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COP23 video: Three need-to-knows from the UN climate talks in Bonn

Posted on 7 December 2017 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief

The latest round of international climate negotiations concluded in Bonn, Germany.

Hosted by Fiji, COP23 gathered diplomats from around the world to further refine the details of how the Paris Agreement on climate change, struck in 2015, will work in practise when it formally starts in 2020.

Carbon Brief’s video brings you three key details you need to know about the UN talks this year.

The video explains why anti-Trump protests erupted at a US side-event on “clean” fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Naoyuki Yamagishi, head of climate and energy at WWF Japan, sheds light on the “Talanoa” dialogue, a new process designed to help countries increase ambition on emissions cuts.

Carbon Brief’s other coverage of the November 2017 climate talks in Bonn includes:

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Comments 1 to 5:

  1. Paris agreement is becoming critical. Latest research is ominous, and says:

    "More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate"
    Date:December 6, 2017
    Source:Carnegie Institution for Science

    Summary:The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a article. Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.

    "Our study indicates that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93 percent chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. Previous studies had put this likelihood at 62 percent."

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  2. Trump says America will have "clean fossil fuels". Donald Trump also promised not to play golf, to reform obamacare, balance the budget, eliminate federal debt within 8 years (all 18 trillion dollars worth), put tariffs on China.  Hmm, clean fossil fuels don't look terribly likely, based on the evidence, the Trump governments record, the credibility of various promises, and the high cost of clean fossil fuels compared to renewable energy.

    Just look at the costs of experimental clean coal and the difficulties of strong carbon, in the clean coal plant in Canada. 

    Renewable energy is far more cost effective, and simpler than clean fossil fuels, which shows how these  politicians must have other reasons, like pandering to campaign supporters, and scoring points against the green movement and Obama. A gish gallop of pathetic motives.

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  3. There is no such thing as clean fossil fuels. Especially clean coal, which is an idiotic PR piece of nonsense. Eradicating industrial scale use of coal is the most critical and most important part, and also the easiest to implement, as there are many better alternatives to produce electricity. The World could loose 15 trillions in a heartbeat in 2008, without coming anywhere close to the distress experienced following the 1929 crash, so a massive worldwide effort is possible and would not even take that big a bite out of our beloved creature comforts. The only reason why it's not happening is simple: large interest groups that place their short term financial benefit above everything else. 

    Today's World is not much less feudal in essence than Medieval Europe. Governments are the vassals of mega conglomerates.

    In the US, nothing is likely to happen soon because the interest groups are firmly in control, and the denial in the population is so strong that even the already existing, numerous, worsening adverse events are brushed off. If having the California wildfires and Texas floods within a few months, while extreme and unusual events are going on in the rest of the World as well is still not enough to awake the cargo cult worshippers, probably nothing will. Who cares? People are glued to devices whose algorithms compete to show them what they like to see, read what they want to read, validate their emotions even in the complete absence of real reasons to do so, whether it be conspiracy theories or no-good-commie scientists who are after their tax money. The disconnection from reality is so widespread and so pervasive that nothing can mend it anymore.

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  4. To put the 1929 economic crash in context, that year America's total gdp fell approximately 10%, and did the same in the next few years documented here. This hurt, because back then living standards were much lower than today even in the good times. 

    By comparison, many studies like this one estimate it would cost America approximately just 1% of gdp per year to covert to renewable energy. This is spread over approximately 20 years  including generation and line upgrades.

    Americas economy is expected to grow approximately 3% this year alone. Much of that will go in bonuses to bankers, and subsidies to fossil fuels etc.

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  5. Phillipe Chantreau @ 3

    I probably agree with most of what you have said above.  I even think that the denial of the "1%" of the economic problems imposed by globalization on the working classes in America and Europe reminds me of the conditions of denial by the French nobility immediately prior to the French Revolution.   Not exactly the Middle Ages but a long time ago.

    The question you have to ask yourself is what, given the realities in the US at this time, do you do about it?

    My feeling is that Democrats in the US should:

    1.  Read Mark Lillas' book "The Once and Future Liberal" and get with the program (or, if that is too much time, at least listen to the Sam Harris podcast interviewing Lilla) - Message: Democrats, roll up your sleeves and work to take control of state governments which you have largely ignored for 30 years;

    2.  Willingly sign on to the Scott Pruitt "Red Team Blue Team" approach if it ever gets going and "stuff it down their throats" with the best climate scientists who have some ability to communicate their views.  On this basis, I still think it would be better to have a physicist like  Steve Koonin (a Democrat)  head this debate rather than a non-scientist (I know I will get some heat for this on this website but once again I am trying to deal with the political reality in the US today).

    3.  Come up with a "middle of the road" candidate to compete against Trump in the next presidential election.  Believe it or not, but serious political commentators were suggesting Al Franken as a possible Democratic presidential candidate not more than 3 months ago.

    My point is that you do not just "throw your hands up" and wait for 3 more years.  Midterms will not magically change Trump's approach and, I suspect, will not massively change the makeup of Congress. 

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