The COP26 climate summit has huge gaps that all boil down to one thing: who should pay for the crisis?

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China, India and Saudi Arabia are all part of the group of like-minded developing countries Pacheco was talking about. None responded to CNN’s request for comment on their position.

He argued that developing countries should have the same goals as rich countries which have historically played a larger role in the climate crisis. And he accused the rich nations of trying to “shift the blame” to the global South.

“History matters and history is very important to understand and put into the context of the ambition discussion,” he said. He added that it would be impossible for many countries in the group to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.

The issue at the heart of this sentiment is money. He said such a transition would be impossible if rich countries did not start paying their fair share, including for developing countries to adapt to the impacts of the crisis. Developing countries have repeatedly complained about so-called climate finance this week, and it has become the main sticking point blocking talks.

Catherine Abreu, founder of the nonprofit Destination Zero, which works on climate justice issues, said Bolivia’s announcement was essentially a negotiating tactic and the underlying issue was more related to requests for additional funds.

“The draft text was so focused on mitigation, so I think this announcement was a play,” Abreau told CNN, saying the countries’ message meant other parts of the deal would be. ” taken hostage”.

The suggestion to delete the section on mitigation “is clearly a blow to those suffering from the climate crisis,” said Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator for Action Aid International.

European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans called the call illogical, saying there was “no amount of money on the planet” that could develop an adaptation to withstand the extreme increase of the temperature that would occur if the attenuation were removed.

The rich world still lacks funding pledges

In a conference that desperately tries to bridge the gaps, the biggest gap really is between what humans are willing to do and what is actually needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The world is not adapting quickly enough to the climate crisis, according to the UN
A report released this week by Climate Action Tracker found that even with all of the commitments made at COP26, the world is on track for 2.4-degree warming. Closing this gap will require deep and lasting reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over this decade, the latest UN report on climate science showed.

But it costs money, and developing countries have good reason to be unhappy.

More developing countries are on the front lines of climate change than rich countries, and they collectively played a much smaller role in creating this crisis.

And the money already promised has not even been paid in full.

More than 10 years ago, rich countries agreed to transfer $ 100 billion a year to developing countries to help them transform into low-carbon economies and adapt to the climate crisis. Adaptation can involve anything from building dikes to prevent flooding, pulling communities off the coast, and renovating homes to better withstand extreme weather events.

Not only has the rich world failed to deliver the $ 100 billion by 2020, but developing countries say it’s nowhere near enough in the first place. They also want a 50-50 split between mitigation – measures to reduce emissions – and adaptation. Much more money has been spent on measures aimed at reducing emissions.

Anger against American beers

In addition to money for adaptation, developing countries want new systems to pay for “loss and damage,” which essentially means that rich countries are held financially responsible for the impacts of the climate crisis. This is the idea behind the concept of climate repairs.

As countries fight over who should pay for the climate crisis, this community is swallowed up by the sea

A senior US official said that one idea being considered was to fund the Santiago Network, a United Nations body set up to provide technical assistance to countries trying to rebuild from the impacts of the climate crisis.

But the United States is otherwise closed to the idea of ​​a new loss and damage fund, which many developing countries want. The European Union has said the same thing.

There is also growing anger towards the United States. A representative of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – a group of around 50 countries – said on Thursday that the Biden administration was underperforming on funding. He praised Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of Scotland, the only country to have committed money to a loss and damage fund, with £ 2million ($ 2.7million) . It is a small but symbolic figure which shows that such a fund is possible.

“The real leader who emerged here at COP26 is not a party to the convention. She is our host, she is the Prime Minister of Scotland,” Saleemul Huq, expert advisory chair of the forum, told reporters.

“Just before the start of the COP, she put £ 1million Scottish silver on the table for a new loss and damage fund and challenged all other leaders to match her. Yesterday she doubled the amount. putting money on the table for loss and damage. The United States gives us zero dollars. Europe gives us zero euros. But Scotland gave us two million.

Behind him was a sign depicting Biden with the message “Did the United States keep its $ 100 billion promise? NO!”

“We can’t say no to everything”

EU lawmaker Bas Eickhout of the Netherlands said the United States was not flexible on several issues and that its fair share of funding for the developing world would be closer to $ 40 billion than the $ 11.4 billion. billion dollars pledged.

“Developing countries come here with a few demands, and climate finance and loss and damage are the biggest,” he told CNN. “If the United States says no to everything, that will be a problem. And that will fuel what China wants. The more battle there is between developing and developed countries, the more China can sit back and relax. “

Eickhout added, “You can’t say no to everything. And if you want a review mechanism on accelerating mitigation, then of course the question will be “OK, but is finance growing?” And if you don’t fix the loss and damage, and you haven’t delivered your $ 100 billion, well, what do we get in return? “

All of this is underpinned by the continued use of fossil fuels by humans. Two sources close to the negotiations told CNN that Saudi Arabia, Russia, China and Australia oppose an article in the draft agreement calling for the phasing out of coal and fossil fuel subsidies.

Any reference to fossil fuels in the agreement would be a first and a step forward for the COP climate process.

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest oil producers, Australia is a major producer of coal, and Russia is a major producer of coal, oil and gas. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal.

None of those countries responded to CNN’s request for comment.

China is also unlikely to support the fossil fuel language, the sources told CNN. Reporters asked climate envoy Xie Zhenhua on Wednesday if he would support the section, but he did not respond directly and simply listed all of China’s coal and finance plans.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said on Wednesday that the world should recognize “the diversity of climate solutions … without any bias towards or against any particular energy source.” Reuters reported that he had responded to accusations his country was blocking the process as “lies and fabrications.”

CNN’s Ella Nilsen, Amy Cassidy and Ingrid Formanek contributed to this report.


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