The world keeping an eye on US goals at COP26

Flooded subways in New York, sandstorms in cities in São Paulo and an entire unbalanced world: climate change can no longer be combined in the future, because its effects are more present than ever. Some of them even fill the COP26, the Climate Conference organized by the United Nations, which this year takes place from October 31st, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The conference will expose the alarming data collected by the UN, which estimates that more than 30 million people have been displaced around the world due to environmental catastrophes.

“The ones who suffer the most are people who live in communities with few resources, who are unable to adapt to climate change and its consequences,” specialist Thelma Briseno, Director of the Energy and Water Program of the organization Climate Resolve, told Brasil de Fato.

For Briseno, world leaders need to make riskier commitments with regard to climate goals, and it is impossible to go any further without looking at energy sources. “Carbon emissions are the number one reason for global warming and reducing that emission is the most urgent task right now. Unfortunately, we are not going well in that direction,” he said.

Despite all the structural effort, the United States still depends heavily on non-renewable sources. Almost 70% of its energy comes from fuels such as oil and natural gas, and only 12% comes from renewable sources. “There is still a lot to be done, but commitment is needed,” says the specialist once again.

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When it entered into the Paris Agreement in 2015, the United States assumed responsibility for cutting its emissions in half by 2035, but that goal was changed during the term of Donald Trump, who left the agreement in the name of “progress”.

With the Republican’s departure from the White House, new President Joe Biden reinserted the country into the environmental treaty and promised to follow agreed guidelines, and his speech is one of the most awaited in Scotland.

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“Of course, the ideal would be a commitment to zero emissions, but I think it’s unlikely to think about it this year, especially because of the political environment,” says Briseno, “but I think the federal government is aware of climate agendas and will put the moving parts so that we move farther and farther away from fossil energy”.

In fact, Biden’s strategy, together with his team, is to invest in jobs and leaders who work in areas related to renewable energy sources, but only the United States would not be able to change the balance of the world.

According to the UN, for us to be able to make the expected impact, it is essential that the international community collectively reduce 40% of its emission of polluting gases in the next decade.

“It is a very daring goal, but not an impossible one. I think that everything starts to move when the great world powers adhere to this pact”, concludes Briseno.

The big challenge towards a greener future is precisely the issue of economic development. Countries like China, which is now the biggest polluter in the world, set very conservative targets thinking about their industries and the cost of adapting them. Eager not to be left behind, other countries adopt similar positions – hence the need for dialogue between leaders.

“The window for us to be able to reverse the climate impacts is closing,” warned the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in a public speech last week.

While the main nations of the world highlight their leaders for what could be the most important meeting of the year, Brazil will only send a commission. President Jair Bolsonaro (non-party) is in Italy and is unlikely to set foot on Scottish soil. Likewise, the vice president was vetoed from participating in the event.

Edition: Thales Schmidt

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