08 Dec 2015

Day 9 – drowning island nations key issue today

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Finding an egalitarian approach to drowning island nations is the latest challenge at COP21, and a "loss/damage" framework is now being negotiated for small island nations that are facing serious threats to existence. Some countries, for example New Zealand, have pledged millions of dollars to support such nations, however large players like the US and EU are keen to dodge drafting which creates compensatory obligations. With the large powers holding sway, the final agreement will likely include a loss and damage framework but not any binding wording on compensation, allaying wealthier countries' fears that they would be subject to huge compensation claims.

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Today's LPAA Focus session on Cities and Subnationals highlighted the important role of local governments and efforts at a community level, with speeches from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al Gore. Housing, transport and waste policies must be enacted which support the goals of the global agreement. To this end it is encouraging that mayors are committing to climate-friendly policies and sharing ideas.

Meanwhile, business think-tank We Mean Business, a coalition of corporations whose members include Google and Microsoft, has been highlighting the significant benefits to a variety of industries of investing in renewable energy. Despite the good work of these companies, criticism is still being levelled at those corporations that are yet to awaken to the realities of climate change, and Nicolas Holut (François Hollande's Special Envoy for the Environment) is taking aim at those failing to commit to the dramatic measures needed if COP21 is to be a success.

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