A group of high-profile business leaders has challenged governments to set strong targets and not slam the door on limiting warming to 1.5C.
On Monday a Paris meeting aimed at reaching a global deal to fight climate change kicks up to a gear – with government ministers taking charge of negotiations.
As ministers arrived in Paris the chief executives of companies such as Virgin – Marks & Spencer – L’Oreal and Unilever said it was critical for governments to reach for stronger targets that would free the world’s economy from carbon emissions by 2050 and avoid dangerous warming.
The corporate leaders – members and supporters of the B-Team – a coalition of chief executives for climate action – said governments should aim for a stronger target than the agreed goal of 2C and aim for actions that would eventually limit warming to 1.5C.
The support for a 1.5C goal puts some of the world’s most powerful corporate leaders in sync with small islands and poor countries that are most vulnerable to climate change – as well as campaign groups which have been pressing rich countries to up their ambition.
Tuvalu has issued a stern warning to its Pacific Island neighbours – urging countries not to do deals outside of the like-minded group at major climate talks in Paris.Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga called for the small island developing states to band together and fight off ‘serious attempts’ to drive a wedge between them.
The call highlights the tensions emerging between even the most tight-knit collections of countries in Paris after days of lengthy and slow negotiations.
The Prime Minister is upset he wasn’t invited to a meeting between some Pacific Island nations including Kiribati and United States President Barack Obama earlier this week.
The US offered movement on risk insurance at the meeting as a compromise to finance commitments known as loss and damage.
Mr Sopoaga said he’d heard of deals being made outside the negotiations.
‘There are serious efforts to want to drive a wedge to divide us’ he said.
‘This is dangerous and we must not allow that’.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argued Friday that the climate talks in Paris ‘could mark a turning point’ in ‘solving the problem of global warning’ and as such are the only event ‘future historians – if there are any future historians’ will find worthy of remembering.Or not as ‘we may be doomed. And if we are, you know who will be responsible: the Republican Party’.According to Krugman the problem isn’t that some Republicans don’t believe in man-made global climate change but that it’s an ‘orthodox[y] enforced on a whole party by what even my conservative colleague David Brooks calls the ‘thought police.’Krugman added that
climate-denial orthodoxy doesn’t just say that the scientific consensus is wrong. Senior Republican members of Congress routinely indulge in wild conspiracy theories – alleging that all the evidence for climate change is the product of a giant hoax perpetrated by thousands of scientists around the world. And they do all they can to harass and intimidate individual scientists.