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Here's what local climate action looks like in small-town USA

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Thursday, May 11, 2023

Canary Media’s Climate Meets Culture column explores the intersection of energy, climate and the culture at large. I’ve developed a habit with this column of making recommendations and even sometimes pleading with readers to put their climatetech savvy to good use. Today’s plea may be one you’ve heard before — but…

Canary Media’s Climate Meets Culture column explores the intersection of energy, climate and the culture at large. I’ve developed a habit with this column of making recommendations and even sometimes pleading with readers to put their climatetech savvy to good use. Today’s plea may be one you’ve heard before — but…

Canary Media’s Climate Meets Culture column explores the intersection of energy, climate and the culture at large. I’ve developed a habit with this column of making recommendations and even sometimes pleading with readers to put their climatetech savvy to good use. Today’s plea may be one you’ve heard before — but…
Read the full story here.
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Climate change: South Africa needs to spend an extra R535-billion a year to meet its goals

Climate investments need to jump from R131-million a year, Presidential Climate Commission says The post Climate change: South Africa needs to spend an extra R535-billion a year to meet its goals appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.

South Africa needs to drastically increase its climate financing if it wants to meet its climate goals by 2030, a new report launched by the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) has found. South Africa will have to up its climate financing to R535 billion to meet the goals set by the government in terms of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a new report has found. The report, launched by the Presidential Climate Commission, tracked private and public investments made between 2019 and 2021. It found on average, R131-billion was spent, most of it on clean energy, and most of it financed by debt. The report follows the recent passing by the National Assembly of the Climate Change Bill. The report found that the country’s public and private climate investments would have to increase three to five times from the current average of R131-billion a year. Estimates show that the country needs about R334-billion per year to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and R535-billion per year to meet the climate goals set by the government in terms of the 2016 Paris agreement. It tracked private and public investments made between 2019 and 2021 “intended to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy and build resilience against present and future climate change”. These include investments in clean energy (which receives by far the most finance at 79%), low-carbon transport, water, the circular economy (e.g. recycling), and sustainable agriculture. Most of the climate funding was through debt. The report, titled The South African Climate Finance Landscape 2023, was prepared for the PCC by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) and GreenCape. The PCC is a body established and chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa which is overseeing the country’s “just transition” to a low carbon economy. Climate Change Bill The launch of the report follows the recent passing by the National Assembly of the Climate Change Bill. The Bill is now before the National Council of Provinces for debate before it is signed into law. The Climate Change Bill imposes on municipalities and provinces the task of assessing risks from climate change and coming up with a plan to mitigate these risks. It also sets out legislation on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon budgets, and sets up the PCC as a statutory body. Carbon budgets will be set for each emitter by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE). Soon after the Bill was released, the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) said in a statement that this would be the first legislation that defines the just transition and this would “ensure that vulnerable workers and communities are not burdened with the social and economic costs of decarbonising the economy and society”. The definition of a “just transition” in the draft bill is as follows: “a shift towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy and society and ecologically sustainable economies and societies which contribute toward the creation of decent work for all, social inclusion and the eradication of poverty”. Risk of being a “paper exercise” The draft has been met with some criticism. Brandon Abdinor, Climate Advocacy Lawyer at the CER, raised concern about the lack of penalties for emitters. For instance, there is a penalty for not submitting a greenhouse gas mitigation plan but there is no penalty for not adhering to that plan. “That runs the risk of being a paper exercise without meaningful reduction happening,” he said. Abdinor also said municipalities will need technical expertise to prepare their climate change responses. He said that “to conduct an assessment of all the risks and vulnerabilities is really quite a specialist task” and that it is “going to be different for each municipality”. Similarly, Robyn Hugo, director of climate change engagement at Just Share, a shareholder activist organisation, said that big emitters of greenhouse gases need to face “serious consequences for non-compliance” with their carbon budget. Hugo said it was “unacceptable that no provision has been made for how to address the situation where the company has failed to comply with their [carbon] budget” and that there was no penalty for this. Hugo said that it has become clear that “voluntary measures” by emitters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions have “dismally failed”. “Global emissions continue to rise and the timeframe to take meaningful climate action to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis is rapidly narrowing,” she said. ALSO READ: ACSA announces strict NEW hand luggage policy for SA The two biggest emitters in South Africa, Eskom and Sasol, both said that they are in support of the Climate Change Bill in response to GroundUp queries. The DFFE said to GroundUp that issues with penalties for non-compliance will be dealt with using the Carbon Tax Act and also in the carbon budget regulations. DFFE spokesperson Peter Mbelengwa said that the carbon budgets and greenhouse gas mitigation plans will be integrated to “enforce the implementation of the carbon budgets”. Mbelengwa said a “mix of measures” will work to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. Published originally on Groundup | Liezl Human The post Climate change: South Africa needs to spend an extra R535-billion a year to meet its goals appeared first on SAPeople - Worldwide South African News.

