Pushing back on 1.5 degrees . . .
The COP27 climate conference, currently underway in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, is drawing attention to a schism between developed countries pushing for a quicker transition to renewable sources of energy and developing countries demanding greater financial assistance to aid transitions away from fossil fuels and to pay for the damage in their countries caused by climate change. Reports have emerged that India and China are pushing to raise the target average global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed to at the COP26 summit last year in Glasgow to 2 degrees Celsius. Reports from India also suggest that developed countries are pushing for major cuts in emissions from all the world’s top 20 carbon emitters, including India and China, even though both countries are less responsible for historical carbon emissions on a per capita basis than developed countries.
Loss and damage . . .
A particularly thorny COP27 issue is ‘loss and damage,’ or how developed countries will compensate developing countries for loss and damage from climate change disproportionately felt by developing countries, even though developed countries contributed far greater carbon emissions. Two proposals released earlier in the week illustrate quite different approaches. The first would see a dedicated loss and damage fund established late in 2024. The second would see two years of technical work on whether a “mosaic” of funding options would be preferable. Some in the developing world are urging China and India to contribute, given they are currently the world’s number one and three carbon emitters, respectively.
Pacific states ratchet up calls to end fossil fuel use . . .
Beyond wrangling over global carbon emission targets and financial instruments to address ongoing climate change mitigation, some Pacific Island countries are calling for a moratorium on fossil fuel use. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, a tiny group of islands near the centre of the Pacific Ocean, said his country joins “with a hundred Nobel Peace Prize laureates and thousands of scientists worldwide [to] urge world leaders to join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to manage a just transition away from fossil fuels.” Vanuatu, another small Pacific Island country, made a similar call at the UN General Assembly two months ago. The European Parliament, the Vatican, and the World Health Organization have all supported the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty in recent months. The COP27 conference concludes on Friday.