Reasons to be cheerful about the climate talks

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Reasons to be cheerful about the climate talks


James Randerson, The Guardian <> Unsubscribe

1:57 AM (7 hours ago)

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Dear Neville,

When the Guardian launched phase II of Keep it in the Ground we promised to keep you abreast of all the key moves ahead of the Paris climate summit in December.

To recap, the summit is the latest in the annual round of meetings (Conferences of the Parties in UN jargon) to thrash out a global deal on climate change. The talks have been building up to Paris 2015 after the disappointing ending at Copenhagen in 2009.

Here’s a backgrounder on the talks

This time around, there is widespread optimism that there will be a deal. Why? Because the talks are much further advanced than at the equivalent stage before Copenhagen. Over 150 countries representing 90% of the world’s emissions have already put their greenhouse gas curbing pledges on the table (our big data interactive will help you get to the bottom of what they mean).

Another factor is the French hosts. They have poured a huge amount of diplomatic capital into making these talks a success. Here’s an extract from a piece by the Guardian’s Fiona Harvey, a veteran of reporting many UN climate talks, on France’s diplomatic push:

Every one of France’s ambassadors, in embassies and consulates around the globe, has been educated on the demands of climate change, and instructed in how to communicate the messages to the governments they deal with, ahead of the summit, which starts on 30 November. Ambassadors have been holding public events, private meetings, talks with their diplomatic counterparts, businesses, NGOs and even schoolchildren. At home, the outer walls of the foreign ministry, a stately 19th-century edifice on the banks of the Seine, are covered in a series of banners declaring, in several languages, the messages of Paris Climat 2015. Even the Eiffel Tower. further down the riverbank, has been pressed into service, lit up at night with climate slogans…Climate diplomacy has never seen such a concerted push.

Another hopeful development this week was the landslide by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the Canadian elections. The outgoing PM Stephen Harper turned Canada into an international climate pariah so Trudeau’s promise to take part in Paris can only have a positive impact on the talks. But, says US environment correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg, let’s not get carried away. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Your sincerely,

James Randerson

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