Contributed by Adam Carlton
At the time of writing, nations are participating in talks in Bangkok (Thailand), which are geared to progress towards the COP24 global warming at Katowice (Poland). in December.
An effort will be made there, to progress the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Before December, further meetings will be held in in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and there will be the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in mid-September and Climate Week in New York towards the end of September.
All this is occurring in circumstances where the threat of global warming is becoming more severe each year. The minimum goal is to contain it to between 1.5 and 2 degrees. Unless decisive action is taken, this might become an impossibility. The pressure to act is therefore intense.
The world has just experienced record heatwaves, bushfires, droughts and floods. Climate warming is with us in the here and now, and there is no excuse for dithering.
Despite this, there remains considerable difficulty achieving agreement on a framework around which to operate. Measures are needed to not only reduce harmful emissions, but also to respond to climate impacts such as droughts or floods and urgent support to enable developing countries to contribute to climate action.
“Building on progress made, countries now need to take a decisive step forward in preparing the ambitious and balanced outcome that we need in Katowice,” Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, said at a press conference on Monday 3 September.
“Every year, the impacts of climate change are getting worse.
“This means that every year, the poorest and most vulnerable, who have contributed almost nothing to the problem, suffer more,” Espinosa underlined.
Governments are being pressured by their populations to lift their act. They are also facing pressure from the fossil fuel industry to hold back. The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement process had had a significant impact. A few other countries, like Australia, continue to pay lip service, but do very little.
Nevertheless, other nations have an opportunity to set the example, by collectively implementing alternative energy, reducing Carbon emissions and building sustainable economies. They can mount pressure on those who are failing to act.
The momentum for change is here. People are demanding it and will ultimately hold accountable, those governments refusing to move. This is far too important to do otherwise. Our future depends on it. Failure to succeed is not an option.