We’re halfway toward a strict deadline on climate change, in more ways than one. The world this year officially reached 1 degree Celsius of warming above preindustrial times, halfway to politicians’ agreed-upon goal to limit global warming to 2 degrees. And the climate conference that’s supposed to put us on a path to meet this target is already at its halfway point, with one week left.
Now, the fanfare of the opening conference days in Paris is long gone. A lower-level group of negotiators must hand over their final text to top ministers Saturday at noon. As of Friday, they have a slimmed-down draft, but nearly every one of the major debates is still on the table, with countries having difficulty setting aside long-held differences. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to return to Paris on Monday for the next portion of the negotiations.
Here’s a roundup of the biggest news from around the conference:
- Jonathan M. Katz, reporting from Paris, explains the feeling of hopelessness that threatens to overtake the talks. As usual, countries are struggling with who will pay for climate change adaptation. (New Republic)
- Conservatives see Paris as a waste of time, but their lame arguments against the conference reveal they’re out of touch. (New Republic)
- In the newly released draft text, brackets still litter the remaining 46 pages, and countries are having disagreements about sections as seemingly innocuous as associating climate change with “human rights.” (New Republic)
- Deluges of rain and flooding, likely symptoms of climate change, continue in Chennai, India. (India Today)
- Take this quiz to test whether you can call yourself a true COP21 wonk. (The Guardian)
- Some envoys prefer to meet in open and noisy spaces, fearing their rooms are bugged. It’s happened in the past, by the NSA during the Copenhagen conference, and at the Tianjin conference by Beijing hackers. (Climate Change News)
- The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of small states and low-lying islands, is not backing down from its desire for a 1.5 degree limit. Even though this goal is all but impossible, the group has even come up with a hand signal to demonstrate solidarity. (Slate)
- From an environmental justice framework, the wealthiest countries, especially the U.S., should pay for climate change and drastically cut their disproportionate emissions. If these nations take responsibility, developing countries are more likely to follow. (Grist)
- An interview with Susheel Kumar, chief climate negotiator for India. (Climate Change News)
- Obama went to the climate conference and all we got are these lousy energy-efficient lightbulbs. (The Onion)
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