Modi Urges $1 Trillion to Help India’s Transition: COP26 Update
(Bloomberg) -- COP climate talks kicked off with a procession of world leaders setting out their plans for curbing global warming. India set a net-zero target of 2070, although so far the other biggest emitters have brought little new.
The summit in Glasgow, Scotland, is happening under the shadow of an energy crisis that’s shifted some of the dynamics of climate diplomacy and forced governments to think more about security of supply. U.S. President Joe Biden comes to the conference pushing for more emissions cuts, while at the same time asking oil producers to ramp up output.
- India sets a net-zero target
- Vietnam also pledges to go net-zero
- Mark Carney to present finance industry’s climate scorecard
- Dutch leader Rutte hopeful that a carbon-trading deal can be reached
- More nations agree to cut methane emissions
- Brazil, long a climate laggard, sets out a new roadmap
- Biden plans $3 billion finance for nations at risk from rising seas but brings little else
- A key battleground is emerging: countries may be asked to come back sooner with improved targets
- Developing nations aimed some pointed barbs at richer countries
(All timestamps London.)
Vietnam Says It’ll Go Net-Zero by 2050 (6 p.m.)
India wasn’t the only country to announce a new net-zero target; before Modi spoke, Vietnamese Prime Minister Chinh Minh Pham said his country aims to reduce its net greenhouse gases to zero by 2050.
“Although we are a developing country that started industrialization only over the past three decades, Vietnam is a country with advantages in renewable energy,” the leader said in Glasgow. He said his country would develop its own policies and work with financing and technology from developed nations to achieve the carbon neutrality goal.
Modi Announces Net-Zero Target for India (5 p.m.)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a net-neutral target of 2070 -- and asked for major help from the developed world to reach it.
“It is India’s expectation that the world’s developed nations make $1 trillion available as climate finance as soon as possible,” Modi said. “Justice would demand that those nations that have not kept their climate commitments should be pressured.”
EU Calls for Rest of the World to Step Up (4:45 p.m.)
The European Union called on nations worldwide to speed up the race to net-zero emissions, step up climate finance, accelerate innovation and agree robust rules on a global climate market.
That’s in line with earlier appeals by the European Commission, which has long underlined the importance of strong governance and oversight of carbon trading. The framework for such a program was included in the Paris Agreement under Article 6, but negotiators are yet to hammer out detailed provisions, with many expecting a deal in Glasgow.
“Put a price on carbon; nature can’t pay the price anymore,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Thailand Sets New Carbon Neutral Goal (4:27 p.m.)
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha set a new goal for the country to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. That goal will cover only carbon-dioxide pollution. He retained a 2065 goal to reduce all greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2065.
Nepal Brings Forward Its Net Zero Target (4:25 p.m.)
Climate impacts could determine our survival, said Sher Bahadur Deuba, prime minister of Nepal. He said the country submitted a more ambitious NDC to the UN, which includes the goal of economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2045. That’s five years earlier than its previous goal.
Bolivia’s President Launches Barbs at Developed Nations (4:15 p.m.)
Bolivian President Luis Arce directed some hot criticism at developed nations, whom he said were “just biding their time without facing any sense of responsibility toward humanity or towards Mother Earth.”
“Their credibility is at peril,” he said. “The developed countries are coming up with speeches that portray them as champions to combat climate change and to address emissions by 2050, but this is far from being the truth.” If they want to be climate leaders, they need to embrace their responsibilities under the common-but-differentiated responsibilities model and transfer financial resources and means of implementation to developing countries, he said.
“A new carbon colonialism fuels the new green capitalism and forces the rules of the game upon us with no option,” he said, calling for an “alternative capitalism” that co-exists with the Earth.
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Macron Urges More Ambition From Richer Nations (4 p.m.)
French President Emmanuel Macron chided other nations for forgetting the values of ambition, solidarity and trust that helped drive the Paris Agreement in 2015, as he demanded greater ambition from the richest countries and biggest polluters.
Those countries responsible for the most greenhouse-gas emissions must scale up in their efforts over the next two weeks, Macron said, arguing that’s the only way “for us to give credibility back to our strategy” and be able to keep warming below targets. Macron also insisted that rich countries that have lagged behind in contributing their share toward a $100 billion-per-year climate finance commitment for developing nations must immediately step up.
The richest countries must set an example and “speed up this financing,” he said, without naming any nations. “I would like to appeal to those countries that are not contributing what they should today to meet their responsibilities between now and the end of COP so that we can fulfill this obligation that we undertook in Paris.”
Departing Czech Leader Babis Questions EU Approach (4 p.m.)
Billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who’s on his way out of government, used the summit to argue once again for the European Union to take a more pragmatic and less “ideological” approach to its green plans. Rising energy prices call for a “realistic strategy,” he said.
