Home World The Glasgow summit has left a huge hole in the world’s plans...

The Glasgow summit has left a huge hole in the world’s plans to contain climate change


AS COP26 Finally November 13 ended more than 24 hours from the schedule, the mood in the boring temporary buildings erected for its location on the banks of the River Clyde, was a mixture of celebration and disappointment. The painful reality that gripped the conference was that the world had failed to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels, despite a promise to do so in the 2015 Paris Agreement. However, the summit introduced a number of new procedures that will keep alive the opportunity to achieve this goal if countries suddenly find the opportunity to take drastic action.

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Recognizing that the goals set in Paris are not being met, the summit sought to speed up the fight against climate change in a number of ways. There was an unexpected and, in the end, unanimous call for a faster phasing out (though not abolition) of “unreduced” (i.e. polluting) coal use and for the abandonment of fossil fuel subsidies. Deviation from the previous one CSS, a number of countries have joined various “coalitions willing” to contribute to eliminating coal energy, reducing methane emissions, making financial services more environmentally friendly, protecting forests and more.

Perhaps most importantly, governments have agreed to strengthen their national emission reduction plans for the next decade before a meeting in November next year. CS27 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. This means translating the promises made in Glasgow into politics and finding new ways to accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to 2030.

One way to treat the 1.5 ° C problem is temperature. The global average in 2020 was 1.1-1.3 ° C warmer than the pre-industrial level, and that figure is growing at 0.1-0.3 ° C every decade. Promises made during the Paris Agreement in 2015 prompted climate model developers to design a “best forecast” of 2.7 ° C warming by 2100. More ambitious promises made in Glasgow have reduced this, perhaps by 0.3 ° C.

Another way to measure the challenge is to avoid billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to Glasgow, there was a gap of 23-27 billion tonnes between the emission reductions needed by 2030 to avoid warming by more than 1.5 ° C and the emissions envisaged by 2030 in the climate commitments of countries known as nationally defined contributions or NDCs. New NDCAccording to Climate Action Tracker, S for 2030, presented on the eve of the summit, reduced the gap by only 4 billion tons (CAT), a coalition of climate designers. Promises at the summit on methane, coal, electric vehicles and forestry cut by about 2 billion tons more. Thus, in addition to current commitments, a further reduction of approximately 17-20 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases is needed by 2030 to reach the 1.5 ° C target (see chart).

Last year, many countries promised to achieve zero emissions by the middle of the century. The next one should focus on emission reductions in the next decade. 17-20 billion tons of greenhouse gases, which need to be reduced by 2030, correspond to a drop of 45% compared to 2010. Even then, there will be only a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. UN-convened conclave of climatologists. Still current NDCS will lead to an increase in emissions, not a fall by 2030.

The declining gap between ambition and reality has drawn Glasgow’s attention to the “snoring” of the Paris Agreement: the point that every five years the parties to the agreement should set out their plans to reduce emissions by the end of the next decade. Glasgow has, in fact, added additional leverage, demanding new promises for 2030 by November next year before decarbonisation plans for 2035 are unveiled in 2025.

Even these additional promises are unlikely to be enough to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C. But in Glasgow, it was widely believed that while making the necessary cuts would be almost impossible or very costly, the 1.5 ° C target should not be abandoned because every step towards it is beneficial. Every tenth degree of warming has implications for human well-being and entails large financial costs. Extreme weather caused by global warming has escalated over the past decade. Counterfeit climate modeling has shown that it contributes to a variety of disasters: from fires to floods and deadly heat.

Show me the money

Another focus in Glasgow was the need for more credit to help poor countries give up fossil energy, build a society that is better adapted to the effects of climate change, and repair the damage caused by extreme weather events. Poor countries are outraged that they have been promised $ 100 billion annually by 2020 to meet the first two needs, but only $ 80 billion a year has materialized. The final cost is likely to be trillions. However, the only material concession that was made concerned funding for the adaptation, which was supposed to be half of the $ 100 billion, but so far amounted to only about $ 20 billion. Rich countries have promised in Glasgow at least double the amount by 2025.

