halfway through, the North-South gap still gaping

During the plenary session taking stock of the first week of COP26 negotiations in Glasgow (United Kingdom), groups representing developing and emerging countries did not mince their words, despite new promises from rich countries , in particular of financing, garnered in recent days.

“The Least Developed Countries group is concerned that the actions of some countries are not in line with the statements, there is a disconnect between public statements and what is happening in the negotiations,” denounced his president Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi.

He was particularly concerned about how the goal of limiting global warming to + 1.5 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era – the most ambitious goal of the Paris agreement, which has become de facto the ceiling not to be exceeded to avoid the worst impacts – would be reflected in the final decision of this COP26.

“Any compromise” on this point “would mean negotiating with the lives of billions of people in the most vulnerable countries like ours,” he insisted.

Sonam Phuntsho Wangdi: “There is no time to waste”

Before this COP, the States’ CO2 emissions reduction commitments for 2030 led to a “catastrophic” warming of 2.7 ° C, at best 2.2 ° C by adding carbon neutrality objectives for the middle of the century, according to the UN-Environment benchmark report.

The first week saw significant announcements, from strengthening emission reduction targets for India, Brazil or Argentina, to committing around 100 countries to reduce methane emissions to promises of coal exit.

UN-Environment has yet to update its temperature rise forecast, but according to various preliminary analyzes from other experts, if and only if all new promises were actually fulfilled, we could limit the warming a bit. below + 2 ° C.

But while each additional tenth of a degree brings about its share of new catastrophes, the ceiling of + 1.5 ° C would still be exceeded. And the request of the most vulnerable nations to submit more ambitious commitments each year should go unheeded.

“There are two truths here,” notes Helen Mountford of the World Resources Institute think tank. “We have made a lot of progress in some areas, which we would never have imagined two years ago, but, at the same time, it is not enough.”

“Random charity”

Most countries lacked “ambition” to implement the Paris climate agreement, regretted in Glasgow Barack Obama, who was President of the United States at the time of the COP21 in Paris in 2015, calling for “doing more” and praising the “anger” of youth over the climate crisis.

Do more in terms of ambition, but also on the explosive issue of financing, the developing countries unite, believing that their “concerns” are not taken into account.

“There is bad faith on the part of developed countries which always ask vulnerable countries to do more”, but without having put the famous “100 billion” promised on the table, insists Ahmadou Sebory Touré, who chairs the Group 77 + China bringing together 134 countries developing or emerging.

In 2009, developed countries pledged to increase their aid to developing countries to $ 100 billion per year to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts. But more than 20 billion were still missing in 2019 and the North now hopes to achieve it in 2023.

“Let’s stop talking in the air on access to finance”, denounced Lia Nicholson, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), deploring that the populations on the front line “are being held hostage by a random charity “.

To materialize the threat weighing on his country, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tuvalu addressed the COP participants with their feet in the water.

After a first week, the ministers go on track to try to find compromises on the main political orientations, but also on the articles pending for three years concerning the rules of application of the Paris agreement, in particular the functioning of the markets. carbon.

And there is still a lot of work ahead, with negotiating sessions already being considered late each night.

But some doubt the will of major emitters to reach an ambitious final declaration, such as activist Greta Thunberg who has already described this COP as a “failure” in front of thousands of young demonstrators on Friday in Glasgow.

“If climate change is a red alert for humanity, why are so many countries at COP26 negotiating as if it was a simple fire drill?”, Also says Rachel Rose Jackson, of the NGO Corporate Accountability.

Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.

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