Automakers, Dealers and Shoppers Dawdle on EVs Despite Strong Year in US Sales Growth

The EV trend in the US at the end of 2023 is a little tough to tease out

Despite new electric vehicle market share and sales hitting a record in the U.S. this year, EV growth is starting to slow and fall short of the auto industry's lofty ambitions to transition away from combustion engines.The U.S. has reached a crucial milestone in its efforts to electrify: More than 1 million new EVs have been sold here this year, according to The auto industry consulting firm says EVs accounted for 7.5% of total U.S. sales through November. Experts say that number must rise swiftly to address climate change because a large share of greenhouse gases comes from transport. Ford Motor Co. recently touted a 43% increase in electric vehicle sales year-over-year — which includes its top-selling electric Mustang Mach E SUV, as well as the F-150 Lightning pickup — in a November sales release. Hyundai's Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6, both electric SUVs, each hitting around 100% growth year over year last month.This overall figure is strong, but still doesn't come close to the sales pace of 90% year over year that the industry enjoyed last summer. EVs had huge sales growth at the time, even with models averaging more than $65,000, according to Cox Automotive data. Demand was high, inventories were low, and automakers were bullish on sales prospects.This is largely because EVs were more appealing to buyers as gasoline prices flirted with $5 per gallon, said Kevin Roberts, director of industry analytics at the CarGurus website.Now, gasoline has dropped to around $3 per gallon nationwide, and the average transaction price for an EV, without any incentives applied, has fallen to just under $52,000. Many tech-savvy early adopters have already bought EVs, and the market has moved to more price-sensitive mainstream buyers, many of whom don't want to pay more for an EV than they would for a gasoline or hybrid vehicle, Roberts said.A number of other factors are souring today's positive momentum. Until recently, there were few EV models available to choose from. Location, cost, and convenience of charging these cars also remains a concern, as does vehicle range.Although there is interest in EVs, Richard Bazzy, who owns three Ford dealerships in suburban Pittsburgh, said many customers tell his sales staff that they’re just not ready yet to make the transition to battery power given the pricing, even with federal tax credits. Customers also fear the electric range isn’t long enough to travel where they want to go. This is true especially for those with harsh winters, where range can deplete more quickly. He also said they’re concerned about too few charging stations.“Interest is there because it’s intriguing,” Bazzy said. “But it just doesn’t overcome the concerns.”As such, the sales pace slowed to 50% year over year by June 2023, and last month, it dropped to 35% year over year.Some automakers are reevaluating their costly EV strategies as the year comes to a close.Ford has sold just under 36,000 Mach Es through November, only a 3.5% increase over the same period last year. The company's inventory of Mach Es has been growing much of the year. It had more than 24,000 at or en route to dealers at the end of last month, even though it has been cutting production for the past two months. Yet, Lightning pickup sales of 20,365 are up almost 54%. “We have to manage supply with demand,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s head of U.S. sales analysis. “We would do that with any product in our portfolio.” Ford recently announced plans to delay one new EV battery plant, shrink the size of another, and postpone $12 billion worth of future electric vehicle spending. GM also delayed retooling an EV plant, and Volkswagen has delayed plans in Europe.“Every automaker was so aggressive with their plans," Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ head of insights, said. “We’re seeing those being dialed back to better match where consumers are right now.” General Motors CEO Mary Barra remains committed to the company's targets, so long as consumer interest is there.“We still have a plan in place that allows us to be all light-duty vehicles EV by 2035,” Barra said in an Automotive Press Association event on December 4. "We'll adjust based on where the customer is and where demand is. It's not going to be, if we build it they will come. We're going to be led by the customer.”Many of these companies' auto dealers are now raising alarm about what they see as slowing EV interest.Last week, several thousand dealers from across the country wrote in a public letter to President Joe Biden their concerns over the shift to EVs, calling electrification mandates “unrealistic based on current and forecasted customer demand. Already, electric vehicles are stacking up on our lots.” The Biden Administration targeted half of all new vehicle sales in the nation to be electric by 2030 in August 2021 as part of its efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, much of which come from transportation sector carbon dioxide emissions, a result of burning fossil fuels such as petroleum. Transportation is a major contributor of GHG emissions, particularly personal transport. “The short answer is yes, people are resisting” the switch to electric vehicles, Bazzy said. The environmental group Sierra Club and others have said that many dealers don't make an effort to sell them. Key metrics related to how long it takes for a vehicle to sell once it is at a dealership, known as days-to-turn, as well as how much inventory of certain types of vehicles is available at dealerships, are being used to assess current US EV demand. While internal combustion engine cars and hybrid electric vehicles saw 40 and 17 days-to-turn, respectively, in October, the figure for electric vehicles was 57, according to data from car-shopping resource Edmunds. A year ago, EVs took 39 days to turn, while hybrid EVs took 12 and combustion engine vehicles, 26. This indicates EVs are starting to take longer to sell, on average. Auto manufacturers have been boosting their incentives on EVs, in an effort to bring the cost of these vehicles down. As of October, EVs were still nearly $4,000 more, on average, than gasoline cars. Incentives reached 9.8% of the average transaction price of EVs in September, according to Cox. Before the pandemic, industry incentives like this were commonplace. During the peak of COVID, incentives hit record lows as supply dwindled. Now, incentives are recovering slightly, but the industry average was at just 4.9% this fall, indicating the extent of today's EV discounts. But many EV proponents believe today's roadblocks are temporary, and the larger challenges are being addressed with a variety of solutions.“The rhetoric has been that there are challenges in the market,” said Ben Prochazka, executive director of the Electrification Coalition. "The reality is we’re continuing to see strong sales, strong growth. “There are still things that we need to do and that need to move faster,” he added. “So I don’t know if I would call it a pullback. There’s a lot of opportunity to continue to do more to help build consumer interest and confidence in this shift.”Alexa St. John is an Associated Press climate solutions reporter. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, @alexa_stjohn. Reach her at Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Accelerated climate action needed to sharply reduce current risks to life and life-support systems

