The UN’s Lima COP20 conference stands up very well in its final days against those who doubt or scorn international efforts to reduce climate impacts. It’s not just a lot of hot air. The congruence of international climate experts and decisionmakers is allowing organizations public and private, worldwide, to focus on exploring new solutions and filling critical information gaps.
Entrance to COP20, Lima (CleanTechnica/S. Dechert)It looks to this observer as if most everyone here in Lima—and that’s representatives of close to 100% of the nations of the world—realizes that in sharing climate action, we can also share prosperity, at no one’s expense and to everyone’s benefit. Other commenters have described the movement as a new political will. Developing countries are beginning to achieve a higher level of trust in the “rich” nations of the world. The developed countries, which cause the most global pollution, have mostly come through with emissions and financing pledges that seem more just, fair, equitable, and attainable than the vaguer commitments of the past.
Real progress, to be precise. Antagonism dissipates, and accountability and transparency appear to be gaining ground. Here, much credit is due to President Obama and President Xi for breaking the US-China deadlock. Even Australia, a nation that stands to lose in the long run by keeping its coal, oil, and gas (and uranium?) in the ground, and where the party in power resists acknowledging anthropogenic climate change and cuts its once-vaunted environmental programs, has now tithed to the Green Climate Fund. Those who hinder the consensus are finding themselves isolated and kept out of significant political and financial dealing. Some details are still in question, though: amount of pledges by 2030 ($100 billion? $150 billion?), involvement of G7, G20, and other international groups, ability to adapt to current and new challenges, and even the GCF’s value vs. that of higher CO2 cuts.
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