Each country needs to do more to align its 2030 climate targets with the 2015 Paris Agreement. This call is contained in the first draft of the agreement to be concluded at the Glasgow climate summit.
The draft was drawn up by the United Kingdom, the country holding the presidency of the summit. The document urges countries to strengthen their climate targets by the end of 2022. In order to stay on the ‘path’ to maximum warming of 1.5 degrees, global CO2 emissions must already be 45 percent lower by 2030 than in 2010.
It is striking that the draft statement also calls for the phasing out of coal and subsidies for all fossil fuels. While the transition to green energy is essential to stop global warming, fossil fuels were not explicitly mentioned at previous climate summits. The Paris climate agreement does not mention this either, because it is politically sensitive in many countries.
More than twenty countries, including the United States and Germany, already agreed on the sidelines of the Glasgow climate summit to stop foreign investment in fossil fuels. This is perhaps the biggest breakthrough of the summit so far, even though several major investors have not yet signed.
More than twenty countries, including the United States and Germany, already agreed on the sidelines of the Glasgow climate summit to stop foreign investment in fossil fuels. Germany has also committed to its own adaptation programs in the meantime.
The European Union has in 2015 slashed its carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, through “a combination of new commitments of public sector, private and individual investors – on both financial and environmental aspects. Investment here is important, but it takes a lot of investment from other countries in terms of the use of their resources. It is much easier to go in the same direction after a significant decline in carbon dioxide pollution then in 2015 when they did not have the same commitment to this,” said Frasier, who is a visiting professor at the University of Glasgow and director of an international climate science project.
France will join at least two other member states as a major contributor to clean energy in 2015. As reported in the Financial Times on 16 October, the U.S. will join in 2014. “It is already the main power producer, the main producer of fossil fuels,” Frasier said. This may put pressure on European manufacturers to lower their products and services prices, and may also mean new coal plants are built, Frasier explained.
In the draft agreement “concern and concern” is expressed about global warming, now by 1.1 degrees. The impact of climate change is felt in every region ‘and the remaining’ carbon budget ‘of the world’ is consumed at lightning speed’, says the text.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to Glasgow on Wednesday to continue negotiations between nearly 200 countries. The negotiators have to “pull out all the stops” to keep the 1.5 degree target within reach, he says.
The Climate Summit in Glasgow will last until the end of the week. A final text will probably be published next weekend.