2023 Global Change Outlook from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change quantifies benefits of policies that cap global warming at 1.5 C.

Hottest day on record. Hottest month on record. Extreme marine heatwaves. Record-low Antarctic sea-ice. While El Niño is a short-term factor in this year’s record-breaking heat, human-caused climate change is the long-term driver. And as global warming edges closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius — the aspirational upper limit set in the Paris Agreement in 2015 — ushering in more intense and frequent heatwaves, floods, wildfires, and other climate extremes much sooner than many expected, current greenhouse gas emissions-reduction policies are far too weak to keep the planet from exceeding that threshold. In fact, on roughly one-third of days in 2023, the average global temperature was at least 1.5 C higher than pre-industrial levels. Faster and bolder action will be needed — from the in-progress United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) and beyond — to stabilize the climate and minimize risks to human (and nonhuman) lives and the life-support systems (e.g., food, water, shelter, and more) upon which they depend. Quantifying the risks posed by simply maintaining existing climate policies — and the benefits (i.e., avoided damages and costs) of accelerated climate action aligned with the 1.5 C goal — is the central task of the 2023 Global Change Outlook, recently released by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Based on a rigorous, integrated analysis of population and economic growth, technological change, Paris Agreement emissions-reduction pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs), geopolitical tensions, and other factors, the report presents the MIT Joint Program’s latest projections for the future of the earth’s energy, food, water, and climate systems, as well as prospects for achieving the Paris Agreement’s short- and long-term climate goals. The 2023 Global Change Outlook performs its risk-benefit analysis by focusing on two scenarios. The first, Current Trends, assumes that Paris Agreement NDCs are implemented through the year 2030, and maintained thereafter. While this scenario represents an unprecedented global commitment to limit greenhouse gas emissions, it neither stabilizes climate nor limits climate change. The second scenario, Accelerated Actions, extends from the Paris Agreement’s initial NDCs and aligns with its long-term goals. This scenario aims to limit and stabilize human-induced global climate warming to 1.5 C by the end of this century with at least a 50 percent probability. Uncertainty is quantified using 400-member ensembles of projections for each scenario. This year’s report also includes a visualization tool that enables a higher-resolution exploration of both scenarios. Energy Between 2020 and 2050, population and economic growth are projected to drive continued increases in energy needs and electrification. Successful achievement of current Paris Agreement pledges will reinforce a shift away from fossil fuels, but additional actions will be required to accelerate the energy transition needed to cap global warming at 1.5 C by 2100. During this 30-year period under the Current Trends scenario, the share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix drops from 80 percent to 70 percent. Variable renewable energy (wind and solar) is the fastest growing energy source with more than an 8.6-fold increase. In the Accelerated Actions scenario, the share of low-carbon energy sources grows from 20 percent to slightly more than 60 percent, a much faster growth rate than in the Current Trends scenario; wind and solar energy undergo more than a 13.3-fold increase. While the electric power sector is expected to successfully scale up (with electricity production increasing by 73 percent under Current Trends, and 87 percent under Accelerated Actions) to accommodate increased demand (particularly for variable renewables), other sectors face stiffer challenges in their efforts to decarbonize. “Due to a sizeable need for hydrocarbons in the form of liquid and gaseous fuels for sectors such as heavy-duty long-distance transport, high-temperature industrial heat, agriculture, and chemical production, hydrogen-based fuels and renewable natural gas remain attractive options, but the challenges related to their scaling opportunities and costs must be resolved,” says MIT Joint Program Deputy Director Sergey Paltsev, a lead author of the 2023 Global Change Outlook. Water, food, and land With a global population projected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050, the Current Trends scenario indicates that more than half of the world’s population will experience pressures to its water supply, and that three of every 10 people will live in water basins where compounding