21 April 2014

IPCC on mitigation: A roadmap to survival

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising, and our addiction to fossil fuels is to blame.

That, in a nutshell, is the conclusion of an authoritative new UN report published on April 13th. Emissions have not only continued to increase, but have done so more rapidly in the last 10 years. While the growing reliance on coal for global energy supplies is chiefly to blame for the latest increase, the broader picture is that “economic growth has outpaced emissions reductions.”

(Full article on IPCC report, written for Foreign Policy in Focus, continues here )

EU climate plans lack ambition... what could be done instead of carbon trading?

Followers of climate change policy are used to getting their disappointment early. With the launch of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy plan, the European Commission offered several years’ worth of let-downs in one handy package. This article for Red Pepper magazine parses the European Commission's 2030 climate policy proposals.

In far greater depth, this report on Life Beyond Emissions Trading, written for Corporate Europe Observatory, looks at what would fill the void if the EU ETS were allowed to collapse.

Recent articles on the UN’s Green Climate Fund

In advance of its Bali Board meeting in February, I published a summary of 7 things to look out for in the UN's Green Climate Fund. The issues in question are: Is the GCF a Fund or a Bank? Will the GCF fund fossil fuel infrastructure? Whatever happened to the promise of civil society participation? Will the GCF balance mitigation and adaptation? What protection will GCF environmental and social safeguards offer? What are “intermediaries” and why does their role keep expanding? How concessional will GCF concessional lending be?

Just one of those questions was answered in Bali, where progress was made on committing the Fund to financing a greater proportion of adaptation than is typical of most climate financing. This article, co-authored by Robert Muthami from the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance,  examines the latest decisions taken about the fate of the GCF.

My IPS colleague Janet Redman and I explored the question of the Fund's potential fossil fuel lending in this article for Foreign Policy in Focus.