Why Glasgow is drawing parallels to Copenhagen

Delegates show up to intense sunlight on Energy Day at the COP26 environment top at the SEC on November 04, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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GLASGOW, Scotland — U.N.-brokered environment talks in Scotland’s biggest city have actually been compared to a top kept in Copenhagen over a years ago that ended in chaos. It is a bleak early evaluation of among the most essential diplomatic conferences in history.

World leaders and delegates representing practically every nation have actually assembled in Glasgow, U.K., for talks focused on bringing environment modification under control.

Less than a week into the conference, called COP26, and the state of mind is combined. There have actually been favorable advancements, such as promises to end and reverse logging, an offer to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030 and brand-new dedications to phase out coal power.

Ultimately, nevertheless, the success of the top will be evaluated on whether nations and business can keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius objective alive. This seriously essential temperature level limit describes the aspirational target of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

Experts state it is hard to see how COP26 can guide the world towards 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Crossovers in between COP15 and COP26?

Asad Rehman, a representative for the COP26 union, a U.K.-based civil society that represents native neighborhoods, frontline activists and grassroots projects from the worldwide south, informed CNBC that he had actually been struck by the contrasts in between the conference in Glasgow and previous talks in Copenhagen.

The 2009 top in Denmark’s capital city is commonly considered as a failure, with an offer lots of nations slammed for disappointing the action required to take on the environment crisis.

“There are, of course, already parallels in that it is a cold, wet northern European city,” Rehman stated. “But there are also the more important comparisons.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) works out with president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso (L), Sweden’s prime minister and standing president of the European Council, Fredrik Reinfeldt, (R), French President Nicolas Sarkozy, United States President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown throughout the last night of the UN Climate Change Summit on December 18, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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As with COP26 in Glasgow, Rehman stated talks in Copenhagen were billed as humankind’s last and finest possibility to avoid the worst of what the environment crisis had in shop. Both tops were “hugely expensive” for the worldwide south, he included, with an absence of budget friendly lodging and civil society groups “locked out” of settlements.

The U.K. COP26 presidency had actually promised to make the Glasgow top “the most inclusive COP ever” and turned down calls from advocates for the occasion to be held off once again. Instead, the U.K. federal government stated they would carry out extra steps to ease issues about security and inclusivity at the occasion amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Rehman kept in mind the conferences in both Copenhagen and Glasgow were preceded by a modification in U.S. management in which the freshly chosen president revealed America was “back at the table” to lead on environment. There were resemblances too, he stated, in how previous President Barack Obama guided the U.S. back into the Kyoto Protocol and President Joe Biden brought the nation back into the landmark Paris Agreement.

At COP15 in 2009, when talks were fixated restricting worldwide heating to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the chair of the G-77 group of establishing countries turned down the propositions advanced by high-income countries, comparing the terms to a “suicide pact.”

In 2021, policymakers and ecological activists representing individuals most threatened by environment modification released a rallying cry for the world not to jeopardize on 1.5 degrees Celsius, cautioning that exceeding this level belonged to “a death sentence” for lots of nations.

It remained in Denmark 12 years ago that high-income nations promised to offer $100 billion a year to low-income nations by 2020, a pledge that stays unsatisfied in Glasgow. What’s more, Rehman stated both Polices happened after recessions in which abundant nations “poured trillions into saving their economies,” describing the 2008 monetary crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.

“I just find it a really uncanny moment in terms of the politics, the organizational ineptitude and, of course, the context in which it takes place,” Rehman stated. One essential distinction in between COP15 and COP26, he included, was that a brand-new generation of environment justice motions in the worldwide north now had a lot more understanding of the systemic reasons for the crisis. “It is a deeper awareness of the kind of demands that are needed,” he stated.

‘One extremely substantial parallel’

Jason Hickel, a financial anthropologist and checking out senior fellow at the London School of Economics, informed CNBC that he might likewise see the resemblances in between the Glasgow and Copenhagen Polices.

“To me, this is really problematic,” Hickel stated, keeping in mind the sense of disappointment amongst advocates that the Glasgow top has actually been especially exclusionary.

“I think that we have to have caution with any excitement about what leaders are saying on stage at this COP because its easy to say things. As far as I’m concerned, if they were serious then they would make sure that they have their critics in these spaces to challenge and hold them accountable – and I don’t see that happening,” Hickel stated.

“These COPs have become like PR spin games,” he included.

Not everybody believes that the Glasgow top postures a striking similarity to the Copenhagen conference, and some have actually revealed optimism about the environment conversations.

“I see one parallel, one very significant parallel, which is really serious, and that is the same bad quality of coffee — but that’s the only one,” stated Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and among the world’s most prominent Earth researchers.

A lesson from the failure at Copenhagen, Rockstrom stated, was for host nations to make sure that they offer a comfy setting to delegations from all over the world. “I feel Glasgow has not really taken that on seriously enough,” he stated.

“The rest I totally disagree with … In Copenhagen, it was perceived as a big environmental problem that needed to be solved. Period.”

“What made us succeed in Paris was that it was no longer an environmental problem that needed to be solved, it was a major systemic challenge for the world economy, meaning that businesses were there, and cities were there to play ball,” he continued. “And then you come to Glasgow and we are even further down that line. Now we are so far down that line that I can assure you the discussions here in Glasgow are not whether we have a problem, it is not whether or not we will solve this problem, it is whether or not we will go fast enough.”

“The question is now is well beyond the discussions in Copenhagen … and so I see very few analogies to go on,” Rockstrom stated.

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Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, informed CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on Thursday that she had actually been “really encouraged” by the development made in Glasgow up until now.

“Of course, we’re coming to this conference with the clear message that the numbers we have in terms of emissions are not good,” Espinosa stated. “So, that means that we really must come out of here with clarity on how we are going to move forward.”

Speaking to CNBC previously today, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin stated he was positive on the development made in Glasgow up until now. “I think there’s a real strong sense of momentum here in relation to the whole agenda around climate change,” Martin informed CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on Tuesday.

“With the major commitments made by individual countries but also collectively, the tone was very strong yesterday at the opening,” he stated. Nonetheless, Martin stated there would require to be more development made in the arena of environment financing. “[We need to see] concrete reality to the pledges around finance,” he stated.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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