What to Expect: COP22 Climate Summit in Marrakech

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Nov 082016
 

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By Brooke Cary, Desmog, find full article [here].

Today, world leaders and climate negotiators are reconvening in Marrakech, Morocco, less than a year after they hammered out the Paris Agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions through the United Nations process. Over the next two weeks, they will work out the logistics of their climate goals at the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22).  (…)

Negotiators at COP22 will need to strike a delicate balance. You want to be transparent and you want to keep countries accountable for what they are suggesting,” Alexander Ochs, Senior Director of Climate and Energy at Worldwatch Institute, said. “On the other hand, it’s important to keep it voluntary.” (…)

The burning questions are: Who will pay how much — and where will the funding go first? It will have to be seen how the funds are acquired, who pays what, what obligations are there for countries to receive it. That’s the overarching issue,” Ochs said.

Reaching the Paris Agreement’s ambitious target of 1.5°C warming — or even staying below 2°C — will require nations to up their emissions reduction targets far beyond what they have already committed to. COP21 in Paris was one, if not the most important and definitely the most successful climate conference that we’ve had historically,” Ochs said. But, “we can’t just rest with past successes which exist on paper, but have not yet been implemented.” (…)

 

‘Yes we can’ switch to 100 percent renewable energy

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Mar 042016
 

DW.ImageEuropean Union environment ministers are discussing implementation of the Paris Agreement on Friday (04.03.) A timely transition out of fossil fuels is doable, says Alexander Ochs from Worldwatch. That is, if we act now.

Protest at Eiffel Tower at COP21 in Paris (Photo: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)

Can we switch from fossil fuels to renewables in time to keep temperature rise to 2, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius?

Not only can we do a transition to truly sustainable systems – financially, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable – we are in the midst of it. There is no one global trend in that direction, but there are many places, municipalities, provinces, whole countries, regions that are transitioning away from fossil fuels toward renewable ways of producing energy, and smarter ways of consuming energy. So it is absolutely doable.

Can you name some examples?

Alexander Ochs (Photo: Irene Quaile)Ochs says renewables are fast outpacing fossil fuels

Germany has managed over the last two decades to transition away from fossil fuels. We have seen enormous growth rates of renewable electricity production. Or take Denmark, which has always been seen as a renewable energy champion. But it’s not a trend restricted any more to developed countries.

Look at Costa Rica, look at many places on all continents – you find very dramatic examples, transitions away from fossil fuel energy toward sustainable energy sources – not always at the level of nations, but often sub-federal levels like communities or provinces. We have a lot of really great examples now, best practice examples. We really have to learn from experience and share that experience internationally.

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