Arturo Larena

Madrid, 20 Nov. Every time a Climate Summit ends, the temptation is to describe it as a failure and it is not that it is an easy resource, but rather that it responds to a feeling of many negotiators and a vast majority of observers: COP27 has dodged it, in extremis, thank you an agreement on loss and damages.

The inclusion of this mechanism to compensate the least favored countries for the catastrophic impacts caused by climate change is a step forward and sets the goal of agreeing on its financial support structure for the most vulnerable before the next COP28 in the United Arab Emirates in 2023.

“Clearly this will not be enough, but it is a much-needed political signal to rebuild broken trust,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said.

In Egypt there has been a touch of regression, but the organization of these annual forums, debatable in their form and procedure, represents a success of multilateralism, although the steps are short and the speed of progress is frustrating for many given the magnitude of the effects of the climate crisis.

Three decades have passed since the approval of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, 27 summits since the COP1 in Berlin in 1995, and it is still being discussed.

The COP27 in Sharm el Seij (Egypt) was presented at its start as a “low profile” meeting, since the geopolitical situation derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the energy crisis “devalued” the starting point and the goals of the delegations,

The absence of leaders of great polluting powers such as Russia and China (the first emitter of CO2 in absolute terms) or India, which have become economic giants, have also devalued this forum in which financial issues play a key role.

In the absence of the activist Greta Thunberg, to denounce what she considers a lack of rights and freedoms in Egypt, the “star” has been the elected president of Brazil, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, who confirmed to the world the return of his country – the largest custodian from the Amazon jungle – to the path of the fight against climate change after four years of a government anchored in “climate denialism”.

And although denialism has been rearmed by the hand of some political populisms, society’s awareness of a reality that is reflected in increasingly common extreme weather phenomena such as droughts or torrential rains, heat waves or large fires has also increased. forestry.

The European Union, the historical promoter of climate policies, has been especially active in advocating to increase the decarbonization objectives but, as the Vice President of the Executive of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, pointed out, it will continue to burn coal and look for gas supplies for three years to help homes and industries after the crisis unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And again the third vice president and Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera, has played a particularly active role in negotiations in which the proposal regarding mitigation, although “does not take a step back” with respect to what was agreed in Glasgow, “no progress either.”

The climate ambition, claimed in previous Conferences of the Parties, has been in the background, as have the proposals to end coal, but progress has been made against “greenwashing” or green face washing.

The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius thus seems increasingly distant, in a context in which scientists have made it clear that countries’ commitments to reduce emissions (National Determined Contributions) are insufficient to reduce almost halve greenhouse gases by 2030 and decarbonization by 2050.

Time is running out to avoid the most adverse phenomena and society demands a greater commitment with increasingly direct protests, such as the recent actions of some activists against artistic heritage.

Among the “forgotten” issues is biodiversity, whose COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, another of the major agreements of the Rio 92 Earth Summit, is held next December in Montreal (Canada).

The just transition continues to be a pending issue, as well as financing, once the agreement to contribute 100,000 million dollars a year, adopted in 2009 at the COP15 in Copenhagen and which should have been covered in 2020, has been breached.

On the table is also the proposal for “innovative mechanisms”, such as the global tax on the profits of fossil fuel companies, advocated by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres.

COP27 will not be particularly remembered in the history of the climate fight, but its celebration in the current context is still progress, because -as with birthdays- the alternative to not being able to celebrate them is worse.

Next year the appointment will be in the United Arab Emirates, whose delegation has been the largest in Sharm el Seij, a summit in which the number of lobbyists linked to fossil fuels has been 25% higher than in Glasgow.

So, “not too bad”. EFE

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