Negotiators are resolving the technical stalemate as cracks remain in COP26
Big cracks remain until the United Nations climate talks end on Friday. Many divisions are related to money and which countries do not have it. So it’s time for the diplomatic cavalry.
The COP26 climate conference, which lasted two weeks in Glasgow, saw for the first time government leaders discuss the fight to keep global warming at bay. Leaders focused on the big picture, not the complicated words that were important in the negotiations. Then for about a week, the technocratic negotiations focused on these key details and did some things, but did not resolve the really sticky situation.
Now is the time for government ministers or other senior diplomats to enter into “high-level” negotiations to make political decisions that will remove technical barriers. The United Nations has three goals for Glasgow, which are currently unattainable: halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2030; rich countries give $ 100 billion a year to poor countries to fight climate change; And half of that money will be spent on adapting to the growing harms of climate change.
How different rich and poor countries are in their climate
They have a big hole to fill to make a compromise. More specifically, there are many gaps: differences in trust, differences in wealth. North-south difference. It’s about money, history and the future.
On one side of the gap are the countries that have developed and become rich through the coal, oil and natural gas industrial revolution that began in the United Kingdom, and on the other side are the countries that have not yet developed and become rich. These fuels are too dangerous for our planet.
Key issue: Unfulfilled promises of rich countries
The key financial issue is the $ 100 billion pledged in 2009. Developed countries have not yet reached $ 100 billion a year. This year, rich countries have pledged $ 80 billion a year in aid, less than promised.
During the talks on Monday, the head of the conference spoke about the progress and some shortcomings of the countries, emphasizing the extent to which the financial promises of rich countries have not been fulfilled by developing countries.
“Everyone here is upset,” said Salimul Hook, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh and a meteorologist and policy expert.
Fighting climate change will cost trillions of dollars worldwide, not $ 100 billion, because $ 100 billion alone won’t make a big difference, Hook said. He said the money was important in bridging the gap between rich and poor countries.
“They broke their promise. They didn’t keep it,” Hook said. “They don’t seem to care. So why should we believe everything they say?”
At a conference on Monday, Uganda’s climate activist Vanessa Nakate tweeted: I was 13 years old when I promised #ClimateFinance. United States. Violation of this promise will cost lives in Africa. The richest country in the world does not contribute enough to the rescue fund. You want to meet # COP26 youth. We want to take action. . Obama & @POTUS #BidendMoney Show. “
In an interview with the Associated Press, Nakayt did not criticize Obama for targeting young people fighting for the climate, but said, “I’m telling the truth … I promised money but didn’t deliver.”
Another key issue: the rich countries’ emissions target has failed
Hook said the failure of rich and polluting countries to meet global emissions targets of 1.5 degrees Celsius has failed in other parts of the world. Studies have shown that poor countries, such as Bangladesh, are more vulnerable to climate change than rich countries, which have more resources to adapt to extreme weather conditions.
Niklas Hohne, a meteorologist at the New Climate Institute in Germany who has attended the conference for more than 20 years, said the issue of trust has long been at the forefront of the UN’s annual climate change talks. planned warming.
Hohne said that while there are good reasons for concern in poor countries, countries are “coming together in this conference to build trust. And to build trust only through action.”
Today, China ranks first in carbon and India third, while carbon dioxide remains in the air for centuries. Based on historical emissions – substances that retain heat in the atmosphere – the United States and Europe are most responsible for climate change, Hohne said.
‘Normally complex bits’
Hohne said it was normal for high-level ministers to go to the rescue in the second week of climate talks.
“There are certain issues that are addressed to ministers, and they can only be resolved by ministers. Once they are resolved, they go back to the technical level to implement them,” Hohne said. “For now, I think we have bits of complexity of normal size.”
On Tuesday, US envoy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes led a delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring meteorological celebrities to the UN climate talks. Ocasio-Cortez told reporters that the most important hope is to see the United States become a world leader in reducing fossil fuel pollution.
Asked if there was a message for young activists who have played a key role in putting pressure on governments to reduce fossil fuel pollution, Ocasio-Cortez told reporters inside the conference area: “Okay, stay on the street.” I want to say, “Go on. ‘”