By Huck Fairman
Last Saturday night, the Glasgow Climate Accord was signed.
Like the climate crisis itself, it came down to the wire.
The question remains: will we do enough, fast enough, to survive?
For a start, the Climate Pact calls for mobilization and bold climate action.
What that means is that nations now have roadmaps for what they need to do to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees. This includes both plans and action.
A large, and uncertain, part of that is providing money for poorer nations to
protect and rebuild. So far, the money allotted is “woefully inadequate.”
But the U.S. and other nations did promise substantial financing and restraints
to deal with the crisis. They include:
To fight against climate change:
– End deforestation. More than 100 world leaders, covering about 85% of the world’s forests, have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.
– Stop financing fossil fuel projects. The U.S. and 20 other countries will stop spending $18 billion a year supporting international fossil fuel projects and direct the funds toward clean energy projects in developing countries.
– End support for overseas coal projects. The world’s 20 biggest economies agreed to end public financing of overseas coal projects. Without government assistance, these investments become less attractive to private investors.
– Eighteen nations agree to phase out coal by 2031. Eighteen countries, including Poland, Vietnam and Chile, committed to phase out coal by 2031.
– Nations will reduce methane emissions. Methane/natural gas was addressed for the first time at a COP. One hundred countries promised to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030, and the U.S. pledged a 30% reduction by 2050.
– Acknowledge and promote human rights, particularly in relation to climate, but also gender equality and empowerment of women, again with an eye toward climate policy.
– While the Climate Pact falls short in climate action and social justice, it is an essential step which must lead to the next phase. Majority populations here and in other nations support taking these necessary actions. Next year’s conference will be held in Egypt. The seriousness of the crisis will be, most likely, even more evident. Will the political support to act have also continued to grow?