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C2ES Events in Lima

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December 5: New Insights on Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate ChangeDecember 8: Joint reception with EEI and IETA.

New Insights on Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

Date: Friday, December 5, 18:00-19:00
Location: US Center

C2ES will present preliminary findings of a new analysis of how major companies are assessing and addressing climate risks and increasing their climate resilience. This research builds on C2ES’s 2013 report, Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change, which found that 90 percent of S&P Global 100 companies see extreme weather and other climate risks as current or future business risks, while 62 percent say they are experiencing climate change impacts now, or expect to in the coming decade. The new analysis looks more closely at emerging on-the-ground practices among companies to manage their climate risks. A presentation of C2ES’s findings will be followed by a panel discussion.

Presenters

  • David Hone, Group Climate Change Advisor, Shell
  • Jeanette Pablo, Federal Affairs & Climate Advisor, PNM Resources
  • Timothy Juliani, Director of Corporate Engagement, C2ES

An Update and Perspectives on U.S. Climate Change Policy

Date: Monday, December 8, 15:30
Location: EU Pavilion

This event will provide an update from multiple perspectives on the state of climate policy in the United States, including implementation of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, action at the state level, and business and NGO perspectives.

Presenters (furthers speakers to be announced)

  • Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President, C2ES
  • Matt Rodriguez, Secretary of Environmental Protection, California
  • Marnie Funk, Director, CO2 Advocacy, Shell (invited)

Joint Reception with EEI and IETA

Date: Monday, December 8, 19:00
Location: US Center

 

 

 

 

Outlook for Lima: Setting the stage for Paris

Negotiators heading to Lima for the annual U.N. climate summit face a certain paradox. There are encouraging signs of growing momentum toward a new global climate deal late next year in Paris. Yet over the next two weeks in Lima, the negotiators may make only modest progress at best.

There are good reasons to be hopeful.

First, recent events and announcements have strengthened confidence in prospects for Paris. These include the U.N. leaders summit in New York, nearly $10 billion in pledges to the new Green Climate Fund, Europe’s decision on a 2030 emissions goal, and the joint announcement by the U.S. and China of their post-2020 targets.

Second, the negotiations throughout this year have been notably civil and substantive. Wide gulfs remain, but rather than succumbing to procedural fights, parties have been putting forward and constructively debating concrete ideas for the Paris agreement.

Third, behind the scenes, there is a fair degree of convergence among key countries on the broad outlines of a Paris deal. This is reflected in a recent report from the co-chairs of Toward 2015, an informal dialogue among officials from 20+ key countries organized by C2ES.

All in all, with Paris still a year away, there is stronger alignment among major countries, both politically and substantively, than there was at any time leading up to the infamous Copenhagen summit five years ago.

With this sense of gathering momentum, one can certainly hope for good progress in Lima at COP 20 – the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Nevertheless, given the ingrained dynamics (see below) of the climate negotiations, we’re unlikely to see fundamental breakthroughs.

That’s probably OK. Lima is a stage-setting COP. Its job is to lay a smooth path for the final year of this four-year round of negotiations culminating in Paris. To do that, the COP needs to produce two outcomes.

The first is a formal COP decision spelling out how countries should present their “intended nationally determined contributions” to the Paris agreement (expected early next year) and the process parties will use to look over those numbers ahead of Paris. This will require some tough compromises, in particular on the scope of parties’ intended contributions (mitigation only, or adaptation and finance too). But it should be doable. (Read the draft decision floated by the talks’ co-chairs.)

The second important outcome is a document outlining the “elements for a draft negotiating text” of the Paris agreement.  (The actual draft, which will then become the basis for further negotiation, isn’t due until six months ahead of Paris.) This pre-draft, or very first rough cut, will indicate where parties are beginning to converge on the content, and possibly the form, of the Paris agreement, and where they remain far apart. (Read the “non-paper” from the co-chairs that will be the starting point in Lima.)

Apart from genuine substantive differences, the negotiating dynamics will likely limit the progress that can be made in sketching out the Paris agreement.

There’s a strong tendency in climate negotiations to hold onto issues until the final moment, and in this case, the final moment will be Paris. Parties will want their pet issues reflected in the text coming out of Lima, even if there’s virtually no chance of them making the final cut next year. And even if there is broad agreement in some areas, the UNFCCC typically operates by the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So we may strain in Lima to discern signs of genuine progress, and can expect a very full negotiating agenda for the coming year.

