COP26: DAY 3

Conclusions: Deforestation, Biden criticizes Xi and Putin, a deal on methane and a deal on steel

The great promise to end deforestation by 2030, announced by more than 100 countries on Monday, began to take on a clearer form when several governments announced concrete commitments.

The EU has pledged € 1 billion ($ 1.1 billion) to help protect the world’s forests over the next five years, a quarter of which will be set aside for the Congo Basin Commitment, a fund established to protect the second largest rainforest in the world against threats from industrial logging and mining.

The UK said it would commit £ 1.5 billion ($ 2 billion) over five years, including £ 350 million ($ 475 million) for tropical forests in Indonesia and up to £ 300 million ($ 408 million) earmarked for the Amazon.
Biden pledged $ 9 billion on behalf of the United States through 2030 to conserve and restore its forests.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that around 100 parties have signed a global commitment to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. Reducing methane emissions “will immediately slow change. climate”.
Methane, which is the main component of natural gas, is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. Invisible and odourless, it has 80 times more short-term heating power than carbon dioxide. Energetic and swift action to reduce methane emissions offers a variety of benefits, from limiting short-term warming and curbing air pollution to improving food safety and public health.

US President Joe Biden said the push to cut methane emissions is both an economic and an environmental opportunity.
“This is a huge opportunity for all of us to create jobs and make meaningful climate targets a critical part of our global economic recovery.”

US President Joe Biden criticized China and Russia for not doing more to address the climate crisis, questioning the global leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping: “The fact that China is trying to assert a new role in the world, as a world leader, don’t you show up? Come on, “he told reporters. “The most important thing that has caught the world’s attention is the climate.”
“The rest of the world will look at China and say, ‘What added value are they bringing?’ And they have lost the ability to influence people around the world and everyone here at the COP, in the same way, that I would argue concerning Russia. “

China’s special envoy for climate change, Xie Zhenhua, said on Tuesday that his country “was not resisting” the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. China has been reluctant to commit strictly to the 1.5-degree figure, preferring to say that it will commit to keeping warming “below 2 degrees and as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.” China is the world’s biggest polluter, so your support for the goal is vital.
He criticized the West for “failing to meet” its commitment to provide $ 100 billion annual climate finance for developing countries by having to wait until 2022 or even 2023 to reach that pre-2020 target.

South Africa’s Plan for Coal Transition: The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and the European Union have announced that they will help finance South Africa’s transition to coal use.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the initial $ 8.5 billion partnership would help South Africa decarbonize its coal-intensive energy system. Details of the financing have yet to be announced.

Climate scientists and some diplomats say the South African deal could pave the way for similar deals with other high-polluter developing countries, a critical step in containing global warming and avoiding a climate catastrophe.

A steel deal: More than 40 countries, including the UK, US, India and China, and the EU, have endorsed the first international commitment to achieve “net-zero” emissions steel production by 2030. The steel industry is one of the world’s leading producers of carbon dioxide. It is also one of the most challenging industries to decarbonize because the alternatives to the coal needed to produce it are not yet widely available.
Roz Bulleid, Green Alliance deputy policy director, said green steel technology is key to achieving 1.5 grades.

Vulnerable countries call for help: The Forum Vulnerable to Climate (CVF), a group that unites the 48 countries most at risk of climate change, called a meeting at COP26 on Tuesday, calling on the rich world to help them transition to green economies and deal with the impacts of increased temperatures.

CVF’s Ambassador and former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed urged countries big and small to stick together and “not give up.”
While their countries are among the least polluting in the world, they are on the front lines of the climate crisis.
The IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) shows that Africa is warming faster than any continent in the world, despite being the least emitting.

From Claudia Moray at COP26 in Glasgow, UK

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