Cingolani: “I told my children it was impossible to do more. India has put our backs to the wall”

Cingolani: “I told my children it was impossible to do more. India has put our backs to the wall”
Cingolani: “I told my children it was impossible to do more. India has put our backs to the wall”

An afternoon with the family, after 14 days commuting between Rome and Glasgow. “Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani also returned home after the tour de force that Cop26 imposed on delegations from all over the world: two weeks of negotiations on the climate, at times dramatic, as in the final session, with the tug-of-war over the farewell to coal. Plenaries in which a generational short circuit was also staged, with long-term politicians such as the EU vice president Timmermans who showed his grandson (“Let’s do it for him, he will be 30 years old in 2050”), the representative of Tuvalu Seve Paeniu who responded by showing his grandchildren (“They live on a land that is already sinking”), many other delegates from the countries most vulnerable to change climate scientists who asked controversially: “What will we tell our children on our way home?”.

Minister Cingolani, what have you told your family? How did you translate the final outcome of Cop26?
“I explained that it is unthinkable to make an epochal revolution with a COP. But that this year a step forward has been made, because all the states have agreed on the need to accelerate the achievement of the objectives of the Paris Agreement, while maintaining global warming. about 1.5 degrees (instead of 2) in the second half of the century “.

Immediately before the final vote, he participated in the frantic consultations between the president of COP26, the British Alok Sharma, and the Indian Minister of the Environment Bhupender Yadav. What happened in those decisive minutes?

“The Indian minister clearly told us that he would join the final resolution on 1.5 degrees, only if the pressure on total coal abandonment was eased. A way to have more time, organize the energy transition and grow in the meantime. , but adhering to the global goal of 1.5 degrees of global warming in the second half of the century together with all the other countries. They are skilled negotiators: if we had opted for the wall against wall, the Indians would have freed themselves from all commitments and would have produced all the CO2 possible, making change irreversible and making the efforts of the rest of the world useless “.

Apart from the reconfirmation of 1.5 degrees as the target and the “decrease” of coal, what are the other positive results of the Glasgow conference?

“Precise rules have been agreed for finances, for transparency and verification of what is declared by the States. Processes and methods that are the same for everyone have been agreed, which starting from the next COP will allow better management of aid and efforts. little, but it is not. Of course, to obtain these agreements it was necessary to come to terms with countries that use intensive coal “.

However, there are also many unresolved issues.

“Yes, starting precisely with the absence of a certain date for the abandonment of coal. We have not reached the 100 billion a year due to vulnerable countries, promised in 2015, and operational agreements must be found to increase the resources allocated to damage and losses caused by extreme events in weaker countries. More generally, to small vulnerable countries or islands that risk being swallowed up by the seas in a few decades, we cannot only respond with rules, processes, technocratic languages ​​and promises. solidarity is tangible and in a very short time “.

However, Italy is perhaps the most late among the industrialized countries with the payments of the quotas that make up the famous 100 billion a year. Are there any news?

“We have almost tripled the budget for this aid, reaching around 1.4 billion dollars a year for the next five years. It is an important effort, because for years the dedicated figure had remained unchanged at around 500 million. But let’s remember that for the size of the Italian economy the amount we should pay should be in a larger proportion. So much remains to be done “.

Italy was co-president of this British-led COP: what contribution has our country made?

“Fundamental. Our presidency of the G20, the Italian Pre-Cop initiatives and those with the youth of Youth for climate have dictated the agenda and sculpted the contents on which Cop26 has made some progress: the ambition to contain global warming 1.5 degrees, the use of public-private partnerships for investments, the role of young people, the concept of multilateralism, the clear indication that global inequalities and climate change are interrelated problems are all concepts developed by the G20 “.

And now, with Cop26 archived, how is the fight against climate change going on?

“Exactly as before. The greatest challenge that humanity has ever faced requires that the fight against global inequalities and the problems of the planet be conducted with urgent urgency, great seriousness, knowledge and solidarity”.

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