What you missed at the UN COP27 climate talks: NPR


Former US Vice President Al Gore speaks during the launch of the TRACE Greenhouse Gas Inventory in the plenary during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 COP27.

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Former US Vice President Al Gore speaks during the launch of the TRACE Greenhouse Gas Inventory in the plenary during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 COP27.

Jihad Hamdi / dpa / Picture Alliance via Getty

US plan to fund low-income countries faces criticism

The United States wants to create a system for buying and selling carbon credits as a way to do so Helping low-income countries pay To move away from fossil fuels.

under power transmission accelerator, companies will buy loans from developing countries that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon credit represents a specific amount of emissions that have been reduced or removed from the atmosphere. Companies buy credits to offset their emissions.

Details of the State Department’s plan are still being worked out, but it appears that states will generate credits by cutting emissions in their energy sectors by retiring fossil fuel infrastructure such as coal plants and adding renewable energy. States will then be able to sell credits to businesses. The US State Department said in a statement that these transactions will create a reliable source of funds for low-income countries, which can be used to obtain additional private financing on favorable terms.

Critics say carbon markets – places where carbon credits are bought and sold – often fail to deliver climate benefits. Many climate advocates say that low-income countries need to get the money directly in the form of grants that do not further strain their national budgets.

“Carbon offsets are not an answer in a world that is already on fire, underwater and facing increasing climate losses and damage,” said Rachel Cletts of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Pakistan’s climate minister urges leaders of wealthy countries to pay

Now that most of the world’s leaders have made their opening statements, it’s time to get down to business. But there appears to be little agreement on who will pay for the massive damage that climate change is causing, particularly in developing countries. Rich countries, whose pollution has contributed the most to climate change, agreed to discuss creating a Loss and Damage Fund for Developing Countries at these talks, but a formal decision may still be elusive.

Tens of millions of people were affected by floods caused by climate change in Pakistan earlier this year. The country’s climate minister, Sherry Rehman, said the cost was at least $30 billion – an astronomical sum that Pakistan could not afford.

In theory, Rahman and other delegates from around the world were supposed to keep their comments today in an opening statement of just two minutes. But Fazlur Rahman spoke longer, saying that countries should at least agree to talk about financing losses and damages.

“If we’re late,” Rehman said, while she interrupted an organizer to tell her her time was up. “Yes,” she replied, “time is up. Times of it all, frankly.”

“[If we delay] “Putting loss and damage on an actionable agenda with a framework,” she continued, “then the signal we’re sending to each other and the rest of the world is that weakness is a death sentence.”

See Rahman’s full notes here, starting around 1:37:15.

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A handful of states have announced new funding to support losses and damages in recent days. New Zealand offers $20 million and Austria 50 million euros. Germany and Denmark also announced more than 170 million euros forglobal shieldA new fund will provide disaster assistance and climate insurance to developing countries.

However, only six countries have made such commitments so far, and formally Negotiations about losses and damages It will likely warm up in the next week.

New website shows source of greenhouse gas emissions (hint: power plants and gas fields)

The site is called Climate trackingIt shows the exact sources of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

The inventory is based on measurements from satellites and sensors on the ground, aircraft and ships. This is important because much of the self-reported data from industry on carbon dioxide and especially on methane pollution is unreliable.

The new website shows that power plants and oil and gas fields are by far the largest sources of emissions worldwide. For example, 26 of the 50 largest emitters of greenhouse gases are oil and gas operations.

Methane – the predominant component in natural gas – is a particularly big problem, as it is an incredibly powerful greenhouse gas. It traps a ton of heat in the atmosphere. U.S. oil and gas operations do not report how much methane they emit, Recent research indicates.

The new website shows hot spots for oil and gas emissions in the United States, Russia and the Middle East. Could you Browse the map for yourself here.

The goal of the new website is to publicize the source of global warming emissions, and to make it difficult for governments and companies to make vague promises to reduce those emissions.


Conference attendees walk in front of the Mona Blue Pacific Pavilion at the conference.

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The United States looks to boost investment in developing countries trying to deal with climate impacts

The US Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which works with private investors to bring money to low-income countries, says it is trying to boost investments to help countries deal with the effects they are already feeling from climate change.

According to the United Nations, industrialized nations gave developing nations about $29 billion in funding in 2020 to help them prepare for more severe storms, heat waves and floods. but that Just a fraction of what the developing world needs In order to minimize damage from extreme weather events, the report says.

The DFC says it is looking to support small and medium-sized businesses with plans to improve climate adaptation in agriculture, water, infrastructure and health.

“The DFC has committed more than $390 million to climate adaptation projects over the past fiscal year. We want to expand our work and help those most affected by serving as a catalyst for private investment in developing countries,” said Scott Nathan, the agency’s CEO. press release.

Nathan has also signed a retaining letter with Scatec, a renewable energy company, to consider funding for a new project. Hydrogen Project In Egypt it works on clean energy.

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