FRance Timmerman holds a photo of his grandson, he is one year old. When the Paris Agreement ends in 2050 it will be 31. “If we fail, he will live in a world where the fight is fought for food,” said the vice-chairman of the European Union Commission responsible for climate issues at the plenary session of World Climate. Conference on Friday afternoon. Climate negotiations are personal, not political. He, Timmerman, does not live in Palau or Barbados, both islands that are already in danger of extinction, but many other countries will in a few years. “Our job today is to keep the 1.5 degree target alive,” he says. Time is running out, says Timmerman, but it’s not too late. And that means both: to actually still achieve the climate goal and at this climate conference called COP26, which will continue to be negotiated after their official end on Friday evening.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ admonition that simply finding the lowest common denominator is not enough was addressed to the British Presidency. Several informal talks took place overnight in different negotiating threads. What came out on Friday morning drew much criticism – from environmental organizations, but also from countries such as the United States. The rules have been relaxed. It was still said that there should be a global phase-out of coal, but with the restriction that it does not apply to power plants that capture climate-damaging carbon dioxide. When appealed to states to discontinue their subsidies for all fossil fuels, it was restricted that meant only “inefficient” subsidies.
The debate took place in the afternoon, which on one hand showed the slowdown of some countries such as Saudi Arabia, which sought a “balanced decision”, but more ambitious negotiators such as the European Union or Switzerland favored higher goals. The Canadian representative said his country was certainly not always exemplary, but that has changed and ambitious goals are being pursued. It can be a role model for other countries. US government climate commissioner John Biden also called for swift action. He announced that the US wants to double its financial resources in the field of climate adaptation.
Germany wants to double spending by 2025
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schultz (SPD) also said at a news conference in the afternoon that climate adaptation is more important than ever. Germany wants to double its spending by 2025. The task now is to defend the afternoon draft. It is a “paradigm shift” that the final document speaks to for the first time in concrete measures such as a global coal phase-out. “Ultimately, the world will be saved not by conventions, but by converting energy systems,” Schultz said. He also emphasized that for the first time the clear 1.5 degree target is in the paper – that is, much broader than “Paris”, where the talk was of global warming below two degrees, if possible up to 1.5 degrees.
Even more important than the Framework Declaration, which has a significant symbolic character but is not binding, the terms of the Paris Agreement are likely to be negotiated. Article 6 of the 2015 Agreement on International Emissions Trading was supposed to be defined in Madrid in 2019, but this led to the failure of the climate convention. Meanwhile, most of the so-called brackets, that is, open points of contention with a multitude of possible solutions, have disappeared, and channels of decision-making available for ministers. The main concern of the European Union is to prevent double counting of certificates and prevent some countries from making their national contribution in reducing emissions through reductions. Brussels also considers it problematic that older certificates should be partly derived from the CDM system that began with the Kyoto Protocol in the late nineties. Countries like China and India are expecting benefits from this.
But the European Union and the United States are also criticized. Although they want to make significantly more customizable payments, they block themselves against a type of transaction tax for climate certificates. If, for example, a climate protection project that saves CO2 is implemented in Brazil with German funds, it should be ensured that the resulting certificates are submitted only to the donor country, ie Germany; However, the federal state would like a levy for the transaction. However, the EU and USA have rejected it.
It is believed that the talks of the ministers will go on till the night. It is time for horse-trading, that too on the lines of negotiation – this versus that. Then later a new draft should be prepared, on which countries will have to make their positions. If approved, the plenary will have to be approved – if not, negotiations will continue. However, observers and negotiators say they see the discussions as promising and significantly more productive than in Madrid. With reservations, there is optimism in Glasgow.
Devoted problem solver. Tv advocate. Avid zombie aficionado. Proud twitter nerd. Subtly charming alcohol geek.