Explanation: sticking points at the United Nations climate conference
LONDON – Representatives from nearly 200 countries will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12 for climate talks to strengthen action on global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Amid extreme weather events around the world and following a United Nations climate report that warned that global warming is about to get out of hand, the actions of governments at this conference will determine whether it is a success.
Here are some of the issues that need to be addressed:
EMISSIONS REDUCTION COMMITMENTS
Six years ago in Paris, countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and ideally 1.5 ° C. To do this, emissions must be halved by 2030 and reach net zero by mid-century.
As the United Nations conference was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year is the deadline for countries to commit to reducing their emissions more sharply (known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) .
A UN analysis of new or revised NDCs submitted by the end of July found that by 2030, those 113 countries would collectively reduce their emissions by 12% from 2010 levels.
But the available NDCs from the 191 parties to the Paris Agreement combined equate to a 16% increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 2010, he said.
About 120 countries have so far submitted revised NDCs, but there is inconsistency with no common timeline for meeting commitments. There are also a variety of approaches in CDNs, which makes comparability difficult.
Negotiators must also agree on common timetables for future emission reductions.
The main emitters of China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – together responsible for around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions – have not yet proposed a strengthened NDC and must do so at this conference, known as COP26.
As early as 2009, developed countries agreed to raise $ 100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries cope with the impacts of climate change.
However, the most recent data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that in 2019, governments in developed countries raised $ 79.6 billion for vulnerable countries, up 2% from compared to $ 78.3 billion in 2018.
As rich countries fall short of the $ 100 billion a year target, it can shatter confidence in climate talks, experts say. And a new financial target must be set from 2025.
LOSS AND DAMAGE
Governments have agreed to address the impact of climate change on developing countries, but there are no details on liability or compensation, a bone of contention for many poorer countries.
A platform to enable technical assistance to vulnerable countries was created in 2019, but developing countries want a more robust mechanism to include funding.
UK COP26 President Alok Sharma has said he wants this conference to be the one where coal power is made in history.
The UN called for the phase-out of coal by 2030 in OECD countries, but environment ministers from the Group of 20 major economies failed to agree on a timetable .
Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers the role of carbon markets, has not been resolved since the pact was concluded. Progress on this collapsed in the last talks in 2019.
The article calls for “robust accounting” to avoid “double counting” of emission reductions. It also aims to establish a central United Nations mechanism to trade carbon credits from emission reductions generated by low carbon projects.
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