In the run-up to the 26th session of the talks of United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdoms (UK) that were launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the government of the world’s richest countries are now making ever-lauder claims that they are effectively confronting global warming by pledging to attain `Net Zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the USA, UK and Europe) or 2060 (China).
About 50 thousand people around the globe would be emitted about 50 to 70 thousands tCO2e for their travel, are preparing to attend the conference to negotiate ambitious emission reduction. The developing nations, particularly the climate vulnerable nations with poor economic conditions which are contributing least to the global warming and suffering the most from its effects will demand climate finance, particularly forgotten promises of riches, made more than a decade ago, to provide $100 billion per year to support adaptation with climate change.
The Physical Science Basis Report of IPCC has already pointed out five future impacts e.g. temperatures will reach 1.5C above 1850-1900 levels by 2040 under all emissions scenarios, the Arctic is likely to be practically ice-free in September at least once before 2050 in all scenarios assessed, there will be an increasing occurrence of some extreme events `unprecedented in the historical record’ even at warming of 1.5C, extreme sea level events that occurred once a century in the recent past are projected to occur at least annually at more than half of tidal gauge locations by 2100 and there will be likely increases in fire weather in many regions.
Bangladesh emits only 0.4 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gases, but unfortunately top victims of climate change are facing frequently cyclones, floods, droughts once or twice in each year. People are moving around the country by losing homestead and resources and becoming climate migrants.
Although the global leaders are finding out market based solutions to reduce impacts of climate change, but in reality, we must shift our thoughts. We must address the reality of the larger eco-systems challenges for sustaining the solutions. But the current negotiations are not addressing critical issues related to the resilience of ecosystems and to ecosystem services and are thus seriously flawed.
The political leaders must work with all sectors of the society to repair and reinvigorate systems of cooperation, not just for short-term benefit but for tackling the deep-rooted risks. The political leaders must decide proactively on the following expectations:
Mitigation: Set more ambitious targets across the board in line with the 1.5 degree goal and enact policies to meet them with developed countries basing national actions on their fair shares.
Adaptation: Establish a clear process to define the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) contained in the Paris Agreement. Commit to allocating at least 50% of climate finance to adaptation with regular reviews.
Loss and Damage: Place the Warsaw Implementation Mechanism under joint oversight of the UN climate convention (COP) and Paris Agreement (CMA). Establish Loss and Damage as a permanent standalone agenda item under the UNFCCC and appoint a special COP26 loss and damage envoy to mobilize and enhance political will. Call for adequate loss and damage financing to be provided. Provide operational technical assistance to developing countries through the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage.
Finance: Deliver the twice promised commitment to provide at least $100bn per year by 2020. Commission synthesis reports on delivery of finance to 2020 commit to enhancing transparency and accountability in relation to climate finance and establish a process to identify and negate problems faced in access. Commit to increasing provision of grants rather than loan. Commit to scaling up annual financing in the period 2020-25 with a minimum of $100bn per year, including through a clear delivery plan for the period. Agree to initiate negotiations on a new higher global finance goal for 2025 onwards as mandated in the Paris Agreement. Acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 and other factors pass a resolution calling on Parties to provide additional liquidity to developing countries in forms that include Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and debt relief.
The political leaders from rich countries, particularly the top emitters acts in accordance with the capital’s economic imperatives in the negotiations to serve their only own interest and protect their system to become more powerful. They must shift their mindset. The world expects most powerful response from top emitters to looming climate catastrophe. They must respond in accordance with the people’s expectations in COP26.