The US, having come back after 30 years of opposing a “loss and damage” fund for poor countries suffering the worst effects of the climate crisis, has indicated that its long-standing image as a global climate villain must now hang on to a new accuser: China.
After years of turmoil in which the US refused to offer anything resembling compensation for climate damage, followed by Donald Trump’s removal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, there has been a profound shift in the UN’s Cop27 talks in Egyptwith the Joe Biden administration approving the new loss and damage fund.
The United States also supported the language of the new agreement, which finally concluded in the early hours of Sunday morning After an often fraught period of negotiations between governments, which would demand a relentless phase-out of all fossil fuels, only to be thwarted by major oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Despite these attitudes, the United States has continued to be the main target of anger from climate activists who blame it for obstructionism and a failure to appreciate its role as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. On Friday, the US awarded Unsolicited title for “megafossilby climate groups for allegedly failing to pay Cop27 loss and damage assistance.
The US delegation in Sharm el-Sheikh was dismayed by this image, as John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, used his closing remarks to shift the focus to China, now the world’s largest emitter. Kerry said that “all nations have an interest in the choices China makes in this critical decade. The United States and China must be able to accelerate progress together, not just for us, but for the sake of generations to come — and we all hope that China will live up to its global responsibility.”
By the end of the talks, Kerry and his team were “tired” of taking the blame, according to Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser now with the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, DC. “Somehow the US has become the villain despite aggressive actions on emissions, and at the same time, Russia and China’s emissions are going up like crazy, and yet they’re not in the activists’ crosshairs, it’s baffling,” he said.
“I mean, it’s ridiculous. If we don’t control China’s emissions, the climate will get out of control.”
Nate Holtmann, who was part of Kerry’s negotiating team last year, told Cop26 the US entered the climate talks “with its head held high” after Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act over the summer, which included more than $370bn (£313bn) in revenue. Spending to advance renewable energy and electric vehicles. “The United States is acting as one of the main leaders in getting the climate outcome the world wants, and I just reject this caricature of the United States as a handicap,” he said.
The United States and China, the world’s two biggest emitters, have been in a deep diplomatic stalemate over climate issues after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August. cop 27 He witnessed the beginnings of a thaw in this relationship, with the overlapping G-20 summit leading to Biden resuming dialogue with Xi Jinping.
China emissions now nearly three times as much As America, while becoming the preeminent renewable energy superpower, it is ramping up its use of coal at a rate that scientists say will catastrophically push the world beyond 1.5°C in global warming. “Our planet is still in the emergency room,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said of the lack of progress in reducing emissions in the COP27 deal.
“We need to drastically reduce emissions now and that’s an issue this Cop hasn’t addressed. The world still needs a giant leap in climate ambition.”
China and many climate activists point to America Long history of being a major carbon polluter and its failure to live up to its previous commitments on climate finance to developing countries attacker By heat waves, droughts, floods and other effects. Biden has promised $11bn (£9bn) for the effort, although that spending will likely be blocked by the House of Representatives when it falls to Republicans in January, barring one last funding deal before Christmas.
A quarter of carbon dioxide2 “In our red, white and blue atmosphere,” said Ed Markey, a Democratic senator who visited the COP27 summit. The United States has a moral and planetary responsibility to partner, not ban, in equitable climate financing. We cannot allow the countries least responsible for the climate crisis to be sacrificial areas and bear this dreadful burden on their own.”
The summit also saw criticism of the glut of new oil and gas projects in the United States, Biden’s call for a short-term jump in oil production to help lower gasoline prices, which rose after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and a new carbon trading plan. Kerry announced.
Carbon offsets “will only further condemn the African continent and the countries of the global south to a future of pollution and environmental chaos, all to the benefit of the fossil fuel industry and big corporations,” depending to me Ozawa Benchy Albert, Co-Executive Director of the Climate Justice Coalition.
Back home, Biden will face pressure from activists to declare a climate emergency to bypass Republican intransigence and limit the leases still granted freely for oil and gas exploration. However, the president’s climate focus will be “China, China, China,” according to Bledsoe.
“This is the only game in town,” he said, “we have to get Beijing to bend its emissions down, whatever it takes, even if the tariffs are on the carbon frontier.” “Regardless of that, that’s Biden’s priority. If you want to blame two groups for the climate predicament, blame Communist China and America’s Republican Party. That’s the truth of the matter.”
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