Increased sea levels, floods and droughts are just some of the effects that climate change is beginning to generate and that, a few years from now, could be devastating for humanity. Especially, in those developing countries that are still devoid of dams and meteorological warning systems, and that will need to raise the level of housing to avoid new catastrophes. For this, the World Bank announced Monday that it will allocate 200,000 million dollars, between 2021 and 2025, to help these territories to face an evil that continues to spread and hardening as time passes.
It has done so coinciding with the 24th Climate Summit (COP24) that takes place in Katowice (Poland) until next December 14. Its objective is to "recognize the impact of climate change on people's lives", especially in the poorest countries of the world. The US agency has indicated that approximately half of the budget will come from the World Bank itself, while the rest will come from other institutions within the group and private capital. "These new objectives show how seriously we are taking this issue," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement, calling on the global community to take more concrete and more serious actions.
In that sense, the president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, has already advanced that Spain will set more ambitious goals in reducing emissions, proposing to reduce by 37% the current levels for 2030 and reach in 2050 to reduce them by at least 90 percent . Sanchez has exposed that commitment in his speech at the inaugural session of the COP24, accompanied by the Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, who has stressed the need to act "faster" and "measures to reduce emissions." To achieve this, in the next few days he will present his draft Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition.
Together with Sánchez, 30,000 delegates from 197 countries will meet in the Polish city with a very clear challenge: to set the rules of the game to implement the Paris Agreement and to maintain global warming of the planet below 2 degrees. In the Spanish case, the goal will be the full decarbonization of the economy by the year 2050, but that transition must be "fair" and taking into account the role that workers and the most vulnerable localities must play. "If we do not reduce emissions and build adaptations now, we will have 100 million more people living in poverty by 2030," said John Roome, senior director of the World Bank for climate change. "And we also know that if we do not tackle this problem proactively in three regions (Africa, South Asia and Latin America), we will have 133 million climate migrants."
Although it is still a draft, the bill proposed by the Government aims to have greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 reduced by 90% compared to the base year of the negotiations (1990). But the data highlights that carbon dioxide emissions continue to grow in Spain, and are currently about 17% above the levels of the 90. Precisely the National Institute of Statistics has just released the latest report on emissions of greenhouse gases in Spain, which reveals that they grew again in 2017. These emissions grew 2.6% last year compared to the figures of 2016, standing at 344 million tons. The publication of this report has coincided with the dissemination of the data collected at the meteorological observatory of Izaña (Tenerife), where record values of the two main greenhouse gases have been recorded this year: carbon dioxide and methane. . All this shows that there is no indication of investment in this trend that is triggering long-term climate change, rising sea levels, acidification of the oceans and a greater number of extreme weather events.
A question "of life or death"
"Climate change is running faster than us and we must catch up sooner rather than later. For many people, regions and even countries, this is already a matter of life and death. " This is how António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, began his speech minutes after the inauguration of the COP24. For him, the international community is not doing enough to "avoid an irreversible and catastrophic disruption of climate", nor is it taking advantage of the "enormous social, economic and environmental opportunities of climate action". And it says it with the data in hand: the 20 warmest years ever recorded are in the last 22 years, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is the highest in three million years and the commitments of the Countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases are insufficient because the temperature of the planet would rise by 3ºC by the end of this century compared to the pre-industrial era.
"If we fail, the Arctic and the Antarctic will continue to melt, the corals will bleach and then die, the oceans will rise, more people will die from air pollution, water scarcity will affect a significant proportion of humanity and the cost of disasters will skyrocket, "he added. Therefore, it demanded that emissions of greenhouse gases be reduced by 45% in 2030 compared to 2010 levels and be clearly neutral by 2050, when renewables should provide between half and two thirds of the world's primary energy . But can this forecast be fulfilled? The member of the National Climate Council and the National Commission for the Coordination of Climate Change Policies, Francisco Victoria, believes that yes: "Spain can achieve this, but it has to make a huge effort".
Of the total emissions that should be reduced, Spain only has the capacity to make decisions on 50% of them: one half would correspond to those from thermal power plants or refineries, which are regulated by Europe; while the other, would come from domestic activities such as driving vehicles, on which Spain would have power. "For the latter, it was proposed to reduce 30% of them to 2030, but a European regulation published in June this year allows Spain to reduce it to 26%. Now, how do you get it without touching the automobile sector, which contributes a quarter of those domestic emissions? And, even more, how can it be achieved if most of the vehicles are private? ", Reflects Victoria. "Achieving it in the short term may seem difficult for our economy, precisely because it has ignored climate change for decades."