End of COP26 in Glasgow: the world continues to pull on the climate change rope

Activists from an environmental group demonstrate with Biden and Johnson masks outside the venue where COP26 took place, in Glasgow (REUTERS / Dylan Martinez)

There is an exact word that defines the outcome of this COP26, the environment summit that ended in Glasgow after two weeks of deliberations:Procrastinar.Consists in deliberately postponing important pending tasks, despite having the opportunity to complete them. And that’s what happened. World leaders will have to return to the negotiating table next year at the COP27, to be held in Egypt, with improved plans to reduce greenhouse gases becausethe objectives proposed at this summit are too weak to avoid disastrous levels of global warming.

We already know. The scientific conclusion is almost unanimous (negating the deniers). If we exceed the average increase of two degrees Celsius in global temperature compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels, the damage will be irreversible. Our children and grandchildren will have to survive in an unbreathable atmosphere, between extreme storms, floods and droughts. The 2015 Paris Summit defined that, to truly avoid a catastrophe, we should keep global warming below 1.5C. Current national plans – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – would lead to warming of 2.4C, according to the analysis released this week by the prestigious Climate Action Tracker. In Glasgow almost nothing was achieved so that this does not end up being a long-heralded tragedy.

In general, the vast majority of countries do not meet the objectives set and Big environmental predators such as China, Russia or India refuse to make the necessary commitments to stop polluting gas emissions. They reiterated it with their attitude here at this COP26, despite the endless appeals. And it is that their counterparts, the United States and Europe, do not fulfill what they promise in their rhetoric. The 100 billion dollars a year are still in limbo that richer countries have to give to developing ones to help them adapt their economies to a greener one.

Arduous negotiations.  Delegates during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland (REUTERS / Yves Herman)
Arduous negotiations. Delegates during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland (REUTERS / Yves Herman)

Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who oversaw the 2015 Paris summit, Laurence Tubiana, the French diplomat who drew up the agreement, and Laurent Fabius, the former French chancellor who also oversaw Paris, put it clearly: “In the current circumstances, the objectives must be reinforced next year ”. A phrase that could be applied to every summit conclusion in the last 26 years. Everything happens for the next year. Or even worse. The obligation of countries is to show their progress and objectives every five years, not annually. “This is critical. We need much more urgency. We can’t wait five years for the new NDCs ”, said the Costa Rican Figueres.

China continues to lead the countries that repeat the mantra of “the powers developed by polluting and now they want us to stop our development. They are the ones who have to pay the consequences ”. It’s true, it’s a question of environmental justice. But the detail is that global warming knows no borders, much less has patience. And everyone wants to stretch the rope to the maximum. Brazil, Indonesia and several other countries that conserve the greatest extensions of biodiversity, they found more time to continue cutting down the forests and clearing land for agriculture and livestock. China and India jointly burn two-thirds of the world’s coal and will continue to do so. Saudi Arabia leads the OPEC countries, the big oil producers, who refuse to accept until it is said in UN documents that fossil fuels pollute.

Even though the president Joe Biden introduces himself as the new champion of the environment (you don’t have to do much in this regard after the denier Donald Trump to be the champion), The United States did not sign some of the strictest climate commitments of COP26, with his notably absent signature on promises to eliminate coal mining, end the use of internal combustion engines, and compensate the poorest countries.The United States still generates a fifth of its electricity from coal. If Congress in Washington ends up approving your $ 1.75 trillion social and environmental security bill next week, maybe you can go to Egypt next year with better news.

China's chief negotiator at COP26 Xie Zhenhua after releasing a joint statement with the United States.  Refused to sign agreements on the reduction of methane emissions (Jeff J Mitchell / Pool via REUTERS)
China’s chief negotiator at COP26 Xie Zhenhua after releasing a joint statement with the United States. Refused to sign agreements on the reduction of methane emissions (Jeff J Mitchell / Pool via REUTERS)

Reaching the $ 100 billion annual compensation goal was originally set for 2020, and now is being delayed until the end of 2022. The United States improved its contribution before the summit and took it to 11.4 billion dollars. Biden’s promise is to complete the contribution by 2024, too far in the future. Single India claims a trillion dollars in international public funds, as a counterpart to its promise to reduce emissions to “net zero” by 2070. This figure indicates the degree of disconnection between the different blocks in terms of financing. “Financial issues have always been the crucial issues in this process,” explained Alden Meyer, Senior Advisor at E3G. “We are in danger of entering a spiral with the lowest common denominator, in which The United States and Europe and other developed countries limit what is possible in terms of financing, and Saudi Arabia, China and others limit what is possible in terms of mitigation”.

In Latin America, everything happens because of what happens with the Amazon and there almost everything depends on Brazil. On the last day of the summit, it was learned that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest increased in October compared to a year ago. Preliminary data from the national space research agency INPE showed that some 877 square kilometers of forest were cleared last month, a 5% increase from October 2020. It was the worst deforestation at this time of year since the current monitoring system began in 2015. Brazilian delegates promised at this COP26 to end illegal deforestation by 2028, two years before their previous goal. This also means thatBolsonaro will have his hands free to continue allowing the indiscriminate use of chainsaws for another seven years.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres along with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at COP26.  KARWAI TANG (Europa Press)
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres along with US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at COP26. KARWAI TANG (Europa Press)

One achievement achieved in Glasgow is the reduction of methane emissions, which constitute a third of all greenhouse gases. 103 countries promised to cut their methane emissions by 30% by 2030. This date is a stop on the way to reach a reduction of 70% of these emissions in 2050 as recommended by the UN panel of experts. Between 1750 and 2019, concentrations of CH4 in the atmosphere increased by 156%. Like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) is capable of capturing heat in the atmosphere, although with a power 28 times higher than carbon. Instead, it takes much less time to completely disappear.

Specific, 20 years compared to the more than 100 it can take for CO2 to disappear from the atmosphere. Of course, China, Russia and India refused to sign. A hard blow to come back. Although in the surprise joint announcement between the governments of Washington and Beijing, another milestone of the summit, in which they pledged to accelerate the fight against climate change in this decade, China said it will announce its methane cut targets next year.

The devastating droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires since the Paris Agreement was adopted taught us that we underestimate the speed of extreme and destabilizing climate change. Average global temperature has already increased by about 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels. This has largely been the case since 1950, and temperatures continue to rise. Yes we’re on our way to devastating 2.4C by the end of the century. In this context, one more year of contamination is an extraordinarily long time.

KEEP READING

We are heading towards a devastating 2.4 degrees Celsius global average temperature rise
Climate scientists are skeptical of a rapid halt to global warming after COP26
COP26: the shocking video with which a minister denounced that his country may disappear due to climate change



Reference-www.infobae.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *