THE central goal of climate policies is to reduce harmful emissions. Yet even with all of the international agreements of the last three decades – The UN Framework on Climate Change of 1992, the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, the Copenhagen accord of 2009, the Paris climate accord of 2015, 26 Conference of Parties, DECARBONISATION HAS REMAINED UNCHANGED.
The world is witnessing an alarming outbreak of weather disasters :
· Giant wildfires
· Deadly heatwaves
· Powerful hurricanes
· Unprecedented flooding
Despite the overwhelming current evidence, inaction abounds. There is no doubt that this is just the beginning of the grim toll that climate change will take in the years to come.
Countries rely on others to act. This is the road to nowhere. All of the agreements that countries have entered into are not binding. They have no teeth. There are no penalties.
There is a vast chasm between aspirations and effective policies.
BIDEN’S POWER TO CUT EMISSIONS LIMITED BY SUPREME COURT
America is a huge polluter. What goes on in the US affects us all.
19 largely Republican states brought a case against the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and won. The Supreme Court, in a landmark ruling, destroyed Biden’s aspirations to tackle the climate crisis. The 19 states are home to America’s largest coal companies. Their political and financial power is so strong that they derailed plans to do the right thing for the world. How sad. How corrupt. How damaging.
The US accounts for 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Biden had committed to reducing this by 52% by 2030. Fat chance of this happening now!
BAD NEWS EVERYWHERE
In the UK last month, the Forestry Commission said the government has ‘zero chance’ of reaching its tree planting targets.
At COP-26 last year 196 countries agreed to a deadline to submit detailed plans to reduce emissions. Only 11 countries complied. Talk is cheap ……action requires resolve.
Countries agreed to reduce the use of coal yet 34 countries are now considering new coal plants. India announced in April that it was increasing production of coal power and reopening 100 coal fired power plants.
Countries promised to stop deforestation by 2030. But in Brazil (home to more than half of the Amazon rainforest) deforestation is up 70% on last year.
Countries agreed a scheme to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
Last year, methane levels saw their biggest annual increase since records began.
Countries agreed to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. In 2021 they increased.
Wealthy nations agreed to provide $100 billion a year to help developing countries move away from fossil fuel dependency. It hasn’t happened.
Here in Spain and Portugal we are suffering the driest climate in 1200 years.
In Italy there is a declared state of emergency in five northern regions where they are said to be experiencing the worst drought in 70 years. The river Po valley which produces 40% of Italy’s rice and grain has not seen rain in four months.
How many more alarm bells need to ring before governments actually do the right thing?
Martin Tye is the owner of energy switch company Mariposa Energy. Contact him on +34 638145664 or email him at email@example.com