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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Where to find progress on climate change in a more dangerous and divided world, 6 months after climate summit

Six months ago, negotiators at the UN’s Glasgow climate summit celebrated a series of new commitments to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the effects of climate change. Analysts concluded that the new promises, including phasing out coal, would turn a global warming trajectory, though still short of the Paris climate agreement.

Today, the world looks more complex. Russia is waging a war on European soil with global implications for energy and food supplies. Some leaders who vowed a few months ago to end fossil fuels are now encouraging fossil fuel companies to ramp up production.

In the US, the Biden administration has struggled to get its promised actions through Congress. Last-ditch efforts are underway to salvage any climate and energy bills from the abandoned Build Back Better Plan. Without it, the US commitment to reducing emissions by more than 50% by 2030 seems fictional, and as the rest of the world knows it – another blow to American credibility abroad.

Meanwhile, there has been severe famine in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. People’s lives are in danger due to severe heat in India and Pakistan. Australia suffered historic floods, and the southwestern US cannot keep up with wildfires.

As a former senior UN official, I have been involved in international climate negotiations for many years. With the next UN climate summit in November 2022 halfway through this year’s climate talks, here are three areas to look to for progress and cooperation in a world full of danger and division.

Crisis response with long term benefits

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to a triple whammy of food prices, fuel prices and inflationary prices in the global economy, which is still struggling to recover from the pandemic.

But Russia’s aggression has also forced Europe and others to move away from dependence on Russian oil, gas and coal. The G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – on May 8, 2022 pledged to phase out or restrict Russian oil and accelerate their shift to clean energy.

In the short term, Europe’s pivot means greater energy efficiency – the International Energy Agency estimates that the EU could save 15%-20% of energy demand with efficiency measures. It also means importing oil and gas from elsewhere.

In the medium term, the answer lies in increasing renewable energy.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who represented the US at the UN climate talks in November 2021, speaks to negotiators from Europe.
Associated Press Photo / Alastair Grant

There are issues to be resolved. As Europe buys gas from other places, it risks reducing the supply of gas it relies on other countries, and forcing some of those countries to return to coal, a more carbon-intensive fuel that fuels the air. destroys quality. Some countries will need help to expand renewable energy and stabilize energy prices to avoid a backlash to pro-climate policies.

As the West races to renewable energy, it will also need to secure supply chains for critical minerals and metals needed for batteries and renewable energy technology, including replacing an over-reliance on China with multiple supply sources. .

Ensuring integrity in corporate commitments

Finance leaders and other private sector coalitions made key commitments at the Glasgow Climate Conference in November 2021. He promised to accelerate his transition to net-zero emissions by 2050, and some firms and financiers were specific about ending financing for coal plants. Capture and store their carbon, cut methane emissions and help end deforestation.

His promises have faced cries of “greenwash” from several climate advocacy groups. Some efforts are now underway to keep companies as well as countries on their commitments.

A United Nations group headed by former Canadian Environment Minister Katherine McKenna is now working on a framework for companies, cities, states and banks to make what they claim to be “net-zero” emissions. It is designed to ensure that companies that promised to meet Net-Zero last year now say how, and on what scientific basis.

For many companies, especially those with large emissions footprints, part of their commitment to achieving net-zero involves purchasing carbon offsets – often investments in nature – to balance the ledger. This summer, two efforts to put a railing around voluntary carbon markets led to their own set of guidance for issuers of carbon credits and for firms wishing to use voluntary carbon markets to meet their net-zero claims. Expected to release the first set. The goal is to ensure that carbon markets reduce emissions and provide a steady stream of revenue for the parts of the world that need finance for their green development.

Climate change affecting elections

Climate change is now an increasingly important factor in elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron, trying to woo supporters of his left-handed candidate and energize young voters, made a more dramatic climate pledge, promising to be “the first major nation to give up gas, oil and coal”. Did.

With Chile swinging to the left, the country’s revamped constitution will include climate management.

Morrison and his wife hold hands and smile to the left while a protester in 'Stop Adani' T-shirts is held back by security on the right.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) has faced opposition over his support for the Adani Carmichael mine, one of the largest coal mines in the world.
Associated Press Photo/Rick Rickroft

In Australia, Scott Morrison’s government – ​​which at the same time backed the opening of one of the world’s largest coal mines, the Australian private sector focusing on renewable energy – is facing election on 21 May 2022. , with heat and extreme flooding in the minds of voters. , Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro faces opponents in October who are talking about protecting the climate.

Elections are fought and won on pocketbook issues, and energy prices are high and inflation is taking hold. But voters around the world are also directly experiencing the effects of climate change and are increasingly concerned.

next climate conference

When the next round of UN talks begins in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November, countries will face a different set of economic and security challenges than those faced in Glasgow. They will be expected to show progress on their commitments while battling for bandwidth, while tackling the climate emergency as an integral part of security, economic recovery and global health.

The future is not the time to pursue climate action. Every decimal point of warming is an opportunity for better health, more prosperity and better security.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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