African del­e­gates swamp UN cli­mate talks


Aus­tralia has reg­is­tered 30 del­e­gates for the UN cli­mate talks in Ka­tow­ice, but for car­bon fly miles it has been dwarfed by African na­tions, some of which have sent hun­dreds of peo­ple to the Pol­ish win­ter sum­mit.

An anal­y­sis of del­e­gates by Car­bon Brief found Guinea topped the list with 406 del­e­gates, down 86 from last time. The Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo is sec­ond, with 237. Host na­tion Poland is third, with 211 del­e­gates, fol­lowed by the Ivory Coast, whose del­e­ga­tion this year has more than halved to 208 peo­ple. In­done­sia is in fifth place, with 191.

While some African coun­tries give del­e­gate tick­ets to nongovern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, the make-up gives an in­di­ca­tion of how im­por­tant they con­sider the talks for se­cur­ing devel­op­ment and mit­i­ga­tion funds.

The Paris process was kick­started in Dur­ban, South Africa. At that meet­ing there was deep anger from African na­tions that the de­vel­oped world had used the global car­bon bud­get to pros­per.

This is why cli­mate fund­ing to help de­vel­op­ing coun­tries make the tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon fu­ture re­mains a cen­tral is­sue in the cli­mate talks.

Ac­cord­ing to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change, 22,771 peo­ple have gone to Ka­tow­ice. This in­cludes 13,898 peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing spe­cific part- ies, 7331 from ob­server or­gan­i­sa­tions — such as sci­en­tists, busi­ness groups and var­i­ous NGOs — and 1541 jour­nal­ists. In terms of del­e­gates, at 13,898, it is the big­gest num­ber since Paris in 2015.

Post-Barack Obama, the US has slimmed its del­e­ga­tion to 44 mem­bers, while Syria and North Ko­rea have sent one each.

In keep­ing with the times, Car­bon Brief broke down the del­e­ga­tions by gen­der. On av­er­age, party del­e­ga­tions were split 63 per cent male to 37 per cent fe­male.

Thir­teen coun­tries have del­e­ga­tions with a 50-50 ra­tio, in­clud­ing An­gola (26 del­e­gates), Bolivia (20) and Latvia (20). Only Kyr­gyzs­tan, with seven del­e­gates, sent an all-fe­male group. Eight coun­tries have all-male del­e­ga­tions, in­clud­ing Pak­istan (17), Ta­jik­istan (10) and Bar­ba­dos, with eight.

A re­port re­leased yes­ter­day found global car­bon diox­ide emis­sions were ac­cel­er­at­ing and ex­pected to hit a new high this year, with strong growth in China, the US and In­dia, de­spite bil­lions of dol­lars spent on re­new­able en­ergy and other mea­sures.

A re­port by the Global Car­bon Project has found emis­sions were ex­pected to rise by 2.7 per cent, fol­low­ing a rise of 1.6 per cent last year af­ter a three-year hia­tus.

The re­port, pub­lished in the jour­nals Na­ture, Earth Sys­tem Science Data and En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search Let­ters, says emis­sions re­main a long way from peak­ing, with coal use in China locked in for decades to come.


Pol­ish coalmin­ers cel­e­brate their pa­tron saint, Bar­bara, on her saint’s day in Pawlow­ice this week

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