The UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, from October 31st to November 12th 2021, following its postponement in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This conference is expected to inspire climate action and to translate their words into meaningful change for future generations. In an effort to further push states into action, the “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting was held in the Vatican where Pope Francis and other religious leaders urged for concrete action towards climate change. Pope Francis also exposed the position of the Church stressing that taking care of the environment “is also a vocation to respect: respect for creation, respect for one’s neighbour, respect for oneself and respect for the Creator. But also mutual respect between faith and science“. The appeal of the 40 faith leaders was celebrated in unison to solicit quick and necessary interventions.
Encourage accountability, smooth out differences
Extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat bubbles, and devastating fires have intensified in recent years. The critical threshold of 1Extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat bubbles, and devastating fires have intensified in recent years. The critical threshold of 1.5° C has almost been reached, and collective action by the governments is required to reverse the course and reach the goal of zeroing polluting emissions by 2050. The end of the coal and petrol cars era marks the crucial point in achieving this goal. According to several scientists, it is a real puzzle to be solved that could lead to the failure of COP26. United Nations chief Antonio Guterres is also of the opinion that there could be a potential disagreement between the world’s most powerful people, due to the mistrust between rich and poor countries, and the lack of forward-looking goals of emerging economies. It is a soft power job that is only just beginning.
The position of China
The presence of President Xi Jinping in the climate change summit is not guaranteed. China remains the most polluting nation in terms of carbon emissions. Its carbon neutrality plan will be achieved by 2060. To achieve this, the vice-chairman of Wood Mackenzie Asia Pacific, Gavin Thompson, expects a transformation in how energy is produced and distributed. Despite international pressures, China will lead and follow their own path. Nuclear power plants will be banned no earlier than 2025. On the other hand, the country is investing in renewable and clean energy, all while reaching the peak of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Duplicity is also expressed through the introduction of a national emissions-trading scheme in July to limit pollution, in contrast to the opposite position of a carbon-intensive goods tax under the EU plan. By doing so, products manufactured in the country are heavily taxed when imported. With 17.9% of the world population, China’s position is in the spotlight and time is running out, according to the code red for humanity issued in the last report by the IPCC.
Edited by Andrea Ruffoni