COP26: EU, US and UK applaud progress in Glasgow Agreement as environmentalists criticize lack of ambition Climate Change | Climate and Environment
The final settlement of the Glasgow climate summit does not completely satisfy anyone and has met with mixed reactions since the shutdown on Saturday night. Among those who prefer to focus on progress are the governments of the European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom, which have served as host countries for the presidency of COP26. The Commission’s Vice President and Head of European Negotiators, Frans Timmermann, summed it up this way: “I strongly believe that the text that has been agreed reflects the balance of interests of all parties and allows us to act urgently.” which is essential for our existence.” But these assessments have been faced by most environmental groups, who have criticized countries’ lack of ambition to implement immediate measures to combat the climate crisis during the summit and after the final agreement.
Agreements within these UN summits have to come by consensus from 196 countries, which bar these appointments, as of Saturday night, again. The last hurdle was the mention of subsidies for fossil fuels and the end of the use of coal. These two points are extensively debated in the G-20 and G-7 meetings, each time addressing the fight against climate change, but this is the first time that both issues have been mentioned in one’s final declaration. . peak climate. In the end, the countries most dependent on coal and some of the largest producers of oil and gas managed to soften the language of the Final Declaration and, instead calling for the dismantling of coal plants, they addressed the progressive shortage of this type of energy. demand. ,
This last-minute change did not please many countries or environmental groups. Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan acknowledged Saturday that the context in the text was weak, but added: “However, its existence is only a step forward.” The Spanish Vice President for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, goes a step further and thinks: “It is true that the agreement adopted in Glasgow does not include an end to coal but its reduction, but trees do not prevent us from seeing the forest.” For the first time something like this has been included in a UN agreement that affects 196 countries and, in addition, has agreed to end fossil fuel subsidies.Moreover, Ribera believes that these The mentions send a signal “so powerful that it will allow this decade to be one of mass expropriation of fossil fuels.” “There has never been such a strong field signal and there has never been such a low response, “They say.
That last Glasgow statement also acknowledged that the efforts to contain the heat this decade have not been enough. In addition, the countries included in the text requested to increase climate plans in 2022 to close that gap. And it specifies what should be done if global warming is no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, the most ambitious aim of the current 2015 Paris Agreement: the sum of the collective efforts of all nations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 45 % less by 2030 as compared to 2010.
The inclusion of that 45% is only progress, as it establishes a very specific reduction target for countries to adjust their objectives to a specific percentage. The data comes from a report that the IPCC, the international expert group that establishes scientific knowledge bases on climate change, submitted in 2018. At the summit held that year in the Polish city of Katowice, he attempted to obtain them. It was impossible to include the findings of that study and the references of 45%, but because of the blockade by countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States, whose president was Donald Trump at the time.
Three years later, in Glasgow’s final announcement, the IPCC is placed at the center and its report is taken as a “reference point for political decisions”, as Francisco Doblas-Reyes, researcher and member of the National Supercomputing Center in Barcelona from a group of experts. This scientist considers this to be one of the most positive outcomes of COP26 as data and statistics are needed to serve as a reference to achieve the objectives. But he adds: “It’s very positive that a 45% reduction is visible, but the other thing is that it is possible to achieve. That doesn’t count, given the commitments of the countries.”
There, in these insufficient efforts, it is precisely where many environmental groups focus their criticism, which have described the agreement as “disappointing”. For ecologists in action, the accepted text in Glasgow “does not meet the expectations of the desired ambition” and “leaves most countries dissatisfied” because it “does not provide solutions for the consequences of global warming that millions of people already have.” He is the victim. all over the planet”. Irene Rubera, spokeswoman for Ecologists in Action and who has followed talks from Glasgow, has said that the agreement “does not create a legal binding, an obligation for countries to act” and is limited to expressing “invitations, recommendations and requests”. . Without specifying “measures, explicit timing and actual financing commitment”.
“The COP’s blah, blah, we see that in the Spanish government as well,” said Tatiana Nuno, head of climate change at Greenpeace in Spain. “Good words will not save us from the climate crisis, we need action, urgent measures to quickly replace the areas most attributable to climate change and give up fossil fuels in a planned but accelerated manner,” he said. The Friends of the Earth organization has also criticized the summit’s ambition and lack of climate justice, which in its opinion moves away from the aim of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and “even more” of the global South. condemns countries. In addition, it accuses the most polluting countries of pressuring them to halt progress in the eradication of fossil fuels. In short, as Mar Asuncion from the WWF in Spain put it: “There is progress, but we need to increase the speed at which we travel in the direction of decarbonisation.”
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