In Uganda, climate change is leading to longer dry seasons, lowering crop yields and threatening the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists. A surge in violent cattle rustling at the height of planting season exacerbated the situation. Now competition over increasingly limited natural resources could potentially lead to more conflict.
The U.N. COP27 Climate Change Conference wrapped up this month with a historic breakthrough, as world leaders agreed to create a dedicated fund to address “loss and damage” stemming from the impacts of climate change in developing countries. Now that’s been agreed to, though, the real work of financing it begins.
The U.N. COP27 Climate Change Summit concluded Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with a breakthrough in negotiations to set up a “loss and damage” fund. For countries in Africa, the agreement to allocate loss-and-damage financing is hopefully the first of many necessary steps toward a fairer climate transition.
At COP27, the Middle East Came Up Short on Climate Action—Again
As the United Nations COP27 Climate Change Conference closed Sunday, Egypt, this year’s host, hailed the agreements brokered there as a success. But there continues to be a gap between the climate-change commitments most countries in the Middle East and North Africa have formally expressed and their actual behavior.
The government of newly elected Colombian President Gustavo Petro listed countering deforestation as one of its top priorities. But those efforts promise to raise tensions between the central government and local farmers, who in recent years have been on the receiving end of heavy-handed government efforts to counter deforestation.
Multilateralism has suffered in the past six years, but for those who consider it to be as essential as it is imperfect, the past week offers some cause for optimism. It’s premature to declare that multilateralism “is back.” But if it does enjoy a resurgence, the past week could be the moment its fortunes began to turn around.
As the U.N. COP27 Climate Change Summit enters its final days, all eyes are on delegations from rich, industrialized countries to see if they will continue to resist demands from developing countries in the Global South for “loss and damage” payments, which would compensate them for the impacts of climate change.
Financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act are leading to renewed trade frictions with the EU. While those tensions are significant in and of themselves, they mask deeper problems with how the IRA and climate legislation more generally fit into the global trade regime.
Decarbonizing energy use by shifting to renewable energies relies on the extraction of minerals and metals that are primarily found in lower-income countries or fragile states. Accessing the critical minerals essential for developing low-carbon energy options brings us to what we might call the dark side of the green transition.
The U.N. COP27 Climate Change Summit has entered its final week, but the agenda for the remainder of the conference threatens to be overshadowed by concerns over Egypt’s poor human rights record, especially because of the restrictions Egyptian authorities have placed on the participation of civil society groups at the summit.
The energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine has the potential to accelerate a historical transition from fossil fuels to a more sustainable and secure energy system. But to come close to keeping the planet from warming no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, a decisive phaseout of fossil fuels is required.
African delegates arrived at the U.N. COP27 Climate Change Conference with little patience for more pledges that they believe will likely go unrealized, especially as many African countries experience extreme climate events while rich, industrialized nations are responsible for the lion’s share of historical global carbon emissions.
In May 2022, Australia’s Labor Party swept back to power with promises to get down to the business of modern climate leadership, and they’ve largely followed through on that promise. But the Labor Party faces an even more daunting challenge in its bid for global climate leadership: Australia is a major fossil fuel exporter.