STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Climate change: 5 things to know about Bonn climate summit 

The United States, which has announced its intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate accord, will be represented by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.

Published: 04th November 2017 08:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th November 2017 08:59 PM   |  A+A-

In this Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016 file photo, water from Roanoke Sound pounds the Virginia Dare Trail in Manteo, N.C., as Tropical Storm Hermine passes the Outer Banks. | AP

By Associated Press

BERLIN: Climate change is back on the agenda with a global climate conference kicking off Monday in the German city of Bonn.

Who's coming, what are the key debates about and how green will this meeting be? Five things to know about the U.N. conference known as COP23, which runs from Nov. 6-17.

WHO IS COMING TO BONN?

Up to 25,000 people are expected to attend the talks, which will be presided over by Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama of Fiji — the first time that a small island nation will be at the helm of a major international climate conference. Participants will include diplomats from 195 nations, as well as scientists, lobbyists and environmentalists.

The United States, which has announced its intention to pull out of the landmark Paris climate accord, will be represented by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon.

Key countries to watch during the talks are the emerging economic powers China and India. Other nations — Estonia, Peru, Ecuador, Iran, Mali, Ethiopia and the Maldives — will also be in the spotlight for leading major international groupings.

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders are expected to fly to Bonn toward the end of the summit to give the talks a final push and signal their commitment to fighting climate change.

WHAT ARE THE BIG CLIMATE CHANGE TOPICS NOW?

The 2015 Paris accord set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — or 2 degrees at the most — by the end of the century.

But diplomats didn't agree on the details of how their nations will reach that ambitious goal. The Bonn talks will flesh out the rule book that countries have to abide by.

This includes coming up with international standards for how to measure carbon emissions, to make sure that one nation's efforts can be compare to another's. A second debate centers around how countries take stock of what's been achieved and set new, more ambitious goals for curbing carbon emissions after 2020.

The third big issue concerns money. Experts agree that shifting economies away from fossil fuels and preparing countries for some of the inevitable consequences of climate change will require vast financial resources — including some from the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump, which is doubtful about man-made climate change.

WHY BONN?

Organizing a massive global conference in Fiji would have strained the Pacific nation's resources and posed a travel nightmare for thousands of delegates. Germany offered to host the talks in Bonn, the country's former capital, because it has ample conference space and is already home to the U.N. climate change agency.

Still, they are going to miss the sunshine of Fiji. The weather in Bonn is generally dreary at best in November.

HOW WILL BE GREEN THE CONFERENCE?

Germany says the two-week talks will as environmentally friendly as possible. The country is setting aside part of the 117 million euro ($136.3 million) budget for a fleet of bicycles and electric buses to ferry people between venues.

Each participant will receive a bottle to fill with tap water — a move organizers say will save half a million plastic cups.

Germany's environment ministry is also investing in renewable energy projects to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by people from all over the world flying into Bonn for the talks.

AND WHAT ABOUT GERMANY'S COAL USAGE?

Germany likes to portray itself as a leader in the fight against global warming and Merkel's reputation as the "climate chancellor" is partly built on the pivotal role she played during past negotiations.

But environmentalists note that Germany still gets about 40 percent of its electricity from coal-fired plants — one of the most carbon-intensive sources of energy. And German highways are also virtually unique in having no general speed limit, despite the fact that auto emissions rise dramatically at higher speeds.

If prosperous Germany fails to meet its own emissions targets, as current predictions suggest, critics say that would send a bad signal to the rest of the world.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp