“I want you to act like our house is on fire. Because it is, ”said young activist Greta Thunberg at a Davos Forum meeting. Our common home is on fire. For 15 days, the climate emergency will compete with the pandemic and the difficulties of supplies of raw materials in global attention, thanks to the summit on climate change in Glasgow (Scotland), COP26, which opens today. Some of the trends that will haunt this meeting are the following:
1. Lack of world leadership. Although the main superpower has returned to the Paris Accords with Biden (after Trump’s isolationist stage), there is still no definitive picture of how the US will make the ecological transition of its economy, since the ambitious The plans with which the current president arrived at the White House are boycotted time and again in Congress, sometimes not only by Republicans – who would like to reduce them to a minimum – but by fellow Democrats from Biden’s party. Some optimists believe that this role of organizing, influencing, motivating and taking forceful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be played by old Europe.
2. Scotland’s is the twenty-sixth summit on climate change. The positive part is to bring together world leaders (some of the most significant will not attend this time) and their experts around the main problem that humanity has. The worst thing is its rhetorical nature: since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 there are only promises, recommendations, theoretical objectives, offers, invitations, pacts …, not mandatory contracts that can be enforced in an executive way, given the critical moment in which they are encounters the planet, with rises in temperature and extreme phenomena (heat waves, droughts, fires, rising sea levels, spread of infectious diseases, etc.), which will be more virulent and frequent as global warming increases. From the United Nations report on the matter, recently made public, the most novel is the data that the investments to get out of the recession caused by the covid launched until the first half of this year only between 17% and the 19% are truly green investments.
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3. There is no time. As the years go by without forceful actions to reduce the mentioned emissions, the windows of opportunity are closing on the Paris objectives: that the world’s temperature rises only between 1.5 and 2 degrees. The Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, anguished (we are heading “towards a climate catastrophe”), is blunt: the plans to cut greenhouse gases that countries have on the table are still insufficient for warming to take place. stay within safe margins.
4. Climate change also increases inequality. The double injustice: there is an inversely proportional relationship between the contribution to climate change, the bulk of which is the responsibility of developed countries (with the serious exception of China, the champion of gases emitted), and its worst consequences, which areas such as Africa will suffer. central, northern Latin America or Southeast Asia. Those who suffer globally more than 50% of the effects of global warming are barely responsible for 10% of emissions.
5. Very interesting a report from the US Department of Defense entitled Climate risk analysis (as José Luis Gallego tells in elconfidencial.com): there is the possibility that the climate crisis will alter the current geostrategic landscape and lead to a security problem. The adaptation and mitigation response to violent and devastating extreme weather events will not be available to the most affected countries, and may cause social unrest due to the inability of their governments to meet basic human needs. There will be border conflicts in the face of large migratory movements.
Not only is the increase in temperature that the planet supports important, but its rhythm.
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