The latest draft of the Paris Agreement is out today, Dec. 10, seven hours late, but with, finally, some real changes in the text -- most notably including the goal of 1.5 degrees that many in the Climate Vulnerable Forum were fighting for.
As we wrote about earlier this COP, climate finance is one of the most contentious issues, and thus far, the agreement includes several provisions previously agreed to, and a few positive changes. It's not enough, but hopefully it means more will come.
Adaptation finance: The agreement makes it clear that adaptation finance has to be balanced with mitigation finance, which is key because, thus far, adaptation (adjusting to existing climate change impacts) – which is crucial to vulnerable countries -- only made up 16 percent of existing climate finance.
Loss and damage is in!: A key point of concern for many countries was made much clearer, having its own section. It mentions insurance, a potential relocation mechanism, and early warning systems. The exact mechanism for determining loss and damage is still uncertain, but the two options in the draft text include some form of a mechanism, which is a good step.
Liability: The loss and damage section includes language that explicitly disallows liability or compensation. Developing countries were not pushing for this being included, but the inclusion of this language is probably a victory for the U.S. (which was concerned about legal liability) and could have long-term implications for the strength of loss and damage.
Forests: Another issue is that REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) -- the primary mechanism for reducing emissions from forests – is only suggested, not an official mechanism. Remember the news about Indonesia's enormous fires, quite possibly the largest in human history, in one of the world's most biodiverse, tropical forest countries, emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases? If we are to meet pre-2020 emissions reduction goals, cutting emissions from agricultural sources such as deforestation is crucial. The fact that this is not more clearly stated may mean that we'll see more fires in the months, and years, to come.
Need to catch up on the action? Read it all here.
Image credit: Le centre d'information d'eau France