Archie Young’s biorhythm is completely over. “We’re changing time zones,” says Young. We want to show consideration to all nations. Turn night into day regularly for speaking via video chat with delegations in China, Australia or remote island nations. “Ultimately, everyone should participate,” says Young. UK chief negotiator prepares to hold a climate change conference in November in Glasgow, Scotland. “For climate diplomacy, this week is crucial,” he says. This is what US President Joe Biden will bear, if you will.
Biden has called about 40 heads of state and government to the climate summit on Thursday and Friday. US negotiator Sue Peniaz says selecting the participants was a “thorny business”: a difficult task. Officially, digital sociology isn’t very important. But the 40 participants will emphasize in their speeches how much they care about the climate. But some will make new commitments – and if all goes well, put the rest of the world under pressure.
Great Britain got its start. In addition to their previous target of 68 percent by 2030, the British are setting a new target for 2035: minus 78 percent. The European Union settled its dispute over climate law in a timely manner; He could promise a 55 percent reduction by 2030. Biden himself is expected to present his 2030 climate goal, with countries such as Japan, Canada and South Korea likely to follow suit. “The first question will be to what extent the G7 has moved,” says Jennifer Tolman, climate policy advocate for the European Research Center E3G. “This is a reference to everyone else.”
Progress will only be made if China and the United States follow suit
It’s the sign Archie Young longs for, too. The United Nations summit in Glasgow, to be hosted by Great Britain with Italy, aims to fill a huge gap in climate protection. Because even if all countries of the world fulfill what they promised so far, they could limit global temperature rise to 2.6 degrees Celsius at best, according to the United Nations environmental program UNEP. This goes well beyond the 1.5 degrees that the Paris climate agreement would have to reach, if possible, in order to avoid catastrophic consequences for the world. “The world has to cut emissions in half in the next decade if we are to keep an opportunity,” says London’s chief climate diplomat.
From a purely political point of view, the outlook is not bad; It would help the US return to the climate agreement alone. “The climate will be a priority in bilateral relations,” says US negotiator Beniaz. “The main goal is to contribute to the achievement of higher goals on the road to Glasgow.” Beniaz got involved when Biden’s special envoy, John Kerry, recently negotiated a paper with his Chinese counterpart Xi Xinhua – about a joint fight against literally “the climate crisis”.
The calculations are clear: There will be no progress in climate protection unless the two largest emitters are on board, China and the United States. With the Europeans joining, the three largest economic blocs will be united in the fight against global warming. Together, they account for about half of all carbon dioxide emissions. If these three blocks go first, the others will have to follow.
How serious is the People’s Republic about protecting the climate?
But how serious is the People’s Republic about protecting the climate? “China is currently a black box,” says Susan Droge, who conducts research at the Berlin Science and Policy Foundation. “Nobody knows how they want to achieve their goals.” In the most recent five-year plan, there is little evidence of accelerating climate protection. In addition to the statement with Kerry, Beijing recently made a statement with South Africa, Brazil and India. In it, the four call for crucial climate protection. But above all, from others: industrialized countries. “It’s very reminiscent of the climate policy of the 1990s,” says Drog. But it can also be a tactic.
China has yet to present a concrete plan. The People’s Republic of China also wants to be carbon dioxide neutral by 2060. However, its only mediating goal is ambiguous: sometime “before 2030” it wants to reach the point at which emissions begin to decline. It is unlikely that President Xi Jinping will set more specific dates at the Biden summit.
Biden’s hypothetical meeting is just the beginning of an eventful six months. As early as May, states will continue speaking at the invitation of the federal government at the Petersburg Climate Dialogue. The list of participating countries is similar to that in Washington. The G7 summit is scheduled to be held next June under British leadership. In October, days before the start of the Glasgow summit, the Group of Twenty, the group of industrialized and emerging nations, will meet. Italy pulls the strings here – the co-organizer of the United Nations conference in Scotland. Negotiator Young blossomed for a few more sleepless nights.
In the end, says E3G expert Tolman, it’s about global solidarity, including financial solidarity. Rich countries pledge $ 100 billion annually for this purpose, in both public and private funds. There is also a gap here. “There’s always a lot of talk about what developing countries shouldn’t do or should do differently,” Tolman says. “But little about how the rich world is helping them.” Incidentally, developing countries can see how far solidarity is going in another region in the near future: when it comes to vaccination. “Many poor countries see this as the first test,” says Tolman.
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