US Opposition To Climate Finance Stalls UN Climate Talks

Bonn plenaryNegotiations on the Paris climate change agreement’s second draft slipped behind closed doors on Wednesday in Bonn, Germany. The US reiterated their long-standing position that public funds were expected to be a small portion of the $100 billion that the developed world is required to provide annually starting 2020. The US also asked all countries to contribute to the climate funds. This implied that emerging economies should also contribute to the climate funds, which under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) only developed countries are obliged to provide so far. This was opposed by negotiators from developing countries. –Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 22 October 2015

Developing countries, led by Africa and China, nearly walked out of the UN’s climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, as the rift widened between the rich and poor nations over who should bear the larger financial responsibility to implement measures to curb climate change. A key concern was the wording on US$100 billion in finance that the developed world had promised to mobilise by 2020 to help poorer nations make the shift to less-polluting energy industries and adapt to the unavoidable effects of global warming, such as a rise in the sea level. —New Era News, 22 October 2015

Frustration ran high Wednesday at the snail’s pace of talks for a climate rescue pact, with three days left for diplomats to craft a blueprint for a year-end UN summit. With an eye firmly on the clock, diplomats in Bonn despaired at the mountain of work they face after an acrimonious start on Monday cost them more than a day of negotiating time. “I am, to be honest, very concerned,” said climate envoy Laurence Tubiana of France, which will host a November 30-December 11 UN summit tasked with inking a 195-nation pact to rein in global warming. “I don’t think this way of working is going to bring us where we need to be by the end of the week and to stand a chance of success in Paris.” –Mariette Le Roux, AFP, 21 October 2015

Joby Warrick of The Washington Post asks a strange question: If it’s President Obama’s mission to reduce carbon emissions, why is the federal government allowing coal to be mined on federal land and exported? The answer is obvious and hidden in plain sight in the graphics package that accompanies Warrick’s story: Increasing world demand for electricity. According to the World Coal Association, there are more than 2,300 coal fired power plants planned or under construction worldwide. They will provide electricity access to millions of people, greatly improving their lives. These plants will be built and burn coal no matter what coal opponents do. –Sean Hackbarth, US Chamber of Commerce, 16 October 2015

The Global Warming Policy Foundation welcomes the acknowledgement by Professor Colin Prentice, a leading UK climate scientist at the Grantham Institute, that the thrust of the GWPF’s latest report on CO2 is correct and a well-established scientific fact. Last week, the GWPF published a report by Dr Indur Goklany which highlights the many benefits of carbon dioxide for the environment and human health. Professor Prentice, AXA Chair in Biosphere and Climate Impacts at the Grantham Institute, also confirms that the many benefits of CO2 documented in the GWPF report “are indeed ‘good news’.” —Global Warming Policy Foundation, 21 October 2015