The Climate Summit is over and the outcome is as expected disappointing but also realistic. Now it is more about adapting to dangerous climate changes than about dramatic cuts in emissions.
The Climate Summit has ended in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. One The final declaration has been signed Almost two days of overtime.
The statement is disturbing and encouraging at the same time.
It basically says two things: It seems increasingly unlikely that the world will be able to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees. And that it is now more about adapting to the new climate and daily life with harsh weather.
By, among other things, paying for the climate damage that affects the most vulnerable.
The good news first: the nearly 200 countries at the summit reached a “historic agreement”. A Loss and Damage Fund will be established for vulnerable countries most affected by climate damage.
Such a cash fund has been discussed at these climate summits for a decade. Therefore, making a final decision on compensating the hardest hit countries for unavoidable losses is a huge step forward.
For example, it is not possible for an island country like the Maldives to prevent climate damage from rising sea levels. Or that Pakistan build bridges high enough to limit damage from flash floods caused by melting glaciers.
So the initiative is good. But the order is not clear.
It is not specified how big the fund will be, who will pay the amount, and how the money will be distributed. And not least, what percentage of the damages can be compensated for.
The bad news from Sharm el-Sheikh is that it is becoming more opaque how to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Thus avoiding an increase of more than 1.5 degrees.
There has been no closer agreement on cutting fossil fuel production or phasing out coal. The latter is the biggest polluter, but coal use increased in the wake of the energy crisis in Europe.
The establishment of a monetary fund to compensate for climate damage is necessary and right. But it is a treatment for some symptoms and not for the disease itself.
The disease is the depletion of natural resources and the increase in greenhouse gas emissions instead of a decrease in them. This disease may seem incurable.
But it is not. The hope is that next year the world can come together again and move a few more small steps in the right direction.
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