Ν. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column
Last year at the Glasgow summit it was agreed that each year must tighten up its national climate plans, otherwise the solemn promise to limit warming to 1,5 degrees Celsius would no longer be feasible. It is clear that in Egypt, the 1,5 degree has been buried. ‘The planet is in extensive care’, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the end of the disappointing 27th UN Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The world did not make any progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at this summit.
However, a fund will be set up to help the most vulnerable countries with climate damage. ‘Such a fund is essential’, said. But Guterres added that it is not an answer to ‘the climate crisis that could wipe small island states off the map or turn an entire Africa country into a dessert’. Also, the question is whether the fund will not become an empty box. It has been, indeed, agreed in principle, but what the fund will look like, how much money will come in, who will contribute to it and who can enjoy it: these are all questions that still need to be clarified. It is not the first time that financial promises have not been fulfilled. In 2009, the rich countries pledge to raise $100 billion each year in a climate fund to help poor countries better protect themselves against the effects of global warming. That fund is still not fully paid up.
But don’t worry too much, without any doubt, there will be a 28th UN Climate Summit. And again thousands of ministers, parliamentarians and other politicians, television-, radio- and other journalists, all kind of scientists and not to forget environmentalists will take the plane to meet each other…