1.5C temperature target to ‘sustain life’ after Cop27, says Sharma


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dated: 2022-11-20 10:31:34 .

Alok Sharma has warned that hopes of limiting global warming to 1.5C have been “revived” after negotiators at Egypt’s Cop27 reached a last-minute deal.

The British government’s representative at the conference and the outgoing Cop26 president criticized elements of the agreement in his speech at the final plenary session of the UN climate summit.

While he said the progress in terms of casualties and damage was “historic”, he warned that this was not a moment for “unreserved celebration”.

Officials and negotiators reached an agreement early Sunday morning to create a fund to compensate poor nations victimized by extreme weather exacerbated by carbon pollution in rich countries.

It’s a big win for poorer nations, which have long craved the money because they are often victims of floods, droughts, heat waves, famine and climate-related storms, despite contributing little to the pollution that warms the planet.

But Mr Sharma indicated that the deal did not go far enough as he said in the closing session: “Many of us have come here to secure the results we achieved in Glasgow and move on.

“In our attempts to do that, we’ve had some very challenging conversations over the past few days.

“Indeed, those of us who came to Egypt to keep 1.5 degrees alive and to honor what we all agreed in Glasgow have had to fight relentlessly to hold the line.

“We had to fight to build one of Glasgow’s most important achievements.”

Mr Sharma’s speech, delivered after what appeared to be a last-minute attempt at consensus, highlighted holes in the agreement.

“We have joined forces with many parties to propose a number of measures to help. Emissions that will peak before 2025, as science tells us, are necessary.

“Not in this text.

“Clear implementation of coal phase-out. Not in this text.

A clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels. Not in this text.

“And an energetic text, toned down, in the final minutes.”

He continued: “Friends, I said that in Glasgow the pulse is weak at 1.5 degrees.

“Unfortunately, it remains life support.

“And we all need to look in the mirror and think whether we have fully accepted that challenge in the last two weeks.”

The slogan ‘Keep 1.5 Alive’ dominated discussions at last year’s Glasgow summit as Mr Sharma and the UK focused efforts to limit global warming.

The target stems from the Paris Agreement, a global climate change agreement agreed in 2015, where there was strong and ultimately successful pressure from nations such as low-lying islands to include a 1.5 degree target in the agreement because they felt having to let temperatures go higher would threaten their survival .

Governments and experts will now examine what exactly the agreement means in the fight against climate change.

Labour’s Ed Miliband accused countries of “kicking the can” in Egypt as he criticized the “complete absence” of Rishi Sunak’s leadership at the summit.

The shadow climate change minister said: “Once again we are hearing the unmistakable sound of the can being kicked down the street to take the necessary action to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees – and as a result it is now under serious threat.

“Too many countries have clearly been resistant to what is being asked, including fossil fuels.”

Alok Sharma said the progress in loss and damage was “historic” but warned it was not a time for “unreserved celebration” (Yui Mok).

On Sunday morning, many activists welcomed progress on the Loss and Damage Fund, which under the agreement will initially collect contributions from developed countries and other private and public sources such as international financial institutions.

But warnings have come that time to curb global warming is running out.

Friends of the Earth international climate campaigner Rachel Kennerley said: “Rich countries must now support the establishment of this fund – and especially its funding – to ensure it reaches the frontline communities most affected by the climate crisis.

“Countries like the UK must now provide the necessary money and ensure that the system is not undermined by states trying to circumvent their obligations,” she said.

But she accused rich countries of also using the negotiations to “end their reliance on coal, oil and gas – instead of favoring dangerous and ineffective diversions such as offsetting instead of reducing emissions.”

Yeb Sano, who led the Greenpeace delegation to Copo, said the deal with the fund marked “a new dawn for climate justice”, adding that it proved “if we have long enough leverage, we can”. set the world in motion”.

Katie White, Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF, said: “While the Loss and Damage Financing Agreement is a positive development, it risks becoming a prelude to disaster unless emissions are urgently aligned with the 1.5 degree target. “


1.5C temperature target to ‘sustain life’ after Cop27, says Sharma

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