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A climate summit after empty promises and funding failures – global problems

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by Thalif Deen (United Nations)Friday 4 November 2022Inter Press Service

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 04 (IPS) – The COP 27 climate summit comes amid a series of political, economic and environmental upheavals, including missed funding and emissions targets, mounting pollution and climate degradation, rising global inflation, cuts in Western development aid and the negative aftermath the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The summit — the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27), scheduled for November 6-18 — is being billed as one of the largest annual gatherings on climate change, this time in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Brussels-based United Nations Center for Constitutional Research (CUNCR) predicts that COP27 “is likely to face the same empty promises and no action from most of the major countries responsible for climate change.”

In a message marking the launch of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Adaptation Gap Report, released on the eve of COP27, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns: “The world is failing to protect people from the impacts of the climate crisis in the here and now”.

“Those on the front lines of the climate crisis are standing at the back for support. The world is lagging far behind both in halting the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and in starting much-needed efforts to plan, fund and implement adaptation in the face of growing risks.”

He also pointed out that adaptation needs in developing countries will increase to as much as $340 billion per year by 2030.

“Nevertheless, adjustment support today is less than a tenth of that amount. The most vulnerable people and communities pay the price. That’s unacceptable,” Guterres said.

Gadir Lavadenz, Global Coordinator, Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), said the IPS COP 27 could not be another example of power grabbing.

“It is outrageous to still see how big companies manipulate and dominate this process. Big polluters have a role to play, stop the pollution and not use the climate COPs to green their actions. The COP 27 must send a strong message to the world that the multilateral system can still play a role in the climate crisis.”

Lavadenz also pointed out that the annual $100 billion target has not only been systematically circumvented by developed countries, but has also proven insufficient to deal with the magnitude of our climate crisis, and there is mounting evidence to support this.

“COP 27, unlike its predecessor, should move away from misguided solutions such as geo-engineering, carbon offsetting, nature-based solutions and others, and instead focus on those issues that have the potential to impact on the most vulnerable countries and groups effect.”

Finance is not about cold numbers, it is about the lives that are at risk in this moment and that have no way of dealing with a problem caused by the consumer culture of a privileged small part of this world.

“COP 27 cannot be remembered as just another gathering, but as a moment to show progress and hope through real solutions,” said Lavadenz, the coordinator of a global network of over 200 grassroots, regional and global networks and organizations who campaign for climate justice.

Citing a new report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on October 26 that countries are bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions, but the report underscores that those efforts remain insufficient are to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

The report shows that current commitments will increase emissions by 10.6 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

This is seen as an improvement on last year’s assessment, which found countries are on track to increase emissions by 13.7 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels, “but it’s still not good news.” .

Only 26 out of 193 countries that agreed last year to step up their climate action have complied, setting the Earth up for a climate-disaster future, the UN report says

Meena Raman, a senior researcher at the Third World Network, an affiliate of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), told IPS the $100 billion target is set to be $100 billion a year.

“This goal is unlikely to be achieved and will be made more difficult by the way climate finance is counted.”

She pointed out that defining what climate finance is is itself an issue to be addressed at the COP.

“Given that many developing countries are in debt, providing more loans that need to be repaid poses a very big problem for the countries that need the financing.”

What is needed, she argued, is more grants to specifically address adaptation needs and funds to cope with loss and damage.

Meeting the climate finance needs of developing countries through non-debt creating instruments is crucial, including through the reform and reorientation of Special Drawing Rights as direct grants for climate finance.

COP 27 must not be a lost case. It is time to implement the commitments made by the industrialized countries, Raman said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters last week: “When we were together at COP26 (in Scotland in October-November 2021) we came out with a statement, a statement, to eliminate or reduce methane gas by 30 per cent by 2030. ”

“We are now looking at most of the countries that are committing to this. If everyone did that, it would be tantamount to removing all vehicles and all ships and all airplanes currently traveling the world in terms of emissions. This is how we can really make a difference. We can do what is necessary to maintain the 1.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature,” he said.

Report of the IPS UN office


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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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COP27: A Climate Summit Following Empty Promises & Funding Failures, Inter Press Service, Friday 4th November 2022 (posted by Global Issues)

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