Thursday, December 3, 2015

Academy Of Natural Sciences’ Carol Collier Provides Updates On Beginning Of The UN Climate Conference

Carol Collier, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University’s Senior Watershed Policy Advisor and a Board Member of The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania, is attending the United Nations Climate Conference in Paris this week.
She provided these observations at the beginning of the Conference this week--
Here is what I have learned so far about the process.
There are really three levels of engagement:
1) There are high level ministers and negotiators who are working through an agreement that will be effective in 2020. It is being developed through ADP, a process following the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2020. The negotiations accomplished this week will be the basis for the COP21 agreement to be signed next week by 196 signatories. Much work has already been completed by individual countries through the INDC Process,(intended nationally determined contributions), which are voluntary commitments.
2) Discussions within the “Blue Zone” where you must have a delegate’s pass , but not of the highest level to participate in the negotiations.  The Drexel delegation is categorized as NGO Observers.  There are hundreds/thousands of exhibits, country centers, press conferences, organized events (from one hour to an all day theme) and networking areas.
3) The Red Zone – (outside the more tightly secured Blue Zone). A more low-key, friendlier  area with exhibits, meetings and presentations by NGOs for other NGOs and the public. I went yesterday for a very good talk on river basin management sponsored by INBO and AGWA.
The key issues of the negotiations have been:
-- The type of document developed – treaty vs a more voluntary agreement – it will likely be very flexible
-- Financial support for counties not able from to address climate change mitigation but are especially vulnerable ( mostly Northern Hemisphere countries support for Southern Hemisphere countries)
-- Target temperature- current proposed individual country commitments do not lower emissions enough to target 2 degrees C.
-- The agreement will define overarching principles and targets
What is new this year--
-- People get it – there have been enough evidence of climate change across the globe to convince the 150 county delegations attending to seriously address the issues
--Private finance- led by Bill Gates, 20 counties and 27 private companies kick off clean energy fund and commitment to energy innovation
-- A Solutions Agenda for non-states/countries (private sector,NGOs, cities) for commitment and collaboration
-- New International Solar Alliance
-- The discussion is going beyond CO2 mitigation, realizing that we must address adaptation to the changes occurring now. What we must do now, pre-2020.
-- Also the mitigation and adaptation have to go hand and hand and many aspects eg. Forests – serve both.
-- Water, which has not previously discussed, is jumping up in importance – freshwater supplies, flooding, droughts, sea level rise, changing ecosystems, oceans
-- The value of natural capital as resilient, less costly solutions.
-- There is discussion on how resilient solutions, natural capital, water issues, and adaptation will grow in significance in next few COPs
To get her regular updates, follow her on Twitter at Carol Collier and #drexelcop21 or through NatureConservancyPA on Twitter.
Collier also served as Executive Director of the Delaware River Basin Commission, helped guide Pennsylvania’s 1998 21st Century Environment Commission, was Director of DEP’s Southeast Regional Office and worked for 19 years with BCM Environmental Engineers, Inc.
Related Stories:
Philadelphia Releases First Climate Adaptation Report

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner