Climate politics

Back on track? – Climate Weekly

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UK government appoints Alok Sharma as Cop26 president

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed the former secretary of state for international development to lead the critical UN climate talks in November

Don’t shop till you drop: advice to UK citizens on net zero climate goals

UK holds ‘citizens’ assembly’ to seek ideas for cutting emissions to net-0 by 2050. But some participants doubt the government will listen

One million solar panels! If only we knew where they were…

Pinpointing solar panels and knowing exactly where the sun is shining can cut carbon emissions by reducing the need to keep fossil-fueled generators on standby

UK climate diplomacy ‘already happening’ for Cop26 despite leadership vacuum

The UK’s top climate diplomat said the country had been able to do ‘a huge amount’ of pre-diplomacy work despite the lack of a Cop26 president

Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway upgrade climate plans before Cop26

The three nations account for 0.1% of global emissions. Norway says 9 February was the deadline for new plans before climate talks in November

‘Miles off track’ – Climate Weekly

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World misses symbolic February deadline to ratchet up climate action before Cop26

The 2015 Paris Agreement seeks to raise global ambition every five years. But only three nations have issued upgraded climate plans nine months before Cop26 in Glasgow

Latest climate politics

Brexit

UK walks diplomatic tightrope for 2020 climate summit after shaky start

Boris Johnson officially launched Cop26 on Tuesday but gave little indication as to how the government is going to leverage the world into taking bolder climate action

UK leaders debate climate, with Boris Johnson replaced by ice sculpture

Leaders of most major parties presented their ideas for meeting tough climate goals, but the Conservative prime minister declined

Brexit must not distract from UK’s biggest job in 2020: the Glasgow climate summit

Next year’s climate talks are absolutely vital and as hosts the UK could determine whether the talks fail or succeed. The government must start preparing now

London bids to host 2020 UN climate talks to show UK remains ‘open’

Mayor Sadiq Khan writes to UK prime minster urging every effort to win the presidency of Cop26 in the face of a competing bid from Italy

UK and Italy bid for 2020 climate talks, amid political uncertainty for both

Both countries face potential general elections and economic problems before the crucial Cop26 meeting and the UK may still be in a Brexit imbroglio

Belfast’s bid to join UK environment law raises post-Brexit border issues

Adding Northern Ireland to the environment law adds pressure on London to keep its regulations in step with the EU’s

New UK green watchdog to be based on EU system, says Gove

‘Whatever else are the defects of the EU – that is a good working model,’ the environment secretary told MPs

UK bill would weaken environmental law after Brexit, legal experts tell MPs

The bill creates ‘get-out-of-jail-free cards’ for ministers and exposes the environment watchdog to government influence, they said

Brexit

UN Climate Talks

Democratic contenders in Iowa caucus aim to rejoin Paris accord in green goals

Candidates pledged to boost climate finance for developing nations and break US dependence on fossil fuels

UK’s Boris Johnson urges all countries to set net zero emissions goals in 2020

The UK’s Prime Minister launched Cop26 hours after being accused by sacked talks president Claire O’Neill of ‘not understanding’ the issues at stake

UK government drops Claire O’Neill as president of Cop26 summit

The presidency role will be elevated to a ministerial role as part of a UK cabinet reshuffle

Youth activists urge African governments to do more to curb climate change

Africa emits only 5% of world greenhouse gas emissions yet is most at risk from worsening heatwaves, droughts and floods

Coronavirus side effect – Climate Weekly

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UN relocates biodiversity talks to Italy from China after coronavirus emergency

Rome will host next month’s biodiversity meeting, when negotiators are due to review a draft proposal for a global framework to protect the world’s plants and wildlife

UN ruling on climate refugees could be gamechanger for climate action

The latest UN ruling is a step towards improving the lives of those most vulnerable and affected by climate change

Indigenous lands, protected areas limit Amazon’s carbon emissions

Greater international support for indigenous land rights and livelihoods is a cost-effective way to limit climate change, PNAS study

UN climate talks

Paris Agreement

Trump criticises ‘prophets of doom’ in Davos and touts fossil fuels

Trump, Thunberg set out radically different visions for the economy and climate in the 21st century

Cop25: What was achieved and where to next?

After two weeks of talks, many issues remain unresolved. Here we break down the major fights and minor breakthroughs of the UN conference in Madrid

Irreconcilable rift cripples UN climate talks as majority stand against polluters

Longest climate summit in history ended weakly as nations on both sides held hardline positions

Push for carbon loopholes sends climate talks into overtime

Australia, US and Brazil threatening ‘spirit’ of the Paris Agreement, says Costa Rican minister, as fractious talks could drag into the weekend

Carbon markets will not help stop climate change

Trading carbon is widely said to make emissions cuts cheaper. But for whom? And why is it dominating climate diplomacy in Madrid?

US seeking further block on compensation for climate damage

US proposal would also allow country to remain eligible to sit on governing committee of ‘loss and damage’ talks after it leaves Paris deal

The UN climate talks can tackle fossil fuels head-on: here’s how

The UN process has largely ignored the production of fossil fuels. That can, and must, change

Carbon offsets have patchy human rights record. Now UN talks erode safeguards

A new global carbon market could unleash finance for projects around the world. But protections for local communities were weakened in draft rules at Cop25

Paris Agreement