The presidency of the Glasgow climate summit, which is the host country of the United Kingdom, is looking for a way to urge countries to tighten their plans to cut emissions immediately. At first eraser In the final declaration that this presidency has drawn up, nations are urged to review and tighten their plans to cut greenhouse emissions by the end of 2022. All the signatories of the Paris Agreement must present programs to cut their emissions for this decade in order to achieve the objective that the increase in temperature remains between 1.5 and 2 degrees with respect to pre-industrial levels. But current plans would lead to 2.4 to 2.7 degrees warming, according to the latest analysis of the commitments.
The Paris Agreement established a system of upward revision of the cut plans. The first revision was made between last year and this one. The next one would be scheduled for 2025, according to what was established in the text of that agreement. But in the face of the urgency to act and the increasing pressure from the scientific world and society, the way in which to urge a review for next year is now being debated at COP26 in Glasgow, without waiting for 2025.
The British presidency of COP26 has included in the first draft of the final declaration of the summit that call for review by the end of 2022. This is the starting point of the negotiation, and the text may change widely in the next hours. In that draft it is also openly admitted that the direction is not correct, since when applying the current national plans for 2030, global emissions would be more than 10% higher than the 2010 levels. Furthermore, it is explicitly cited that the target should be the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 also compared to 2010. This drop in emissions is what is needed to try to ensure that the increase in global temperature does not exceed 1.5 degrees (warming is already at 1.1). If that direct reference to 45% is maintained in the final statement, it could be considered a small success, say sources of the negotiation. “We must achieve ambitious emission reductions in this decade,” said the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who applauded the inclusion in the draft of the final declaration the reference to the need to present new plans cut in 2022.
However, the executive director of Greenpeace International, Jennifer Morgan, has considered that the draft cannot be seen as “a plan to solve the climate crisis”, but only contains a request so that “countries, perhaps, can do more next year”. “This is not enough and the negotiators should not even think about leaving this city until they have reached an agreement at the height of the moment,” Morgan added through a statement.
That final statement also refers to fossil fuels. Countries are being asked to accelerate “the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies.” The same sources consulted believe that it is difficult to maintain that explicit mention of fossil fuels. The final text must be agreed with all countries. Some states, such as Saudi Arabia, have already requested that there be no “biases” against any “particular energy source”, in clear reference to the first draft that the British presidency has prepared.
In theory, the summit should end on Friday. During the next few hours, the representatives of the almost 200 countries that are part of the international negotiations on climate change must agree on that final declaration. But, in addition, they will have to close some fringes related to the Paris Agreement, such as the development of Article 6 of that pact, which refers to carbon markets. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, attempts have been made to close this issue without success. Negotiation sources explain that he is stuck again. The fear of many countries, such as the members of the European Union, is that this matter will become a drain and that some countries will be allowed to trade with emissions rights that they themselves account for in their gas cutting programs greenhouse effect.
Also on the negotiating table at this summit is climate finance. Developed countries pledged that from 2020 they would mobilize $ 100 billion each year to developing countries. That money should help these nations reduce their greenhouse emissions and protect themselves against the impacts of warming. But the goal of 100,000 million will not be reached until 2023, according to a report by Germany, Canada and the OECD. This breach has stunted the Glasgow negotiations, which, as is often the case, could be extended beyond Friday, the official date set for the closure.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has come to Glasgow this Wednesday to try to boost the negotiations due to the risk of being blocked. Johnson has acknowledged that things have become “difficult” but not “impossible.” And he has warned that the goal of this climate summit remains to be able to keep alive the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. This implies that the plans to cut greenhouse emissions for this decade have to be doubled. This requires that the national programs that are now on the table be updated as soon as possible. That is to say, that next year the countries toughen up their plans, as the British presidency of this COP26 has proposed in its draft declaration.
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