Almost 200 countries have spent two weeks negotiating what needs to be done to slow down global warming. In the end, a compensation fund for the countries affected by climate change was decided. Too little?

The climate researcher and meteorologist Mojib Latif from GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel says why he considers such world climate conferences to be of little use. Instead, he proposes an “alliance of the willing” that could make a larger, more sustainable contribution to climate protection.

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Did the COP 27 climate conference achieve anything?

Mojib Latif: No, at least not for climate protection. She did something for an aid fund that the industrialized countries are supposed to fill up so that the developing countries can pay for damage, under the keyword “loss and damage”. But nothing has come of it for climate protection. They haven’t even managed to make a statement saying goodbye to fossil fuels.

Demonstrators at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.  (Photo: picture-alliance / Report Services, Picture Alliance / TT NYHETSBYR?N | Henrik Montgomery/TT)

Major joint resolutions for climate protection could not be initiated at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. However, a compensation fund was decided for the countries affected by climate change.

Picture Alliance / TT NYHETSBYR?N | Henrik Montgomery/TT

You say climate conferences are no longer needed. What do you suggest instead?

Mojib Latif: Yes, I have been of the opinion for many years that these climate conferences are simply not effective. After all, we have to see that the emission of greenhouse gases worldwide, and that’s the only thing that counts, is still increasing.

I suggest that there must be a smaller group. You can think of different formats. So either that the G20 come together, i.e. the 20 largest industrialized nations. They already account for 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. You would at least have a smaller group and could perhaps think about how to find common business models and, above all, ensure that emissions decrease.

Or one can also consider that there is an “alliance of the willing”. So that means that the countries that should really do something, like Germany, go ahead and open their own economic area and then try to get as many countries as possible to join this club. Because this economic area will also ensure that products that are not manufactured sustainably, for example if the electricity mix is ​​very dependent on coal, cannot easily come onto our market.

Such a “coalition of the willing” has always been considered to some extent in recent years. The EU has also recently pushed ahead with relatively ambitious goals.

What are the chances that such a “coalition of the willing” could really emerge?

Mojib Latif: I think there are good chances. The chancellor suggested that too. He calls it the “climate club”. And the EU itself is actually a good example, even if a lot more could have been done. And we can see that more and more countries also want to join the EU, “despite climate protection”. And that would be my hope, if you now get the USA, if you get Canada, other countries like Australia and so on, that more and more countries want to join this “alliance of the willing”.

What would be meaningful goals of such an “alliance of the willing”?

Mojib Latif: Also, in any case they must achieve that they are really climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest. This means that if they then emit greenhouse gases, they can be extracted in other ways, for example by planting trees or perhaps using technical means. You have to see that then. We’re talking about net zero. That is, so to speak, the goal that this “alliance of the willing” must have. And it would be important for all countries to join this alliance. So if, for example, a country like China does not join, which accounts for almost a third of global emissions, then of course we will set the climate targets, whatever they are, whether they are 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees, then we will definitely exceed them.

Poster of the global climate strike (Photo: IMAGO, IMAGO / Müller-Stauffenberg)

Greenhouse gas emissions must be net zero by 2050, and all countries should work together to achieve this.

IMAGO / Müller-Stauffenberg

Could the 1.5 degree target still be reached if countries like China don’t go along with it? Or has the train long since left?

Mojib Latif: The train left. There is a CO2 budget, that is, a certain amount of CO2 that the world is allowed to emit until it breaks the 1.5 degree mark. If we were to stick with today’s emissions, we would have broken that mark in about ten years, or maybe even less than ten years. And we cannot assume that in ten years the world will suddenly be climate-neutral. In this respect, we should now concentrate on not breaking at least the 2 degrees. That’s going to be hard enough. At the moment we are on course 2.5 to 3 degrees.

What needs to be done most urgently so that we only end up with two degrees?

Mojib Latif: A global energy transition is needed. So we in Germany have already started. After all, we now have almost 50 percent renewables in the electricity mix. When it comes to heat and traffic, things are still looking pretty bad. That means overall, when we talk about energy, we’re just about 20 percent. And other countries would have to follow suit. And we have to try to develop business models.

Participants in a demonstration at the UN climate summit COP27 hold placards and advocate the 1.5 degree target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  (Photo: picture-alliance / report services, picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau)

Participants in a demonstration at the UN climate summit COP27 hold placards and advocate the 1.5 degree target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

I am thinking, for example, of Saudi Arabia. This is one of the blocker countries. Saudi Arabia lives off oil, that’s their national wealth. And they have absolutely no interest in the fact that they can no longer sell their oil. That’s why they actually block everything at the conferences. And you have to see that you also show understanding and, for example, develop good models for green hydrogen, because Saudi Arabia not only has oil, they also have an abundance of renewable energy. So that both benefit from it, both we in Germany and the Saudis, and that the emissions actually drop significantly.

Source: swr

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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