LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The latest news from the U.N. climate conference in Paris, which runs through Dec. 11.
An Indian delegate at U.N. climate talks says India will be able cut back on its carbon emissions if money is made available to boost renewable energy in an envisioned climate agreement in Paris.
“The quick answer is yes,” Ajay Mathur, the director of India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency, told reporters.
India’s negotiators want to make sure that any deal in Paris doesn’t restrict India’s ability to expand its economy and electricity access to about 300 million people who currently have none. That means it’s hard for India to abandon coal power, a key source of carbon emissions that currently accounts for about 60 percent of its power capacity.
But asked whether India would cut back on coal if the Paris agreement ensures it receives international support that brings down the cost of expanding renewable energy, Mathur said: “Absolutely.”
“Solar and wind is our first commitment. Hydro, nuclear, all of these non-carbon sources are what we will develop to the largest extent we can,” he said. “What cannot be met by these would be met by coal.”
The head of international climate summit says the climate talks are off to “a good start” thanks to 150 world leaders who came to Paris on Monday, but now negotiations have to speed up.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, president of the climate talks, says “there’s very strong momentum” but that’s not enough. He says negotiators need to get another draft to him by noon Saturday.
He says “we must speed the process up because we have much work to do ... compromise solutions must be found as soon as possible.”
He said in all likelihood climate justice “will be the key of the climate agreement.”
Basic staples and traditional dishes around the world are under threat from climate change, the International Fund for Agricultural Development says. They’re handing out recipe cards at the Paris climate conference to illustrate the problem and how to solve it.
Rice and beans in Guatemala are harder to grow because of hotter temperatures and more extreme weather, which IFAD says can be countered with investment in better crop storage and water storage.
The ingredients for Moroccan lamb tagine are threatened by the encroaching Sahara desert, which makes it harder to grow the vegetables and reduces grasslands for sheep grazing. So IFAD is recommending crop diversification and more water-efficient vegetable farming.
In Senegal, rising sea levels and rising salt levels in farmland are making it harder to produce fruit, vegetables and poultry for traditional lemon chicken. The proposed solution: building dikes and “washing” the salty soil.
Droughts, floods, expanding deserts, increasing salination — many of the problems caused by man-made climate change have to do with water. So a group of local governments, companies and organizations are announcing plans to better manage the water the planet has left.
The coalition announced an international pact Wednesday at the Paris climate conference. They said in a statement they are hoping to raise up to $1 billion in investment.
Among the projects they announced: cleaning up groundwater in India, better irrigation in Morocco, helping people in South American river basins adapt to droughts and floods, and better weather and water monitoring for 160 million people living around the Congo River basin.
The head of the World Food Program is warning that hunger linked to climate change may worsen mass migrations, and is hoping for an ambitious international accord to slow global warming.
Ertharin Cousin told The Associated Press that people “will move if they don’t have enough to eat.” Speaking Wednesday at the climate talks in Paris, she says “food insecurity anywhere is a security challenge everywhere.”
Cousin says the U.N. food agency cannot fulfill its promises to eradicate hunger without a global climate accord, and investment in preventive measures such as drought-resistant seeds and water-conserving agriculture.
Man-made global warming is causing worsening droughts and floods that are threatening traditional food sources, she said — especially in the poorest countries, where hunger is already a top problem.