The UN climate change chief warned that world leaders are still “far away” from reaching an agreement to limit the disastrous effects of global warming, with less than five months to go until a key summit in Glasgow.
Time is now running out, said Patricia Espinosa, who was Mexico’s foreign minister but now heads the UN on climate policy. She told the Observer that although progress had been made at the G7 meeting in Cornwall last weekend, no progress had been made in meeting previous commitments $ 100 billion (£ 72.5 billion) a year help developing countries invest in green technologies.
“We are still a long way from having full confidence in being a total success at Cop26,” he said. The UN climate conference, which opens on October 31 in Glasgow, is considered of special importance in the battle against global warming, which is now melting ice sheets, raising sea levels, destroying coral reefs. and altering weather systems across the planet.
The 2015 Paris climate agreement promised that nations would try to limit temperature increases to below 1.5 ° C by drastically limiting emissions of fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming. Glasgow will be the first opportunity to assess the impact of the promises made in Paris and to implement new measures to avoid a global catastrophe.
The G7 had offered hope that this process could be pushed forward before Cop26, but Espinosa expressed disappointment, saying: “Regarding finances, I really would have expected a clearer signal on how and when we can see the commitment to mobilize the $ 100 billion fulfilled. “
Honoring the commitment is seen as critical for developing countries to meet plans to reduce emissions and take the costly steps necessary to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. At the G7, there were commitments to hit the target before Cop26, but a lack of details remained on how much money the richest nations would be willing to give.
“This is a condition to be able to have a good base to have a successful Cop26,” said Espinosa. “It is essential. We cannot afford a lack of success. Cop26 should be able to give the world some hope.
“There is no much time. We are already in the second half of June ”.
This point was supported by Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts, and a former UN envoy on climate. “The G7 failed to lead when it failed to agree on how to deliver on the $ 100 billion promise. Your apparent risky strategy is wrong. Many around the world are already on the brink, ”he said.
“The UK has six months left for the G7 presidency and five months until Cop26. Johnson needs to rally the world to make major climate finance commitments, proposing financing for development and details behind the global Marshall plan that President Biden calls Build Back Better World. Then, and only then, can we get the deal we need in Glasgow. “
Espinosa added that there are still doubts about whether the summit will be held with the presence of all the delegates, or whether it will be held partially or totally in virtual format. If there were waves in Covid-19, the plans would have to be adapted accordingly.
“We are working on all possible scenarios, from a full-blown conference to a conference that could be virtual,” he said. “It is true that the UK presidency is working very hard to have a physical meeting.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism