The climate is progressing, just not fast enough ( News Washington )


This year’s United Nations climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt — COP27, the latest in a series dating back to 1995 — achieved two key victories.

The first deal was a tough one to begin compensating poorer countries for years of greenhouse gas emissions from rich countries, which the US had long resisted. The ethical question of “harm and harm” has never been in dispute. Many countries can now stop nearly all of their carbon emissions if climate change is tackled. Poorer countries should bear the consequences of generous aid. But it is crucial to cut new resources in ways that support future releases.

The principle of disproportionate responsibility recognized at COP27 can and should restrain wealthy governments in broadening their approaches to the problem — for example, by encouraging the role of multilateral banks in climate-related investment.

While many COP27 observers praised the agreement, others focused on the failure of nations to pledge swift action to end global warming. More was better, of course, when the world is still on course for devastating levels of warming. But it is very important to make progress — and it suggests that the kind of coordinated action needed to prevent worst-case climate scenarios is still possible.

The second victory at COP27 was not a formal agreement between nations, but rather a growing acceptance by them of a big idea – the battle against climate change cannot be won without a much stronger mobilization of private capital – and an ever-growing will to act. upon her

As the meeting took place, a group of countries led by the US and Japan announced a $20 billion financing package to support Indonesia’s plan to transition from coal to renewables. This deal was a breakthrough, not only because it was one of the largest climate finance packages ever assembled, but because it was in partnership with a nation that holds vast coal deposits and generates 60% of its energy from coal.

The agreement would not have been made without the leaders of Indonesia and the G-7 countries, together with Mark Carney and Maria Schapiro of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a group Carney and I co-chair that includes many of the world’s largest financial institutions. and asset managers. And the model makes it possible to help other countries that depend heavily on coal make the transition to clean energy—a transition that won’t happen through government actions alone.

At COP27, Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropy announced various efforts to increase private-sector investment in clean energy, especially in the developing world. That includes a new data gateway that will give companies the information they need to meet their zero-net pledges – and disclose the information they need to hold to make the plan.

Many countries have committed to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. If all governments committed themselves and kept their promises, the goal adopted in Paris in 2015 to limit future warming to 1.5% would be reached. But many of the big broadcasters are still not on board, and those who have made no network commitments have yet to fully deliver on their promises. Making change possible, just by writing to the private sector, a mission that was barely on the agenda in Paris in 2015, but can now emerge front and center.

At COP27, governments “revised and reaffirmed the 2030 targets in national plans by the end of 2023, as well as accelerating efforts to develop renewable energy sources and to phase out fossil fuel resources.” These are criticisms, but actions are things, not words, and actions still fail.

The world should invest more ambitiously in renewables and other technologies, phase out fossil fuels faster, improve the coordination of such efforts, and price carbon emissions to reflect environmental damage. There is nothing else to tirelessly press the cause to such a degree, and recruit a private partner in action.

An energy transition as dramatic as that dictated by global warming is a huge undertaking. It cannot be done simultaneously and requires cooperation between all the world’s governments – and private individuals as well. COP27 shows that progress is possible.

Investments are being made in the future of the planet. With more investment — much more — climate disaster can still be avoided.

Michael R. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, UN High Commissioner for Climate Action and Solutions, and chair of the Defense Innovation Board.

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