Which Countries Won't Be Signing the Paris Climate Deal on Earth Day?
An unprecedented number of countries will be gathering in New York City tomorrow to sign the Paris climate deal.
After significant progress was made this past December in agreeing the landmark deal, more than 167 countries—including past climate villains Iran, Canada and Australia and polluting giants China, the U.S. and the EU—are set to sign the Paris agreement on its opening day.
But despite this, there are still some countries that remain absent from the UN’s official list of attendees—and this includes some pretty big emitters and fossil fuel producers.
So while much focus has been on who will be signing the Paris agreement on April 22, here we take a look at those that might not be.
Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
There have been a lot of questions about whether or not Russia would attend.
Up until April 20, it was the largest emitter and producer absent from the UN’s list is Russia, dwarfing other non-signatories, representing more than five percent of annual global emissions.
But according to a new list updated by the UN, Russia has now indicated that it will be attending the New York ceremony tomorrow.
The country’s president Vladimir Putin has previously described climate change as a conspiracy to diminish the country’s power, but changed his tone (though not necessarily increasing Russia’s ambition) at the opening ceremony of COP21 in Paris.
Russian newspaper Kommersant hinted at progress there reporting that some ministries have begun submitting draft implementation measures for the Paris agreement.
As Vladimir Chuprov, Head of the Energy Unit at Greenpeace Russia told DeSmog UK, a Russian Federation governmental order stated that the country would sign the agreement.
World Wildlife Fund’s Alexey Kokorin echoed Chuprov’s comments, saying Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin will sign on behalf of Russia in spite of hard lobbying of coal and steel companies.
There are however still some Commonwealth of Independent States which have also not indicated whether they will attend, including Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC and the Middle East
Saudi Arabia, with almost 1.2 percent of global emissions leads the list of the five OPEC nations and two other Middle Eastern states currently not confirmed to attend the event.
The country’s minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi indicated in 2015 that Saudi Arabia would have to stop using fossil fuels at some point.
Despite this the country faced accusations of trying to wreck the climate deal at the Paris COP21 climate conference. The Guardian reported that Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network, said they were “undermining the position of other Arab countries.”
Meanwhile, Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, is a major oil exporter and the second largest OPEC member who may not put pen to paper tomorrow. The country significantly out-emits the other African non-signatories, with 0.66 percent of global annual emissions.
Ecuador, one of the smallest OPEC members is the only South American country that hasn’t indicated it will sign.
Others include Iraq with more than 0.5 percent of global emissions, Qatar and non-OPEC countries Syria and Yemen, with emissions between 0.2 percent and 0.05 percent of the global total.
The Other No-Shows
According to the latest UN update there are still some sub-Saharan African countries that may not be at the New York ceremony. This includes Botswana and Zambia.
Last month, the think tank Third World Network called on developing nation to boycott the signing.
Speaking to ClimateHome on the call to boycott, an advisor to African nations said their slowing of the ratification process could lead to countries that stand to lose the most from climate change being excluded from talks on the deal’s implementation.
Others nations still missing from the list include Trinidad and Tobago and Nicaragua.
Michael Jacobs, visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change told DeSmog UK that Russia, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC states will not like the rhetoric on decarbonization and the necessity of strong climate action which will surround the event. But it makes no difference.
Whether or not any of these countries show up on Friday, some 83 percent of states and 88 percent of emissions will still be represented at the ceremony.
And as Carbon Brief points out, the agreement is open for signatures at the UN headquarters for a year and that it’s even possible to accede to the agreement after this.
The next, more important step, is for those countries to get approval at home.
Once 55 percent of signatories covering 55 percent emissions do so, the agreement will come into effect after 30 days.
So far eight countries, Barbados, Belize, Fiji, The Maldives, Nauru, St Lucia, Samoa and Tuvalu have indicated they will deposit their instrument of ratification after the signing ceremony.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›