Climate Summit Day 2: Glasgow gets three global compacts off the ground
On the second day of the Glasgow Climate Summit (COP26), the ‘global commitment’ to save the planet begins to transform promises into (timid) agreements. East Tuesday, shortly after the official start of the COP26 negotiations, governments around the world have taken the opportunity to submit various international commitments to tackle some of the causes and consequences most worrisome of the climate crisis. In just a few hours, at least three international pacts on sustainability and the environment have been presented.
First; with the ‘global promise on methane‘103 countries (responsible for 46% of global emissions of this gas) commit to reduce your pollution levels by at least 30% before 2030. Second; More than 100 countries, whose territories are home to more than 85% of the planet’s forests, have launched a plan to curb and reverse deforestation before the decade is out. And third; the launch of the ‘Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda‘supposes the commitment of 40 governments, Spain included, to accelerate the deployment of “zero emission solutionss “in some of the most polluting sectors; the methane, steel, transportation, energy and hydrogen industries.
The presentation of these agreements, far from being read as a victory, represents a step forward in the governments’ commitment to open the debate in all these areas. But it is not a definitive roadmap to eradicate problems. Ecological experts and entities, in fact, are skeptical of the light and shadow of the commitments and ask for greater clarity in the landing of these pacts.
Global agreement to reduce methane
The global agreement to limit the global emission of methane, signed by a hundred countries, aims to reduce the impact of one of the most powerful greenhouse gases in warming the planet. The pact, in fact, raises reduce its impact by 30% by 2030 by applying technical solutions, such as the use of supplements for feeding farm animals.
Several environmental platforms have dismissed this agreement as a “lost opportunity” to cut the emissions of this gas in the agricultural sector, which stands out as the most polluting. They also make the oil and gas industry They have not taken a step forward to reduce their methane emissions despite the fact that low-cost solutions could be applied in precisely these sectors. Finally, the big complaint about this deal has to do with coal. “The countries responsible for the main methane emissions from coal mines, such as China, Rusia, Australia and India have not signed the commitment “, highlight a analysis of the environmental platform Ember.
“It is encouraging that governments have promised to act on methane, but it’s disappointing that they ignore the biggest polluters: the meat and dairy industry. It is not about individual farmers, but about regulating an industry dominated by a handful of multibillion dollar companies that do practically nothing to reduce their methane emissions, “he says. Nusa Urbancic, from the Changing Markets Foundation.
“The global commitment on methane is a big step in the right direction, but it falls short in terms of reducing emissions. It is possible to reduce emissions from agriculture significantly and profitably, but governments must use all tools available to achieve this, including promoting a shift towards healthier diets with less meat and higher-quality dairy products, “adds Robert W. Howarth, professor of ecology and environmental biology at Cornell University, United States.
Halt and reverse deforestation
a hundred of countries, home to 85% of the world’s forests, have launched a global commitment to curb and reverse deforestation by 2030. The agreement provides for the deployment of unprecedented financing in the coming years for the development of environmental policies. Governments have pledged a total of 12,000 million dollars (equivalent to 10,340 million euros) and private initiatives, for their part, have pledged to add 7,200 million more dollars (6,200 million euros).
The commitment has already been signed by Colombia, Indonesia, Norway, Australia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, Russia, Turkey, Uruguay, the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain, among others. . Experts and environmental organizations applaud with special fervor that the initiative has the voice and the support of native peoples and indigenous populations. “The fact that indigenous peoples are finally being recognized as key protectors of forests is especially positive,” he says. Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Sciences, University College London.
Pact on polluting sectors
The presentation of the initiative ‘Glasgow Breakthrough Agenda’ it represents the promise of more than 40 countries to try to tackle emissions in some of the world’s most polluting industries: steel, hydrogen, energy and transportation. This pact, promoted by 40 governments, is presented as a promise to “expand the implementation of climate policies.” In practice, this agenda puts on the table a series of initiatives that countries can choose whether to sign or not when they reformulate their plans to deal with the climate crisis. But does not imply a firm commitment in any of these areas.
The pact breaks down several commitments for 2030: make clean energy the most affordable and reliable option in the world, make zero-emission vehicles the “new norm”; promote near-zero carbon steel production; and increase the availability of “affordable, renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.” Both experts and environmental platforms praise these commitments but, in turn, ask that they be transformed into concrete policies immediately and apply as soon as possible. Only in this way will it be possible to stop the global increase in emissions and, in turn, the advance of global warming.