At COP26, fix the West’s bluster on climate change


A banner announcing the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, October 20, 2021. / Getty

A banner announcing the upcoming COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, UK, October 20, 2021. / Getty

Editor’s Note: Hannan Hussain is a foreign affairs commentator and author. He holds a Fulbright degree from the University of Maryland, USA, and a former associate researcher at the Islamabad Policy Research Institute. The article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of CGTN.

On October 31, set to mark the official start of COP26 in Glasgow, the United Nations high-stakes climate change conference aims to credibly reduce the risks of unprecedented climate pressures.

“Despite these alarm bells ringing at full blast, today we see new evidence… that the actions of governments thus far simply do not match what is so desperately needed. We are still on the right track. track for a global temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius; far from the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius that the world agreed to under the Paris Agreement “, warned the UN Secretary General António Guterres this week.

Secretary Guterres is right and this year’s summit is particularly relevant for two main reasons. First, the rally can offer an immediate boost to the extent to which developed countries are truly prepared to go to ‘talk the talk’ on far-reaching climate resilience goals, especially given their fixing with conditions dictated to economies subject to climatic constraints as emission giants. bypass liability.

More crucially, the summit will test the West’s appetite to recognize progressive climate interventions put forward by some rising powers. Expect either a well-consolidated front on climate action or a declaration of intent from the West on why ideological anxieties should matter again. A suffering planet leaves a public shell to the latter.

Consider how nearly half of the world’s historic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are attributed to a group of developed economies. This includes several Western powers that have sought to prioritize border militarization budgets over average annual climate finance, virtually contradicting the spirit of the COP26 fundraising goal of securing at least $ 100 billion. dollars in climate finance a year on the backs of developed countries that can speak up.

Canada, the United States and Australia (all recognized as wealthy emitters) also need to rethink the nature of the right incentives for COP26 this year. I pin this statement on to the fact that some of these very industrial states have pressured developing countries to act for the gross negligence of the developed world on emissions.

Smoke and steam rise from the Bayswater Coal-fired Power Plant near the central town of Muswellbrook, NSW, NSW, Australia, August 26, 2020. / Getty

Smoke and steam rise from the Bayswater Coal-fired Power Plant near the central town of Muswellbrook, NSW, NSW, Australia, August 26, 2020. / Getty

At COP26, this is not a recipe that could characterize a workable UN consensus on resilient climate infrastructure or global net zero, as officially stated.

Alternatively, if wealth and ideology are dismissed as metrics for measuring climate collaboration as a whole, some elements could be put forward. Watch the lessons ready to be learned from rapidly growing economies, on how the world can cultivate climate response capacities in developing countries to mitigate the climate crisis.

China is an example. Having advanced energy saving interventions in some island states, diversified the use of satellite technology for Africa’s climate monitoring needs and delineated low carbon pilot areas in South East Asia, it manifests the very spirit of the cooperative calculation of COP26 this year: adapting to protect communities and habitats is a necessary contribution to support the global net zero effort.

“What the international community should recognize is that, for a developing country of over 1.4 billion people that has not completed industrialization or urbanization, nationally determined contributions ( CDN) and the supportive political measures that China has voluntarily adopted have not been easy, ”Chinese Ambassador to Britain Zheng Zeguang said in a Guardian editorial this week.

It resonates with the wider developing world, which one estimate will face more than two-thirds of the costs of climate change. They hardly contributed to the carbon dioxide emissions frenzy of the industrialized world. And this is where the overwhelming contrast lies.

Ultimately, with renewed activism against climate appeasement accelerating ahead of the Glasgow summit, calls to ensure a fair share of the burden on developing countries on emissions is an indispensable sign of global climate responsibility.

We can at least hope for some degree of global support to avert a total global net zero crisis by mid-century. For wealthy Western issuers, the stakes are rightly different: to end all this dominance over resource contributions and past promises, and maybe the world can talk about politics at peace.

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