Road to Paris: One Month Away

The Text

The enthusiasm over the slimming-down of the climate text did not last very long. Climate talks resumed in Bonn last week where there was a revision of the 20-page text, the length of which quickly increased due to developing nation’s outrage over the exclusion of important segments. There was concern that developing nations’ views and needs were not represented and that richer nations were given priority.[1] Delegates from G77 found the text lacking when it came to adaptation, loss and damage, and the financial commitments of developed nations. After a week of debates, frustrating regresses, and accusations between nations, the week finally came to an end with an agreed text of 51 pages, which will be used as the basis for negotiations in Paris. 

Carbon Brief gives a detailed run-through of last week’s climate negotiations in Bonn.

The new text addresses most of the concerns that developing nations had with the previous text, which now includes: long-term decarbonisation plans, differentiation between developed and developing nations, some options for loss and damage as well as for finance. Finance, however, continues to be an area of great concern, since developing nations are still demanding more clarity and detail on the $100 billion promised annually by developing countries, and how this will be boosted after 2020.[2]

It is now up to ministers and heads of state to recognize the importance of climate finance, and to discuss the ambition and fairness of the financial package at the next high-level meeting, taking place in Paris on November 8.[3]


Analysis of the the GHG-reduction targets of the 150 INDCs[4] submitted so far for the first time provides us with a global estimate of warming based on real-life national commitments. The latest analysis from Climate Action Tracker estimates that the world is now headed towards a 2.7°C increase by the end of the century.[4]


Modelling & Informing Low-Emission Strategies (MILES) is an international research project that brings together 16 leading research teams in order to understand the national and global implications of INDCs of the following nations: US, China, Japan, European Union, Brazil and India. The project seeks to shed light on three key aspects of the INDCs:

  • The transformation of the energy sector
  • Options to stay on track for a 2°C increase at the global level
  • Co-benefits and trade-offs (regarding pollution, energy security and investment)

MILES is a 3-year project (2014-2017) that aims to develop assessment tools for the design of low-carbon narratives, catering to each country’s context and needs.  It also seeks to facilitate dialogue between national and global models of analysis, in order to have a more comprehensive, integrative and reliable understanding of the global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. 

EU COP21 Resolution

On Wednesday 14th of October, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that will constitute the mandate for the Parliament’s delegation to COP21. Member states agreed on: 

  • A 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
  • A 30% target for renewable energy by 2030
  • A 40% energy efficiency target

Finance was discussed at length at this plenary meeting. MEPs are seeking to scale up the EU’s climate finance commitments, and there have been discussions about setting aside revenue from the EU’s carbon market allowance to be allocated for climate finance.[5]

Air Pollution

Photo by Hannes De Geest via Flickr CC

On Wednesday 28th October, the European Parliament voted on the revised National Emissions Ceiling (NEC) for air pollutants, which is a major piece of EU legislation looking to limit emissions of the most dangerous pollutants for human health and the environment. On Wednesday, “MEPs approved the proposed caps for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), methane (CH4) ammonia (NH3), and fine particulates (PM, less than 2.5 micrometers), to be achieved by 2020 and 2030…” [6] MEPs also announced that future NECs must also include caps on mercury. On the back of the growing momentum heading into the final weeks before COP21, this piece of legislation is of particular importance to the EU in meeting its pollution reduction commitments. This is strong step forward for European health.


Sign this petition to show the Brussels government that citizens are concerned with the air quality in the city. They will shortly be voting on the new Air-Climate-Energy plan which, at present, is only a list of measures without budgets, priorities or timelines. Sign the petition for an ambitious, concrete and measurable air quality plan in Brussels. 

Interesting Reads

  1. Elevated CO2 levels directly affect human cognition, new Harvard study shows
    Climate Progress discusses the recently published study by the Harvard School of Public Health, which finds that carbon dioxide (CO2) has a direct and negative impact on human cognition and decision-making. The article gives an overview of the methodology of the study, as well as the science that lead them to these unsettling findings.
  2. TTIP: EU negotiators appear to break environmental pledge in leaked draft
    This article in the Guardian reveals how the EU is breaking its promise to reinforce environmental protections. A draft text of TTIP negotiations has been leaked, including “vaguely phrased and non-binding commitments to enforce environmental safeguards.” This leaked text threatens the EU’s promise to support climate targets and investment in green goods and services.
  3. World set to use more energy for cooling than heating
    Here, the Guardian highlights our growing and dangerous reliance on air conditioning and refrigeration. Producing “cold” is mostly done through the burning of fossil fuels, and due to the rate at which the world is continuing to urbanise, our dependency on cold is increasing in parallel. By conveying the role that cooling plays in our societies, within in the context of climate change, this article shows how “cooling makes the planet hotter.”

HCWH goes to Paris 

3rd December – Health Care Climate Leadership Roundtable

HCWH is bringing together top health system officials from US, Europe, Asia and Latin America in a private, closed-door meeting where strategies to accelerate carbon footprint reduction in the health care sector will be discussed.

4th December – Conference on Climate Change and Health Care

In collaboration with the French Hospital Federation (FHF) and the French Federation of Private Non-profit Hospitals (FEHAP), HCWH will host an all-day event focusing on the reduction of health system’s carbon footprint. Examples of best practice from around the world will also be presented at this event. View the event programme here

Event Location: Hôpital Européen Georges-Pompidou, Paris

Free of charge, limited space. Register here!

The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) 

“Our Climate, Our Health” is a Global Climate & Health Alliance (GCHA) campaign that aims to place health at the heart of the COP21 climate change negotiations. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and educate the world on the relationship between climate and health, empower and support health professionals to take action on climate change within the health sector, and to push for stronger policy action and a firm climate deal at COP21.

5 December - Climate and Health Summit 

GCHA will be hosting the Climate and Health Summit, bringing health professionals and stakeholders together to find and develop answers to the overarching question: 

How can public health change the conversation on climate change in a post-2015 world?

Upcoming Events

30 October – UN releases its “aggregation” report of INDCs

1 November: UNEP publishes the Emissions Gap Report of the INDCs

8-10 November – Ministerial pre-COP, France

15-16 November – G20 Leaders’ Summit, Turkey

26 November – Energy Council in Brussels 

29 – 30 November – March for the Climate Worldwide

30 November – 11 December – 21st Conference of Parties, Paris


- Ana-Christina Gaeta, Communications Assistant, HCWH Europe