Human Activities Have Pushed the Climate into 'Unprecedented' Territory

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 11/08/2022 12:56 PM
Human Activities Have Pushed the Climate into 'Unprecedented' Territory

António Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and Al Gore, former United States Vice President, addressed the assembled world leaders at the beginning of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. They issued a dire warning of an imminent catastrophe unless immediate action was taken.


On Monday, more than a hundred princes, presidents, and prime ministers gathered in Bonn, Germany, for the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Convention, also known as COP27. They were given a stern warning by Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, who said, "We are on a motorway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator."

John Kerry, who served as vice president under Barack Obama, is now serving as the United States special envoy on climate change. He is currently working on formulating a plan for a new carbon-credit scheme. This program aims to help developing countries become less dependent on fossil fuels. This initiative will strive to enhance investment from corporations and governments in developed economies in order to assist developing nations in decreasing their dependency on fossil fuels.

During an interview, Mr. Kerry said he plans to present the concept to the United Nations climate change summit in Egypt. In addition, he said that he was still having discussions with authorities from other countries over the scope and framework of the initiative.

The program's goal is to raise tens of billions of dollars by increasing the ability of regions and countries in the developing world to sell credits whenever they shut down fossil-fuel energy sources such as coal mines or accelerate the construction of renewable energy sources. This will be accomplished by increasing the number of regions and countries in the developing world that can sell credits.

Richer countries have been requested to offer yearly aid in the amount of $1.3 trillion by 2030. This is to help poorer nations fund their energy transition and support them in adapting to the repercussions of climate change.

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The proposal aims to make it possible for money to flow into initiatives to reduce emissions across large areas in the developing world. That would solve one of the shortcomings of the existing system, which awards credits for the construction of particular renewable-energy projects but does not guarantee that there would be net reductions in emissions over a wider region.

The vast majority of carbon credits available on the market today are tied to the individual development of renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, or others. Although the generation of renewable energy may result in the retirement of a coal-burning plant in one region of a developing country, this does not prevent the country as a whole from bringing new coal-burning plants online in other regions, which would result in a net increase in emissions that would outweigh the reductions that a single renewable project would achieve.

"The U.S. and China must really step up to the mark," French President Emmanuel Macron said on the sidelines of the conference, calling on "rich non-European countries…to pay their share."

In a time of heightened geopolitical tension and uncertainty in the energy market, participants at the conference, which is known as COP27, confront the task of establishing the agreement. The decision made by Russia to invade Ukraine and disrupt the flow of natural gas to Europe has resulted in nations' capitals all over the world refocusing their attention on the safety of their energy supply sources. Europe is increasing its use of coal and importing quantities of liquefied natural gas from other parts of the globe.

According to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, "Russia's invasion of Ukraine and disgusting manipulation of energy prices has only served to further emphasize the need to eliminate our dependency on fossil fuels."

More than 190 countries will be represented by delegates who will discuss and debate the best strategies for encouraging governments to keep their commitments at the Paris climate conference in 2015 to cut their carbon emissions and implement those plans. The heads of state for China and Russia, two nations that play a crucial part in determining the trajectory of the global energy map, were not present at the summit. Later on this week, President Biden will participate in the discussions.

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The complex topic of whether industrialized nations should financially pay countries most severely impacted by catastrophic floods, drought, and storms that experts believe are made worse by climate change will also be discussed during the conference. On Monday, the delegates agreed that the subject, "loss and damage," will be publicly debated by the diplomats.

Methane is a strong greenhouse gas that traps 85 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The United States is poised to announce a long-awaited plan to restrict methane emissions, which will be another step in the right direction.

Carbon credits are often granted by programs that aim to maintain forests, which are responsible for the absorption of greenhouse gases, or by initiatives that aim to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. The so-called voluntary carbon markets are something that these credits are a part of. One ton of carbon dioxide has been removed from the atmosphere or reduced in concentration in order to get one credit.

The expansion of credits tied to things like renewable energy and the protection of forests, which account for the vast majority of credits, is restricted. There is a possibility that developers may respond to the growing demand by producing carbon credits that have a negligible impact on reducing carbon emissions.

The amount of money collected via the planned program would be contingent on the degree of involvement by enterprises and governments, and added that participation in the program would be optional.

There is no formal system of regulation in place for the voluntary market for carbon credits, and the credits that are produced for use in the voluntary market are largely incompatible with the regulated systems that governments have established in Europe, California, and other regions where polluters can buy credits if they exceed pollution limits.

Since more than a decade ago, the carbon markets have been a source of financial assistance for clean energy initiatives. Carbon credits were issued by private developers who were aiming to generate cash by constructing wind farms, solar plants, and dams. These private developers cooperated with accrediting programs sponsored by the United Nations and charitable groups.

According to the environmental finance data source Ecosystem Marketplace, the carbon-crediting initiatives were a success, rising to support more than $2 billion in transactions between credit providers, brokers, exchanges, and ultimate purchasers in the last year. The carbon-credit database maintained by the University of California Berkeley, project developers who have been working to do things such as protect forests, restore wetlands, capture methane from landfills and livestock, and other similar activities have issued more than 1.5 billion credits as of April 2022.

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                     "Highway to climate hell": UN chief opens COP27 with dire warning | ABC News

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