New publication: Mitigation Commitments and Fair Effort Sharing in a New Comprehensive Climate Agreement Starting 2020

Ecofys, Climate Analytics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the NewClimate Institute, the Oeko-Institute and the Wuppertal Institute have published a new report on effort sharing in the new climate agreement to be adopted at the Paris Conference in December 2015 and to be applied starting in 2020.

Countries’ mitigation contributions are one central element in the negotiations. By the end of October 2015, 128 Parties had submitted their “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs), reflecting 155 countries, and covering around 87% of global emissions and 88% of global population.

Ever since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed upon, the level of ambition as well as the fair balance between parties has been the linchpin of negotiations. How can negotiations ensure that aggregate action by parties suffices to achieve the jointly agreed goal to limit warming below 2°C – or even 1.5°C as called for by the most vulnerable countries, in light of current science? How can a fair and equitable distribution of effort be enshrined in the agreement? How to move forward action on mitigation and adaption, and reconcile this with the pursuit of countries’ development aspirations and needs?

While the process of INDC submissions showed that most countries are to some extent willing to contribute to climate change mitigation, it was not possible yet to include a centralised assessment of country contributions. The level of ambition of contributions as well as the establishment of an assessment and review process will remain to be in the center of negotiations at the Paris Conference.

Against this background, the new report offers deliberations on what a “fair share” of mitigation in 2025 and 2030 could be. It shows, for a selection of ten countries – Brazil, China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa, and the United States of America (USA) – , how their respective INDCs perform if related to different fair share approaches and effort sharing models. These assessments also take into account national mitigation potential and costs and the wider context of socio-economic development of the countries. Finally, current policies and politics of each country are included in the assessments.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Germany Projected to Miss Emission Targets Due to New Government’s Energy Policy

This week’s roundup covers a sobering analysis of what impacts the new German government’s energy policy can be expected to have, an analysis of whether the major economies will meet their 2020 pledges, the US tabling its vision for the 2015 climate agreement, an analysis of the Boxer-Sanders climate bill, a proposal for breaking the deadlock on a 2030 EU renewables target, Denmark’s cross-party consensus to be a climate frontrunner, India switching water pumps from diesel to solar, a vision of the Western Balkans as new Desertec, the results of the first year of free public transport in Talinn, and another major sign of the collapse of the Clean Development Mechanism.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: There’s No Warming Standstill, World Metereological Organisation says

This week’s roundup covers the WMO (once again) debunking the notion that there has been a pause in global warming, a report showing that fossil fuel subsidies are as high as they ever were, an open letter by Japanese scientists arguing that nuclear power is not the answer to climate change, continuing discussions on post-2020 European climate and energy policy, a study saying that Europe is losing its climate policy frontrunner status, 2013 renewables installation figures from around the world bearing out this view, discussions about Germany’s future renewables policy, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Clean Investment Potentially Turning the Corner But Has a Long Way to Go

This week’s roundup features a projection that clean energy investment may be on the upswing again, a report saying that it’s still only 1/3 of what’s needed, a study saying that wind can in fact be a boon for grid reliability, an interview with John Schellnhuber, a study saying energy efficiency could save European consumers hundreds of billions of euros, the World Bank’s president backing fossil fuel divestment, Obama’s state of the union address, China’s growth of coal consumption slowing down, Chris Huhne attacking Cameron over fracking in the UK, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: China Smashes Germany’s Solar Installation Record While Europe is Content With Low Ambition

This week’s roundup features the European Commission’s proposals for post-2020 climate and energy policy, the new German government’s plans to overhaul the renewable energy law, studies on the benefits of renewables and efficiency in Europe and Germany, solar installation figures from China, India and Japan, ambitious solar plans in Kenya, a report saying that Obama’s executive authority on climate policy goes quite far, an HBSC report saying that ambitious climate policy could halve the value of coal companies’ assets, a study saying that climate change could increase the frequency of devastating El Niños, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: All Eyes on the EU Commission’s Forthcoming 2030 Climate and Energy Proposals

Service announcement: I will in future try to always publish my roundups on Friday since I recently started having other stuff to on the week-end. At any rate, the roundups will be published at some point between Friday and Sunday evening.

This week’s roundup covers an assessment of the scenarios underlying the European Commissions forthcoming post-2020 climate and energy proposals, warnings of European climate impacts and job losses that would follow from insufficient climate policy, falling global clean energy investment, ambitious Kenyan solar plans, rising US emissions, current and former US politicians and business people gearing up to fight for stronger climate policy, the Northeastern US states tightening their emission trading system, Germany’s 2013 power sector figures, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Reasons for Optimism on Climate Action?

This week’s roundup features a plea for optimism on climate action, Wall Street and Deutsche Bank going crazy about solar, renewable energy developments in South Africa, Latin America, the US, Italy, China and India, the EU’s debate about its post-2020 climate and energy framework heating up, news from the German energy transition, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Even Warming Below 2°C May Significantly Increase Global Water Scarcity

This week’s roundup covers a new study saying that even “moderate” levels of global warming may significantly increase global water stress, a good debunking of some of climate contrarians’ favourite talking points, Michael Liebreich summing up the year’s trends in clean energy,  a UBS report saying that traditional utilities’ business models are becoming increasingly unviable, a study saying that stand-by mode eats up more electricity than the actual use of the appliances, new evaluation criteria of Chinese officials that no longer have GDP growth at their core, a World Bank report on India’s solar prospects, Spain and Scotland continuing to post renewables records, France introducing a carbon tax, bad grades for the EU’s international climate finance, figures showing that Denmark and Germany have expectional grid reliability despite having high shares of wind and solar, an assessment of what Germany’s new cabinet means for the Energiewende, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Japan Decreases Instead of Increasing Climate Ambition

This week’s roundup features Japan’s decision to drastically downgrade its emission target for 2020, the EU’s lack of climate ambition, a study claiming that there has in fact not been a “warming pause” in the last decade, KfW saying that fracking offers no competitive advantage to the US, Japan being set to become the world’s largest solar market, indications that the drop in German wholesale power prices is finally getting passed on to retail customers, a study concluding that renewables will be competitive with all fossil fuels in Germany by 2030, figures showing that the German renewables surcharge accounts for only a tiny fraction of households’ overall energy cost increase over the last decade, and more.


Climate News of the Week Roundup: Who Created the Misleading “Warming Pause” Narrative?

This week’s roundup features a discussion of how the faux warming pause narrative came into being, German Christian Democrats citing estimates of costs of climate inaction as costs of climate action, the IPCC being accused of being conservative on sea level rise, India’s solar programme restarting, the arrival of unsubsidised solar, how Danish utilities turned an efficiency obligation into an opportunity, the benefits of public transport, talks to expand the US’s first carbon market, the EU having already achieved its 2020 emission target, and more.