societal and environmental pressures on water resources will be experienced. Population projections under combined water stress in all scenarios reveal that the Accelerated Actions scenario can reduce approximately 40 million of the additional 570 million people living in water-stressed basins at mid-century. Under the Current Trends scenario, agriculture and food production will keep growing. This will increase pressure for land-use change, water use, and use of energy-intensive inputs, which will also lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Accelerated Actions scenario, less agricultural and food output is observed by 2050 compared to the Current Trends scenario, since this scenario affects economic growth and increases production costs. Livestock production is more greenhouse gas emissions-intensive than crop and food production, which, under carbon-pricing policies, drives demand downward and increases costs and prices. Such impacts are transmitted to the food sector and imply lower consumption of livestock-based products. Land-use changes in the Accelerated Actions scenario are similar to those in the Current Trends scenario by 2050, except for land dedicated to bioenergy production. At the world level, the Accelerated Actions scenario requires cropland area to increase by 1 percent and pastureland to decrease by 4.2 percent, but land use for bioenergy must increase by 44 percent. Climate trends Under the Current Trends scenario, the world is likely (more than 50 percent probability) to exceed 2 C global climate warming by 2060, 2.8 C by 2100, and 3.8 C by 2150. Our latest climate-model information indicates that maximum temperatures will likely outpace mean temperature trends over much of North and South America, Europe, northern and southeast Asia, and southern parts of Africa and Australasia. So as human-forced climate warming intensifies, these regions are expected to experience more pronounced record-breaking extreme heat events. Under the Accelerated Actions scenario, global temperature will continue to rise through the next two decades. But by 2050, global temperature will stabilize, and then slightly decline through the latter half of the century. “By 2100, the Accelerated Actions scenario indicates that the world can be virtually assured of remaining below 2 C of global warming,” says MIT Joint Program Deputy Director C. Adam Schlosser, a lead author of the report. “Nevertheless, additional policy mechanisms must be designed with more comprehensive targets that also support a cleaner environment, sustainable resources, as well as improved and equitable human health.” The Accelerated Actions scenario not only stabilizes global precipitation increase (by 2060), but substantially reduces the magnitude and potential range of increases to almost one-third of Current Trends global precipitation changes. Any global increase in precipitation heightens flood risk worldwide, so policies aligned with the Accelerated Actions scenario would considerably reduce that risk. Prospects for meeting Paris Agreement climate goals Numerous countries and regions are progressing in fulfilling their Paris Agreement pledges. Many have declared more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions-mitigation goals, while financing to assist the least-developed countries in sustainable development is not forthcoming at the levels needed. In this year’s Global Stocktake Synthesis Report, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change evaluated emissions reductions communicated by the parties of the Paris Agreement and concluded that global emissions are not on track to fulfill the most ambitious long-term global temperature goals of the Paris Agreement (to keep warming well below 2 C — and, ideally, 1.5 C — above pre-industrial levels), and there is a rapidly narrowing window to raise ambition and implement existing commitments in order to achieve those targets. The Current Trends scenario arrives at the same conclusion. The 2023 Global Change Outlook finds that both global temperature targets remain achievable, but require much deeper near-term emissions reductions than those embodied in current NDCs. Reducing climate risk This report explores two well-known sets of risks posed by climate change. Research highlighted indicates that elevated climate-related physical risks will continue to evolve by mid-century, along with heightened transition risks that arise from shifts in the political, technological, social, and economic landscapes that are likely to occur during the transition to a low-carbon economy. “Our Outlook shows that without aggressive actions the world will surpass critical greenhouse gas concentration thresholds and climate targets in the coming decades,” says MIT Joint Program Director Ronald Prinn. “While the costs of inaction are getting higher, the costs of action are more manageable.”

