COP26, day 11: States’ commitments “ring hollow” without an exit from fossil fuels, according to the UN chief

Find every day, at the end of the day, the highlights of the 26e Conference of the Parties [COP] for the climate of the United Nations, which is held until 12 November in Glasgow [Ecosse], as well as insights from journalists from the World.

What you must remember :

  • State commitments “ring hollow” without an exit from fossil fuels

“The promises ring hollow as the fossil fuel industry continues to receive trillions in subsidies (…) or when countries continue to build coal plants ”, declared, Thursday, November 11, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, on the eve of the end of the COP26. “The announcements here in Glasgow are [toutefois] encouraging, but they are far from sufficient ”, he estimated.

The gap between the emission reductions to which States have committed and what it takes to limit warming to + 1.5 ° C “Is still an overwhelming threat”. And the financial needs of southern countries to adapt to the impacts of global warming are “A flagrant injustice”, he insisted: “Everyone needs to be on the bridge for climate action. It is everyone’s responsibility. “

Read the op-ed: Article reserved for our subscribers “We must stop this infernal machine of global warming”

“Every country, every city, every company, every financial institution must radically, in a credible and verifiable manner, reduce its emissions and decarbonize its portfolios, starting right away. “ Urgently calling on States to strengthen their ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he called for their current commitments “Become reality”, in order to “Bridge the real and deep credibility gap”.

  • More than 200 climatologists call for immediate and massive action

More than 200 climatologists also alerted the COP26 on Thursday of a moment “Historical” for the future of humanity. “We climatologists stress the need for immediate, strong, rapid, sustainable and large-scale actions to limit warming to well below 2 ° C and to continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 ° C”, as provided for in the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015, write these scientists in an open letter. And “In order to limit future risks and adaptation needs for decades, even centuries”.

“COP26 is a historic moment for the fate of climate, societies and ecosystems, because human activities have already warmed the planet by around 1.1 ° C and future greenhouse gas emissions will determine warming. additional “, they add. The last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in August, already warned against the risk of reaching the threshold of + 1.5 ° C around 2030, ten years earlier than previously estimated. .

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers The IPCC report “is a code red for humanity”

“Thousands of scientists around the world have worked for several years to publish this evidence-based report”, underline the many members of the IPCC who signed the letter. “We now have the most comprehensive and robust assessment of how the climate has changed in the past and may change in the future, based on decisions and actions taken today.”, they conclude.

  • Pope Francis believes that “time is running out”

Pope Francis also called again on Thursday political leaders to commit to preserving the ” commune house “. “Let us implore the gifts of wisdom and strength from God on those charged with guiding the international community as they seek to meet this important challenge with concrete decisions, inspired by responsibility towards present and future generations”, wrote the Pope in a letter to Catholics in Scotland, published Thursday by the Vatican and dated Tuesday.

“Time is running out, this opportunity should not be wasted”, added the 84-year-old Argentine pontiff, expressing his « regrets » for not being able to get to Glasgow, as he had “Hoped”. At the end of October, in a speech broadcast by the BBC, the Pope had already urged political decision-makers to bring “Emergency” from “Effective responses to the ecological crisis”.

The statement of the day:

« The world is watching us and would like to see us work together and reach consensus. And we can’t let it go. »

Alok Sharma, the British president of COP26, called on Thursday for the “Compromise” to avoid failure on the eve of the end of the conference. The first version of the final declaration, released Wednesday, is not unanimous. “There is still a lot of work to do”, also acknowledged the president. “I am worried about the number of problems which persist on the questions of finance on the eve of the planned end”, he added, calling for both« ambition » and to “Compromise”.

Picture of the day:

Extinction Rebellion activists lie under white sheets to warn of deaths due to climate change in Glasgow (UK) on November 11, 2021.

Around the world :

As COP26 approaches, China has placed great emphasis on “Green turning” that it intends to give to the “new silk roads”, the gigantic investment program that it is co-financing around the world. The most spectacular sign of this development: the announcement made by President Xi Jinping on September 23 that Beijing would stop funding the construction of new coal-fired power plants abroad.

Read our article: Article reserved for our subscribers China tries to green its “new silk roads”

Words to understand COP26:

Deforestation

This is the loss of forest area to other land uses. Agricultural expansion in the tropics is the first direct cause of deforestation. More than half of global deforestation is directly linked to the conversion of forests to areas for cultivation or grazing, and therefore to human activity.

According to a report published in January 2021 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the fronts of deforestation are multiplying and expanding. The Earth, which was 50% forested 8,000 years ago, is now only 30%. Not only are new areas subject to fires and clearing appearing in Africa – Liberia, Ghana, Madagascar – and Latin America – Mexico and Guatemala – but the destruction of jungles, primary or dry forests and wooded savannas s ‘accelerates everywhere on the planet.

However, deforestation strongly contributes to the erosion of biodiversity, to the warming and weakening of local populations, who depend on the forest ecosystem to meet their needs. In addition, by harvesting the forest, humans expose themselves to zoonoses, diseases or infections that are transmitted from vertebrate animals to humans, and vice versa.

The number :

Six billion

This is the number of air conditioners that the world will have in 2050. Currently, ten are sold every second. Invented in 1902 by the American engineer Willis Carrier, this device has profoundly changed our contemporary societies. The cultural industry, first of all, by accompanying the golden age of Hollywood cinema. Companies, then, which have equipped themselves en masse. If it was not until the 1950s that air conditioners entered American households, they represent today, in the United States, an energy expenditure equivalent to that of the entire African continent.

Solutions for the planet:

Cooking without waste, supporting sustainable practices, aiming for zero waste … The world unearthed ten initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Eco-responsible actions: apps, podcasts and books to go green

Find all the articles in our special COP26 file here.

The World with AFP

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COP26, day 11: States’ commitments “ring hollow” without an exit from fossil fuels, according to the UN chief

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