GLASGOW, Scotland 08th November, 2021 (AEJ) - The UN Conference of Parties (COP) 26 which leaders of Least Developed Countries have dubbed ‘do or we perish’ last week saw a wave of protests registering discontent on climate negotiations progress. Thousands of activists took to the streets in Glasgow and other parts of the UK to show dissatisfaction over milestones achieved with limited days remaining as talks enter their final week. Protesters expressed concern that the highly anticipated and decisive Glasgow climate talks, would not yield the desired results. COP 26 President Alok Sharma acknowledged the protests in one of the meetings and said they fully understand the concerns being raised.
By close of business last Saturday, there were no substantial and exciting commitments, especially on cutting down emissions and raising ambitions in line with 2015 Paris Agreement. Analysts observed that there have been so many inconclusive discussions regarding article six of the Paris Agreement, which seeks to incentivise mitigation measures through carbon trading, parties have also not agreed on several issues, including marketing mechanisms and counting modalities.
It is expected that this final week, will determine if parties will make progress on a new quantified goal for climate finance which seeks to increase support financially to developing countries beyond the US$100 billion pledge. At the moment, developing countries are pushing for increased resources of up to US$6 trillion between now and 2030, as recommended in the Needs Determination Report (NDR) produced by the Standing Committee on Finance.
As part of transparency and accountability, developed countries want a clear breakdown of how funds should be distributed among developing countries with the backing of verified scientific data. The US$100billion pledge for 2020 was extended to 2025 to allow parties to discuss new funding mechanisms, all of which must be met by 2030. The UK the host nation, has increased its commitment to £11.6bn in the next four years. In recent months, the US, Germany, and Canada have also increased their pledges. However, before COP 26, suggested total pledges were US$10bn short of the target.
Julius Ng’oma a climate advocate and National Coordinator of the think – tank Civil Society Network on Climate Change, (CISONECC) says at country level, Malawi is benefiting through bilateral meetings and may also benefit from several other resolutions to be adopted at the summit. He was rather concerned with the bigger picture, which, according to him, points to a gloomy ending of COP26.
"I have noted a lot of delays and pushbacks in some of the discussions, especially on finance and adaptation. Some of the discussions are not very clear, especially on how we are going to take the issue of loss and damage forward. So I am not very confident, we are going to achieve what we wanted to achieve at COP26, but we can start some of the conversations. For example, the development of the new quantified goal on finance to go beyond the US$100 billion that was promised, has actually been started.
However, you can actually hear a lot of pushbacks within the rooms that the developed countries are not ready to come in to discuss these issues, the modalities, are not clear on the time frame for achieving some of these promises.” explained Ng'oma in reaction to the pace of the discussions.
While commending some of the commitments made, including the US$100 million for loss and damage by Scotland, Ng'oma observed that, “there is still a great need to push for mechanisms that will be put in place to ensure that resources are accessible and targeting the most affected victims by climate change in order to strengthen their resilience.
He added: "We also look forward to COP26 coming up with a clear definition of what climate financing is all about, because we have money coming in as official development assistance, loans, and all that, and at times it can be worrying," a worried Ng’oma shared his views.
This week's negotiations will zero in on the agenda related to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement, loss and damage, among others. Malawi's leader of delegation, who is also Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources, Nancy Tembo, will this week, together with fellow ministers and leaders, roll from one meeting to another to negotiate and provide political guidance on crucial issues, some of which were not resolved during technical meetings. Nearly 40 thousand delegates have registered for the climate meeting, according to the COP26 team. There are 197 governments attending with nearly 22,000 delegates, 14,000 thousand NGO’s and CSO's, and over 3,700 media personnel covering the event.