US to Release Hydrogen Subsidy Guidance After COP28

By Valerie VolcoviciDUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. will release guidance for how hydrogen producers can secure billions of dollars of subsidies...

DUBAI (Reuters) - The U.S. will release guidance for how hydrogen producers can secure billions of dollars of subsidies embedded in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act sometime this year after the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, U.S. energy advisor John Podesta told Reuters on Wednesday.Industry has been waiting anxiously for the guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department for months, as the administration debates whether to restrict the incentives to producers using new, instead of existing, clean energy sources to prevent an uptick in emissions.Asked when the guidance would be released, Podesta said he expected it before the end of the year, but not during the Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 COP28 summit.Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel that the Biden administration views as crucial to cleaning up hard-to-decarbonize industries like aluminum and cement. It is made by electrolyzing water and can be considered green if its production is powered by zero-emissions sources like solar, wind, nuclear or hydro.While virtually no green hydrogen is produced now due to high costs and other constraints, the Biden administration is hoping to jumpstart the industry with subsidies of $3 per kilogram, embedded in the IRA.At issue is a proposal, backed by environmental groups and some green hydrogen companies, that Treasury’s looming guidance should limit the new perks to hydrogen producers that power their facilities with new clean energy sources.A study led by researchers from Princeton University found that without those limits the tax credits could have the unintended consequence of increasing emissions by raising overall power demand fed by fossil power.Industry groups including nuclear backers, meanwhile, say an overly strict subsidy program would threaten the administration’s goals for green hydrogen by rendering some projects uneconomical.U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk said at an event on the sidelines of the COP28 summit that the tax credit is so lucrative and its impact is so big that even federal agencies are split over the design."It's a big tax credit. We have to get it right," Turk said.He said Treasury and the Department of Energy still have differing opinions on the design.One source who was briefed on a preliminary draft of the guidance said it included the so-called additionality provision redlining existing power sources, but that the administration is considering special treatment for nuclear and hydro.The source, who asked not to be named, said the draft also required hydrogen electrolyzers to run at the same time as renewable energy to ensure the hydrogen is not produced using fossil fuel electricity.In addition to the IRA subsidies, the DOE has selected seven proposed regional "hydrogen hubs" that will get $7 billion to try to demonstrate and scale up a clean hydrogen.Three of the proposed hubs would include existing nuclear plants, and it is unclear if the hubs would be economically feasible if those reactors were cut out of the IRA subsidy.Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, told Reuters that enabling production to start faster, with looser rules, would have long-term benefits."There might be a little uptake in greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector in the early stages but they'll be far offset by the decarbonisation of these energy intensive sectors over the long term," he said.Claire Behar, chief commercial officer for HyStor energy, a green hydrogen company developing a hub in Mississippi, said her company prefers the tougher rules. "We have one shot to get this right for decarbonization," she said.(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Josie Kao)Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

$700m pledged to loss and damage fund at Cop28 covers less than 0.2% needed

Money offered so far falls far short of estimated $400bn in losses developing countries face each yearCop28 live – latest updatesWealthy countries most responsible for the climate emergency have so far pledged a combined total of just over $700m (£556m) to the loss and damage fund – the equivalent of less than 0.2% of the irreversible economic and non-economic losses developing countries are facing from global heating every year.In a historic move, the loss and damage fund was agreed at the opening plenary of the first day the Cop28 summit in Dubai – a hard-won victory by developing countries that they hoped would signal a commitment by the developed, polluting nations to finally provide financial support for some of the destruction already under way. Continue reading...

