The Glasgow climate meeting, COP26, has been going on for over a week, and on Wednesday came the first draft of the agreement that the entire meeting is expected to produce. Environment and Climate Minister Per Polund (MP) believes that the British have so far succeeded in raising difficult issues, such as that investments in coal are not in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees.
We’ve seen important steps forward, like the G-20 countries saying they should stop subsidizing coal investment and China, which says at least they should stop investing abroad. But it is now important to protect the level of ambition and make sure it is also included in the final texts, he told the GP Minister, at the same time he was rushing between two different halls of the great central conference facility in Glasgow.
100 billion is not enough
Over the past week and the beginning of this week, technical details were worked out, but this week, environment ministers like Poland came to focus on political issues.
His main task is to negotiate climate finance. So it’s about promising that richer countries will support poor countries with $100 billion a year starting in 2023. He may have a long night ahead.
Money laundering should have already taken place last year, and the draft now submitted states that $100 billion in support will not be enough for developing countries – and that the pandemic has heightened the need for support. But Bear Poland is optimistic.
Climate finance is key to unlocking many other areas in which we need to take major steps forward.
He believes the Paris rulebook, which will govern how the six-year-old agreement is implemented, will be able to reach its target before the meeting in Glasgow ends.
– I hope we can take the necessary steps, says Per Polund, and imagines that the focus can then shift to implementing emissions reductions.
Per Bollund and the Swedish delegation’s deputy chief negotiator, Christopher Nilsson, argue that the report from the UN Climate Committee (IPCC), released in late summer, corrected a number of question marks and thus facilitated negotiations – and thus the preparation of the draft.
– Perhaps I think they are balanced texts with many good parts that indicate ambition. But there are certainly things you want more clear, says Christopher Nelson, adding that he would have liked to see a clearer plan for how and when to review states’ goals in the future.
“Do not go” to the oil countries
The project calls on countries to accelerate the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. But Christopher Nelson is unsure whether he will stay until the final agreement.
– It’s something Sweden is testing, partly through the EU and partly in other negotiating groups, how this can remain. But then it’s important to also be realistic and realize that some oil-producing countries see this as “not going,” he says.
Now the phrasing, the choice of words, and the details will be shocked and overwhelmed at the ministerial level. The hope is to come up with something that all 200 participating countries can represent.
Some previous climate meetings were seen as successes, such as the Paris meeting and its agreement, while others, such as the failed Copenhagen meeting in 2009, are now seen as failures.
Christopher Nelson moves slightly to the side to make way for American bodyguards who appear in the white lanes a few meters before climate envoy John Kerry from the United States. A country that was once seen as a brake pad in Copenhagen.
What are the prospects for this meeting?
– If you continue in the same spirit, I see before me that we are making a decision. Then with the rulebook, I think we’ll be able to land something. But it’s too early to say before tough political problems are resolved, says Christopher Nelson.
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