December 2, 2021

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The 10th day of COP26: US-China surprise, auto deal fails

The 10th day of COP26: US-China surprise, auto deal fails

Wednesday (10) was the significant day for the COP26 climate summit, as the first draft of a comprehensive agreement was launched. NS The draft is a kind of wish list prepared by the COP Presidency Its final version will be negotiated among the national delegates in the next two days.

Depending on who you ask, it’s either “ambitious” or “a fiasco”. The United States and China also suddenly pledged to work together to tackle the climate crisis.

Here’s what happened on Wednesday:

A surprise between China and the United States

The United States and China announced an agreement on Wednesday (10) to ramp up their ambitions in climate cooperation, just days before the conference ended.

“There is more agreement between the United States and China than disagreement, which makes it a region with huge potential for cooperation,” Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua told a press conference.

“The issuance of this joint statement once again shows that cooperation is the only option for China and the United States. Working together, our two countries can achieve many important things that benefit not only both countries, but the world as a whole.”

/ Reuters / Ali Song

At a news conference just after Shih’s meeting, US special climate envoy John Kerry said he was “satisfied” with the agreement between the two countries.

Kerry said the United States and China have two options: They can leave COP26 without working together and “leave the world wondering where the future will be, with a clear gap…or we can leave here with people working together to increase ambition and begin to do so,” Kerry said. .

1.5 Commitment with little support

The draft agreement includes the strongest language ever about the need to limit global warming to 1.5°C, which would be a victory for the COP26 presidency as some of the world’s biggest polluters have recently been reluctant to commit to that goal.

While analysts liked the language, many were quick to point out that the rest of the deal fell short.

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told Mark Maslin, a climate scientist at University College London CNN That the project was “a bit cute”.
“He recognizes that there is a huge need to reduce emissions as quickly as possible by 2030 to reach the 1.5 temperature target.

However, later in the document, states are required to make new kinds of promises, targets all aligned with keeping temperatures below two degrees. Therefore, the beginning and end of the document itself do not coincide.”

Fossil fuel subsidies are mentioned

The draft agreement also calls on governments to “accelerate the elimination of coal and fossil fuel subsidies.” This is the first significant time that, to date, the COP has not specifically mentioned fossil fuels.

“It is absurd that we still pay taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars annually to encourage production and consumption of fossil fuels,” said Alden Meyer, senior associate at E3G.

“The first rule of holes is that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. And we still dig deeper by paying people to pollute and produce and use more carbon,” Meyer said.

But there is no guarantee that the language around subsidies for coal and fossil fuels will survive the next two days of negotiations.

Mayer said he hoped there would be “a little bit of disagreement” on this before the final text is agreed upon.

“Saudi Arabia and other countries will come and try to delete this paragraph,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International.

Johnson pleads with delegates

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is back in Glasgow after spending the last week in London, trying to get his party’s latest political scandal off the front pages.

Johnson acknowledged that climate talks are getting more difficult as delegates reach a final agreement.

“Now is the time for everyone to come together and show the resolve needed to overcome the roadblocks,” Johnson said in a speech at the conference.

“Here in Glasgow, the world is closer than ever to signal the beginning of the end of anthropogenic climate change,” he said, calling on delegates: “Will you help us do this? Are you on the way?”

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Saudi Arabia is retreating

Saudi Arabia is shaping up to be a major obstacle on the way to a big deal and the UK is trying hard to engage the “kingdom”.

Downing Street said Johnson spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday and that the two “discussed the importance of moving negotiations forward in the final days of COP 26.”

The Saudi energy minister, in a speech, urged the world to stop showing bias for or against certain forms of energy.

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: “It is imperative that we realize the diversity of climate solutions and the importance of reducing emissions as stipulated in the Paris Agreement, without any bias for or against any particular source of energy.”

Several experts familiar with the talks said publicly last week that the UK was holding back language progress on fossil fuels and 1.5°C. The Saudi authorities did not respond to the request CNN To comment on issues.

Jennifer Tolman, Senior Policy Adviser at E3G, said the next 48 hours will be critical and show “whether ministers work together to dramatically increase ambition across all sectors or give Russia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil a victory and miss any opportunity. It suggests that all countries will have to Coming back with more ambition in this decade.”

Disappointing car show

Some of the auto industry’s biggest players have poured cold water on the idea that COP26 could be the beginning of the end of the combustion engine era.

According to a statement published on Wednesday, the UK’s COP26 presidency has asked governments, manufacturers and investors to pledge “to work to reduce emissions from all sales of new cars and trucks worldwide by 2040, and no later than 2035 in key markets”.

electric car
Electric cars are an option for the future / DAVID MCNEW / AFP / Getty Images

But the proposal was not signed by many important countries and companies.

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Germany, China, Japan, South Korea and the United States did not sign the declaration. Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan also declined to sign.

German Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth said on Wednesday that Germany and other countries “could have signed up” to the declaration had the UK presidency not put in an “unnecessary barrier”, referring to the fact that the agreement did not take into account synthetic fuels.

However, there were some notable signatories. Ford and General Motors agreed, as did Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Among the US cities, states and cities that applied were the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Kenya, India, the Australian Capital Territory, Catalonia, Atlanta, San Diego, New York, San Francisco and Seoul.

financial gap

Director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Hans-Jorg Strömer said on Wednesday that the gap between “the rich and the poor” was widening and that the draft COP26 agreement was not doing enough to address the crisis.

We already have low levels of funding for the most vulnerable. We have a humanitarian aid system at its borders. And with the current growth in the global warming trajectory, the need will only increase, those are the ones most at risk.”

The draft agreement shows some strengths in a long section on the need to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance to the developing world, a pledge the world’s richest countries made more than a decade ago.

“It is baffling and ambiguous. The missed deadline for the $100 billion pledge has yet to be acknowledged – an important question for countries at risk,” said Mohamed Addo, director of the Center for Climate Research Power Shift Africa.

Wally Aziz and Chris Liakos, yes CNN, in London, in the report.

(Translated text, read the original text in English Here)