By Ellen Nickmeyer, Anirudh Ghoshal and Seth Borenstein | The Associated Press
Glasgow, Scotland – Barack Obama expressed confidence in UN climate talks on Monday that the Biden administration would eventually get its $555 billion climate package through Congress, and blamed US rivals China and Russia, which he called “urgency”. Dangerous shortfall”. Climate-catastrophic emissions.
As nations complained of a lack of confidence and progress in climate negotiations, Obama, one of the leaders who paved the way for the historic 2015 Paris climate accord, threw in a touch of his trademark hope, but acknowledged that ” Images of dystopia” were creeping into her dreams.
“There are times when the future seems somewhat bleak. At times I doubt that humanity can work together before it is too late,” Obama said in a two-week long conversation. “(But) we cannot stand despair.”
His remarks came as conference leaders acknowledged on Monday that several important points remained after a week of talks. The trust gap between rich and poor countries has once again surfaced, and developing countries use the word “disappointing” when leaders talk about progress in talks to date.
The United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is the former US president’s first since he helped win the 2015 Paris climate agreement, when nations committed to cutting fossil fuel and agricultural emissions to reduce Earth’s warming to a catastrophic 1.5K level below. °C (2.7 °F).
That celebration has been replaced by anxiety. Donald Trump pulled America out of the Paris Agreement. And while President Joe Biden held America back in the climate deal, Trump’s move backfired on US efforts. Other top polluters – including China, India and Russia – are moving much slower than scientists need to fight climate change.
“1.5C is now on life support, it’s in the ICU,” said Alden Meyer of environmental think-tank e3G.
Obama’s presence sought to remind governments of the enthusiasm that surrounded the Paris Agreement and urged them to announce more immediate, concrete steps to implement the 2015 deal. He said that optimism and unity are needed to save the planet.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, if your Florida House is flooded by rising seas, or your crops are damaged in the Dakota, or your California House is on fire. Nature, Physics, Science — They Don’t care about party affiliation,” Obama said. “We need everyone — even if we disagree on other things.”
Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate wrote on Twitter Monday that she was 13 years old when Obama was part of rich countries that pledged $100 billion annually to help poor countries fight global warming, but Said that those countries broke the promise. Nakate told The Associated Press that she was not attacking the former president “but I am telling the truth.”
“This money was promised, but it hasn’t been delivered,” he said, adding that $100 billion a year was the “minimum” for climate finance.
Despite opposition from Biden’s own Democratic Party, which has blocked the president’s anti-climate legislation, Obama was confident that some version of Biden’s ambitious climate bill would pass and be “historic.”
“It will set the United States on course to meet its new climate goals,” he said.
And while the rapprochement between US and Chinese negotiators paved the way for the Paris Agreement, Obama on Monday criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin for not attending other leaders in climate talks in Glasgow.
“It was particularly discouraging to refuse the leaders of the world’s two biggest emitters, China and Russia, to join the proceedings, and their national plans reflect what appears to be an alarming lack of urgency,” Obama said.
Obama spoke earlier Monday in a session on Pacific island nations, including those whose existence is threatened by rising oceans.
“We all have a part to play. We all have work to do. We all have a sacrifice to make on the climate,” he said. “But those of us who live in rich countries, those of us who helped to overcome the problem … we have an extra burden.”
No agreement has yet been reached on the three main goals of the United Nations Convention. They pledge to cut emissions in half by 2030 to keep the 1.5 °C temperature limit target of the Paris climate agreement alive; $100 billion needed annually in financial aid from rich countries to the poor; And the idea that half of that money goes to adapt to the worst effects of global warming.
Several other issues were also yet to be resolved, including the transparency of trade carbon and national emissions commitments.
Delegates from 77 developing countries along with China said the talks cannot be considered successful unless this climate summit provides funding to help poor countries.
“There is a history of broken promises and unfulfilled commitments by developed countries,” said Bolivia’s Diego Pacheco Balanza.
Scientists say the Earth is only a few years away from the point where it becomes impossible to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement due to increasing losses from coal, petroleum, agriculture and other pollution sources. The past few days have seen massive protests around Glasgow and Europe by young people and others demanding swift action from nations in fighting global warming.
Obama met with a dozen climate activists later on Monday, many of whom were in their 20s, and urged them to keep up with public pressure despite any gloom over the governments’ inaction.
“The question is, where are the countries that have really lived up to our expectations? And it turns out, those are the places where there was pressure, where there was political mobilization, where there were activists,” said Obama, wearing a shirt.
Associated Press reporter Frank Jordan contributed to this report.