Perhaps what’s most important is that Lima avoid the procedural showdowns that have gummed up past conferences, and that parties leave feeling confident about the negotiating process itself. If they are to make real substantive progress through the course of next year, and not leave absolutely everything to Paris, the parties need to feel that the process is fair, open and inclusive.

The signs are good heading into Lima. The road from Lima to Paris will not be an easy one. But if we continue seeing the kind of leadership among major countries that’s emerged in recent weeks, we’ll have a good shot at a good deal in Paris – a durable agreement that gets all the major players on board, provides strong accountability so we know if countries are fulfilling their commitments, and works to build ambition over time.  

US-China climate goals go well beyond business as usual

The climate targets announced this month by the United States and China will require a significant effort beyond a business-as-usual scenario for both countries. More details will likely follow in the weeks and months ahead, but here is what we know so far for each country.

China

China announced a goal for its greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2030 or sooner. This marks the first time that China has pledged a peak or absolute target for greenhouse gas emissions, rather than an intensity-based target. In business-as-usual scenarios, China’s emissions wouldn’t peak until 2040 or later.

China also announced it would boost its share of zero-carbon energy, which includes nuclear, hydropower and renewables, to 20 percent – up from about 13 percent today. Meeting that goal will require a substantial build-out of nuclear power stations, hydroelectric stations, wind turbines, and solar panels, as well as transmission and other infrastructure. In a separate announcement, China said it plans to cap its coal consumption by the year 2020.

China can’t, as critics claim, sit idly by for 15 years and reach these targets. It will need to significantly restructure its energy system. China will have to add more than 1 GW of zero-carbon power a week for the next 15 years – an amount roughly equal to the entire installed electricity capacity of the United States.

COP 20 - Lima, Peru

Image courtesy UNFCCC, Flickr. Trimmed to fit this space.

Governments will meet December 1-14, 2014, at the Lima Climate Change Conference – the twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).  The Lima conference will set the stage for the final year of negotiations toward a new global climate agreement in 2015 in Paris.

Key outcomes in Lima will include a decision on the information parties will provide when putting forward their “intended nationally determined contributions” to the Paris agreement, and an “elements” text that will be basis for developing a formal draft of the Paris agreement early next year.

Briefing: What to expect in Lima and on the road to a Paris agreement

C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer hosted a pre-Lima briefing for journalists on Nov. 20.  Topics included recent events that have helped build momentum, a brief history of UNFCCC negotiations, likely issues for Lima, and the potential shape of the Paris agreement.  The presentation drew on C2ES analysis and a report from Toward 2015, a dialogue among officials from 20+ countries convened by C2ES.

View Slides Here

C2ES Events in Lima

C2ES will offer expert analysis and policy insight on the sidelines of the conference, with events focusing on climate resilience and U.S. climate change policy:

New Insights on Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change

Date: Friday, December 5, 18:00-19:00
Location: US Center

C2ES will present preliminary findings of a new analysis of how major companies are assessing and addressing climate risks and increasing their climate resilience. This research builds on C2ES’s 2013 report, Weathering the Storm: Building Business Resilience to Climate Change, which found that 90 percent of S&P Global 100 companies see extreme weather and other climate risks as current or future business risks, while 62 percent say they are experiencing climate change impacts now, or expect to in the coming decade. The new analysis looks more closely at emerging on-the-ground practices among companies to manage their climate risks. C2ES’s presentation of its findings will be followed by a panel discussion on how businesses factor increasing climate risks into their management strategies.

Presenters

  • David Hone, Group Climate Change Advisor, Shell
  • Jeanette Pablo, Federal Affairs & Climate Advisor, PNM Resources
  • Timothy Juliani, Director of Corporate Engagement, C2ES

An Update and Perspectives on U.S. Climate Change Policy

Date: Monday, December 8, 15:30
Location: EU Pavilion

This event will provide an update from multiple perspectives on the state of climate policy in the United States, including implementation of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, action at the state level, and business and NGO perspectives.

