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