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Global crises undermine efforts to bring climate talks back to normal – POLITICO


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BONN, Germany – Climate negotiators are yearning for a return to “normalcy” when global warming dominated the agenda – but war, hunger and disease have overshadowed the start of talks in Bonn, Germany, Monday.

“We all know the world at COP27 will look nothing like it did at COP26,” said UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa, referring to the COP26 conference that took place. held in Glasgow seven months ago and at the upcoming UN talks in Egypt in November. a world plagued by conflict, energy, food and economic crises… and the global pandemic is still with us.

Amid these challenges, the countries began talks on Monday aimed at reaching agreements at COP27.

The Norwegian co-chair of the talks, Marianne Karlsen, said the return of the annual meeting to the banks of the Rhine after three years interrupted by the pandemic was “a sign that we are returning to normality and predictability in our process”.

But Espinosa, who delivered a farewell address to diplomats before leaving the UN post next month, said she was “concerned” about the war in Ukraine and the impact it could have on efforts reduction of emissions and financing of developing countries.

On Monday evening, Russian delegates were publicly chastised by negotiators over their government’s aggression in Ukraine. Swiss delegate Franz Perrez told the meeting that Russia’s invasion was “a threat to humanity’s goal of combating climate change in a timely manner”.

Alok Sharma, the UK minister in charge of the COP26 talks, urged countries to show that the war “has increased, not diminished, our resolve to deliver on climate action”.

The Bonn talks will focus on setting new targets for financing the poorest countries to help them tackle climate change and reduce emissions; whether China should become a donor country; the objectives of adapting to climate change and transferring the necessary funds; and a push by vulnerable countries to set up a finance facility to help rebuild climate-affected communities.

These money problems divided rich and poor countries and proved intractable for years, even decades.

“We urgently need interventions and decisions at the political level,” Espinosa said.

Hopeful messages from Washington, London and Brussels that the energy crisis could spur a shift to renewables ignore the financial realities of developing countries. There, Espinosa said, “resources can drift away” from what is needed to green their economies.

“That’s where the real problem comes in,” said Alden Meyer, senior partner at think tank E3G. “It’s always a question of money. And the reality is that there are a lot of demands on the system right now for financial resources.

Alexey Dronov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Bonn, attends with his colleagues the opening day of the UNFCCC SB56 climate conference | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

But, Meyer added, it was also a “matter of political will…We saw with Ukraine how the United States and other Western countries could mobilize tens of billions of dollars almost overnight. “, did he declare. “And yet, for example, the United States doesn’t know how to honor our $2 billion arrears to the Green Climate Fund.”

The Egyptian hosts of the COP27 conference have indicated that they will focus their conference on finance.

The most controversial issue is that of money to repair the loss and damage caused by climate change. Rich countries have always resisted an approach they see as opening them up to claims for compensation for their historic role in climate change.

This continued on Monday morning after talks of a loss and damage funding facility were not put on the official agenda – disappointing campaigners.

“We can’t wait any longer,” said Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate. “People on the front lines of the climate crisis are already losing their livelihoods and their lives. We need to stop talking and start helping people. We need to put people on the agenda – now.

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