COP 23 Update

The world’s nations are currently meeting in Bonn, Germany for the 23rd annual conference of the parties (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

COP23 will be crucial in establishing the ‘rulebook’ on how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to keep global temperature rise below 2C and 1.5c if possible. This ‘rulebook’ must be finalised at COP24 in 2018. This makes these negotiations crucial, particularly following the worrying news that global CO2 emissions are set to rise by 2% in 2017 after three years of flat growth.

Here are some updates from COP23 so far:

  • Following recent decisions by Syria and Nicaragua, the US is now the only country in the world opposing the Paris Agreement.
  • The US, who are not able to exit the Paris Agreement until 2020, have sent a delegation to Bonn promoting the use of coal, nuclear energy and natural gas as an answer to climate change
  • Following Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, a group of US states, cities and businesses have come together to form ‘America’s Pledge’, a commitment to honouring the Paris Agreement using the hashtag #wearestillin.
  • Fiji has called on developed nations to help developing countries build resilience to climate change following a report released during Bonn revealing that Fiji would have to spend the equivalent to its entire yearly GDP over the next 10 years to prepare for the impacts it faces
  • A new report from the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN) launched on Monday at Bonn reveals that the number of natural word heritage sites at risk from global warming has almost double in the past three years
  • Union of Concerned Scientists has gathered the signatures of 15,000 scientists for a new ‘letter to humanity’ giving catastrophic warnings about the fate of the world.
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