This week: Things heat up at UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The UN climate negotiations that took place in Warsaw last week could be seen at worst as a debacle and at best made a few small steps towards an eventual deal on global warming.

United Nations Framework Convention Climate Change

The low point could easily be the moment when hundreds of people staged a walk out or a “short break” depending on who you’re talking to, in response to the slow pace of the negotiations. Fingers are being pointed to several different delegations for causing the frustration and each for different reasons. Let’s take a look at the accusations:

Poland, the host itself is a huge proponent of coal, making the location of the conference ironic in itself, especially since half a mile from the conference hosted the World Coal Summit

Australia is accused of not taking the negotiations seriously as their delegation showed up in t-shirts and blocked key texts during the night.

Japan didn’t help with the frustration as they admitted that instead of lowering emission rates to 25% below 1990 levels, they would actually be rising by 3%.

The US has taken a strong stand against the push for wealthy nations to foot the bill for climate change disasters and damage instead turning the focus on their previous pledge to help the poor adapt to climate change, and their climate change programs already in place.

If you’re curious as to what countries are providing more support to climate change you can check out CGD’s Commitment to Development Index visualization tool.

The Guardian Environment Blog gives a good summary of the final day of the conference as they live blogged the issues, negotiations and proceedings.

The conference wasn’t all for naught, with points going towards deforestation. Noted as the signature achievement of the talks, an agreement was made to give “results-based” payments to developing countries that cut carbon by leaving trees standing.

In line with the conference, the World Bank highlighted its new certification tool EDGE that will focus on creating more energy efficient buildings. Buildings certified by EDGE will decrease the amount of energy used by 20% which is not laughable since 40% of the world’s electricity is used to cool, light and ventilate buildings.

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.


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