Lord Deben: ‘Why I’m backing court action against the government’s weak climate strategy’

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https://www.politics.co.uk/comment/2024/03/10/lord-deben-why-im-backing-court-action-against-the-governments-weak-climate-strategy/

Urgency is a word in constant use to emphasise the immediacy and scale at which our changing climate demands action. After more than ten years at the helm of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), I recognise the opportunities that this urgent action offers — economic, social, and environmental — as well as the disastrous consequences of failing to respond quickly enough.

Yet, the meaning of  ‘urgency’ seems lost on those who need to grasp it most – our political leaders. They alone have the power to set in motion the rapid transformation that is necessary to deliver on our climate goals. That was recognised by the UK when they hosted the UN climate talks in Glasgow in 2021. We led the world in setting the tough targets we need to avert disaster and to turn this immense problem into a real opportunity to build a better world. Alok Sharma and his team rose to the occasion and, with all its deficiencies, my view is that COP26 set us on the path to Net Zero in 2050.

Yet, necessary as they are, targets are only the beginning of the process and the CCC has consistently emphasised the necessity of a detailed programme if those targets are to be achieved. It was the lack of that which led the High Court to insist that this Government produce a clear delivery programme by the end of March 2023. In response, the Government published a many-paged document which, it claimed, met the Court’s requirement.  In fact, upon detailed expert analysis, it became clear that this document gave even less assurance of meeting our legally binding targets than had been previously thought. It was because of this that I took the decision to support a legal challenge in the High Court by Friends of the Earth. Their challenge over the inadequacy of the government’s climate strategy was heard last month alongside two separate, but related, cases brought by Good Law Project and ClientEarth.

I was still in post at the CCC at the time the Government produced its updated climate strategy. In the many years I led the organisation, the CCC would get advanced information about any plans published under the 2008 Climate Change Act. Yet ahead of the publication of the UK’s new climate strategy in March 2023, this failed to happen. The departure from established ways of working has led me to believe the Government did not want its official advisers to examine the draft plan before it was published.

https://www.politics.co.uk/comment/2024/03/10/lord-deben-why-im-backing-court-action-against-the-governments-weak-climate-strategy/

Continue ReadingLord Deben: ‘Why I’m backing court action against the government’s weak climate strategy’

COP26 News review day 13

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COP26 overran into it’s thirteenth day today and produced the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Cop26 ends in climate agreement despite India watering down coal resolution

The negotiations carried on late into Saturday evening, as governments squabbled over provisions on phasing out coal, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and providing money to the poor world.

The “Glasgow climate pact” was adopted despite a last-minute intervention by India to water down language on “phasing out” coal to merely “phasing down”.

The pledges on emissions cuts made at the two-week long Cop26 summit in Glasgow fell well short of those required to limit temperatures to 1.5C, according to scientific advice. Instead, all countries have agreed to return to the negotiating table next year, at a conference in Egypt, and re-examine their national plans, with a view to increasing their ambition on cuts.

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COP26 News review day 12

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The final day of the COP26 summit.

Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

Hundreds of global civil society representatives walk out of Cop26 in protest

Carrying blood-red ribbons to represent the crucial red lines already crossed by Cop26 negotiations, hundreds of representatives of global civil society walked out of the convention centre in Glasgow on the final morning of the summit in protest.

The audience at the People’s Plenary in the conference blue zone heard speakers condemn the legitimacy and ambition of the 12-day summit before walking out to join protesters gathered on the streets beyond the security fencing.

“Cop26 is a performance,” the Indigenous activist Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Tla A’min Nation told the meeting before the walkout. “It is an illusion constructed to save the capitalist economy rooted in resource extraction and colonialism. I didn’t come here to fix the agenda – I came here to disrupt it.”

