December 8, 2021

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

China, India and Brazil must set out their plans to reduce emissions The secret negotiator

As we approach the start of Cop26, I am concerned that the main goal: to keep the temperature rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, is fading.

The Covid-19 pandemic offered the opportunity for a global recovery. We could rebuild in a green way and with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

We haven’t seen it and missed this opportunity. Going back to early 2019, we had two years to reflect on the recovery we needed, but countries have not.

We are seeing some bad signs. China seeks to burn more coal because high energy prices are terrible.

China and many countries talk about the historical responsibility for emissions. Developed countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European countries, have been burning fossil fuels at high levels for a long time, so most of the carbon that was in the atmosphere in 1992, when it signing the UN framework convention on climate change, came from them.

But today China produces about a quarter of the world’s emissions, so it has a historic responsibility.

The interests of small developing countries and large developing countries are very different: development versus existence. For larger developing economies, development is more important than climate. But for us this is about survival. At 1.5C it will be difficult but we can adapt. Above 1.5ºC we cannot and the impacts will be terrible.

Our emissions are very small in global terms. Even if all small countries reached zero emissions immediately, this would have no impact on the 1.5C. Even if large developed countries reduced their emissions faster, this would still not bring us to 1.5ºC.

All countries are expected to come to Cop26 with nationally determined contributions (NDCs). But what we have seen from the countries is not enough. Current NDCs are not 1.5C oriented. It is very important that all decisions in Glasgow are aligned with 1.5C.

Some G20 parties have made the necessary adjustments and are in line with the 1.5C. The G20 is responsible for approximately 80% of global emissions, but most of the major developing countries that are members of the G20 have not submitted NDCs that are aligned with 1.5C and many have not submitted any NDCs.

We need the big developing countries that are members of the G20 to come forward now. We only have one week left for the Cop26 and G20 leaders are gearing up to meet next weekend. China, India and Brazil need to step on the plate urgently.

  • Each week we will hear from negotiators in a developing country participating in the negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and attend the Cop26 climate conference.

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