Britain’s Daily Express tabloid reports that COP26’s President Alok Sharma is very anxious about getting all countries, especially developing countries belonging to the G20, to agree to the 1.5° Celsius target which is a goal of COP26, “We have to get that,” Sharma says. But the problem is that there are 24 developing nations, among them China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Philippines and Malaysia, grouped in the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), that aren’t playing ball and don’t intend to be squeezed into an anti-development trap in the way that the depopulation fanatics are demanding. These nations for the most part don’t have well thought-out programmatic alternatives, but they have made clear what they don’t want.
In a meeting last week, the ministers of the LMDC issued a strong statement criticizing rich countries for insisting on the need for a universal goal of net-zero by 2050. “This new ‘goal’ which is being advanced runs counter to the Paris Agreement and is anti-equity and against climate justice,” the Oct. 18 statement read. The LMDC argument is that they shouldn’t be forced into the same timeline as industrialized nations for cutting emissions, since they weren’t the ones that contributed to historic emissions—and may want to use fossil fuels for their own economic development just as wealthier nations have done. The green, Seattle-based media organization Grist points out that developed countries have delayed taking action for more than a decade in cutting their own emissions but now are demanding that the whole world commit to net zero.
Sharma’s call to the G20 countries, some of which belong to the LMDC, to take action now and set a net-zero target, didn’t get the response he wanted. Instead they proposed that the rich countries first get on a fast track, and fully decarbonize by the end of this decade, and then “leave the remaining atmospheric space” for carbon emissions to the developing world. This is where the money issue comes in. According to Eddy Perez, international diplomacy manager of Climate Action Network Canada, the LMDC are issuing a clear call for the U.K. to ensure that negotiations are fair. “It can’t just be about mitigation pledges,” Perez remarks. “Keeping 1.5° C within reach requires urgently scaling up adaptation support and mobilizing trillions of dollars.” There is much criticism of the U.S. for failing to bring to Glasgow the climate change package that Joe Biden had promised, and demands that these richer nations have to both cut emissions and fork over the trillions of dollars needed by developing nations. Who’s going to buy that?
This follows statements in the recent weeks by Russia, China and India that they are expanding, not contracting, the use of coal and other fossil fuels, to provide the energy needed for the development and livelihood of their citizens. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spoke for all of Africa, when he wrote, in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Oct. 24, headlined, “Solar and Wind Force Poverty on Africa“: “Africa can’t sacrifice its future prosperity for Western climate goals.”
The ghouls and gremlins in London are not happy.
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