London / Glasgow. If you talk to delegates at the climate conference these days, you can see the working hours that many have. Look tired, a little disheveled. No wonder: The second week is dedicated to working on script, details, and tough negotiations – often until late at night. Everyone knows that time is of the essence. After all, today is the last day of COP26 in Glasgow, officially at least.
Much has already been achieved. After all, 40 countries have agreed to a binding exit for coal. In addition, it was agreed that deforestation should stop by 2030. More than 100 countries have promised lower methane emissions. Indian President Narendra Modi has declared that his country wants to be climate neutral by 2070, thus stealing the show from the Chinese for the time being.
Much remains unclear – and faces an uncertain solution
But there is still much to discuss. Negotiations on Article 6 are still very demanding. It’s about how global emissions trading is regulated. Experts like Niklas Hohn, a scientist at the New Climate Institute assert: If you want to achieve the “1.5 degree target,” you have to come to an agreement here. Jennifer Tolman of E3G, a climate protection think tank, doubts whether this will work. “Ideas about how the article should look in detail from a country’s point of view are becoming increasingly clear, but they are also far apart,” she said in an interview with RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
Worldwide CO2 emissions are almost back to their pre-pandemic level
According to a study, global carbon dioxide emissions are almost back to the level they were before the coronavirus pandemic. © Reuters
Many experts see the joint declaration issued by the US and China Thursday night as a positive sign for the remaining negotiations. The fact that it came as a surprise speaks volumes about dynamic debates. In it, countries pledge to take more committed measures to protect the climate in order to continue to achieve the “1.5 degree target”. According to experts, the world is currently heading towards a warming of 2.4 to 2.7 degrees by the end of this century.
There are disappointments when it comes to financing climate protection
But reactions to the joint decision were very different. While Jochen Flasbarth, Minister of State for the Environment Ministry, praised the two countries’ willingness to enter into an alliance, others complained that the declaration did not actually contain anything new. “As much as I welcome the fact that the ‘blame game’ between China and the US is over. It’s not enough that the explanation is just the fact that you’re no longer arguing,” says Jennifer Tolman of E3G.
With regard to financing the consequences of climate change, COP 26 has so far not lived up to the expectations of many experts. Observers are especially disappointed with the European Union. Many wonder if the European Union is serious. said Bernice Lee of Chatham House, an international relations think tank at RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND). Because with money you can send an important signal and increase pressure on other countries.
There is a financing gap of 50 billion euros per year
“The promises made by the EU in advance do not match the actual concessions,” Tolman said, explaining this using an example: According to UN estimates, developing countries will already need €70 billion annually to adapt to the consequences of climate change. . If you take all the commitments made by COP26 together, you get a total of just under €1 billion more, based on the current €20 billion annually. “The financing gap between 20 and 70 billion is far from closing.”
But anyone who has ever attended a climate conference knows: There is still a lot that can happen. Richie Merzian of The Australia Institute hopes that pressure on states will increase in the past few hours, also because negotiations will then be partly public. Given the many open points, observers expect COP26 to last at least through Saturday. For experienced visitors, this is not surprising. After all, every climate conference has been exaggerated so far.
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