about to fail | Johnson calls for effort to save COP26

(Glasgow) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday called for a “strong push” to reach a deal at COP26, stressing there would be no “excuse” for failure as first draft resolutions received a mixed reception on Wednesday.

Patrick Galle and Stephane Urgolet
France media agency

Mr Johnson called “negotiations getting tough” and we need “strong momentum to get us across the finish line” and flew back for a few hours to Glasgow, where this climate conference is being held, which is seen as essential to fighting a warming that promises to be disastrous.

“There are no excuses” because “we know what needs to be done, we just need the courage to do it,” the prime minister continued. And to challenge leaders around the world: “Will you help us seize this opportunity or will you prevent us?” ”

He warned of the “anger” of the population in case of failure, and noted that funding problems are the main impasse awaiting negotiations.

After 10 days of discussions, the British Presidency of the COP in the morning released a first draft that elicited mixed reactions, particularly from poorer nations, insisting that the richer keep his promise to help.

The text, which will be revised by the end of the COP, scheduled for Friday, but may be delayed, calls on countries to “review and strengthen” National Contributions (NDCs) from 2022 that outline their short-term commitments.

The 2015 Paris Agreement calls for it to be reviewed every five years, but many countries have called for it to be reviewed more frequently.

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According to the text, these commitments should be brought “in line with the warming targets of the Paris Agreement”, that is, “significantly below” +2 °C compared to the pre-industrial era, if possible +1.5 °C.

From the start, London has made it a priority for COP26 to “keep 1.5°C alive”.

catastrophic warming

Because the latest UN estimates are alarming: despite new commitments for 2030 made by some countries, the world is still on the path to a “catastrophic” warming of + 2.7 ° C by the end of this century.

The project therefore calls for “rapid, robust and sustainable reductions in global emissions” and encourages countries to “accelerate the phase-out of coal and fossil fuel financing.”

Such an explicit mention of fossil fuels, responsible for most emissions, is unprecedented, and does not appear in the Paris Agreement in particular. But it promises to be bitterly contested until the final text is finalized, particularly by the producing nations.

On the burning issue of financing, the text “notes with regret” the failure of developed countries to deliver on their promise to mobilize about $100 billion annually in climate aid for poor countries as of 2020.

They are often the least polluting, and they are also the most vulnerable to the ravages of climate change, the Tuvalu archipelago’s Minister of Foreign Affairs reported, telling COP delegates “we are drowning” in a video filmed standing mid-thigh in circumference.

The text does not offer any concrete solution on financing, but calls on donors to double funds for “adaptation” measures to the effects of climate change.

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Adaptation currently accounts for only about a quarter of this assistance, compared to the 75% earmarked for reducing emissions. Poor countries claim at least parity between the two components.

On the other controversial issue of “losses and damages” already suffered by the most vulnerable countries, the text “acknowledges” the problem and “reiterates the urgent need for increased support and action”. But there again without concrete modalities.

away from targets

Poor countries expressed their concerns at the first meeting to collect comments from delegations.

The Group of 77 + China (more than 100 developing and emerging countries) said they were “extremely concerned about the lack of progress”, the African Group insisted on increasing funds for adaptation, and the least developed countries emphasized that “ambition at the 1.5°C threshold must be strengthened”.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) called for progress to “meet the needs of the most vulnerable,” while the Climate Vulnerable Countries Forum (CVF), which represents more than 1 billion people from 54 countries, lamented the provision that “does not meet the needs of the most vulnerable.” The main demands of weak countries.

On the science side, Joeri Rogelj, a member of the UN Panel of Experts on Climate, welcomed “the progress”, but noted that the commitments were for now “far from the goals of the Paris Agreement”.

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