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Transition From Oil Far From Easy, Sturgeon Says: COP26 Update

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These translations are done via Google Translate
(Bloomberg) U.S. climate envoy John Kerry spoke with Bloomberg Green and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leads a congressional delegation to the climate talks Tuesday, as the hard work at the COP26 summit gets fully under way.Delegates are pushing to complete negotiations before the Glasgow conference’s scheduled end on Friday, but there’s still a long way to go. Kerry expressed confidence of a breakthrough on creating global carbon markets, but that challenge is six years in the making. Developing countries are also keeping the pressure on rich nations to provide more financial assistance to curb pollution.

Key developments:

  • Kerry sees a deal on global carbon-trading rules
  • And China’s carbon market is set to nearly quadruple by 2025
  • While Beijing’s coal pledge could have a Canada-size emissions impact
  • But the U.K. said it won’t join an alliance to end fossil fuel production

(All timestamps Glasgow, Scotland)

Transition From Oil Isn’t Simple, Scotland’s Sturgeon Says (1:02 p.m.)

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the transition from fossil fuels to renewables needs to be carefully managed in order to protect 100,000 people in Scotland who work in the oil and gas sector.

“It’s not as simple as flicking a switch, there are careful transitions that need to be done,” Sturgeon told Bloomberg TV in an interview. “We need to make sure that as we wind down dependence on oil and gas, we are increasing our reliance on the alternatives and also moving the people who currently work in oil and gas into alternative jobs as well.”

Sturgeon said a “very rigorous climate assessment” should be done before development is allowed in the Cambo oil field west of the Shetland Islands that’s owned by Siccar Point Energy Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Warnings on climate change are “stark” and “cannot be ignored,” she said, adding that Scotland has “vast potential in renewable energy” as well as in technologies such as carbon capture and storage. COP26 needs to deliver “real action” including “near-term commitments” that would cut emissions in half by 2030 and keep alive the chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Sturgeon said.

U.K. to Propose Draft Text of COP26 Summit (12:58 p.m.)

The U.K. government will propose a draft text for the Glasgow talks very late this evening, according to a person familiar with the process.

The U.K. presidency of COP26 is seeking a way to compel countries to come back before 2025 with new pledges, amid protest from some governments that it is trying to rewrite the 2015 Paris deal.

So the U.K. is instead planning to use clause 4.11 of the Paris deal to remind countries that they can submit a new pledge every year, the person said. It may also propose a date for countries to come back, for example by the 2023 stocktake.

Climate-Tech Investment Has Been Warming Up as Well: BNEF

John Kerry Interview Extracts:

The following are the key takeaways as they happened from John Kerry’s interview with Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait:

Kerry Says Putin Knows He Must Act on Climate Change (12:11 p.m.)

“Russia is at the table with us,” he said. “Putin knows it’s a real problem.”

“Putin has Siberia burning and infrastructure for extraction affected by melting permafrost.”

Kerry Defends U.S. Action on Climate Change (12:03 p.m.)

“There are a lot of people there who really want to make things work right now,” he said. “I just have this confidence. It goes in cycles and it will come together.”

Kerry rejected the notion that climate action is a project of the elite. “I don’t because Mother Nature is going to be relentless,” he said. “And she’s more powerful than any of us.”

“The question is can we manage the potential of the certain amount of chaos that will come if we don’t” tackle the threat. “That is why Glasgow is so critical – this moment is so critical.”

Kerry Says Finance Industry Essential to Climate Action (12:01 p.m.)

“The only way to prevail is by getting private sector capital,” Kerry said. “We cannot win without the private sector at the table.”

“No government in the world has the money necessary to do this,” he said. “Billions doesn’t do it, you gotta have trillions.”

Kerry Optimistic of Real Progress in Glasgow (11:56 a.m.)

The key to what happens in Glasgow is the follow-up, doing “handholding” to help countries achieve their goals, Kerry said.

“I think something is happening,” he said. “The way we’re going to get where we need to go is to work with Indonesia, so their promises become real, work with India.”

“We said we’d do the handholding necessary to bring technology to the table,” he said.

Kerry Was Up Until the Wee Hours Working for Progress (11:49 a.m.)

Asked how he can expect a deal on methane without China on board, he said: “We’re working at it,” adding that he was up to 3 a.m. in talks to further such issues.

Methane Push

“This is a genuine effort by President Biden to get people together” and find solutions, Kerry said.

Kerry said he believes a deal is possible on Article 6. “I think we can finish the rule book here,” he said, adding that he was going out on a limb to say so.

Kerry Says Glasgow Is Key Test of Climate Progress (11.44 a.m.)

COP26 is a key test of world progress in tackling climate change: “This is the check point” after Paris, Kerry said.

“If I want to deal with the wish list sure I want to see something extra,” he said. But we have to deal with “reality” and challenges of “multilateralism.”

Kerry said it would be “insanity” not to check progress in meeting targets each year.

“This is a long journey and now really is the test of whether we can get there,” he said.

Johnson Set to Return to COP (11:17 a.m.)

Boris Johnson is poised to return to COP26 talks in Glasgow on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the situation. Johnson’s office declined to comment on the premier’s movements. The idea is to support negotiators, one of the people said.

U.K. Won’t Join Deal to End Fossil Fuel Output (11:12 a.m.)

The U.K. won’t join an alliance of countries fixing a date to phase out fossil fuel production, saying doing so could force it to face a cliff edge in energy supply.

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance is being spearheaded by the governments of Denmark and Costa Rica and is expected to announce new member countries on Wednesday at the climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

“No other significant oil and gas producing nation has gone as far as the U.K. in supporting sector’s gradual transition to a low carbon future,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Jane Goodall Seeks Different Outcome From Paris Accord (9:33 a.m.)

Famed conservationist Jane Goodall says she’s hoping COP26 in Glasgow “will be a little bit different from the Paris accord” in 2015. After Paris, many countries didn’t uphold their commitments to reduce carbon emissions as a result of fossil fuels, she said. For those that did, it was “mainly because they exported their dirty industries to countries like China and India.”

Tuesday Is Gender Day at COP26 (8:36 a.m.)

Some 80% of those displaced by climate change are women and children, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter. The Scottish Government and UN Women earlier this month issued the Glasgow Women’s Leadership Statement calling for women to have a greater role in finding a solution to the crisis.

Also See: More Women Are Needed in Climate Debate, Top UN Official Says

Climate change “is the most serious issue of our generation,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in video message. “Some of its most significant impacts will be faced by women.”

EV Laggard Australia Won’t Ban Gas Guzzlers (7:05 a.m.)

Australia, which set underwhelming new climate targets and rejected a pact on curbing methane emissions, won’t join other nations in setting a deadline to end sales of new internal combustion engine cars. “We will not be forcing Australians out of the car they want to drive, or penalizing those who can least afford it through bans or taxes,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Tuesday.

In 2019, Morrison turned a bid by the main Labor opposition to shift away from gas guzzlers into an election issue, claiming electric models wouldn’t be able to tow a trailer or boat, making them incompatible with Australia’s recreational lifestyle. The nation remains a global laggard on adoption of battery-powered vehicles.

–With assistance from Karoline Kan, Luz Ding, Alan Crawford, David Stringer, Jessica Shankleman, Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Alex Morales, Akshat Rathi, Isis Almeida and Ewa Krukowska.

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