Donald Trump’s election as US president cast a deep shadow over this year’s UN climate summit in Marrakesh, where there was a feeling of a huge blow dealt to global efforts to address climate change. But China is likely to emerge a clear winner — both in the clean energy revolution and on the global stage of climate change politics.
Some 175 countries accounting for roughly 90pc of global greenhouse gas emissions signed the Paris agreement on climate change at UN headquarters in New York on 22 April. It is the largest number of states to ever sign a multilateral deal on its opening day, the previous record having been 119 signing the UN Law of the Sea Treaty.
Of all the thorny issues that UN climate negotiators will face at the Paris summit in two weeks’ time, finance from industrialised nations for mitigation and adaptation in the developing world will be the spikiest — and the most pivotal.
The G20 meeting in Antalya, Turkey, that concluded on 16 November was an opportune moment for rich nations to strengthen the chances of an ambitious new international climate deal and, in so doing, enhance global security. They failed on both counts.
The terrorist attacks in Paris have made it even more urgent that nations seal a strong agreement at the UN climate summit in the French capital, which is less than two weeks away.
The stark warning from Bank of England governor Mark Carney of the serious risks posed by climate change to global financial stability marks the first time that such a high-profile figure in the financial community has lent credence to the concept of a carbon bubble.