NEW YORK, May 27 (IPS) – The past few weeks have brought a wave of optimism on the climate front. It began on April 18 with the US and China Declaration on Climate Cooperation. This was followed in quick succession by a European Parliament vote to cut emissions by 55% by 2030, the UK promised to cut 78% by 2035, Japan nearly doubled its commitment from 26% to 46% based on 2013 levels and US President Biden pledged to cut emissions by 20%. 50-52%, also by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels).
Because cuts like these provide a clear path to limiting temperature growth, only the most enthusiastic pessimists deny that it was a great start in the run-up to Glasgow. Not to mention a court announcement in the Netherlands as we wrote this article (May 26) that Shell will need to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 at 2019 levels, and that could lead to a wave of legal action against fossil fuels. Companies.
The important question now is how do we use the Glasgow Climate Summit to build on the goodwill of governments?
As we indicated in a recent article Posted in IPSIn a world where the Covid virus is spreading, restrictions on personal meetings are a particular problem for such a complex, high-risk process. The office managing the Glasgow preparatory process recently announced its intention to hold virtual “informal meetings” beginning next week. While we would welcome the resumption of such discussions under the umbrella of the United Nations and we could see the benefit of the online discussions, these will not come until now.
We hope that diplomats, key stakeholders and journalists will be able to meet in person before the official start of the Glasgow summit, possibly in October in light of a negotiating ‘bubble’ in Italy (which hosts the G20 on October 30 and 31) and the UK (which hosts the summit from October 30 to 31). November 1 to 12).
Current ongoing work on COVID vaccine passports should make such personal gatherings entirely possible, with the European Union’s plans advanced in recent days to present them as early as July Moreover, the UK’s offer to provide vaccines to delegations of developing countries is a welcome and must be step. Expand it to include other stakeholders.
Climate alliances of national stakeholders
What else could help advance the progress in the run-up to Glasgow? We advocate that national-level stakeholder coalitions can play an important role.
These alliances have already shown their value. In 2017, Michael Bloomberg and former California Governor Jerry Brown launched the America and America Is All Pledge in response to President Trump’s announcement of the United States withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.
America is All-in-One has now grown to include 147 cities, 1,157 companies, 3 states, 2 tribal states, nearly 500 universities, religious groups, cultural institutions, and a healthcare organization. This is a strong alliance – and still growing – committed to helping achieve at least a 50% reduction in 2005 emissions levels by 2030.
at the same time, Accelerate America’s PledgeA report published by Bloomberg Charity in 2020 not only defines the areas in which work needs to be done, but also outlines the progress made so far. This work helped build a strong foundation for President Biden’s recent announcement of a nationally determined US contribution of a 52% reduction in 2030 from 2005 levels.
Partnerships and engagements like this also occur at the international level. In 2019, the Climate Ambition Alliance for Cities, Regions and Business announced commitments to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
This alliance, which includes 992 companies, 449 cities, 21 districts, 505 universities and 38 of the largest investors, has made a major pledge as it represents the economic stakeholders that cover a quarter of global carbon emissions. This type of alliance helped pave the way for national governments and others to achieve similar goals.
Such alliances could also be a model for how stakeholders functioned in the lead up to Glasgow. The promises of many welcome governments can be supported and held accountable by a coalition of key national stakeholders.
For example, imagine what national coalitions of stakeholders in the world’s 20 largest emissions countries could do when it comes to ensuring that governments follow through on their pledges with clear and enforceable policies and financing to achieve promised reductions.
Moreover, national stakeholder coalitions can encourage governments to make new, more ambitious pledges, so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in the lead up to Glasgow.
When government is backward, such national alliances can help maintain the pressure by taking on their own commitments to their city, district, or business sector.
These coalitions also received strong support from the United Nations. UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged in March that “all countries, companies, cities and financial institutions commit to zero net commitments, with clear and credible plans to do so, starting today.”
Independent monitoring and verification
Stakeholder coalitions in a given region can play a role – both domestically and internationally – in lobbying for consistent monitoring, measurement and reporting of emissions. This is an area that has not been resolved under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, yet it is critical if we are to ensure full transparency and accountability in fulfilling the government’s pledges.
The Glasgow summit will be judged, at least in part, on how it functions as a catalyst not only for increased ambition to cut emissions, but also to ensure that they are measured consistently. Some countries, especially developing countries, will need substantial financial support for such actions, and this should be another outcome from Glasgow.
The United Nations-supported Race to Zero campaign is playing a beneficial role in this area. The largest coalition of non-state actors committed to achieving net zero emissions before 2050, Race to Zero recently published a report setting standards for how stakeholders are recruited, measured, and reported on net-zero liabilities.
Interestingly, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a group of 160 financial institutions with collective assets of $ 70 trillion, is taking a similar approach.
Mark Carney, the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Climate Finance Adviser to Prime Minister Johnson for COP 26, is chairing this new gathering.
If these national coalitions are taken seriously, independent national and international monitoring and verification may be required. Reporting and verification should be done annually.
Collaboration in our cities may be the key to unlocking Glasgow’s potential
Cities can be crucial to Glasgow’s success. “Cities use a large proportion of the world’s energy supply and are responsible for about 70 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat and lead to global warming,” said Maymouna Mohamed Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat. In 2019.
Starting in the 20 largest emitters cities could be a good first step in aligning national stakeholders with the Paris climate agreement. Cities have the potential not only to be powerful engines of change; They can also keep the world moving forward even if a country’s national political leadership is not present or affected by a change in direction after an election.
The recent positive announcements by some governments regarding stronger NDCs are noteworthy. However, only when all stakeholders and participants get involved will we be able to create a sustainable way to live together on this “Only one land” we have.
Felix Dodds He is an advocate of sustainable development and a writer. His new book, Tomorrow’s People and New Technologies: Changing the Way We Live Our Lives, will be released in September. Co-author of Only One Earth with Maurice Strong and Michael Strauss, and negotiating the SDGs with Ambassador David Donoghue and Jimena Leva Roche.
Chris Spence He is an environmental consultant, writer, and author of Global Warming: Personal Solutions for a Healthy Planet. He has been a veteran of numerous conferences of the parties and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations over the past three decades.
© Inter Press Service (2021) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service