In a final rush, the Glasgow climate summit has finally closed an agreement that asks countries to review and strengthen their emission reduction plans and targets for 2030 to comply with the Paris Agreement against climate change that they all signed and have them evaluated again next year. The plans that have been presented so far do not serve to contain the warming of the Earth by 1.5ºC.
Countries allocate three times more public aid to gas, oil and coal than to clean energy
However, the agreement leaves the Scottish city with the request to end aid to oil, gas and coal softened to the maximum when India incorporates an amendment when the final plenary session was already underway. Out loud, India has proposed moving from the term “abandon” to “cut” subsidies. Several hands have been raised to spoil this last minute movement that has not undergone any review, but no one has dared to block the summit.
The Glasgow Climate Pact, as they have called the final decision, has maintained the text that says that if you want to achieve that extra temperature limit, it is necessary to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% compared to 2010 by 2030 The national objectives for the end of this decade is what has been requested to be revised, always in the United Nations voluntary formula that does not impose the measure. The delegations have called for this to keep the extra temperature limit of 1.5ºC within reach.
The synthesis analysis carried out this year by the UN on all announced national commitments has indicated that emissions will grow by 13% by 2030, totally contrary to what is expressed in this agreement. With the current rate of emissions, the The amount of carbon that can be released into the atmosphere compatible with stopping warming in the safety margins would be depleted in 11 years. “We note with deep concern”, the text includes, the results of this evaluation and “we emphasize the urgent need” for the countries to “increase their efforts.” A petition goes out from Glasgow to the UN to review national plans every year – not just when they are presented.
The draft had already lowered the ambition of this point by admitting that what should be ending was the “inefficient” public aid to oil, gas and coal. This mandate had been watered down by introducing these nuances to try to satisfy the producing countries like Saudi Arabia and the Arab Group of nations. “The language introduced by the G20 has been used, which was difficult to reject and, in the long run, there is not much difference,” they say from within the negotiation. “It sends a clear message that the future is not going that way.”
However, India has pushed until the end and introduced the change of voice so that the clause was transformed from “abandon” to “phasing out” such aid. Switzerland has responded expressing anger and the European Union has said that it was a wrong message and has expressed “disappointment”, although this did not imply a blockade.
Mexico and the Marshall Islands have taken the floor to also show their anger that it has been allowed to use the approval meeting to lower the force of the petition at the last minute and without going through consultations.
“These changes are not our preferred option. We believe that we must abandon, not reduce, coal,” said Third Vice President Teresa Ribera. Despite this, Ribera believes that the Glasgow agreement “is a step forward and we are confident that this path can be quickly reinforced with the other commitments to reduce emissions by 45%”.
Lock all day
It is true that it is the first time – since an indirect mention in Kyoto – that the cause that has caused the climate crisis is pointed directly: the massive burning of fossil fuels by humans. The idea of ending with the subsidies He has made India protest this Saturday: he has assured that they need this aid to give “support and security” to their population. Then it has intervened when the countries had been called to give the final approval to change the clause.
India has not been alone. Other fossil fuel producers such as South Africa, Nigeria and Iran have joined the Indian vision. “We ask that this paragraph be reconsidered in the light of equal progress,” commented the Nigerian delegate. “We need to use fossil fuels for economic development. We ask that you change it,” added his partner from Iran.
The summit was jammed. The president of COP26, Alok Sharma, has had to convene a round of taking positions to try to unblock an agreement after spending a good part of the morning negotiating. His proposal has forced to call consultations. In the plenary hall it has been possible to see the special envoy of the United States, John Kerry, in constant activity and the delegates in the room. Kerry has held face-to-face talks with China’s envoy Xie Zhenhua (who was the country’s chief negotiator in Copenhagen and Paris). He then went on to speak with the head of the European Union delegation, Frans Timmermans. Then he would go to Alok Sharma for a while to return with the Chinese Zhenhua.
The millions of the climate fund did not appear
This package has failed to materialize the millions of dollars pledged ten years ago to help impoverished states mitigate climate change. “We note with great regret,” he writes, that the goal of raising 100,000 million dollars annually from 2020 has not been achieved. Later on, they may be able to mobilize that money. “We urge developed countries to achieve that goal by 2025.”
This decision calls on the rich parties to double their joint provision to support the adaptation of the most vulnerable to the new context that the climate crisis has imposed on them. It places the starting point in what was contributed in 2019 and sets the limit to achieve it in 2025.
The impoverished states wanted a plan so that there would be a financial mechanism that would help them compensate for the losses and damages that climate change already causes them (and that they have hardly caused). “There was a long backlog in this task,” the delegations commented. Loss and damage are the impacts that countries cannot avoid even if they make efforts to adapt their territories to new climatic circumstances. He is kicked forward and will be a star point at the 2022 summit in Egypt.