Global Policy

A Hot September for Climate Change

Official UN summits, global strikes, hundreds of events and a new IPCC Report: a summary of what is not to be missed in September, as far as climate change science and policy are concerned.

Climate Science is Not Negotiable

As a record-breaking heatwave hit Europe, UN climate talks were underway in Bonn, Germany. However, things were not running smoothly: in a highly contentious move, a group of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia refused to “welcome” the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C, citing “scientific gaps” in the report and therefore challenging the scientific basis of future decarbonisation plans. In response, the Alliance of Small Island States has voiced their support of the report and denounced the move as a negation of climate science.

Over 1 Million Species Threatened With Extinction

In an unusually alarming tone, a new UN report reveals that nature’s decline has reached “unprecedented” levels, with species extinction rates increasing and global responses remaining insufficient. The erosion of the environment and its wellbeing is the most damming assessment yet of man’s impact on Planet Earth and reiterates the need for transformative change to restore and protect nature.

Decarbonisation Needs “A Marshall Plan for Climate Readiness”

The IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming tells us that, although the planet is getting hotter, it is still possible to remain within the 1.5 °C mark set out in the Paris Agreement. However, for this to be achieved nothing short of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 will suffice: policymakers are looking to decarbonise the economy.

The EU and China See Eye to Eye on Climate Change

Xi Jinping’s official trip to Europe revolved around multi-billion-euro business deals including fourteen large contracts; a Chinese order for 300 Airbus planes worth 30 billion euros; transport and infrastructure plans under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); and, surprisingly, commitments to invest in renewable energy and fight climate change by upholding the Paris Agreements.

COP24 wrap-up

At the U.N. climate summit in Poland, countries agreed upon the Katowice Climate Package, a set of rules for implementing the Paris Agreement. It is the outcome of a complex COP, due to technicalities and difficult international context.  After two weeks and one extra day of tense negotiations, the rulebook to face and contain climate change got the green light.

When health is taken into account, reducing emissions is an opportunity, not a cost

Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone, according to the World Health Organization. Health gains from climate action would be approximately double the cost of mitigation policies at the global level, and the benefit is even higher in countries such as China and India.