Reuters. File photo: People take part in a climate march in Brussels, Belgium, ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, October 10, 2021. REUTERS / Yves Herman
By Andrea Januta
(Reuters) – The diverse interests of the 197 signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pose a daunting challenge to reach consensus on the next steps to curb global warming. Here are some of the key stakeholders in the UN Climate Conference (COP26), which kicked off on October 31 in Glasgow.
Currently the world’s top carbon emitter, China’s actions in the near future will help determine whether the world can meet its climate goals. It is also facing the effects of climate change, including extreme rainfall that has devastated Henan Province and floods that have killed more than 300 people in the summer.
President Xi Jinping said last year China set plans for maximum emissions in 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 – 10 years beyond the target set by scientists. China has promised to stop financing coal projects abroad and start reducing its own coal use in 2026. But the economic downturn, including power shortages in recent weeks, has provoked policymakers to argue that China is not yet ready to take bold action.
Xi is not expected to attend the talks in person and China will likely send Vice-Environment Minister Zhao Ingmin, but analysts say there will be little chance of a bold announcement without Xi.
The United States is currently the world’s second largest emitter of carbon but has historically had more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than any other country since the Industrial Revolution. It returns to the UN climate talks this year after former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement and avoided global efforts to curb emissions.
U.S. public awareness has risen in a series of climate-fueled disasters, including wildfires and the worst drought in nearly a century in the western United States.
President Joe Biden has rejoined the Paris Agreement and promised that the country would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 to 2030.
But the domestic climate law is facing headwind in Congress. Diplomats and NGOs say major emissions from China, India and Brazil will undermine US efforts in Glasgow to do more.
The conference is hosted by Italy. Alok Sharma, the British minister who led the conference, said he hoped the talks would “transfer coal power to history.”
In 2019, the UK promises to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and a 78% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2035 compared to 1990 levels earlier this year. But Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government faces a dilemma: public pressure is mounting to halt oil and gas exploration in the new North Sea, but doing so would make the country more dependent on imported fuel.
The 27-nation bloc produces about 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions and its emissions have been declining for several years. The EU has set legal targets to reduce net emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 and to zero by 2050. Now, its member countries are discussing a huge legal package to meet those goals.
Extreme heat waves and floods have killed thousands of people in Europe over the past two years.
EU countries are negotiating as a group in climate negotiations and this year is expected to require strong climate targets from all countries every five years, a position that could prove sticky in negotiations.
Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
The group represents the 46 poorest countries in the world, with 1 billion people across Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean particularly at risk for climate change, but responsible for what happens.
With blocs such as the African Group of Negotiators and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, LDCs are expected to pressure rich nations to honor their commitment to provide উন্নয়ন 100 billion a year in climate financing to the developing world for 2020-2024 – a goal they have missed track.
Brazil, South Africa, India and China make up this bloc of populous, fast-developing countries with high-polluting economies. Everyone has called on rich countries to provide more climate finance, and the UNFCCC concept of equity demands “common but differentiated liability” – meaning that rich countries, which contribute the most to emissions, have a greater responsibility to address it.
New Delhi says বর্তমান 100 billion pledges are not enough this year, and India is less likely to commit to a net-zero target by 2050. Brazil is also seeking financial compensation to stop deforestation on the Amazon (NASDAQ :). South Africa wants stronger evidence that developed countries will bring in their promised $ 100 billion annually, but it also says the number should be as high as $ 750 billion.
Other discussion blocks include:
Climate Weak Forum
Representing 48 countries at risk of climate impact, including Bangladesh and the Maldives, the group called for the need for a strong global agreement and asked countries to update their climate commitments annually instead of every five years.
Alliance of small island states
Allied countries are unequally vulnerable to the effects of climate change, especially sea level rise and coastal erosion.
Powering Past Coal Alliance
Led by the United Kingdom and Canada, 41 countries and dozens of local governments and private companies have pledged rapid transitions from coal to clean energy.
High ambition alliance
Formed in 2014 by the Marshall Islands, Costa Rica, the United States and the EU, the group is pushing for more progressive emissions targets and climate policy.
G77 + China
With 77 developing countries and China’s long-standing alliance, the group is based on the idea that different countries have different responsibilities.
The alliance of 12 non-EU developed countries includes Australia, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Members of the United Nations in Africa will push for additional climate financing for the developing world.