May 23, 2022

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COP26: War on Fossil Fuel Aid and Coal Stops the Final Part of the Glasgow Climate Summit | Climate and environment

There is no doubt in the field of science: Fossil fuels are the main responsibility Greenhouse gas emissions make the planet warmer. In the world of climate negotiation, all decisions must come with the consensus of the 200 participating countries, and things are not going to be easy. Due to pressure from many countries to rely on these types of energy sources, direct reference to the suppression of these fuels has not yet been included in the orders issued under the UN umbrella at the climate summit. . Presidency Glasgow Climate Summit, The host country of the United Kingdom, is trying to include a note in the final report of the meeting, which is due to end this Friday, but it is stuck in fossil fuels, among others.

Since the so-called COP26, states are not expected to receive direct orders based on dates or percentages to stop using or subsidizing these fuels. But it was at an unexpected summit No miracle rudder twist Whether it will solve the problem of climate change, abandoning coal or abandoning oil and gas subsidies is certain and understandable to most of the community.

The leadership of COP26, led by Alok Sharma, called for an end to the use of coal and the suspension of subsidies for fossil fuels. There are no deadlines or specific measures to bind countries. But that unification provoked opposition from countries such as Saudi Arabia, which demanded that it be called “neutral” without pointing to any specific technology or source. In the second edition of the Declaration, released on Friday morning, the President lowered the tone: asked countries in a common way to accelerate clean energy production and “gradually eliminate” production from coal subject to emissions capture. Technologies and “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.”

With these new words, two doors have been opened for the defenders of these fuels. In the case of coal, it was noted that the closure of plants would not affect those with the technology to capture and store carbon dioxide – i.e., trap this gas before it reaches the atmosphere. In terms of subsidies, the veto will only affect “incompetent” subsidies, which allows each country to continue to provide incentives into public funds.

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These cuts have upset some countries recognized by the European Union or the United States. Commission Deputy Chairman Franz Timmermans has called for “strong action” on coal and fossil fuel subsidies. In the same way, John Kerry, the head of the U.S. delegation to the summit, supported the decision on these grants. Kerry described the continued maintenance of these aids for fossil fuels as “crazy”. Theresa Ribeira, Spain’s vice president for climate change, also lamented the inclusion of “nuances” in the initial plan for the final declaration.

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In addition to fossil fuels, the text of the final declaration issued by the Sharma Group this Friday urges countries to “consider and strengthen” their 2030 emissions reduction targets by the end of 2022. Because that proposed announcement recognizes that national emissions cuts are no longer in place. Enough to meet Paris Agreement, Seeks that the average temperature increase does not exceed 2 and 1.5 degrees compared to two degrees. To achieve this, science establishes that carbon dioxide emissions, the main greenhouse gas, should be reduced by 45% compared to 2010 levels, which was agreed by the draft of the final declaration of the summit. But the sum of the cut plans that countries now have on the table is not enough. As agreed in the draft, Contributions submitted It will also lead to emissions of 13.7% more in 2030 than in 2010.

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, established a system for reviewing cutting plans every five years. The first review was conducted between 2020 and 2021 and, in theory, the next will be in 2025. But the scientific world warns that this decade is decisive in the fight against climate change and a window of opportunity to achieve it. The temperature is below 1.5 degrees Closing. In addition, the social pressure to act on increasingly transparent and radical climate change is increasing every moment. That’s why in Glasgow Is looking for ways to urge countries to review emissions reduction plans Without waiting until the middle of this decade, as soon as possible, in 2022. The draft final declaration proposes that the UN conduct annual assessments of the effects of national emissions reduction programs.

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Apart from reducing emissions, the other major source of conflict in climate negotiations is financing. A decade ago, developed countries pledged to raise € 100 billion annually from 2020, which would help countries with limited resources to adapt to the effects of global warming and reduce their emissions. But so far that goal has not been achieved as approved in the final draft. The report, prepared by Canada and Germany with the help of the OECD, estimates that it will not reach $ 100 billion a year until 2023. COP26’s Presidency proposal urges developed countries to fully comply with the “100,000 million dollar emergency” target.

There is a second big problem with funding. Most of the funds raised by developed countries – by raising both direct aid and development assistance and private sector debt – are now moving towards mitigation, that is, investments to reduce emissions such as the implementation of renewables. The draft, presented by the COP26 Presidency, calls on rich countries to “double” their contribution to adaptive measures (for example, to protect against serious events) by 2025. The aim should be to achieve a “balance between mitigation and adaptation”.

The Final Declaration is the most political part of this kind of summit. At the same time, negotiators from nearly 200 countries attending the summit will have to close other technical texts. Such as the creation of transparency mechanisms or the implementation of Section 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Section 6 refers to the exchange of emissions rights or units between countries. In addition, it refers to the private sector because it opens the door for companies to buy them. Under the Kyoto Protocol, there was already a system in which a country could purchase emissions rights from another state without being able to reduce what it had to pay for its gases. This system should continue now, but part of the debate is on how to avoid falling into double numbers: the same right cannot be taken to two countries’ reduction arrears at the same time.

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On one side of the negotiations is Brazil, which does not want too strict rules and finds an important way to finance the matter. Absorbing carbon dioxide. At the other end of the spectrum is the EU, which does not want a weak decision that could harm the EU rights market, which is several years in the making.

The leadership of the summit presented a plan in Article 6 this Friday, which did not satisfy many environmental groups. The text, promised by Greenpeace, “opens the door to the right to fraud by allowing an indefinite double count of emissions reduction that has occurred or not occurred only once.” The organization describes the move as a “call for greenwashing compensation”.

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