Wealthy countries most responsible for the climate emergency have so far pledged a combined total of just over $700m (£556m) to the loss and damage fund – the equivalent of less than 0.2% of the irreversible economic and non-economic losses developing countries are facing from global heating every year.In a historic move, the loss and damage fund was agreed at the opening plenary of the first day the Cop28 summit in Dubai – a hard-won victory by developing countries that they hoped would signal a commitment by the developed, polluting nations to finally provide financial support for some of the destruction already under way.But so far pledges have fallen far short of what is needed, with the loss and damage in developing countries estimated by one non-governmental organisation to be greater than $400bn a year – and rising. Estimates for the annual cost of the damage have varied from $100bn-$580bn.The $100m pledge by the United Arab Emirates, the Cop28 host country, was matched by Germany – and then slightly topped by Italy and France, which both promised $108m. The US, which is historically the worst greenhouse gas emitter – and the largest producer of oil and gas this year – has so far pledged just $17.5m, while Japan, the third largest economy behind the US and China, has offered $10m.Harjeet Singh, the head of global political strategy at Climate Action Network International, a coalition of 200 climate groups, said: “The initial pledges of $700m pale in comparison to the colossal need for funding, estimated in the hundreds of billions annually. The over 30-year delay in establishing this fund, coupled with the meagre contributions from affluent nations, particularly the US, the biggest historical polluter, signals a persistent indifference to the plight of the developing world.”Other pledges include Denmark at $50m, Ireland and the EU both with $27m, Norway at $25m, Canada at less than $12m and Slovenia at $1.5m.The loss and damage funds should be new and additional – and come as grants not loans, according to climate justice experts. Yet in most cases, the nature and timing of the pledged money remain unclear as few countries have released further details.The UK’s £60m ($75m) pledge is neither new nor or additional, campaigners point out, and was taken from an existing and recently downgraded climate finance pledge.The agreement was only a first step in establishing the loss and damage funding arrangements. Details are now being discussed within the global stocktake (GST) negotiations – which will play a major role in how or even if the world can keep the hope of limiting planet warming to 1.5C alive.The GST is a core component of the Paris accords, a broad and detailed assessment to monitor implementation and evaluate collective progress. The outcome will be used by countries to guide and upgrade their own five-year climate plans, which is why developing countries are pushing for strong and clear guidance on how much nations need to contribute to loss and damage, as well as the phase-out of fossil fuels.Julie-Anne Richards from the Loss and Damage Collaboration, a global network of researchers, lawyers, policymakers and activists, said: “The growing loss and damage is the clearest indication that the Paris agreement isn’t working, and countries have not been stepping up.”The first draft text on the GST was published on Tuesday. The draft included important language on the scale of loss and damage – and connected the future need with climate mitigation and funding for adaptation. The final text will most probably come in the next few days.skip past newsletter promotionThe planet's most important stories. Get all the week's environment news - the good, the bad and the essentialPrivacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy. We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.after newsletter promotionMohamed Adow, the director of the climate and energy thinktank Powershift Africa, said: “With the loss and damage fund established here it may seem like that story is over and countries can pat themselves on the back with a job well done. However, the bill for loss and damage will only increase if adaptation is not sufficiently funded and emissions are not urgently cut – they are part of the same puzzle being negotiated within the global stocktake discussions.”“It’s like balancing scales. If rich nations invest more in adaptation and mitigation, it will keep the loss and damage costs in check,” he added.The draft, at the moment, is very long and some climate experts have warned that details important to developing countries could get squeezed out. “The current language is good. We cannot afford to lose it,” said Singh.Lien Vandamme, a senior campaigner at the Centre for International Environmental Law, said: “On the premise of getting the loss and damage fund up and running as soon as possible to reach communities, developed countries pushed through a flawed structure … yet the millions promised for the loss and damage fund at Cop28 are a drop in the ocean of what is needed. This speaks to the hypocrisy we’ve seen in these discussions and the limitations of treating finance for loss and damage as charity rather than an obligation.”“Hundreds of billions of public, grants-based, new and additional money is needed, and we cannot call this loss and damage fund a success as long as this is lacking,” she added.

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