Friday, October 23, 2015

OPEC Nations Plan to Join U.N. Climate Drive

The OPEC logo is seen at OPEC's headquarters during a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, June 5, 2015. (Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) Click to Enlarge.
OPEC members Iran and Saudi Arabia, the top greenhouse gas emitters yet to submit national strategies for tackling climate change, say they will do so before a U.N. summit in December in a sign of widening participation even by oil producers.

More than 150 governments of almost 200 nations worldwide have issued plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions - mainly from fossil fuels - and adapt to changes such as more heatwaves, floods, or storms, meant as the building blocks for a deal at the summit in Paris from Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

At a final round of U.N. talks in Germany to prepare the deal, delegates from OPEC members Iran, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, as well as other outsiders including Pakistan and Egypt, told Reuters they would all submit plans before the Paris meeting.

Those submissions would push the global total of emissions covered by national plans to more than 90 percent from 87 percent by an informal U.N. deadline of Oct. 1, and calm concern that OPEC will stay on the sidelines of a plan that threatens fossil fuel use.

"There is a sense that everybody is on board. I think that's a major shift and bodes quite well for Paris," said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute (WRI) think-tank.

Even so, many national plans for action beyond 2030 are vague.

"There's no agreement among OPEC to be slow on this - no common position," said Emmanuel Oladipo, a member of the Nigerian delegation.  ze said Nigeria, which has worked to curb gas flaring, would soon issue a plan.

On Thursday the United Arab Emirates became the third OPEC member, after Algeria and Ecuador, to submit a plan, saying it would initially raise the share of nuclear and renewables in its energy mix to 24 percent by 2021 from 0.2 percent in 2014.

Read more at OPEC Nations Plan to Join U.N. Climate Drive

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