UN climate talks enter overtime to advance the goal of saving 1.5 degrees Celsius

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On November 8, 2021, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, a representative is watching a screen.

Yves Herman | Reuters

The two-week UN COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow exceeded the deadline on Friday. The chairperson of the meeting called on all countries to make a final effort to ensure that the promise of controlling the rising temperature that threatens the planet can be controlled.

It is now expected to reach an agreement sometime on Saturday, but there are still difficult negotiations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, carbon markets, and financial assistance for poor countries to tackle climate change.

The draft final agreement released earlier on Friday requires countries to make stricter climate commitments next year-an attempt to bridge the gap between current goals and the deeper cuts that scientists say are needed in this decade to avoid a catastrophic climate Variety.

“In the past two weeks, we have made great progress, and now we need to finally inject the spirit of’can do’ into this COP, so we will work together to achieve this goal,” said Alok, the chairman of COP26, UK · Sharma.

Later on Friday, Sharma announced that the meeting would last until Saturday, and he expected an agreement to be reached later in the day. He said that the revised draft of the agreement will be released on Saturday morning to start the final round of negotiations.

The overall goal of the meeting is to achieve the ideal goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which is to control global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the pre-industrial level. Scientists say this restriction will avoid its worst effects. .

The researchers said that according to the country’s current commitment to reduce emissions during this decade, the world’s temperature will far exceed this limit, triggering catastrophic sea level rise, droughts, storms and wildfires.

The new draft is a balancing act—trying to meet the needs of the most climate-vulnerable countries, such as low-lying islands, the world’s largest polluters, and countries where fossil fuel exports are critical to their economies.read more

“China believes that the current draft still needs to be further strengthened and enriched in terms of adaptation, funding, technology and capacity building,” said Zhao Yingmin, the climate negotiator of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.

The draft retains the most important requirement for countries to make stricter climate commitments next year, but expresses this requirement in a weaker language than before, while failing to provide the rolling annual review of climate commitments sought by some developing countries .

Currently, countries need to re-examine their commitments every five years.

Weak language

The latest proposal requires states to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), which are slightly weaker than previous ones, which are the main man-made causes of global warming.

This frustrated some activists, while others were relieved that the first explicit mention of fossil fuels at any UN climate summit was in the text and hoped that it would survive the fierce upcoming negotiations. .

Greenpeace said: “It can be better, it should be better, and we can make it better and better one day.”

“At present, the fingerprint of fossil fuel interests is still on the text. This is not a breakthrough agreement that people hope to reach in Glasgow.”

Some think tanks are more optimistic, pointing out that progress has been made in financing to help developing countries deal with the damage caused by the increasingly hot climate.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s second-largest oil producer and is considered one of the most resistant to strong fossil fuel language. It said the latest draft is “workable.”

The final agreement will require the unanimous agreement of nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris Agreement.

In order to increase the pressure to reach a tough agreement, the protesters gathered outside the COP26 venue, where activists hung ribbons and prayed to the delegates to protect the planet.

The latest draft acknowledges that scientists have stated that by 2030, the world must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% from 2010 levels and reach net zero “around the middle of this century” in order to reach the 1.5C target.

This will effectively set a benchmark for measuring future climate commitments.

At present, according to United Nations data, countries have pledged to increase global emissions by nearly 14% by 2030 compared to 2010

‘crazy’

Fossil fuel subsidies are still the focus of controversy. Kerry told reporters that while the government is spending hundreds of billions of euros to support the fuel that causes global warming, trying to curb global warming is the “definition of insanity.”

Fiscal support has also aroused fierce controversy, and developing countries are pushing for stricter rules to ensure that rich countries whose historical emissions are primarily responsible for global warming provide more cash to help them adapt to the consequences.

The failure of rich countries to achieve the 12-year goal of providing US$100 billion a year in so-called “climate financing” by 2020 has weakened trust and made some developing countries less willing to control emissions.

This amount is much lower than the actual needs of the countries mentioned by the United Nations. It aims to solve the problem of “mitigation”, help poor countries carry out ecological transformation, and “adapt” to help them cope with extreme weather events.

The new draft states that by 2025, rich countries should double their current levels of funding for adaptation—a step forward from the previous version without a date or baseline.

Helen Mumford of the World Resources Institute said of the current draft: “Compared with our text two days ago, this is a stronger and more balanced text.”

“We need to see what is immediate, what is established, and what it looks like in the end-but it is currently moving in a positive direction.”

Of the approximately US$80 billion in climate finance provided by rich countries to poor countries in 2019, only a quarter was spent on adaptation.

A more controversial aspect, called “loss and damage,” will compensate them for the damage they have already suffered due to global warming, even though this exceeds $100 billion, and some rich countries do not recognize this requirement.

A group of fragile states, including the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific, said that the final agreement requires more measures to address this issue. Tina Stege, the climate envoy for the Marshall Islands, said: “Loss and damage are too important for us to be satisfied with the seminar.”


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