War in Ukraine is not an excuse for dependence on coal – US climate ambassador shutterstock

War in Ukraine is not an excuse for dependence on coal – US climate ambassador

Katerina Belousova

The Bonn talks could also be a time when solving the climate problem will be the key to solving other problems

US Ambassador for Climate Change John Kerry said that the war in Ukraine should not be used as an excuse to continue global dependence on coal.

He criticized the policy a number of major countries for failing to deliver on promises made at the COP26 summit, reports BBC.

Meeting in Bonnie will continue for a week amid new concerns over energy security and is largely a technical negotiation ahead of major conferences in Glasgow and COP27 in Egypt. The talks will be conducted by civil servants with limited political input and will address progress on a number of issues agreed at the Glasgow Climate Conference.

The report noted that the fragile unity demonstrated in Glasgow in November 2021 is likely to be tested in Bonn as countries face the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

Kerry also said the world was not moving fast enough to contain greenhouse gas emissions that were raising temperatures. However, success is still possible if countries around the world step up their efforts.

Progress in climate after COP26

The BBC's analysis showed that very little progress had been made on many issues.

"The world has emerged from Glasgow into an energy crisis caused by the rapid rise in gas prices. This is greatly exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and current problems in global supply lines. Fossil energy prices have risen sharply as governments worry about security of supply, ”the report said.

Governments, such as India and Egypt, are slowly making new plans to cut carbon emissions, as they had promised by September.

However, there is a belief that political leaders still see the climate as an important issue, especially against the backdrop of heat waves in India and Pakistan, due to the use of fossil fuels.

"I think we will see the Bonn talks as a real test of whether political will is just words. Or whether there are real real commitments to change the policies and spending plans that are needed to address these issues," Alex said. Scott of the E3G Environmental Analysis Center.

The impact of the war in Ukraine on climate negotiations

Dr Svitlana Krakowska, who led the Ukrainian delegation to the IPCC's latest approval sessions, said climate was not a critical issue at the moment. However, she expressed hope that the negotiators would recognize the role of fossil fuels in the war and rush to abandon them.

Return to fossil fuels

"The global thing that has happened is the unprecedented price of fossil fuels. It just means that clean energy is extremely competitive now," said Lauri Millivirta of the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research.

Some countries are indeed increasing their coal production, such as India, where the government has decided to reopen more than 100 coal mines that were previously considered uneconomical. However, in the first quarter of 2022, India also added 3 gigawatts of solar power.

In Europe, which has unveiled plans to move away from Russia's energy sector, many countries are looking for alternative sources of fossil fuels ahead of the expected energy crisis this winter.

However, environmentalists are concerned that some countries, such as Germany, are funding long-term fossil infrastructure, including new LNG terminals. This can continue to use natural gas and maintain high emissions.

Emissions from China and the United States

The Carbon Brief analysis showed that China, the world's largest source of carbon emissions, is showing the longest decline in carbon production in ten years. Thus, in the first quarter of 2022, emissions decreased by 1.4%.

The material noted that China's production of electric vehicles and trucks has doubled to 20% of all new vehicles in a year. In addition, the number of wind turbines and solar power plants that were commissioned in the first four months of 2022 has increased by 100% compared to the record level set in 2021.

Although coal production has increased, experts believe that emissions in China will be reduced. In addition, emission reductions could have been greater if not for the economic crisis.

In the United States, despite the climate efforts of President Biden, there is another oil boom. According to an analysis by Rystad Energy, oil flows from the Permian Basin are expected to increase by about 1 million barrels per day in 2022. The West Texas region now has higher output than any country except Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Temperature threshold of 1.5 ° C

To maintain this key goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, carbon emissions need to be halved by 2030. But recent data from the UK Meteorological Office suggest that there is now a "50 to 50" chance of temporarily exceeding the temperature threshold for the next five years. However, exceeding the temperature threshold will have negative consequences for developing countries and small island states.

They fear that the lack of political focus of rich countries on this key issue exacerbates the threat.

"In fact, war and the cost of living should not be used as an excuse for the 1.5C goal to slip out of reach. And adequate, equitable climate finance is an integral part of keeping us on track," said Ambassador Conrod Hunt. from Antigua and Barbuda, which is a leading negotiator from the Alliance of Small Island States.

Progress in the war and the crisis of the cost of living

Despite many problems, participants believe that there is reason for cautious optimism, as the energy crisis has made discussions about heat pumps and electric cars part of the mainstream.

The Bonn talks could also be a time when solving the climate problem will be the key to solving other problems.

"Today, there are a number of interrelated crises, and governments can take this opportunity to overcome these crises, seize opportunities and build the global cooperation that is needed," said David Vaskov of the World Resources Institute.

We will remind, the European Commissioner stated that the war in Ukraine cannot be an excuse to delay the Green Deal.

As EcoPolitica reported earlier, experts spoke about the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis influenced “Fit for 55”.

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