Yesterday, the United Nations published an analysis of 100+ countries’ climate action plans as officially recorded and the picture produced can’t be described as just worrying or concerning. The only word is appalling. The NDC Synthesis report finds that although there’s a slow downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions, these will get nowhere near the Paris Agreement’s goal and, despairingly, although global carbon emissions need to be cut by 45% by 2030 to avoid the worst impacts of hotter conditions by the end of the century, they are in fact set to rise by 16%.
The Synthesis Report, which can be read in full in English HERE, was compiled to assist the assessment of climate action progress ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November. Its backdrop, however, is the stark warning that emissions need to peak as early as possible before 2030 and developing countries must be supported in building their climate resilience. As the UN says, a pledge to mobilize USD 100bn annually by 2020 was key for enhancing climate action by developing countries. That commitment was made in the UNFCCC process more than 10 years ago: it is still unfulfilled.
It’s time to deliver, but that’s unlikely given the “back to normal” mentality of so many, and as Brexit has shown, the objection of the majority of the public at being inconvenienced even slightly, even when the clear result of their own behaviour and choices, will ensure that politicians do little other than continue to provide the required bread and circuses. Today, the Daily Mail is bemoaning the winter of considerable discontent that faces “bleak Britain”, blaming “a combination of Brexit, Covid, and gas prices”. Well, we have two of those in Spain too but we aren’t worried about Christmas, or going hungry. So it’s Brexit. And while such denial and blindness rule the roost even over an issue so immediate (at least in the UK), the climate isn’t going to get a look in.
As I posted in only the last few days, I’m still getting queries from people who want to fly betwteen the UK and Spain/Tenerife every six weeks or so. We have no hope while such selfish entitled arrogance is the norm … as it seems to be. An increase of 16% coming in emissions when we need a decrease of 45%. Grow up, or the results will be far bleaker than you can imagine. And Brexit’s consequences will look like a walk in the park in comparison.