A considerable gap remains on the final day of COP26 between what different countries want on critical issues. This includes how ambitious the world should be in slashing greenhouse gas emissions. To the submit draft agreement published on 10th November, the chief negotiator Diego Pacheco said his country and 21 other allied nations would oppose the entire section on climate change mitigation. This includes major emitters like China, India and Saudi Arabia.
That section contains all of the agreements around reducing emissions. It also includes the recognition that the world should aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Experts say that this is what is needed to reduce the effect of climate change. The target of the developing nations shouldn’t be the same as rich ones. Wealthy nations have a more significant historical role in the climate crisis. By mid-century, it would be impossible for many countries in the group to achieve net-zero.
Making such a transaction would be complicated if rich nations didn’t start paying their fair share. There has been repeated complain from developing nations about climate finance. The idea of deleting the mitigation section is a punch in the face of people suffering from the climate crisis. If mitigation were scrapped, no amount of money could develop adaptation to withstand the extreme temperature rise.
The most critical gap is between what is required to reduce climate impact and what people are willing to do. A recent report published by Climate Action Tracker found that even if all the pledges made in the recent climate conference are met, the world will still be on track for 2.4 degrees of warming. Over this decade, closing that gap will require the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in massive amounts. But that will cost money.
More than ten years ago, it was agreed by rich nations that they would transfer $100 billion a year to developing nations to help to adapt to the climate crisis and to transform into low-carbon economies. But the rich nations have failed to deliver the $100 billion by the 2020 deadline. Developing nations want a 50-50 split between mitigation measures to reduce emissions and adaptation.
Developing countries want new systems to pay for loss and damage, which involves wealthy countries being held financially liable for the impacts of the climate crisis. It’s the idea behind the concept of climate reparations. A senior US official said funding the Santiago Network is being considered. It is a UN body, and the primary purpose is to give technical assistance to nations trying to come out of the impact of climate change. Otherwise, the US believes in a new loss-and-damage fund, and even the European Union considers the same.
Towards the US, anger has grown too. It is reported that the Biden administration was under-delivering on finance. The only country that has committed any money to a loss damage fund in Scotland. It will give £2 million. It is a small but symbolic figure. On several matters, the US is not flexible. As far as developing nations are concerned, they have come with many demands, loss and damage, and climate finance. If the US does not cooperate on everything, then it will be a problem.