George Minbiot: Make extreme wealth extinct: it’s the only way to avoid climate breakdown

A recent analysis of the lifestyles of 20 billionaires found that each produced an average of over 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide: 3,500 times their fair share in a world committed to no more than 1.5C of heating. The major causes are their jets and yachts. A superyacht alone, kept on permanent standby, as some billionaires’ boats are, generates around 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

I’ve come to believe that the most important of all environmental measures are wealth taxes. Preventing systemic environmental collapse means driving extreme wealth to extinction. It is not humanity as a whole that the planet cannot afford. It’s the ultra-rich.

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds (An older article for context).

The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs. Experts said the subsidies were “adding fuel to the fire” of the climate crisis, at a time when rapid reductions in carbon emissions were urgently needed.

Extra video from thejuicemedia

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COP26 News review day 10

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COP26: China and US agree to boost climate co-operation

China and the US have agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade, in a surprise announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The two countries released a rare joint declaration promising action.

It says both sides will “recall their firm commitment to work together” to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

What do countries on the frontline of the climate crisis think of COP26?

How has the news of progress at COP26 – or lack of it – and the prospect of a 2.4 degree increase in temperature, been going down in countries of the Global South, already struggling with the effects of climate change?

Boris abruptly ends Cop26 press conference after just 22 minutes: ‘Gotta go’

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COP26 News review day 9

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Gender day today at the COP26 summit. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi arrived today.

COP26 Report Reveals ‘Massive’ Credibility Gap Between Climate Commitments and 1.5°C Target

Climate policy experts on Tuesday called for the final days of the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be spent with world leaders focusing on closing the “credibility, action, and commitment” gap that has emerged as countries put forward their goals for reaching net-zero fossil fuel emissions, with current targets on track to allow global heating far above the 1.5°C limit.

The climate policy organizations Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute released their annual Climate Action Tracker (CAT) on Tuesday, showing that even with full implementation of emissions targets set for 2030, the planet is expected to heat up by 2.4°C by the end of the century.

[Comment by dizzy: I can’t see humans surviving anything like an increase of 2.4C. Apparently we’re at 1.1 or 1.2C increase currently and look at the problems that we have already …]

First Draft of COP26 Decision Text Slammed as ‘Love Letter’ to Fossil Fuel Industry

As a new analysis revealed Monday that fossil fuel industry lobbyists have a larger presence at the COP26 than any country, global campaigners criticized the first draft of the final decision text for the United Nations climate summit for failing to even mention phasing out coal, gas, and oil.

Greenpeace International, in a statement, highlighted that “this glaring omission” comes despite expert warnings about the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground that have mounted in the leadup to the ongoing summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

“What’s very concerning here in Glasgow is that the first draft of the climate pact text is already exceptionally weak. Usually, the text starts with some ambition, which then gets watered down,” said Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan.

UN ‘guilty’ of failing to act on climate change say activists and experts from the Global South

Sunday was an official break day for proceedings at COP26 – but that doesn’t mean that climate events weren’t still happening across Glasgow.

Organised by the COP26 Coalition, the People’s Summit for Climate Justice was one of those events. And as negotiators and COP attendees took a well-deserved rest, a People’s Tribunal took place. This is a simulated trial with the aim of holding the UN accountable for failing to act on climate change.

Made up of activists, experts, NGOs and even a former COP negotiator from the Global South, the tribunal heard four hours of evidence against the UNFCCC, the UN organisation behind these climate talks.

Climate change is a far bigger problem than coronavirus, Sir Patrick Vallance warns

The climate crisis poses a far greater threat to humanity than Covid, the UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has said.

In a stark warning, Sir Patrick Vallance said global warming could kill more people than the pandemic and pose a threat that could last a hundred years.

Jeremy Corbyn hits out at COP26 ‘greenwashing’

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told The Big Issue there is too much greenwashing and “chat” at COP26, and not enough action.

“I’m concerned that there’s an awful lot of greenwash. There’s an awful lot of chat going on, there seems to be very few concrete agreements that have been reached so far. That worries me,” he said.

Boris Johnson to return to Cop26 for one-day visit

Continue ReadingCOP26 News review day 9