Struggle for science blocks key UN climate report

UN chief Antonio Guterres speaking on February 6, 2023 – Copyright AFP PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The release of a major new UN report on climate change is delayed due to infighting over emissions targets and financial aid to developing countries.

The main issue of the heist is a battle between rich and developing countries over emissions targets and financial aid to vulnerable countries, according to CTV News Canada.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is meant to cap off a series that digests vast amounts of research on global warming compiled since the Paris climate agreement in 2015.

The fourth and final part of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) was formulated by the world’s leading climate scientists and is called the Synthesis Report because it brings together the main findings from the previous three main sections.

The first three sections covered the physical science of the climate crisis, including observations and projections of global warming, the impacts of the climate crisis and how to adapt to it, and ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. . They were released in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

It is important to note that there is no new science in this current report – it is simply a recap of key findings from previous publications.

According to the Associated Press, the report was expected to be approved by government delegations on Friday after a week-long meeting in the Swiss city of Interlaken.

The fourth deadline for signing the report was extended several times over the weekend as wealthy countries, such as China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as the United Nations and the European Union , haggled over the wording of key phrases in the text.

While a summary of the report was finally approved on Sunday, there is still a risk that agreement on the main text will have to be postponed until a later meeting, according to three sources familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity due to of the confidential nature of the talks, the Associated Press said.

One of the thorniest questions was how to define which nations are considered vulnerable developing countries, making them eligible for money from a “loss and damage” fund agreed at the last Nations climate talks. United in Egypt.

Delegates also wrangled over numbers on how much greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut over the next few years and how to include artificial or natural carbon removal efforts in the equations, The Hill adds.

Interestingly, the United States, the country that has released the most carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since industrialization, has strongly pushed back against taking historic responsibility for climate change.

Observers said IPCC meetings have become increasingly politicized as the stakes for curbing global warming rise. While average global temperatures have already risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius since the 19th century, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres still insists that the 1.5 degree target limit remains possible “with rapid and deep reductions in emissions in all sectors of the global economy”.

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