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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Big week for global climate change! Article by Graham Readfern in the Guardian

From the web, 19th


Next stop Lima
The next major deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions is scheduled to be signed at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) meeting in Paris in December 2015. 
But to avoid the crashing failures of past negotiations (remember Copenhagen), negotiators and the UN will want to see major progress on that deal’s framework at COP20 in Lima, Peru, starting in two weeks time (I’ll be there for most of the second week).
During the last major meeting in Warsaw, Australia emerged with a new reputation for slowing the process down and lacking ambition, which Australian negotiators rejected.
The G20 Communiqué pointed to COP21 and said the G20 would “encourage” nations to confirm their targets for cutting emissions before March next year. 
The European Union has already said it will cut emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 but the deal is not considered to be watertight.
The US now has its target to cut emissions from where they were in 2005 by between 26 per cent and 28 per cent by 2025.
Pressure is now mounting on Australia to commit its targets to paper by March, although it could conceivably delay. 
This is a major stumbling block for Australia.
Most analysts say the government’s $2.5 billion Direct Action Policy will fall well short of the unconditional target of cutting emissions from their 2000 levels by five cent by the year 2020. 
Environment Minister Greg Hunt insists the scheme will deliver. Tony Abbott has said if it doesn’t he will not make any more money available.
But if Australia is to stand by its UN pledge to keep global warming below 2C then it will need to commit to targets soon. 
But currently there is a large blank space where a credible climate policy should be.