Before the UN climate meeting started in Katowice last week, the Polish government put out a statement about its presidency of COP24. Predictably, the Polish government’s statement makes no mention of the necessity of keeping fossil fuels in the ground in order to address the climate crisis.
The COP24 climate negotiations in Katowice are following the same predictable path that the UN climate meetings follow every year. After the first week, the negotiators are arguing, apparently unable to agree on anything much. Over the second week, as ministers arrive, everything will seem hopeless. Then, after a couple of late-night sessions at the end of the second week, an agreement will be found, and the Katowice Compromise can be applauded. The world will breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Last week saw a meeting in Weilburg, Germany to discuss “Social Inclusion in REDD+ Processes”. The meeting, organised by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, also discussed the “Status and Achievements of 10 years’ REDD+ Preparation and Implementation”.
Data released by the Brazilian government last week reveals that deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon has reached its highest rate since 2008. In the period August 2017 to July 2018, an area of 7,900 square kilometres of forest was cleared. That’s an increase of 13.7% compared to the previous 12 months.
On 20 November 2018, Equinor, one of the largest oil and gas firms in the world, wrote to Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first sentence spells trouble. “The way you lead the important work to deliver solutions to the global climate challenge is of great inspiration to us,” Equinor’s CEO Eldar Sætre writes.
At the end of last week, California’s Air Resources Board held a public meeting to consider the endorsement of the California Tropical Forest Standard. After several hours and dozens of testimonies for and against the Tropical Forest Standard, the Board decided to postpone making a decision until April 2019.
On 16 November 2018, a public meeting will take place to discuss the California Tropical Forest Standard. The debate so far about the proposal to include REDD offsets in California’s cap and trade scheme reveals that the California Air Resources Board is heavily biased in favour of carbon trading and is not interested in addressing climate change.