COP26, a small misstep forward

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By the social heater: Christian Herrera



We are happy this year to have been able to be present at COP26 through our social heater Christian Herrera, founder of time: to: act foundation

This event was key because it seeks to implement a plan for countries to achieve a zero carbon footprint by 2050.



Why is it important to make the issue of climate change visible in countries like Peru?

Latin America historically is a region with limited information on climate change due to a relatively small scientific community. Therefore, the effects that this region could suffer are not adequately represented in the conclusions of the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) but two important risk conclusions stand out:

a) It is very likely that the temperature will increase in all Latin American subregions and that this process will continue more rapidly than the world average, that is, the Latin American region is going to heat up faster than the rest of the continents.

b) Another point of risk is that the loss of glaciers in the Andes will continue under all greenhouse gas emission scenarios, causing a significant reduction in the flow of rivers and potentially of glacial lakes.



CLIMATE CONTRADICTION

Latin America suffers disproportionately from the consequence of global warming, due to the fact that it represents only 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly due to the energy sector, agriculture and land use. While Europe, North America and Asia do not suffer severe consequences, these being the regions that contribute the most to greenhouse gases.



What happened at COP26?



We invite Christian to tell us about his experience and give us his opinion on the scope that was developed in this event. He shares the following:

After the renewal of hope and credibility in Paris in 2015, and a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Glasgow - Scotland Summit has meant a false step forward that did not come close to finding concrete actions to solve the problem of background, but it has managed to clarify positive aspects, reopen negotiations and look the remains in the face again.

The agreement, which had the representatives of almost 200 governments under discussion, reflects some redeemable points in mitigation and adaptation. In mitigation, it manages to include the sense of urgency and the need for action in the social and scientific aspect, since it establishes 2022 as the deadline year for countries to update their carbon reduction plans for 2030. There has also been a lukewarm and fearful step in ambition, since for the first time fossil fuels are mentioned as responsible for the climate crisis, but only urges governments to make a "gradual decrease" in the use of coal as an energy source and fuel subsidies Inefficient fossils, but no real deadline for their removal has been set, reminding us all of the weight of every word in the deal, and the consequences that will follow. In adaptation, the parties urge (instead of committing) developed countries to double by 2025 the funds for developing countries, those that are and will be the most affected, so that they can carry out actions that materialize attention to loss and damage caused by climate change.

These lukewarm steps are joined by advances in the sectors of coal, transport, methane, forests and financing of fossil fuels abroad, among others. An example is the agreement that was reached between China and the United States, the two most polluting countries on the planet, since, without a minimum commitment from these, it is not technically, scientifically and politically possible to reach a maximum temperature increase of 1.5 ° C, although in practice this goal is titanically difficult to achieve.

At this point, we must understand that the agreement reached in Glasgow is not a radical, ambitious or optimistic change, but it is a false step forward since it establishes the creation of support instruments to move towards an effective solution, but without having the ambition and sense of urgency that the climate emergency warrants in the face of science. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, if all governments comply with the presented plans to reduce emissions to 100%, the temperature increase will be around 1.8 ° C, above the initial objective sought by the Paris Agreement, that is In other words, we are walking a path on hopes of virtually unrealistic goals, being aware of it, and of the consequences, would have to be a determining factor for the increase of ambition and sense of urgency.

On the other hand, developing countries will continue to have difficulties to adapt effectively to sustainability if the international community does not fulfill its financial commitments, but we must not forget that knowing how to invest it is as important as obtaining the money, so the latter This aspect is perhaps the first great challenge that we must overcome to ensure that we do not have losses in corruption and errors in the execution of funds.

The Paris Agreement and subsequent COPs have tried to establish a fair agreement that guarantees results. They have done so by delegating to the nations the establishment of their own goals to achieve control of climate change, playing a role of judges and parties, in which the differentiated weights of power are definitely clearer over the years. Progress has been made, but the world is still far from achieving it. And it is literally vital to do so.