US pavilion at COP22 completely empty. No delegation members or any press to be seen.
After an hour, US pavilion and delegation offices still remain completely empty. Only scheduled press conference of all American parties present is from US Climate Action Network (US-CAN) at 9:30am.
US-CAN press conference starting. The anxiety in the air is painfully obvious.
US-CAN hopeful at and urges businesses and local governments to continue momentum of Paris Agreement and maintain progress on climate action.
"It is clear that Donald Trump will become one of the most powerful people in the world... but even he can't change the laws of physics." US-CAN spokesperson
US-CAN reminds nations that regardless of Trump administration's actions, climate action is in each party's self interests.
"Climate change is not changed by the events last night" - Chinese representative at US-CAN press conference. Re-iterates need for renewable energy future, and frames climate change as a geopolitical issue pertaining to the China-US relationship; speaks of the "political consequences" of potential US inaction.
AP journalist asks about specific views of Donald Trump on climate change. US-CAN can only question whether President Trump can be restrained and responsible, but personally hopes that he can. Nervous laughter from around the room suggests that most feel otherwise.
When asked about climate finance and the Green Climate Fund, response focuses on responsibility of private sector and other nations; not very optimistic.
Question raised about whether developing nations can count on moral leadership of US on climate finance. Chinese representative responds that "the world shouldn't depend on any one country" for leadership, and that China is pushing action due to domestic concerns. US-CAN spokesperson believes there is incentive for private business to provide assistance to developing countries.
On the fragility of the Paris Agreement, US-CAN raises that it follows a 20+ year process. "The US will see consequences if they pull out of this on interacting with foreign leaders."
US-CAN asked if 2 degree Celsius goal is dead; believes that it is not. Window is short, but progress is made and action is made by everyone.
Press raises that the US has only made 1/6th of its contribution to the Green Climate Fund thus far, and asks whether new administration would continue contributions. US-CAN believes civil society and faith groups can and will put enough pressure on Trump govt to continue investments.
Member of Chinese media raises concerns from China in light of election results, and asks what China can do to continue progress. Chinese representative on panel answers with actions China has done so far and that they will put pressure on China in future.
Huffington Post asks that given all branches of US govt will soon be Republican-held, how can action be expected when so many Republicans deny climate change. US-CAN answers that Republican legislators have begun to and will realise that impacts of climate change are real. In their own self-interest of re-election, they will have to take action.
US-CAN press conference ends
US national pavilion putting up 'business as usual' appearance with regularly scheduled meteorology talks. Understandable that they need to maintain stability during period of turmoil. Will try to have an informal talk with a US negotiator.
US pavilion is eerily consistent in never having any staff present who isn't a specialised speaker. Almost as if they're (understandably) specifically trying to avoid having to answer any questions regarding election impacts.
No real new information given by NZ negotiating delegation at stakeholders' briefing, which was expected. Delegation needs to see what arises before changing action - a fair answer being only 9 hours since election result was called.
[Will not be updating for some time due to attending closed APA sessions; they usually don't take kindly to live publication of negotiations]
Member of scientific staff on US delegation (i.e. non-State Department) responds jokingly when asked for a comment on the election: "Well I'm wearing black - that's my comment." Will still try to get some/any comment from a member of US negotiations team.
All posts by Institute delegates reflect their own thoughts, opinions and experiences, and do not reflect those of the Institute.