Trudeau Pledges Cap on Oil and Gas Industry Emissions (3:58 p.m.)
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would immediately put a cap on emissions from the oil and gas industry, confirming a pre-election pledge made in September.
“We’ll cap oil and gas sector emissions today and ensure they decrease tomorrow at a pace and scale needed to reach net zero by 2050. That’s no small task for a major oil and gas producing country,” he said.
Trudeau also said Canada would make its first contribution to the UN’s adaptation fund.
Honduras President Calls for Environmental Compensation (3:55 p.m.)
In the past 50 years, Honduras has experienced 82 natural disasters, and 67 of them were “climate induced,” President Juan Hernandez said, citing a cumulative impact costing some $6 billion. Two hurricanes last year caused $2.1 billion in damages, equivalent to about 9.2% of GDP.
“Honduras suffers the effect of this pollution,” he said, adding that the country needs help from developed nations. “Is this fair? Where is the environmental compensation the international community has promised?”
China Has No New Pledges (3:30 p.m.)
China’s President Xi Jinping, who isn’t attending the summit, brought no new goals despite diplomatic pressure in the runup to COP.
In a statement, he stressed the importance of action and the principle of multilateralism in facing climate change. And he called on developed countries to do more to support developing nations.
China released its plan for peak carbon emissions last month and Xi said the country will gradually release peak plans for more sectors including energy, construction and transportation.
Rutte Upbeat on Carbon Trading (3:20 p.m.)
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that progress can be made on carbon trading during the negotiations. Brazil has shown some flexibility -- that’s important as a Brazil-EU standoff has been the main obstacle so far.
“I would love in these two weeks for that to be one of the outcomes,” he told Bloomberg Television. “I am cautiously optimistic that we can get somewhere.”
Biden Brings Nothing New (3:15 p.m.)
Biden offered promises of American action to combat climate change and propel clean energy -- but no new big, bold promises in his speech. Instead, he touted domestic legislation to spend $555 billion boosting renewable power and electric vehicles and yet-to-come announcements on forestry, methane and agriculture. The initial reaction to what was meant to be one of the most closely watched speeches was muted.
Merkel, the Climate Chancellor (3 p.m.)
Angela Merkel, Germany’s outgoing chancellor and a pioneer of climate negotiations, called for more countries to adopt carbon pricing.
“We’re not in the place where we need to be,” Merkel said. “Action by the state won’t move us forward on its own, rather it will take a comprehensive transformation of the way we live, work and our economic activity.”
Libya to Switch Oil for Gas (2:50 p.m.)
Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah said the North African nation will work on cutting emissions and replacing oil with less-polluting natural gas.
“We are committed to taking a new path. A path towards a low carbon economy and to put an end to greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to use clean energy sources such as natural gas in electricity production.”
He urged developed nations to “honor promises they made during the previous COPs.” That means finance -- a key issue at COP.
Brazil Unveils New 2030 Plan (2:30 p.m.)
Brazil set out a new plan to cut emissions, even as climate-skeptic President Jair Bolsonaro stayed away from the summit.
Environment Minister Joaquim Leite said the country will aim for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Today we present a new, more ambitious climate target, going from 43% to 50% by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2050,” he said in a statement online.
In a short statement sent in remotely, Bolsonaro said only that he had authorized his minister to announce the new target.
900,000 Sign Thunberg Letter Urging Action (2 p.m.)
Some 900,000 people have put their name to a letter marshaled by the activist group Avaaz and signed by Swedish eco-campaigner Greta Thunberg telling leaders to “face up to the emergency.”
“This is not a drill: It’s code red for the Earth,” the activists said in the letter. “Millions will suffer as our planet is devastated -- a terrifying future that will be created, or avoided, by the decisions you make. You have the power to decide.”
The activists detailed five main asks of the Glasgow summit: keeping alive the chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, ending fossil fuel investments, putting an end to “creative carbon accounting,” delivering the promised $100 billion of annual climate aid to poorer nations and enacting policies to protect workers and those most vulnerable to climate change.
Draghi Says COP Must Do Better Than G-20 (1:45 p.m.)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who hosted the G-20 over the weekend that produced a tepid climate deal, said COP26 needed to do better.
U.K. Announces $4.1 Billion Climate Aid (1:30 p.m.)
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new “clean Green Initiative” at the climate talks in Glasgow to help developing countries access green technologies to grow their economies without polluting.
The plan includes a doubling of U.K. aid-funded green investments to more than 3 billion pounds ($4.1 billion) over five years, Johnson’s office said in a statement.
