After fragile victory, politicians and environmentalists show disappointment with COP26

“I apologize for the way this process has unfolded. I also understand the profound disappointment,” said British COP President26 Alok Sharma during the closing of the climate conference last Saturday night (13). “It was a fragile victory”, he defined.

The feeling of frustration was shared by negotiators, observers and activists at the UN climate conference, whose final tension was marked by the dispute in which China and India managed to change the term “elimination” to “reduction” of coal.

“I am very disappointed that the text has been weakened, for me there is no scenario in which we stay at 1.5ºC if we do not eliminate coal,” Denmark’s Minister of Climate and Energy, Dan Jorgensen, told Folha .

How the mention of the elimination of fossil fuels was considered historic in a UN document, the victorious defense of its continuity set the tone for the disappointed statements of world leaders right after the final plenary.

Criticism also referred to the lack of new commitments by countries rich with climate finance and the insufficiency of global emission reduction targets — which still lead the world to a scenario of higher warming at 2.4ºC, while science points out as safe the limit of 1.5ºC.

“We are disappointed with the promise of US$ 100 billion (about R$ 197 million) outstanding and I appeal to all donors to make this a reality in the next year”, he said at the end of the COP26 the executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, the Mexican Patricia Espinosa.

The developed bloc had promised, in 2009, raise US$ 26 up to 2020 billion to finance climate action in developing countries, but the announcement in COP26 was that the value should only be completed in 2023.

“And all of us we know it’s not just about $100 billion. Therefore, it is essential to start the process for defining the new global finance goal as soon as possible,” Espinosa said.

The most vulnerable countries were also disappointed. Despite the final COP document26 recognize the current occurrence of extreme weather events that have the most impact on developing countries, there was no agreement for a loss compensation fund.

*)”We put our homes at risk as those who have options decide how quickly they want to help save those who don’t,” said the representative of the Maldives Islands at the final plenary of the COP13.

“It is no longer possible to measure the progress of the negotiation according to the ruler in the previous text. The only possible rule is that of IPCC science, and the COP26 does not reflect the urgency seen in the report by the UN Panel of Climate Scientists. I doubt that someone whose life and family is at risk on an island in the Pacific or in the Northeast of Brazil will be satisfied with the result”, said Marcio Astrini, executive secretary of the Climate Observatory, in a note released at the end of the conference. .

The United States climate envoy, John Kerry, stated at the end of the COP26 that Glasgow is not the line of arrival. “Those who thought it would be like that don’t understand the challenge we have. Paris built the arena and Glasgow starts the race,” said Kerry.

After two weeks of negotiations between diplomats from 197 countries, the COP 26 also managed to reach the conclusion of the rulebook of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change —which was signed on 545 and only now, fully regulated, can it move to the implementation phase.

“The final document of the COP26 is well structured around the objective of limiting warming to 1.5ºC and paves the way for its implementation, with the commitment of more substantial financing for adaptation and for the establishment of a carbon market”, said the president of the Talanoa Institute, Natalie Unterstell , which followed the negotiations of the COP26.

Target of an impasse that led to the failure of the COP, Article 6, which regulates a global carbon market, was resolved at the COP26, under pressure from the private sector. The system remunerates activities that generate the reduction of carbon emissions, through the sale of credits that work as licenses to emit.

“The path to further increase climate ambition also involves the use of instruments for market”, stated in a statement the CEBDS, Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Bringing together 26 the largest business groups in the country, the CEBDS has been defending the regulation of carbon credit trading at national and international levels.

“The absence of a regulated domestic market will generate losses and loss of international competitiveness for Brazilian companies”, points out the Council.

Journalist Ana Carolina Amaral traveled at the invitation of Instituto Clima e Sociedade.

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