The UK will continue to urge governments around the world to make urgent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next year Limit global warming to 1.5 ° C, after this UN climate talks concluded Last week the President of the summit agreed.
Alok Sharma, who chaired the Cop26 talks, said the world showed in Glasgow that countries can work together to create a framework for climate action but must focus over the next year on delivering on promises made there.
“The 1.5-C limit is alive,” he writes in today’s Guardian. “We brought it back from the abyss. But his pulse remains weak. We have to keep it safe by making sure countries keep their promises. “
Some argued the talks failed because of commitments to cut emissions Polizist26 were not enough to meet the 1.5C goal.
Sharma acknowledged that countries need to increase their pledges and translate them into policies and guidelines. Speaking of youth activists from around the world calling on political leaders to act in Glasgow, he said, “We owe it to all of them to deliver what we agreed.”
The two-week Cop26 talks ended dramatically as Sharma feared the carefully crafted deal between nearly 200 countries about to collapse at the last moment, when China and India rejected a reference to the “exit” from coal-fired power generation in the final agreement.
A compromise was reached in the end, with Sharma near tears as he apologized to the developing world for the change. The commitments to reduce emissions made during the talks would lead to a warming of around 2.4 ° C above the pre-industrial level, well above the 1.5 ° C threshold, so that the Glasgow Pact also obliges the countries to meet their targets for the next year to correct upwards.
According to UN rules, the UK remains responsible for the climate negotiations for the next year until the Egyptian government takes over the presidency in November next year. In his first public letter since the talks concluded, Sharma sets out his goals.
“Britain’s work as a Polizist26 The presidency is really just beginning, ”he writes. “Over the next year, we’ll be working with countries to push them to take action and keep their promises.
“There is no formal police process in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, so we need to maintain constructive pressure and build on the trust and goodwill generated by Cop26.”
The absence of any police procedures or sanctions for countries that do not revise their national emissions targets known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), means the main ways to hold governments accountable over public control and political pressure.
The Australian government has already made it clear that it will does not intend to increase its goalswhich are generally regarded as inadequate. The USA and the EU have also indicated that they do not want to increase their ambitions.
Key countries in the spotlight include the world’s largest emitter, China, whose pledges to peak emissions by the end of this decade have disappointed many analysts who argued it could go further; and the third largest emitter, India, which announced new destinations in Glasgow, but does not yet have to officially name them. Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are also on the test bench.
Sharma argues that economics and finance will play a key role. “Markets are leveling out and stocks of coal companies around the world have been falling in value since we sent a signal that coal is no longer king,” he writes.
Green activists have told the Guardian ministers must also watch out for their own actions if Britain is to show leadership this year. Proposals for a new coal mine in Cumbria, New Oil and gas licenses In the North Sea, the airport and road expansion as well as the reluctance to pursue green policies have damaged the UK’s reputation, while above all the decision to cut foreign aid – which was still the focus of the Cop26 talks on climate finance for poor countries – was the cause deep alarm.
Sunak attended the summit briefly, but had little influence on high-ranking figures from other countries present. Foreign Minister Liz Truss also played a small role in Glasgow.
Rachel Kyte, a former World Bank leader on climate change and now the dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University in the United States, told the Guardian that the UK Treasury’s insistence on cuts made it even more difficult to get other donor countries to do the Increase climate finance aid from abroad. While this was then confirmed as temporary, the damage was done … The UK lost its moral authority and influence as the presidency that we saw grappling with. Alok was liked and respected everywhere, but it hadn’t escaped people’s notice that he was a little alone [in the cabinet as a champion of climate action]. ”
Rachel Kennerley, climate activist with Friends of the Earth, said: “The fight to contain the collapse of the climate did not end with Mr. Sharma’s hammer on a disappointing deal. The Supreme Court won’t hear about the UK-funded gas wells in Mozambique until next week, so this is the perfect time for the government to withdraw support for this harmful project, which is fraught with climate hypocrisy.
“Given the UK’s historic contribution to emissions alongside our role as cop host, it is right that we should scrutinize the fact that we still support fossil fuel extraction here and abroad.”