Rich countries must mobilize at the climate summit
Pushed out of the spotlight by the coronavirus pandemic, climate change takes center stage again at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November.
This will be the 26th summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and high on the agenda is how industrialized nations can be encouraged to keep their promises to help developing countries. development most threatened by global warming.
The Glasgow meeting will use the Paris Agreement, the first comprehensive global warming mitigation agreement, signed by around 190 countries, including the Philippines, as a frame of reference in 2015.
The “Paris Rulebook” defined the strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the increase in temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and capping any increase at 1.5 degrees.
The inconvenient truth is that the needle has hardly moved since 2015. The objectives of mitigation, adaptation and financing to climate change set by the Paris agreement are far from being achieved.
This is what COP 26 must address.
The urgent need to develop a more aggressive plan on global warming must be the driving force behind the summit. It is a cruel irony that vulnerable nations, which are least responsible for creating the climate crisis, are often its biggest victims. These are the countries that will suffer from rising sea levels, floods, droughts and other disasters that will unfold as the planet continues to warm.
Meanwhile, the economic giants, including the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, are too engrossed in solving problems closer to home like political unrest and the Covid pandemic.
Efforts are being made to get climate initiatives back on track. At the recent United Nations General Assembly, China and the United States, the world’s richest countries – and also the biggest carbon emitters – pledged to cut funding for activities that fuel climate change. China has pledged to stop building coal-fired power plants abroad, a loss of $ 50 billion in foreign investment.
US President Joe Biden has also pledged to channel more funds to poor countries to help them tackle climate change.
But more needs to be done. The Paris Agreement planned to raise $ 1 billion per year until 2020 to support programs to fight climate change. This target was not met.
At a rally outside a pre-COP 26 conference in Milan, Italy last week, climate activist Greta Thunberg called on governments to keep their pledges to step up efforts to develop substitutes for fossil fuels.
“Hope doesn’t come from inaction and empty promises that everything will be fine. They say, ‘Trust us. We are doing all we can.’ It is not hope. Hope is this: Hope is us, the people. Hope is when people come together to make a difference “, warned politicians.
US climate envoy John Kerry, who attended the meeting in Milan, picked up the torch, saying the world’s major economies must “strive to do more” to prove that they are serious about the issue. fight against global warming.
“We now have about 55% of global GDP (gross domestic product) committed to undertaking tracks that will keep the temperature at 1.5 degrees. There are other countries now sharpening their pencils,” Kerry said.
The Allies for Climate Change by 2025, a consortium of local and global organizations based in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, presented an action plan “to bridge the gaps and achieve consensus at the COP 26 summit “.
Among other things, the consortium reiterated the call for developed countries to keep their funding pledges for the poorest countries, saying only 2% of climate finance goes to small island states and 14% to lesser countries. advances.
He also said adaptation is as important as mitigation, especially in developing countries facing escalating impacts of climate change. An effective adaptation plan will also accelerate economic recovery.
The prosperous nations of the world must combine words and deeds for the good of the millions of people threatened by global warming. Otherwise, COP 26 will be just another forum of broken promises.