“Since Biden was elected to the White House, we have not wasted a day preparing for COP26”, explains a European source on the ‘eve’ of the two major global events to fight climate change: the G20 in Rome on Saturday and Sunday, where there will be representatives of the countries that produce 80 percent of harmful emissions and then the UN Conference on the environment in Glasgow, starting from 31 October. If with Donald Trump the chances of success were “zero, with Joe Biden they have increased by dozens of percentages since he was elected”. The brake is not in the EU or the US now, but in the rest of the world.
“India, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia”, emerging countries among the largest polluters on the planet according to the list made by the Commission in Brussels, have not yet announced their action plans to reduce emissions. Paradoxically, the European sources let us understand, the dialogue is much more established with China, which today should present its “Nationally determined contributions” (Ndc, the acronym in English), that is, the non-binding national plans on actions for the climate, including the objectives related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the policies and measures that will be implemented in response to climate change and how to contribute to achieving the global objectives set in the Paris Agreement.
“We can work on the relationship with Xi,” the Sherpas active in preparing for the two international summits say in Brussels. “We are still waiting for India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and even parts of Africa, as regards the forecast of emissions in the second part of this century. We do not have the magic wand, but we are committed… ”.
Whether the optimism about the dialogue with China is due to the need not to break with Beijing, due to European commercial interests in the East, or to a willingness to collaborate on the part of Xi Jinping, the news will say in the coming days. The goal remains to find an agreement that allows global warming to be limited to below 1 and a half degrees. It was the target of the Paris agreements in 2015, so far not respected. But according to the offices of the European Commission, chaired by Ursula von der Leyen who founded her political mission on the Green deal, there is certainly now greater sensitivity on the fight against climate change than six years ago. An abyss compared to the past, which, however, is still not enough. The European objectives remain the most ambitious in the world: climate neutrality in 2050, reduction of 55 per cent by 2030. But it all depends on other countries: in Glasgow there will be representatives of almost all recognized sovereign states (200 out of 208).
The EU has reduced harmful emissions by “31 percent compared to 1990, while our economies have grown by 60 percent – says von der Leyen at a press conference – This is an encouraging message that shows that emissions can be reduced. of greenhouse gases and prosper: that’s exactly what we need to show the world ”.
Just today, however, India, the world’s third largest producer of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, reiterates that it does not want to give itself deadlines for achieving climate neutrality. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thus rejects global appeals to set a date on the production of ‘zero emissions’ of carbon, convinced that it is more important to chart a path to reduce these emissions and avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures.
Unlike Xi Jinping and Putin, Modi will be physically present both in Rome and in Glasgow, demonstrating that the climate issue is at the top of the Indian prime minister’s priorities, underline from New Delhi. But these are its conditions. India has pledged to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, reaching a reduction of 24 percent by 2016. According to some sources, it could go as high as 40 percent depends on investment and the ability to access the latest technologies. Certainly, India is particularly sensitive to the issue of funding for developing countries to help them in the transition: New Delhi says it will measure the success of the Glasgow conference by how much it produces on this aspect.
A matter well known to European negotiators. Aid to emerging countries, the so-called ‘climate finance’, is a fundamental part of the Glasgow negotiations. The plan will be announced on Monday by Great Britain, Germany, Canada: it will be the offer of developed countries to tempt the weaker ones. It must be said, however, that in the past, poor countries have already been promised 100 billion dollars from 2009 to 2020, public and private funds from the richest countries to help them reduce greenhouse gases and cope with the impacts of extreme weather conditions. According to the OECD, they had less than 80 billion. “According to German and Canadian reports, in 2023 we will exceed 100 billion”, says von der Leyen, insisting that “we need to close that gap, reaching 100 billion dollars already next year. The EU and member states are already the largest contributors to climate finance, with over 25 billion dollars a year: I expect this number to grow in the coming days as well. I have promised an addition of 5 billion until 2027 and I expect others to increase their ambitions as well ”.
However, the situation today is this: worrying. China and Saudi Arabia have both set climate neutrality goals for 2060, but with no tangible action now. While Biden’s United States aims to reduce emissions by 50-52 percent in 2030, compared to 2005 levels.