We’re not suggesting developing countries stop using coal immediately, says IPCC co-chair

(8 Dec 2018) Developing countries such as Vietnam can’t be expected to stop using coal right away, despite the urgent warnings to decarbonise in the recent IPCC report, its co-chair has said in an interview with Eco-Business at COP24.

In 2015, leaders of the world convened to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change amid widespread jubilation, committing to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Three years, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro later, the difference in negotiators’ tone at the 24th United Nations climate change conference (COP24) in Poland could not be more stark.

Though the rhetoric from global leaders remains unchanged, it’s hard to imagine coal giants sponsoring a climate change conference in 2015, or pro-climate world leaders such as French premier Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel not attending despite being a train ride away.  

So far, the mood at COP24 can best be described as lukewarm. Negotiations stalled from the first minute, as countries fought over petty issues such as how much time should be spent on each topic, which caused a two-hour delay to the start of the opening plenary. But there remains a flicker of hope amid the squabbling—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

The IPCC released its special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees on October 8, two months ahead of COP24. With bold ambitions such as achieving net zero emissions by 2050, the report is expected to spur more action from countries heavily impacted by climate change.

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, 8 Dec 2018: We’re not suggesting developing countries stop using coal immediately, says IPCC co-chair