Essay by Eric Worrall
UN Secretary General António Guterres sad face – COP27 has become a zombie climate conference, photo opportunities but no genuine action.
Countries vowed to ramp up climate pledges in 2022. Very few have.
Last fall, at a high-profile global climate summit in Scotland, the countries of the world embraced what seemed like a significant commitment in the quest to combat climate change.
Acknowledging that progress had been too slow, leaders agreed to “revisit and strengthen” their national climate targets if possible over the coming year — rather than waiting every five years, as envisioned under the 2015 Paris climate accord.
But as the world prepares to reconvene in Egypt this month for COP27, the annual U.N. climate change conference, almost none of the globe’s biggest emitters have come forward with stronger commitments. Few nations overall have ramped up their ambition, despite another year of floods, fires and other climate-related catastrophes.
Only one large country so far has filed a plan that includes stronger, credible emissions-cutting commitments: Australia.
“Global and national climate commitments are falling pitifully short,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said of the findings. “We must close the emissions gap before climate catastrophe closes in on us all.”
The reason for the weak pledges is obvious.
The world is once again experiencing what happens when climate ambition collides with the laws of physics and chemistry.
There is no renewable energy alternative to the status quo, and never will be. But so long as engineering dyslexic politicians keep putting money into doing the impossible, so long as they keep ignoring past failures, this sorry charade of waste, disappointment and failure will continue.
Correction (EW): Washington Post, not WSJ.