Climate change in Katowice - the US is still in but are wealthy countries paying enough?

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Climate change in Katowice - the US is still in but are wealthy countries paying enough?

The heavily coal-dependent city of Katowice in Poland is the venue for the Twenty-Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this week. The 2015 Paris Accord was about pledges on the issue surrounding climate change, and the event's goal is to turn those promises into action. Here is a round up of the events of the first week.


The main issues

How to implement the Paris goals remains contested. Climate researchers at the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new, urgent report on climate change in October, illustrating that most of the countries of the world are falling short of their carbon emissions-cutting pledges. As a result, compliance and the monitoring of individual nations are key topics at COP24.

Funding is among the most serious points of contention. With developing nations working to eradicate poverty while aiming for carbon neutrality, some wealthier nations are resisting their need to contribute to prior commitments, and all nations are debating how to best mobilise funding. Wealthy nations are not living up to their full climate change pledges, and are now about $20 billion short of the 2020 target.

Wealthy nations are not living up to their full climate change pledges, and are now about $20 billion short of the 2020 target.

At the G20 summit in Argentina, President Donald Trump maintained that the US will be withdrawing from the Paris Accord in 2020. Should that happen, it may make efforts to fund sustainable infrastructure inside the UN umbrella more difficult. But for now, representatives from the US federal government are participating in COP24 and other international climate change events.


The Summit in Focus

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for "a complete transformation of our global energy economy" and an "embrace [of] low-carbon, climate-resilient sustainable development". Meanwhile Michal Kurtyka, COP24 President, called for an approach that is more accessible to countries like coal-reliant Poland in his call for "solidarity" and "a path of just transition".

Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed delegates on Monday, saying that the US is "still in" the Paris Accord, and that "America is more than just Washington or one leader". The World Bank meanwhile pledged $200 billion to fight climate change and announced that e-mobility investments can substantially benefit developing nations as well.

Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed delegates on Monday, saying that the US is "still in" the Paris Accord, and that "America is more than just Washington or one leader"

The UK and Poland launched a global initiative for developing zero-emission transport, "Driving Change Together". And although Polish President Andrzej Duda remarked that his country does not plan to totally eliminate coal, which it considers a "strategic fossil fuel", the country will invest €3bn to €4bn euros in low-emissions public transport. The initiative has already secured the support of more than 30 countries, including Austria, Canada, and Japan.


Feeding the hungry in the future

report from the World Resources Institute released at the summit offers several strategies for feeding the world's population sustainably while healing the environment, including improving agricultural efficiency, reducing consumption, and reforestation.

The World Health Organisation meanwhile released a report arguing that meeting the Paris goals will save millions of lives.

Simmering stresses

Tensions arose as a new report supported by NGOs such as Oxfam and the WWF, international trade unions, and various civil rights and faith groups argued that wealthy nations are not paying their fair share in the fight against climate change. According to the report, the poorest half of the world generate almost no emissions and receives less than one-tenth of the global total income, making them both less responsible for and less able to combat emissions. The report urges wealthier countries to invest more, not only domestically, but also internationally.

Tensions arose as a new report supported by NGOs such as Oxfam and the WWF, international trade unions, and various civil rights and faith groups argued that wealthy nations are not paying their fair share in the fight against climate change.

The events of this week and next are of major interest to us in Lombard Odier as they will affect one of our central pursuits - how sustainability will drive returns in the next three to five years and beyond. We believe that our current operating model is unsustainable and a global shift towards sustainability is already transforming our economies and the companies that drive them. What happens in Poland will help shape our future and we and our clients are watching closely.


Information Importante

Le présent document de marketing a été préparé par Lombard Odier (Europe) S.A., un établissement de crédit agréé et réglementé par la Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) au Luxembourg. La publication de document de marketing a été approuvée par chacune de ses succursales opérant dans les territoires mentionnés au bas de cette page (ci-après « Lombard Odier »).

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