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Brits Try To Stop the Flop at COP26

Nov. 10, 2021 (EIRNS)—The British hosts of the COP26 summit in Glasgow have issued a seven-page draft agreement, which they will try to strong-arm reluctant participants into signing over the remaining days until the conference closes on Friday, Nov. 12. They are far from confident. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was sent back to Glasgow to lead the charge, promising to “pull out all the stops.” The United Nations Environment Program Director Inger Andersen said they intend to “try to hold everyone’s feet to the fire” to get them to sign on the dotted line—clearly oblivious to the unintended irony about the carbon footprint that might result.

According to a report in BBC, the public draft document calls for getting all the countries to provide firm 2030 carbon reduction goals by the end of 2022: “Revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally-determined contributions, as necessary to align with the Paris Agreement temperature goal by the end of 2022.” As BBC reports, however: “It will be interesting to see how countries such as China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia respond to this request to put new plans on the table by the end of next year,” since they had already refused to go along with that point.

Second, the draft seeks to get commitments for funding “beyond $100 billion a year” to finance the “transition to Green,” especially in developing nations.

BBC summarized the disappointing achievements of COP26 thus far: 1) 100 countries agreed on stopping deforestation; 2) the U.S. and EU agreed on a methane-limitation plan; 3) 40 countries have agreed to move away from coal—but that does not include China or the U.S.; 4) “new pots of money” have been announced, but that part is all very vague.

All of this means, according to Climate Action Tracker, that the world will not hit a target of 1.5° C of warming “above pre-industrial levels” (whatever that means) by 2030, but at best 2.4° C. And that spells doom: “A global average temperature rise of just 2° C could mean a billion people are affected by fatal heat and humidity, the Met Office has warned,” BBC reported.

Boris Johnson’s remarks, eloquent as usual, were enough to make anyone’s hair stand on end—or at least his own: “Negotiating teams are doing the hard yards in these final days of COP26 to turn promises into action on climate change. There’s still much to do.... We need to pull out all the stops if we’re going to keep 1.5° C within our grasp.”

The UN’s Andersen added: “No, we’re not done yet. We still have a couple of days. And so we’re certainly from our side, from the United Nations side, we’re going to try to hold everyone’s feet to the fire.”

AP reported on perhaps the biggest threat of all coming from Glasgow: “COP26 is due to end Friday, though the talks could stretch on longer.”

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