As COP27 opens in Egypt and famine sweeps through Somalia, a results-based approach to climate change must give way to the appearance of action.
Urgent reforms have long been postponed due to the “rules-based regime” used by governments around the world to deal with climate change. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is at the heart of it, but the frequency, extent and scale of the environmental impacts of climate change make it unfit for purpose. Thirty years ago, when the treaty was signed, it was not uncommon for repeated and prolonged droughts to turn once-thriving communities into fields of carcasses and corpses.
If the treaty aims to save lives by mitigating climate change, it can only do so by reducing what it calls “the complex structures of the body,” the most endangered It seems to weigh more as millions of people in the region face starvation deaths. A major Conference of the Parties (COP).
This is the fifth COP to be held in Africa. The location also provides an opportunity to revisit the economic principles underpinning or undermining the implementation of the Convention, particularly the 2015 Paris Agreement that took two decades of his COP meetings to materialize. .
large number of corpses
The treaty has burgeoned into a bureaucracy euphemistically referred to as the ‘UNFCCC process’. This multi-layered “global environmental governance” consists of numerous subsidiary and advisory bodies, all kinds of commissions and subcommittees, advisories, regions, working and expert groups, executive committees, work programmes, and a series of climate committees. It is made up of funds. Among them are a large number of sometimes duplicate concept notes, technical reports, and evaluations.
On the other hand, the treaty’s primary objective of “stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” remains elusive. Nor can it respond dynamically to ever-changing environmental conditions, making it difficult, especially for vulnerable communities, to adapt naturally to climate change, ensure food production is not threatened, and enable economic development. Making it as difficult as the Convention calls for. Proceed in a sustainable way. ”
Among the commended decisions following COP26 in Glasgow was the launch of the Glasgow Sharm El Sheikh Work Programme. Hearing the British government talking about his COP a year later, one might think there is no need for another of his COPs. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who had planned not to attend his successor, described it as “one of his most important COPs in recent times.” What we have done there is set goals and roadmaps for the world to follow to reach its climate goals. However, subsequent work programs do not confirm this.
Its main objectives include “increasing understanding of global goals for adaptation”. However, it was one of his assignments in the Nairobi Work Plan announced in 2005. It should also ‘enable’ countries to ‘better communicate adaptation priorities, implementation and support needs’. Nevertheless, several national plans have already been submitted to the UNFCCC that articulate developing countries’ priorities for adaptation to climate change. A non-exhaustive list includes a “Technology Needs Assessment” and a “Technology Action Plan” for needs assessment and a “Nationally Determined Contribution”. National Adaptation Action Plan” and “National Adaptation Plan”. They wanted climate funding, not more communication.
“Science clearly shows that the international community is lagging behind in mitigation, adaptation and funding.‘ Egyptian Foreign Minister and incoming COP27 President Sameh Shoukry said at the UNFCCC-supported Africa Climate Week: Much like the “implementation plan” of the failed $100 billion annual climate finance pledge made by developed countries to developing countries at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, it masquerades as progress. It is certain that these pledges are the result of Sharm el-Sheikh. Outcomes of COP26. Heatwaves across Africa are escalating, and plans remain on the horizon of recession for those whose need for adequate climate finance increases with each successive rainy season.
On the other hand, the argument that public funding is insufficient and that private investment is key is gaining more and more attention. But since sovereign states, not corporations, signed the treaty and the Paris Agreement, they should bear the bulk of the responsibility for providing public funding for climate action. Governments also need to develop climate solutions, such as technology development and transfer, that will not be thrown out by unregulated capitalism. This is a social obligation, not an economic opportunity.
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It’s hard to imagine how the UNFCCC’s technocratic ‘process’ could have saved Abdiviwali. He is his 2-year-old Somali boy who recently died of hunger. He was born into the famine that killed him. Somalia has had three wet seasons without rain. This means that the lives of some 22 million people facing hunger in the Horn of Africa are deteriorating, with “a very real prospect of four consecutive seasons of no rain”.
Preventing the untimely death of Abdiviwali and the millions like him he left behind must be the main objective of the treaty and the Paris Agreement. The complex, process-focused regime of environmental governance, as a result, requires reform driven by a commitment to saving lives everywhere, now and in the future. And the Global North is driven by a historic responsibility for ‘loss and damage’ to the Global South, and must provide the necessary public funding to do so.
The stark reality of climate change on the ground in Africa is the impetus to initiate such change at COP27.
Michael Davies-Venn is a Berlin-based public policy analyst and political communications expert focused on global governance issues, including climate change and human rights. He is a Visiting Fellow in Ethics for the Anthropogenesis Program. free university Amsterdam.