The major polluting nations have expressed doubts about whether they will upgrade their emission targets after agreeing to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in line with the Paris Agreement.
The text agreed after two weeks of negotiations on the promised marathon of signatories to the new greenhouse gas emissions targets by the end of 2022, to meet the targets of the climate agreement signed in the French capital in 2015. The face of opposition from countries like China was considered a key achievement of COP26.
But the United States and Australia have already questioned whether they need to upgrade their “nationally determined contributions” or targets known as the NDC.
Lawrence Tubiana, head of the European Climate Foundation and chief architect of the Paris Agreement, said: “The NDC has not seen what should have been in this COP.” “That’s why it’s so important that this meeting was finally able to get an agreement to see them again next year.”
As the world moves away from Paris’s goals, the Glasgow Accords, which were sealed last weekend, aim to encourage countries to improve their goals so that temperatures can be kept below 2C, ideally to 1.5C. Existing 2030 emissions targets have set the world at 2.5 to 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.
But the ink in Glasgow seldom dried up when US climate envoy John Kerry set the stage for a strategic debate over whether the United States would upgrade its NDC next year. Australia, which has been criticized in COP26 for lacking a credible plan to reach “net zero” emissions, has said it will not update its target.
“Not necessarily,” Kerry said when asked about a new commitment. “You don’t have to automatically come back with a new NDC, you have to review it and give a verdict,” he said. “We have to see what can be done.”
Because there is no formal implementation of the COP process – and no penalties for countries that miss their targets – the primary power lies in peer pressure and public scrutiny.
The COP26 agreement promises rich countries to double their funding for climate adaptation, such as the infrastructure to adapt to a warmer planet. They paid about 19 19 billion in adaptation money in 2019, which could be about $ 40 billion under the deal.
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However, for many of the countries most at risk for climate change, this does not go far enough.
With the dust settling in COP26, Bangladesh has accused rich countries of “failing” at risk by not providing the necessary funding and technology transfer to combat climate change.
“What we are seeing now is that the developed world is failing one by one in their promises. This is very disturbing, “said Bangladesh Information Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak in an interview with the Financial Times.
Bangladesh presides over the Climate Vulnerable Forum which represents developing countries at risk of climate change. The low-lying country is struggling with rising sea levels and more erratic monsoon seasons, putting millions of its citizens at risk of displacement.
Palak said COP26 represented some improvements from previous years, especially from the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe, which promised more talks and cooperation.
“We are not satisfied with the outcome of COP26 but the good thing is that we have received some hope and positive reassurance from various influential politicians.”
Scientists say COP26 has helped reduce the projected levels of global warming – but is still far from what is needed to limit warming to 1.5C.
However, Johann Rockstrom, joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: “Despite significant progress, he will not be able to celebrate because of the limited space available for strategy.”
“If it was a COP meeting 20 years ago I would have declared it a huge success because we had time to fall behind on the board. . . But now our time is up. 1.5 We have only 10 years to halve global emissions for delivery opportunities, ”he said.
Under the Glasgow Agreement, the United Nations will conduct an annual analysis of emissions targets and report on a new work program to reduce emissions next year.
Negotiators say the Glasgow agreement will lay the groundwork for increasing progress towards emissions, as countries could create “add-ons” to their existing emissions goals.
The agreement is much more indicative, when it comes to countries that have not submitted new emissions targets, which have been “applied” to do so before next year’s COP27.
Although India announced a net zero emissions target by 2070 on the first day of COP26, it has not yet submitted a new emissions target.
Another area of concern in COP26 is that several countries have submitted new NDCs that were actually worse – in terms of climate impact – than their previous NDCs. These include Brazil, Australia, Ethiopia and Mexico.