The 26th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), held a year ago in Glasgow, Scotland, was marked by speeches by the United States (already chaired by Joe Biden) and the European Union for increased efforts to reduce emissions. of carbon.
Starting next Sunday (6), the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, in Egypt, will host COP27 in a scenario that can cause a lot of embarrassment due to the distance between theory and practice. The US and EU this year began an intense race for oil and coal, motivated by the inflation that afflicts the entire world and the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In August, Biden signed a major investment package that includes actions to curb climate change, but the US president has at the same time taken steps to increase oil production and availability worldwide.
Its objective is to lower the price of commodity to contain the highest inflation in the United States in decades and reduce Russia’s revenues from oil exports, with which Moscow finances its aggression against Ukraine.
Biden’s actions include negotiating with partners who produce the commoditysuch as Saudi Arabia (which did not work out for now), release of barrels from the United States’ strategic reserve and pressure on American companies in the sector.
“You [companhias petrolíferas] are making record profits and we are giving you more peace of mind to invest in production now,” Biden said recently. “You should use these record profits to lower the price at the pumps.” The EU, in turn, to reduce dependence on Russian gas, has reactivated coal plants, previously demonized by the bloc.
Rising oil prices were already afflicting the world economy before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but the problem intensified in the following months. The values have dropped in recent months, however, they are still above those practiced at the end of 2021.
To make matters worse, in early August China withdrew from several partnerships with the United States in crucial areas, such as climate change, in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan — independently administered island, but which Beijing considers part of its territory.
A United Nations report released in late October found that a 43% reduction in carbon emissions would be needed by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. With some of the world’s largest economies turning even more to oil and coal (albeit in an emergency), there is no prospect that such a goal will be achieved.
Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, host of COP27, said in an interview with the English newspaper The Guardian that the timing of the conference “is more fragile” than the previous one, “due to the impact of the current global situation”.
“[As circunstâncias para a COP27 são] quite challenging. They exceed the circumstances that existed in Paris [em referência ao acordo
sobre o clima definido na capital francesa em 2015 e assinado no ano seguinte]
or in Glasgow in terms of challenge and impacts, economic or geopolitical. But we have to remain optimistic and focused, and try to separate the negotiation process from some of the external circumstances,” Shoukry argued.
But experts are far from showing the same optimism. “The hardest work is yet to come. The truth is, not enough has been done in the last 12 months — and some would say we’ve gone backwards,” Hortense Bioy, global director of sustainability research at American independent investment research firm Morningstar, told Reuters.
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