Presenters (furthers speakers to be announced)

  • Elliot Diringer, Executive Vice President, C2ES
  • Matt Rodriguez, Secretary of Environmental Protection, California
  • Marnie Funk, Director, CO2 Advocacy, Shell (invited)

Joint Reception with EEI and IETA

Date: Monday, December 8, 19:00
Location: US Center

 

 

 

Bob Perciasepe's statement on US-China climate announcement

Statement from Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

On the U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

November 11, 2014

The joint announcement by President Obama and President Xi is an extremely hopeful sign. Even if the targets aren’t as ambitious as many might hope, the world’s two largest carbon emitters are stepping up together with serious commitments. This will help get other countries on board and greatly improves the odds for a solid global deal next year in Paris.

These targets will require major undertakings by both countries. Clearly the leaders of the world’s two largest economies have decided the risks posed by climate change justify stronger action to cut carbon emissions. And they’re confident they can keep growing their economies at the same time.

In the case of the United States, the new target is pushing the limits of what can be done under existing law. We can get there if Congress doesn’t stand in the way, and if states roll up their sleeves and work with businesses and other stakeholders to craft smart, practical plans to cut emissions from power plants. But to go much further, we’ll ultimately need Congress to act. 

For too long it’s been too easy for both the U.S. and China to hide behind one another.  People on both sides pointed to weak action abroad to delay action at home. This announcement hopefully puts those excuses behind us. We’ll only avert the worst risks of climate change by acting together.

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Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org or 703-516-0621

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Bob Perciasepe's Statement on IPCC Synthesis Report

Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

November 2, 2014

On the release of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report for the Fifth Assessment:

The IPCC synthesis report delivers a critical message at a critical moment. The core findings aren’t new, but the report makes them clearer than ever, and they are worth underscoring. 

It’s important to be reminded of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change as the United States works toward its most ambitious steps ever to cut carbon emissions and nations work toward the Paris agreement. 

The core message from the IPCC is the growing urgency of action. We have real opportunities next year to make progress both in the U.S. and globally. The scientists have done their job. Now it’s up to governments to do theirs.

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Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.

Alternative Models for the 2015 Climate Change Agreement

By Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer
Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Climate Policy Perspectives 13
October 2014

A primary goal of the Durban Platform negotiations should be to develop an agreement that will maximize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over time. Achieving this objective will be a function of not only the ambition of the 2015 agreement, but also the levels of participation and compliance by states. A higher level of ambition will not necessarily make the agreement more effective, if fewer states participate or comply.

In many if not most countries, the climate change issue is driven more by national than by international politics, so the agreement needs to allow states to determine the content of their own commitments. This approach represents a concession to political and diplomatic realities, as well as to the limits of international agreements in influencing countries' behavior in an area so vital to their interests.

At the same time, the 2015 agreement needs to prod states to do as much as possible, through multilateral rules on transparency and accountability that help foster a virtuous cycle, in which states make progressively more ambitious contributions. Thus far, the top-down elements of the hybrid approach remain largely an abstraction. What remains to be seen is whether parties will be able to agree on rules that sufficiently discipline national flexibility and promote stronger ambition.

Read more at Fridtjof Nansen Institute

Published by Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Daniel Bodansky
Elliot Diringer
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Structure of a 2015 Climate Change Agreement

Structure of a 2015 Climate Change Agreement

October 2014

By Daniel Bodansky, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Download the full report (PDF)

Governments are aiming to produce a new global climate change agreement in 2015 in Paris. Past outcomes
of the UN climate negotiations—like many other multilateral environmental regimes—consist of
packages containing different types of instruments. It is likely that the outcome of the ongoing Durban
Platform negotiations will, likewise, be comprised of multiple instruments. This brief provides an overview
of: 1) the structure of earlier climate packages; 2) key considerations bearing on the choice of instruments
in a Paris outcome; and 3) the range of instruments available to parties.

 

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Toward 2015: An International Climate Dialogue

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The Toward 2015 dialogue brings together officials from more than 20 countries for informal discussions on options for a new global climate agreement next year in Paris. Co-Chairs Valli Moosa and Harald Dovland share insights on how the agreement can deliver both broad participation and strong ambition.
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Countries' Views on a Paris Agreement

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A new C2ES guide makes it easier to explore and compare countries’ views on key issues in the international climate talks. The guide provides excerpts from parties’ submissions and links to the full documents. (Image courtesy UNFCCC, via Flickr, trimmed to fit this space)
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