Small islands keep climate on the agenda despite coronavirus crisis
The high-level meeting, originally planned to take place in Belize, had to be reimagined as a virtual forum due to coronavirus restrictions, was supported by a number of organisations including Climate Analytics.
The three day Forum brought together numerous prominent speakers, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Belize Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow, Environment Minister of Italy Sergio Costa and UK Secretary of State for Energy Alok Sharma, to discuss the path forward for small island developing states and least developed countries and advancing the Paris Agreement globally.
Other notable speakers, including Environment Minister of Chile and COP 25 President Carolina Schmidt, Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands Tina Stege and New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw, also gave addresses at the forum.
The government of Belize, as chair of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS), hosted the three day online event, ‘Keeping the Drumbeat of Ambition alive’, which took place between 20-22 April, concluding on Earth Day 2020.
“Let us not lose our focus on climate change. The recent devastation caused by Cyclone Harold in the South Pacific is yet one more reminder that we are in the midst of a climate crisis,” Guterres told participants. “Such events will only become more regular and deadly unless we act decisively and in concert as an international community.”
Green stimulus packages
Attendees at the forum agreed that stimulus packages designed to recover from the COVID-19 crisis should be aligned with the world’s climate targets so as to enable a green transition.
They also agreed there is a need to maintain momentum and mobilise additional financing to meet the goal of keeping warming within 1.5°C degrees above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shows that it is possible to greatly reduce our fossil fuel consumption and our emissions. Governments need to ensure that their strategies to rebound from the crisis set us on a path to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal,” commented Climate Analytics’ Rueanna Haynes, who chaired the second day of the event, with the focus on regional opportunities for ambitious low-carbon development and adaptation drawing on experiences across Africa, Asia and Europe.
Small island developing states and least developed countries, often on the frontline of climate change, reaffirmed their commitment to work together to advance climate action globally. Representatives from LDCs restated their commitment to net zero emissions across all countries by 2050.
Enhanced climate plans
Governments are required to produce new climate plans, nationally determined contributions (NDCs), in 2020, as part of their responsibilities linked to the Paris Agreement.
“It is very clear that the members of AOSIS intend to have ambitious targets in the energy sector through the NDC revisions for 2020,” said Climate Analytics’ Frances Fuller, summarising the Energy Session for the Caribbean and Pacific regions, to which she contributed to as Reserve Chair.
“As the world and SIDS are preparing, responding and recovering from COVID-19, the session expressed that efforts towards achieving the aspirational targets in the NDCs, should not be undermined, and climate change and SIDS-specific vulnerabilities are kept at the core of approaches,” she said.
Participants from other regions also affirmed their support for renewed action to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. Environment Minister of Italy Sergio Costa confirmed that his country would seek to enhance its NDC in 2020.
The UK government, Climate Analytics, the NDC Partnership, the Climate Ambition Support Alliance, Wilton Park and the Independent Diplomat organisation supported the event.
More information about the Placencia Ambition Forum is available on the AOSIS website:
Carbon capture and storage could unleash 86 billion tonne carbon bomb
A new analysis finds reliance on carbon capture and storage could release an extra 86 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere between 2020 and 2050.
Projected warming almost unchanged for two years as governments push false solutions over climate action
Despite their promises, governments have not taken enough action to drive down warming projections, with some instead turning to false solutions such as carbon capture and storage to continue the world's reliance on fossil fuels, according to the Climate Action Tracker's annual warming update.
Oil and gas majors could have paid for their share of climate loss and damage and still earned 10 trillion USD: new report
Global climate damages from emissions associated with the top 25 oil and gas ‘carbon majors’ between 1985 and 2018 are estimated at 20 trillion USD compared to the 30 trillion USD they earned over the same period, according to a new report released today by international think tank Climate Analytics.
A 1.5˚C pathway for the Philippines power sector entirely feasible: analysis
With the right international funding and policies in place, the Philippines could transition its’ power sector to near-100% renewable energy without compromising on the costs of electricity, reducing its reliance on expensive imports of both coal and gas, and creating up to a million jobs by 2050.
State of Climate Action report finds progress lags on every measure except EV sales
Global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator — except electric passenger car sales — lagging significantly behind the pace and scale that is necessary to address the climate crisis.
Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows
The Production Gap Report finds governments plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.
Beetaloo fracking and Middle Arm emissions wildly underestimated: analysis
An independent analysis of the projected emissions from the Northern Territory's proposed Beetaloo Basin gas fracking project — and the associated Middle Arm LNG precinct in Darwin Harbour — has found they've been gravely underestimated, as have the availability of offsets to deal with them.
Comic artists respond to the climate crisis
Three leading comic creators have collaborated with the Horizon Europe project, CONSTRAIN, to develop comics exploring the climate change challenge.
Adelle Thomas elected as Vice-Chair of the IPCC's Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability group
Dr. Adelle Thomas elected as Vice-Chair of the IPCC's Working Group II contribution on on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability for the seventh assessment report cycle
Changes to the jet stream could trigger simultaneous crop failures impacting global food security
This new study finds that the jet stream – air currents in the upper atmosphere – can synchronise extreme weather caused by climate change, resulting in crop failures in multiple countries at the same time.