COP26: Curtain at UN climate conference today – “There is still a lot of work to be done”

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Consultations in Glasgow on concluding an agreement at the world conference end today, Friday (12/11) UN for climate, which is considered crucial to maintain the chances of achieving the goals against it climate change.

After long and difficult negotiations yesterday, Thursday, the British presidency of COP26 announced that it wants to present a new draft final declaration early today, which may be amended again before its final adoption. The conference is expected to officially end at 20:00 Greek time, but the negotiators of the approximately 200 member countries may, as is often the case, to have to play in overtime, as reported by ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ.

“There is still a lot of work to be done,” the British president of COP26 said yesterday Alok Sarma, warning the delegations of the countries: “People are watching us. (…) We can not disappoint him “.

After the adoption of consensus funds last night, There are still many issues on which there is disagreement, especially with regard to financing of poor countries, which are least responsible for global warming, but are often the ones most exposed to its effects.

The billions for the climate that were never given to the poorest countries

The disasters associated with climate change multiply all over the world -floods, heat waves, droughts… – with consequent damage and casualties, which underscores the acceleration of climate change, which, as scientists warn, threatens the very existence of humanity in the long run.

The rich countries participating in the conference had failed before its start to keep an old promise, which they made 12 years ago, to achieve by 2020 their aid to the poorest countries for the climate to reach a symbolic sum of $ 100 billion. At the same time, they have released billions in recent months to save their economies from the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, with recovery plans not always very “green”.

In the meantime, considering the amount of 100 billion already obsolete, poor or emerging countries insist on increasing it to 1,300 billion a year, according to calculations of the group of African countries. The latter also call for a rebalancing of this package with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – something called “climate mitigation” that now accounts for three-quarters of funding to adapt to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. climate change. In addition, these funds require nhenceforth take into account the “losses and losses” that already exist.

UN sees “catastrophic” overheating of 2.7 degrees Celsius

However, in the text that is already on the negotiating table, “there is an imbalance in the mitigation issues that have returned to the center of concerns, which creates a small problem for us, as adjustment issues are pushed to the background,” he said. of African negotiators Tangi Gahuma-Bekale.

This is because the British Presidency, while emphasizing the importance of funding issues, has a motto, “Keep 1.5 degrees Celsius alive”, which refers to the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement of 2015 to limit the rise in temperature “much below” 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, if possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

This mission seems almost impossible, as, according to the UN, the world is still heading towards one “Catastrophic” overheating of 2.7 degrees Celsius, despite the new commitments for 2030 that were announced shortly before and at the start of COP26.

The other part of the text therefore calls on the Member States review upwards their emission reduction commitments greenhouse gases more regularly than provided for in the Paris Agreement, already in 2022. This ambition even received an unexpected boost on Wednesday, with a sudden joint commitment of US and China to work together to “strengthen climate action”.

Also another controversial issue regarding the draft final declaration, that of fossil fuels, is explicitly mentioned at this level for the first time in a draft declaration. These energy resources, although the first source of greenhouse gas emissions, were not even mentioned in the Paris Agreement.

Due to the hostile attitude of the producing countries, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned yesterday “the hollow promises at a time when the fossil fuel energy industry continues to receive trillions in subsidies (…) or at a time when countries continue to build coal-fired power plants.

To the applause of the participants, the young activist from Uganda Vanessa Nakate He added: “The atmosphere is not interested in commitments. (…) Humanity will not be saved by promises! “

The negotiators now have only a few hours of painstaking consultation to overcome their differences and meet the expectations raised by the Glasgow conference.

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