From the European Green Deal to COP25

The European Commission says nearly every major aspect of the European economy is to be re-evaluated as the EU looks to step up its response to the climate emergency through the new European Green Deal. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the Deal, which calls for a comprehensive overall of EU policy and funding to ensure the EU halves emissions by 2030 and achieves net-zero emissions by 2050, was aimed at economic growth and increasing prosperity. The Deal has been met with a tepid response from climate activists who welcome the EU’s commitment but feel the new proposals are not ambitious enough in their targets and are short on details on how the EU intends to implement its proposals.

Related: European Green Deal to press ahead despite Polish targets opt-out

 

Johan Rockström, one of the world’s leading climate scientists and joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has criticised world leaders for focusing their attention on the finalising the rules of the Paris Agreement and other minor technical details when they should be focusing on the major cuts to emissions needed to avert the worst effects of climate change.

Related: Civil society groups removed from COP25 for protesting ‘sleepwalking’ negotiations

 

A new study shows 1.9 billion people, roughly a quarter of the world’s population, are at risk of water supply problems as mountain glaciers, snow-packs and alpine lakes are run down by global heating and rising demand.

 Related: World’s Oceans Are Losing Oxygen Rapidly, Study Finds

 

Researchers say global livestock production needs to reach its peak by 2030 in response to the climate emergency, calling on all but the poorest countries to set a date for ‘peak meet’ and start planning to reduce meat and dairy consumption in favour of plant-based diets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Related: Don’t invest in Brazilian meat, warn deforestation campaigners

 

  1. Climate Change Is Ravaging the Arctic, Report Finds

A new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Arctic temperatures have remained near record highs this year leading to low summer sea ice, cascading impacts on the regional food web and growing concerns over sea level rise.

Related: Greenland’s ice sheet melting seven times faster than in 1990s

 

A new report from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) warns that natural carbon sinks will become less and less effective at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere the longer humanity continues to emit greenhouse gases.

Related: Q&A: The uncharted territory of climate solutions

 

A group of investors with USD $37 trillion in assets have banded together to call for world leaders to take action on climate change. The group, which includes UBS Asset Management and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System among others, are calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, the phasing out of thermal coal used in power generation and a “meaningful” price for carbon.

Related: New York Loses Climate Change Fraud Case Against Exxon Mobil

 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has achieved its target of doubling its annual climate investments from USD $3 billion in 2014 one year ahead of time after providing more than USD $6 billion in climate-related financing in 2019.

Related: Interactive: Explore 5 years of climate funding

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on countries at the COP25 talks in Madrid to ‘mainstream health in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and national communications to the UNFCCC,’ following the publication of a report highlighting the increasing need for health-systems to respond to climate-related health conditions in the coming years.

 

EU finance ministers have given the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) till the end of January to weigh in on the major changes to climate and development investments being considered by the bloc. The two institutions are competing with each other for control of the EU’s development efforts as the EU looks to reform its development strategy and structures to improve the coordination and visibility of European development finance.

Related: Q&A: Thomas Wieser on really changing European development finance

 

Civil society groups and aid-friendly politicians have urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to keep the Department for International Development (DFID) as a standalone department following reports the Cabinet Office has directed civil servants from DFID and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to put together options for a merger between the two departments. Observers expect Johnson to push ahead with the merger in the wake of the Conservatives landslide election victory on Thursday.

 

New analysis from the Brookings Institute shows that, if current trends continue, the Venezuela refugee crisis will surpass the Syria refugee crisis as the largest refugee crisis in history next year with as many as 6.5 million Venezuelans projected to be living outside of the country by 2020, a figure that could exceed 8 million if conditions worsen. Despite the scale of the crisis, the international community has supplied just USD $580 million to the region to help manage the crisis, a fraction of the USD $7.4 billion provided over the first four years of the Syria crisis.

Related: UN chief presses member states to support CERF’s flexible humanitarian funding

 

UNDP says the world needs to develop new, more precise metrics to provide a more accurate picture of global inequality and development progress.

Related: New effort launches to create DFI transparency framework

 

World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is calling for greater security and protection for aid workers after attackers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) stormed two facilities ‘crucial to the fight’ against Ebola, leaving four Ebola responders dead.

 

The FAO Council has approved proposals to establish a Biodiversity Cluster and two new offices – the Office for Innovation and another dedicated to assisting Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and Landlocked Developing Countries.

 

With Mark Suzman set to take over as CEO of the Gates Foundation early next year Devex has spoken to members of the development community about what Suzman’s appointment means for the Foundation going forward.

 

Following the International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi last month, Anu Kumar, president and CEO of Ipas, says abortion needs to be at the top of sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) agenda.

 

Four years on from founding the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with her husband, Priscilla Chan discusses what she’s learned and what her plans are for the Initiative going forward.