The talks marked a marked change in the rhetoric surrounding such financial assistance. In 2010, poor countries set the figure at $ 100 billion partly as a show of solidarity with rich countries and partly as a charity grant. The West has become rich by burning fossil fuels, the dispute is over, and therefore should help bring order. In addition to this moral claim to help, Glasgow came to the fore with another excuse. This formalizes cash as a necessary tool for the transition of energy, not as a form of assistance. Without this, poor countries have said they will not be able to decarbonise, which threatens the goals of Paris, so more money will need to be found.

One model for this will be closely monitored over the next year. America, UK, at EU, France and Germany have agreed to raise a $ 8.5 billion bank from a mix of public and private sources for South Africa. In return, she agreed to decarbonise her electricity, which is now almost entirely made from coal, while protecting the livelihoods of 120,000 people working in the industry. If the results between now and CS27 are promising, this can be a model for other countries.

Many other measures taken together could begin to reduce the emissions gap. More countries could sign “sectoral pledges,” as coalite-minded coalitions call it, or adopt their own goals if, for example, China is unwilling to join multilateral agreements. As part of the renewed climate cooperation with America announced in Glasgow, China said it would develop a national strategy to curb methane emissions. This is important because it erupts more than any other country, and has not signed up to a sectoral pledge. John Kerry, America CSThe 26th envoy suggested that China’s methane plan would be published earlier CS27.

CAT It is estimated that if all countries sign all four sectoral commitments on methane, coal, automobiles and forests, the emission reductions of 17-20 billion tonnes needed to reach 1.5 ° C could be reduced by another 6-9 billion tonnes. This is large but hypothetical, as the pledge of forests, in particular, is questionable, given the failure of previous efforts to stop deforestation and the fact that Indonesia, one of the worst culprits, has already given up support.

Voluntary carbon markets could also help reduce emissions, but only by improving their standards. Although trade volumes are not yet measured in billions of tons, demand has grown and is receiving incentives from increasing the number of private companies with climate targets. Theoretically, these markets can help direct private funds to the most effective carbon reduction projects and accelerate decarbonisation. But markets are poorly regulated and standards are volatile.

Other ways to reduce the emissions gap to 1.5 ° C include financial incentives for developing economies to reduce emissions through a mix of public and private funds, the threat of carbon cap adjustment mechanisms that will be taxed on CO.2-greater imports, greater transparency and accountability in the private sector. There are currently hundreds of different standards for corporate disclosure of environmental, social and governance information (ESG) data. This way, firms can choose nice numbers, and investors have a hard time comparing different companies.

Regulators can also play a role in corporate transparency. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General UN, intends to set up a body to study zero commitments made by companies and develop standards. Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the United Kingdom, said the country would “tighten requirements” from 2023 – but not yet make it mandatory – for all UK financial institutions and all companies listed on UK stock markets to publish plans explaining how they will decarbonize operations, lending and investment. However, all of these regulatory measures will take years to have a big effect.

The next 12 months will be marked by a constant drumbeat to keep up the pressure on climate change. April 15 UN The summit on biodiversity will set new goals for the protection of ecosystems. Some will also seek to combat climate change by increasing CO volumes2 absorbed by vegetation and oceans. In June, the Swedish government will host Fr. UN conference timed to the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Summit. Throughout the year a UN– A sanctioned global assessment of progress towards the Paris Agreement will begin. His conclusions are to be drawn in 2023.

And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish not one but three reports, the first of which will almost certainly conclude that the effects of climate change are already at a high level, as expected in previous reports, and that the consequences in the future, even if warming may being limited to 1.5 ° C is likely to be worse than previously thought in both rich and poor countries.

It will also be the focus of the new CS presidency. The transfer began in Glasgow, where Egyptian leaders hinted that adaptation and sustainability would be high on the agenda for CS27. Sharm el-Sheikh is also likely to see disappointment in the fight against the holiday.

The latest from COP26 see in our news updates. For more information on climate change, sign up The question of climateour bi-weekly newsletter or visit our climate change center


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