong ‘high ambition coalition’ including African, Caribbean and Pacific countries along with the US and EU member states. (China and India were notable by their absence). This group’s key asks are a clear long-term goal, a five year review mechanism and a unified way to track countries’ progress on meeting their climate targets.

Next, you had the ‘BASIC countries’ – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – say that any agreement must contain a clear layout of ‘differentiated’ responsibility for the rich and poor countries.

Interesting events to look out for today include Bill McKibben speaking on leaving fossil fuels in the ground and a discussion on the impact of meat production on emissions. For a full analysis of what to expect in the last three days check out this piece by E3G’s Nick Mabey.

Top stories

COP21: Unlikely alliances emerge as agreement edges closer

“The clock is ticking to a climate catastrophe,” those were the words of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon yesterday. And, as the Paris climate conference winds down, it appears that negotiators are heeding his warning.

More than 100 states, including every nation in the EU and the United States, have emerged to call for a legally binding agreement which would lead to temperature increases of just 1.5 degrees.

The coalition which features both developed and developing nations, was formed in secret six months before the talks, and is now pushing hard for an ambitious agreement – according to the Guardian.

Importantly, China and India are not part of the coalition and have so far resisted calls to limit increases to 1.5 degrees.

Elsewhere, at the conference there are more signs of unlikely partnerships forming on climate change.

Hollywood action star-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger told the conference the world needed to eat less meat in order to tackle climate change.

One of the Catholic Church’s senior prelates, Cardinal Peter Turkson, has suggested birth control could “offer a solution” to climate change.

While, even ExxonMobil has warned of catastrophic temperature increases if world leader’s fail to act.

COP21: Saudi Arabia accused of trying to scupper climate deal

The oil rich Gulf state of Saudi Arabia has been accused of trying to ruin the Paris climate conference.

The Guardian report that the Kingdom has resisted efforts to get a binding agreement, and has refused to even mention the target of limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees; which is now endorsed by over 100 states including the EU and US.

Saudi officials reject demands for periodic reviews of climate plans as part of a deal, and have complained that submitting any kind of plan before the conference proved tricky enough.

The Saudis did submit plans to limit emissions ahead of the conference, but those plans were largely dismissed by analysts and now officials from the country are ratcheting up their rhetoric against a deal.

In other news

Africa: Push for renewables to solve continents energy crisis

UK: Heavy rain set for flood hit North West, as reality of climate change hits home

Climate change: Britain joins Denmark and Sweden at top of list of country’s tackling climate change