The day started with the gloomy release of the Global Carbon Project Report which concluded that 2022 was the highest ever emitting year, with increased coal use in India and increased airline use in the U.S. as the main culprits. UN projections are that global emissions must peak by 2025 and halve by 2030 if the world is to meet the 1.5 degree ambition agreed at the Paris COP in 2015 (emissions in 2022 are more than 5% higher than in 2015).
Amidst other topics of conversation under intense discussion today is the issue of whether it is appropriate to regard gas as a transitional fuel (rather than a hydrocarbon-based fossil fuel). This controversy has pitched companies and countries against the Small Island States and NGO communities who argue that building the expensive infrastructure necessary for gas risks locking in carbon emissions for decades, and that the developing world should leapfrog dependency on hydrocarbons and go straight to renewable power.
President Biden addressed COP, warning that the science on global warming was clear and that time was running out to confront the crisis. He used his speech to call on ‘every major emitter to align with 1.5 degrees C.’ However, while he confirmed the U.S. was committed to helping developing countries hurt worst by climate impacts, he did not mention providing payments for “loss and damage.”
Finally, concerns are growing that negotiated texts may not be ready in time for submission tomorrow to enable discussion (and agreement) on them next week.
- The U.S. EPA issued a new proposal to reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations by 87% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels;
- President Biden announced U.S. support for new early warning systems for extreme weather disasters in Africa and a deal to back new solar and wind projects in Egypt in return for the country decommissioning gas power plants and cutting its emissions;
- The UN set out plans for “a Paris moment for biodiversity” at COP15 in Montreal in December;
- The UK called on other countries to consider implementing debt suspension plans for countries which had suffered a climate-related disaster (following UK proposals to include this provision in Export Credit Guarantees earlier this week);
- Proposals for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty gathered further support from the World Health Organization, the Vatican, the European parliament, 70 cities (including London, Paris and Los Angeles) and 1,700 NGOs.