The world remains ‘on the brink of climate catastrophe’ after the Cop27 agreement | police27

The world is still “on the brink of a climate catastrophe” after the agreement reached at the UN climate summit Cop27 on Sunday, and the largest economies must make new commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, climate experts and activists warned.

The agreement reached in Sharm el-Sheikh early Sunday morning, after a marathon final negotiating session that he ran 40 hours past his deadlinewas hailed for providing poor countries for the first time with financial assistance known as loss and damage. A the fund will be established by wealthy governments for the rescue and reconstruction of vulnerable areas affected by climate disasters, a key demand of developing nations during the last 30 years of climate talks.

But the result was widely judged a failure in efforts to reduce carbon dioxide, after oil-producing countries and big emitters weakened and scrapped key commitments on greenhouse gases and phasing out the fuels. fossils.

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Former World Leaders Elders Group, former President of Ireland and two-time UN Climate Envoy, said: “The world remains on the brink of climate catastrophe. progress made in [cutting emissions] it has been too slow. We are on the cusp of a clean energy world, but only if the G20 leaders live up to their responsibilities, keep their word and strengthen their will. The responsibility is theirs.”

António Guterres, UN Secretary General, warned: “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to slash emissions now, and this is this cop’s problem. did not address. The world still needs a big leap in climate ambition.”

Oil-producing countries thwarted attempts to strengthen the agreement, said Laurence Tubiana, one of the architects of the 2015 Paris climate accord, now chief executive of the European Climate Foundation. “The influence of the fossil fuel industry was found across the board,” he said. “This Cop has weakened the requirements around countries making new and more ambitious commitments. [on cutting emissions]. The text [of the deal] it makes no mention of phasing out fossil fuels and makes little reference to the 1.5°C target.”

She blamed the host country, Egypt, for allowing their regional alliances to influence the final decision, a claim the hosts strongly deny. Next year’s conference of the parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) will take place in Dubai and will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s largest oil exporters. .

Tubiana warned: “The Egyptian presidency produced a text that clearly protects the oil and gas petrostates and fossil fuel industries. This trend cannot continue in the United Arab Emirates next year.”

In the talksNearly 200 countries agreed that a loss and damage fund, which would pay to rescue and rebuild the physical and social infrastructure of countries devastated by extreme weather events, should be established within the next year.

However, there is still no agreement on how much money should be paid, by whom and on what basis. A key objective for the EU in the talks was to ensure that countries classified as developing in 1992 when the UNFCCC was signed, and therefore without obligations to act on emissions or provide funds to help others, are considered potential donors. These could include China, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, and Russia.

Under the final agreement, these countries can contribute on a voluntary basis.

John Kerry, the US presidential special envoy for climate, who tested positive for covid on Friday night and spent the remainder of the summit in self-isolation at his hotel, targeted China in a statement after he the conference ended.

“Reducing emissions on time is about math, not ideology. That is why all nations have a stake in the decisions that China makes in this critical decade,” he said. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, as well as the world’s second-largest economy, ranking second only to the US in cumulative historical emissions since the industrial revolution.

“The The US and China should be able to accelerate progress together, not only for our own good, but for that of future generations. And we all have hope that China will live up to its global responsibility.”

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser, now at the Institute for Progressive Policy in Washington DC, said: “It is time for the United States to work with developing nations to pressure China, or climate protection will be impossible.” . China should be a climate outsider, along with Russia.”

Several key commitments championed by the UK, which hosted last year’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, were scrapped from the final deal, mainly at the behest of Saudi Arabia and other oil states, though the Guardian understands that China, Russia and Brazil also played a role. a role in weakening some aspects.

These included a target for global emissions to peak by 2025, in line with a goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, the safe threshold that was the focus of the Pact. Glasgow Climate Agreement signed last year at Cop26.

Although the final text included a commitment to limit temperature increases to 1.5°C, the language was seen as weak and marked no progress on the outcome of Cop26 a year ago.

Alok Sharma from the UK president of cop26, sacked as minister by Rishi Sunak, was visibly angered by the closure of the conference. “Those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5C alive and respect what each of us agreed to in Glasgow, have had to fight tirelessly to hold the line. We have had to fight to build on one of the key achievements of Glasgow, the call for the parties to review and strengthen their [national plans on emissions].”

In Glasgow, in the final moments, China and India watered down a coal phase-out commitment to a coal phase-out, a last-minute test drive that brought Sharma to the brink of tears. A police27joined efforts to include a phase-out of all fossil fuels in the text, but was reduced in the final stages to a simple repetition of the Glasgow commitment to phase-out coal.

Sharma listed weakened or lost commitments, pounding the table for emphasis: “We joined many parties in proposing a number of measures that would have contributed to this. Emissions peaking before 2025, as science tells us, is necessary. Not in this text. Clear tracking of coal phase-down. Not in this text. A commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. Not in this text. And the energetic text, weakened in the final minutes [to endorse “low-emissions energy”, which can be interpreted as a reference to gas].”

In the end, it will be everyone’s responsibility, as Meena Raman of the Third World Network, an adviser to developing countries, points out. “As the EU and Alok Sharma are disappointed that the phase out of fossil fuels is not in the text, we would like them to take the lead and review their NDCs. [nationally determined contributions] and urgently plan to phase out fossil fuels and stop the expansion of fossil fuels, including oil and gas. [It’s] it is not enough to play arcade, but to act if they really want to save the planet and not hide behind net zero targets for 2050, which will break the remaining carbon budget by 1.5C.”

Sharma concluded: “I said in Glasgow that the 1.5C pulse was weak. Unfortunately, he remains on life support.”

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