Halfway through the climate conference: It’s down to the nitty-gritty

Status: 11/08/2021 03:23 a.m.

In the second week of the climate summit, the experts and line ministers have to act. Because the declarations of intent must now be drawn up if they are to have an effect. And the states do not agree at all on this.

By Christoph Prössl, ARD-Studio London

More than 100,000 demonstrators took part in protests in Glasgow on Friday and Saturday. Now it will be quieter at the climate conference in Glasgow: The heads of state and government have long since left, now it’s about the details – the small print. The chairman of the conference, the Briton Alok Sharma, once again emphasized his understanding of the criticism of the street: he understood the frustration he had heard from young people. According to the chief organizer, this conference has to deliver. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called for further commitments from almost 200 countries at half-time.

Christoph Prössl
ARD-Studio London

For example, the topic of climate aid is now on the program: non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace are demanding that rich states increase drastically. The financial requirements of the less developed countries to expand renewable energies and finance adaptation measures run into the trillions. Also discussed is the demand that industrialized countries, as the cause of climate change, should pay for damage and losses caused by climate change. However, because the extent of this is likely to be enormous and difficult to calculate, the industrialized countries in particular are cautious.

Unresolved questions are put on hold. From Tuesday, the responsible ministers will negotiate at the highest level, says David Ryfisch from the non-profit association Germanwatch: “They will solve the extremely difficult issues that can only be resolved on a political level. That means the second week is extremely important to define how strong the outcome of the summit will be.”

Pay for your own climate sins?

The question will also be how states can work together on climate protection. Because: Sometimes it is more effective if a state finances climate protection measures in another country and not in its own country. But which government can then credit itself with the tons of CO2 saved? Here, too, success depends on the detail – otherwise corresponding agreements will hamper the financing of further climate protection measures.

An example: In June, the Swiss voted against a climate protection package in a referendum. Oil and gas heating in buildings are allowed without restrictions, and there is no flight ticket tax. For Switzerland it will be almost impossible to achieve its own climate goals with measures in its own country, says the Swiss Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. The result: There are efforts to get Switzerland to support international climate projects so that CO2 savings can be offset against its own climate targets.

“Opposite of what we actually want to achieve”

“Now Switzerland has proposed projects that Switzerland wants to implement in other countries. The countries have all of these projects in the pipeline and have long wanted to implement them,” says Niklas Höhne, professor and founder of the New Climate Institute. And that’s a problem, says Höhne: “So it doesn’t increase the ambition here either. If Switzerland now supports these projects, takes the emission certificates themselves and deducts them for itself, the whole mechanism has lowered the ambition. In other words, it generated less ambition. That is the opposite of what we actually want to achieve. “

And countries like Brazil are even demanding that corresponding savings in projects that are financed from abroad should both countries be allowed to offset each other – which would reduce overall CO2 emissions less significantly.

Start of the second week of the climate conference in Glasgow

Christoph Prössl, ARD London, currently Glasgow, November 7th, 2021 6:18 pm


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