December 3, 2021
UN climate boss: 'Good compromise' beats no deal on warming

UN climate boss: ‘Good compromise’ beats no deal on warming

GLASGOW, Scotland — It was no deal or a lump of coal at Glasgow climate talks and for Patricia Espinosa, the United Nations’ climate secretary, there was no alternative.

“No deal was the worst possible result there. Nobody wins,” Espinosa stated in an interview with The Related Press Sunday, about 15 hours after practically 200 nations agreed on what’s now being referred to as the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The world bought a climate deal that exterior consultants stated confirmed progress, however not success. It didn’t obtain any of the three U.N. objectives: Pledges that may lower world carbon dioxide emissions by about half, $100 billion in yearly climate help from wealthy international locations to poor ones and half that cash going to assist the creating world adapt to the harms of a warming world.

Much more disappointing, a giant world economic system — India — which is already seeing droughts and excessive warmth from international warming was the nation that watered down the ultimate Glasgow deal.

“I am satisfied,” Espinosa stated. “I think this is a very positive result in the sense that it gives us a very clear guidance on what we need to do in the coming years.”

One climate deal itself will not do the trick to restrict warming to 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial occasions, the U.N.’s overarching purpose, Espinosa stated. However she stated it units the stage, making a carbon market, permitting more cash to circulate from wealthy to poor nations, even when poor nations have been unhappy and stated it is not sufficient.

“It doesn’t fully satisfy everyone,” she stated. “But it brings us forward. It’s a good compromise.”

Compromise was important when a final minute proposal virtually killed her attainable deal.

India, the third-largest carbon-polluting nation whose growth is coal-centric stated it couldn’t stay with historic language calling for a section out of coal and an finish to fossil gas subsidies. For most of the international locations, particularly small island nations going through threats from rising seas, ending coal was key in lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions and attempting to maintain warming to a degree that may permit their nations to stay. Many international locations have been telling Espinosa and convention president Alok Sharma that the coal phase-out language “has to be in there.”

However no deal or a deal with out India was unacceptable.

A sequence of small negotiations erupted. Many on digicam, which Espinosa stated was essential for the world. Small island nations bought consulted. They didn’t prefer it, however they like Espinosa, and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry stated had no alternative. India would have most well-liked no coal language in any respect, Espinosa stated. As a substitute India proposed “phased out” change into “phase down” and nation after nation stated they hated the concept, however accepted it.

“I think it’s a clear example of a compromise,” Espinosa stated.

Is it blackmail?

“Some people see it like this, but I would say this is really the essence of multilateral negotiation,” the veteran Mexican diplomat stated. “Everybody comes to the table with some specific concerns, puts it on the table and is participating in good faith.”

The way in which Espinosa sees it, the truth that India needed to make the change was as a result of the negotiations pushed and pushed India to do extra. If talks hadn’t been pushing for extra change, there wouldn’t have been the drama, she stated.

Nonetheless, it’s not what Espinosa wished.

“We would have preferred a very clear statement about a phasing out of coal and (the) elimination of fossil fuel subsidies,” Espinosa stated, however she understands India’s wants.

And even the phrase “phase down” could imply greater than what it appears Espinosa stated: “When you say phase down you’re not saying what is the limit and therefore zero can be the limit.”

However by some means it wasn’t probably the most tense second of the two-week climate negotiations for Espinosa. That got here Friday, the ostensible final day.

“I was worried,” Espinosa stated. “I was looking at the at the clock and I was thinking, ’OK, how can we make this still work if the text does not receive broad support?”

Ultimately, a day later, a hold-your-nose deal to many countries due to the coal controversy was struck.

Espinosa then requested her employees to expire and get some celebratory sushi and wine.

“We had this very short toast and they we had to leave, because the premises were going to shut down,” she laughed.

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Observe all AP tales on climate change at https://apnews.com/hub/climate.

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