Climate leaders call for pressure on stubborn nations before Cop27 | policeman 26

Bringing countries back to the negotiating table with updated national greenhouse gas emission plans will now be the most difficult task for Britain and the UN next year, say developing countries and climate experts.

The Cop26 summit ended this weekend with a resolution calling on governments to revise their targets for next year.

Current national plans, called nationally determined contributions (NDCs), would result in a catastrophic warming of 2.4 ° C, according to an analysis published during the Glasgow negotiations, which would be well above the 1.5 ° C countries, who agreed to aim for.

However, the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Pact do not contain any “police mechanisms” to ensure that countries make promises commensurate with the scale of the climate crisis.

What did Cop26 actually achieve?  The hope and heartache from Glasgow - video explanation
What did Cop26 actually achieve? The hope and heartache from Glasgow – video explanation

Already, Australia has said it will not update its NDC. The country is widely regarded as a climate laggard, although its Glasgow officials did not publicly oppose the decisions reached there, which included a “phasing out” of coal until it was downgraded by China and India to a “downsizing”. . ”.

A developing country official told the Guardian: “[Ensuring countries increase their ambition on emissions cuts] is the challenge, and in my opinion it will be just as difficult as [achieving] Glasgow Pact. It could increase the effort for latecomers. ”

The Paris Agreement is built on “a system of honor”, said the official, which makes any enforcement mechanism impossible. However, countries must publish their NDCs for scrutiny, and under the agreement reached in Glasgow, the UN will publish regular “synthesis reports” assessing countries ‘plans against Paris’ temperature targets.

This will help ensure that pressure can be applied based on what the countries have committed to, the official said. “We now know exactly where the burden of leading is and countries will be routinely called out. The G20 will be in the spotlight – and a few in particular – the United States, India, Brazil, China, Australia, Japan and Mexico. The role of civil society has never been been more important in the process, ”they said.

John Kerry, the US climate envoy, acknowledged the problem after negotiations ended over the weekend. He said the United States did not need to update its NDC, which set 50% reductions in emissions by 2030, but that other countries – he did not specify which ones – should update theirs.

He said the best way to do that was to exert public pressure, including through the internet and social media. “This is the next big challenge,” he said. But countries that failed to engage could face “being pillaged to create it so people are going to die”.

He added: “Countries that do not go up will be the subject of considerable focus on the internet, social media, newspapers and television. Everything is a matter of peer pressure. This [UN climate negotiations] the process does not establish and cannot establish a police force. “

To those who feel it may be too weak, he pointed to the agreement reached in Glasgow and the Paris Agreement. “To [pressure] can be effective – that’s what brought us to Glasgow, ”he said.

An EU official present at the negotiations added that adjustments to CO2 limit taxes could also be part of the answer, as well as political pressure. Adjustments to CO2 limit taxes would penalize high-carbon imports from countries without strict climate targets. The official said: “You need an international political process and a push to make them feel it is absolutely necessary. Part of that may be countries [such as the EU member states] goes ahead with policies that show how deadly serious they are, and also tells laggards that they will have to transform in order to keep selling their products on the world market. “

Public pressure will also play a strong role. “Part of [the answer] will be the global climate movement that will continue to pressure leaders to do more and chastise them for little action, and part of that will be an international diplomatic effort pushing for too strong climate clauses in the G7 and G20 [communiques], to have ministerial conferences that revolve around NDCs in the run-up to Cop27.

“We have seen this year that when leaders feel a need to commit, even China will move, and even India will set a climate neutrality date.”

The UK Presidency of Cop26 will continue throughout this year until the next Conference of the Parties to meet next November in Egypt.

What did Cop26 actually achieve?  The hope and heartache from Glasgow - video explanation
What did Cop26 actually achieve? The hope and heartache from Glasgow – video explanation

That means the government will have to play a crucial role, added Bob Ward, political director at the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

“It will be difficult [to ensure countries update their NDCs as needed], as the emission commitments should be based on detailed analyzes of what the countries plan to achieve. “It is Britain that will continue to chair the police force, to work with all countries to make further progress,” he said.

No country should believe itself exempt, he added: “As the current shortage is a collective failure, all countries will be expected to make more ambitious promises. It is hoped that if the rich countries next year meet their commitment to mobilize 100 billion. USD per year to developing countries, [poor countries] will be able to offer stronger emission reductions. But as always, rich countries must lead by example and accelerate their efforts to reduce emissions. “

Labor leader Keir Starmer said the government should show leadership by canceling plans for new oil fields and a potential new coal mine and turning the cuts to overseas aid, which many observers said had damaged Britain’s position on Cop26. A key promise from developed countries to provide $ 100 billion a year in climate finance to the poor world was not fulfilled.

Starmer said: “Britain has a special responsibility as police president. Firstly, we must unite the climate coalition in Paris and build trust in developing countries. But cutting overseas aid does not build trust, it destroys it.

»So will the Prime Minister immediately reverse the cuts? Secondly, there can be no free pass for larger broadcasters. Including our friends. We are making a trade agreement with Australia where we have allowed them to drop Paris temperature commitments. It was a mistake. Will the Prime Minister rectify that? ”

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