several commitments on fossil fuels, the main causes of global warming

Find every day at the end of the day the highlights of the 26e United Nations Climate Conference, to be held until November 12, as well as insights from journalists from the World.

At COP26, in Glasgow, on November 4, 2021.

What you must remember :

  • An agreement to accelerate the exit of coal

Forty countries pledged, Thursday, November 4, to abandon coal to produce their electricity, by 2030 for the main economic powers, and by 2040 for the poorest states. Among them, one some twenty countries that are large consumers of this mineral have agreed to accelerate the end of their dependence, including the Canada, Ukraine, Chile, Vietnam but also Poland – the bad European student in this area -, which did not schedule its phasing out (its “gradual exit”) until 2049.

Signatory countries undertake to put an end to any new investment, at national and international levels, in new coal-fired power stations, and to accelerate the deployment of their renewable energies.

The announcement is important, as coal is seen as the main contributor to climate change. Main weakness of the deal, however: the global coal “heavyweights”, consumers and producers – the United States, China, India and Australia are missing. According to the International Energy Agency, any new fossil fuel extraction project (coal, oil, natural gas) should be stopped this year in order to hope to meet the objective of limited warming to 1.5 ° vs.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Jean Pisani-Ferry: “The old world of energy is dying, the new is slow to appear”
  • Several countries, including the United States and Canada, pledge to stop funding fossil fuels abroad

At least nineteen countries announced on Thursday that they would commit to ending overseas financing of fossil fuel projects by the end of 2022, including major investors such as the United States. and Canada.

“Investing in fossil fuel projects without carbon capture systems increasingly carries social and economic risks”, can we read in a joint declaration of the signatories, distributed at the COP26, in Glasgow.

The G20 countries recently agreed to end public funding outside their borders of new coal-fired power plants by the end of 2021. The plan announced Thursday in Scotland, at the initiative of London, includes for the first time both gas and oil, and promises to redirect that money towards renewable energies.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers To limit warming to 1.5 ° C, 60% of the oil and gas should be left in the ground, and 90% of the coal
  • The most vulnerable states demand that polluting countries pay for their climate damage

Representatives of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the club that brings together the states most vulnerable to climate change, called on Wednesday for the adoption of an “emergency climate pact”. The rich countries, historically responsible for the climate crisis, have not kept their commitment dating from 2009 to pay them 100 billion dollars (86 billion euros) each year from 2020 to help them adapt to global warming. .

Formed in 2009 and made up of around fifty countries representing 2 billion people, the CVF “Is only responsible for 5% of total emissions, but its members are the first victims of global warming”, underlines Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh (country which chairs the group this year).

“Our approach is not hostile, but confidence in the voluntary commitments of polluting countries is no longer there and the discussion on damage and losses, at this COP, remains on the margins., assure Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, a state in the Lesser Antilles. Or we can’t just sit around hoping for charity or begging for help. “

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Adaptation to climate change is grossly underfunded
  • Global CO emissions2 bounce back to their pre-health crisis level

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) fell 5.4% in 2020, due to lockdowns and part of the economy shutting down – the biggest drop since World War II. But they should rebound this year (+ 4.9%) to get closer to their level before the health crisis. This is what emerges from the annual review of the Global Carbon Project, a consortium of around 100 scientists from 70 international laboratories working on the carbon cycle, the results of which were unveiled on Thursday. This is a new warning for the 196 countries gathered at COP26.

The two statements of the day:

« Through the window of the Space Station, we can clearly see the fragility of the Earth.

We saw whole regions burning, Canada, California covered with a cloud of smoke, the flames that could be seen with the naked eye at an altitude of 400 kilometers, the same in the south of France and Greece and on the Mediterranean basin. »

In a video chat from the International Space Station on Thursday, the astronaut Thomas Pesquet described to Emmanuel Macron the climate damage on Earth that he observed from space during his second mission in orbit. “Have you seen any changes compared to your last mission? “, asked the head of state. “Yes, these weather phenomena are accelerating in a worrying way”, replied the astronaut.

“I am pleased to announce that I have decided to take zero bad words and vulgarity. In the event that I should say something inappropriate, I will compensate by saying something kind. “

This is what the environmental activist wrote Greta Thunberg, Wednesday, on Twitter. The formulation of the young Swede refers to the states’ promises to achieve carbon neutrality, while continuing to emit CO2 and by setting up carbon offsetting – a system far from effective.

Critics of this principle emphasize that carbon offsetting makes it possible to make problematic choices for the climate at a lower cost: it is always less painful to offset than to change behavior.

Picture of the day:

Environmental activists disguised as Pokémon denounce Japan's dependence on coal, Thursday, November 4 in Glasgow. The Archipelago's 150 coal-fired power stations generated 32% of its total electricity production in 2020.
Read also Article reserved for our subscribers At COP26, Japan’s promises poorly mask the limits of its environmental policy

The report :

On the border with Burkina Faso, a thousand farmers have been trained in the principles of natural regeneration of trees, which promote their regrowth in the middle of the fields. Ten years after the start of the program, real mini-forests have emerged.

Read also The resurrected trees of Talensi, northern Ghana

Words to understand COP26:

Differentiation

The principle of differentiation consists of balancing the efforts required of countries in the fight against climate change according to their historical responsibility in warming and their level of development. The countries of the South believe that those of the North, at the origin of the greatest part of the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, have an “ecological debt” towards them and must therefore make greater efforts. The industrialized countries, for their part, consider that the division between developed and emerging countries is no longer appropriate, China and India now counting among the main polluters in the world. This question is at the heart of climate negotiations.

Read also China, USA, EU and India have produced more than half of CO2 emissions since 2010

The number :

2020

This is the hottest year on record in France, according to Météo-France. Never, since the start of the surveys in 1900, has the average temperature over the whole country reached such a level: 14 ° C. The previous record (13.9 ° C) only dates from 2018. And as explained in World climatologist Jean Jouzel, at the rate of current global warming (three tenths of an additional degree per decade in France), “This new record will be beaten with great certainty in the 2020s”.

Sign of the acceleration of climate change at work, for one hundred and twenty years that the national averages have been measured in France, nine of the ten hottest years belong to the XXIe century and seven to the last decade.

Synthesis: Article reserved for our subscribers 2020 was one of the three hottest years on record

Solutions for the planet:

From the manufacture of raw materials to the distribution of finished products in stores, fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Two thousand five hundred liters of water to make a T-shirt, 7,500 for jeans… The sector is also an industry that is greedy in non-renewable energies. Its massive use of chemical dyes and synthetic fibers also contributes to damaging our ecosystem. Here is a series of habits to adopt to combine the pleasant and the eco-responsible.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Buying, washing, getting rid of … six reflexes for an eco-friendly wardrobe

Find all the articles in our special COP26 file here.

The world