Projects supported include drought-resistant agriculture and sustainable forestry, Johnson’s office said. Others include electric vehicle manufacturing in India, green bonds in Vietnam and solar power in Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Nepal and Chad.
U.N. Chief Urges Annual Update for Climate Plans (1 p.m.)
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for countries to be forced to update their climate plans every year if COP shows that current efforts aren’t good enough. That’s in line with a call from the most climate-vulnerable nations to get polluters to keep ratcheting up their plans until they’re strong enough to slow global warming. This theme is shaping up to be a big one at the summit -- how quickly countries will be told to revise their homework.
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Boris Johnson Channels Greta Thunberg (12:45 p.m.)
Johnson, who is hosting the talks, echoed Greta Thunberg in his speech, telling world leaders they need to deliver on the promises they made in Paris in 2015 to arrest global warming.
“All those promises will be nothing but ‘blah blah blah,’ to coin a phrase, and the anger and the impatience of the world will be uncontainable unless we make this COP26 in Glasgow the moment we get real about climate change, and we can,” Johnson said in his opening speech.
The remarks recall those of Thunberg, who earlier this year mocked the sound bites of world leaders, saying “there is no Planet B, there is no planet Blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah.”
Johnson Warns Time Ticking Down on Climate (12:40 p.m.)
Johnson opened the leaders’ segment of the conference by comparing the fate of the planet to that often faced by the fictional British spy James Bond “strapped to a doomsday device” while a digital clock ticks down to zero.
“We are in roughly the same position, my fellow global leaders, as James Bond, today,” Johnson said. “The tragedy is that this is not a movie and the doomsday device is real.”
Johnson said that humanity “has long since run down the clock on climate change” but added that the technology exists to “deactivate that doomsday device.”
“We have the technology, we can find the finance, and the question for all of us today is whether we have the will,” he said.
Carney to Rate Finance Firms’ Climate Action (11:31 a.m.)
Mark Carney, the former central banker turned climate campaigner, said he’s planning to use the COP26 summit to present a scorecard showing how well members of the financial community are meeting goals enshrined in the net-zero emissions alliance to which he’s staked his reputation.
“We’re going to reveal on Wednesday who’s doing the best,” Carney said in an Bloomberg Television interview. “So the question is who’s stepping up for the solution.” He also said there’s still some room for fossil finance. “There needs to be some, only some limited, financing for a transition.”
Rio Says No Clear Net-Zero Path Until 2030 (11:20 a.m.)
The CEO of Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest iron ore miner, said it might take until the end of this decade before the company has a clear view on how it will become fully carbon neutral.
Jakob Stausholm last month laid out plans to spend $7.5 billion to decarbonize its assets over the next decade and help halve its operational emissions by 2030. Yet, speaking at the COP26 summit in Glasgow on Monday, the CEO said technological breakthroughs are needed for the mining giant to go further.
Methane Pledge Signatories Rise to About 80 (10:48 a.m.)
The Global Methane Pledge, a commitment to cut emissions of one of the most potent greenhouse gases by 30% by the end of the decade, has now signed up around 80 nations, according to a person familiar with the matter.
That’s an increase of around 20 from last week. Key countries that still haven’t said they will join include Russia, China and Brazil -- some of the world’s biggest methane emitters. The pledge is expected to be unveiled by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. President Joe Biden in the next couple of days at the COP26 talks.
G-20 Misses Big Climate Opportunity: BNEF (9:50 a.m.)
The G-20 missed a chance to set a bold tone for COP26, BloombergNEF said in a report. The group’s agreement would see aggregate emissions surge 43% above 2010 levels, compared with the 45% reduction needed for keeping the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. “The group’s goals take us very much in the wrong direction,” the report said.
The G-20’s pledge to end financing of coal power plants abroad wasn’t new, and would’ve been better off if they spoke about tackling domestic coal power instead. The group’s members are together responsible for over three-quarters of the coal-fired power generation capacity under development.
Biden Plans $3 Billion Climate Finance (9:01 a.m.)
President Joe Biden wants $3 billion a year of U.S. climate finance to go toward helping vulnerable nations adapt to rising seas, droughts and other consequences of global warming.
Biden’s pledge -- set to be outlined before other heads of state at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday -- is meant to be another demonstration of renewed U.S. commitment to countering climate change. It is part of the $11.4 billion the president has already promised to provide for climate finance each year by 2024.
G-20 Was Disappointing, Orsted CEO Says (8:50 a.m.)
The G-20’s lack of progress on stepping up climate commitments was disappointing, Mads Nipper, CEO of renewable power developer Orsted A/S, said on Bloomberg TV. But there’s still a “fighting chance” of keeping “net-zero alive here at COP26, he said.
Nations need to stop burning coal and also phase out all subsidies for fossil fuels, Nipper said.
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