মানুষ Reuters People take part in the ‘Global March for Climate Justice’ when the environment ministers met before the COP26 meeting in Milan, Glasgow, Italy, on 2 October 2021.
Written by Stephen Jukes
MILAN (Reuters) – The world’s major economies need to do more at the upcoming UN COP26 climate conference in Scotland to show that they are serious about tackling global warming and paying attention to young workers, policymakers said on Saturday.
Alok Sharma, president of COP2 President, said the climate debate has gained new meaning after preparatory talks in Milan, where thousands of young activists, including Greta Thanberg, called on the government to raise billions of dollars to keep the world afloat.
“We had a very constructive discussion and there was a real sense of urgency in the room,” Sharma told reporters after the meeting in Italy’s financial capital.
The goal of the COP26 conference in Glasgow is to ensure bold climate management from the nearly 200 countries that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agree to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Sharma said the Milan delegation had agreed to keep the 1.5 degree target within reach and pledge 100 100 billion annually to help the most vulnerable countries tackle climate change.
“The strength that came from (the youth) strengthened the ministers,” Sharma said. “As we move forward over the next few weeks and into the COP, we must remember their (their) voices.”
New energy and funding commitments from the United States and China have raised negotiators’ hopes, but many major polluting G20 countries, such as China and India, have yet to announce updates on their short-term climate plans.
Sharma said a national action plan is needed to include more ambitious goals to reduce emissions.
‘Trillions, not billions’
U.S. Climate Ambassador John Kerry called for a more radical approach to the major economies.
“We are now committed to a track record of 55% of global GDP (gross domestic product) that will keep the temperature at 1.5 degrees,” he said.
Rich nations pledged a decade ago to raise 100 100 billion a year to help weaker countries adapt and transform with clean energy, but they still fall short of their 2020 targets.
Kerry said that while he expected donors to deliver on their promises, a post-2025 financial plan would be needed “with an emphasis on trillions, not just billions.”
“(It) requires a private sector … We will announce a specific agenda item together with the World Economic Forum,” he said without elaborating.
Funding for climate action will be crucial to the success of COP2 of, says Oscar Surrey, campaign director for the US-based activist network Voice, who was in Milan for the talks.
“Developing and developed countries urgently need to sit together and come up with a plan: it will be difficult to build confidence in negotiations in Glasgow without real money at the table,” Saria said.
Sharma said all countries agree on the need for decarbonization of their economies, with a target date of 2030 for industrialized countries and 204040 for other countries.
Asked about coal mining, EU Climate Commissioner France Timmermans said the industry would gradually become extinct without specific climate action because it would eventually become economically unsustainable.
“I would be very surprised if there is a significant coal mining industry after 2040,” he said.
China and India, the world’s top two coal producers, still rely on coal for their power supply.