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Good omens hard to find as global climate talks open

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By Mark John and Katy Daigle, REUTERS. it is about how Good omens are hard to find as global climate talks open.

Summary

  • COP26 aims to secure tougher measures to cut CO2 emissions
  • Conference set to begin with afternoon speeches
  • Weekend G20 summit failed to set positive tone for COP26
  • Thunberg urges leaders: ‘Face up to climate emergency now’

GLASGOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) – World leaders began arriving on Monday at a U.N. conference critical to averting the most disastrous effects of climate change, their challenge made even more daunting by the failure of major industrial nations to agree ambitious new commitments.

The COP26 conference in the Scottish city of Glasgow opens a day after the G20 economies failed to commit to a 2050 target to halt net carbon emissions – a deadline widely cited as necessary to prevent the most extreme global warming.

Instead, their talks in Rome only recognised “the key relevance” of halting net emissions “by or around mid-century”, set no timetable for phasing out coal at home and watered down promises to cut emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg asked her millions of supporters to sign an open letter accusing leaders of betrayal.Report ad

“As citizens across the planet, we urge you to face up to the climate emergency,” she tweeted. “Not next year. Not next month. Now.”

Many of those leaders take to the stage in Glasgow on Monday to defend their records and in some cases make new pledges at the start of two weeks of negotiations that conference host Britain is billing as make-or-break.Report ad

“Humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. It’s one minute to midnight and we need to act now,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell the opening ceremony, according to advance excerpts of his speech.

“If we don’t get serious about climate change today, it will be too late for our children to do so tomorrow.”

DISCORD

Discord among some of the world’s biggest emitters about how to cut back on coal, oil and gas, and help poorer countries to adapt to global warming, will not make the task easier.

At the G20, U.S. President Joe Biden singled out China and Russia, neither of which is sending its leader to Glasgow, for not bringing proposals to the table.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, on board Air Force One with Biden, said Glasgow could put pressure on those who had not yet stepped up, but that it would not end the global effort.

“It is also critical for us to recognise that the work is going to have to continue after everyone goes home,” he told reporters.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is by far the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and ahead of the United States, will address the conference on Monday in a written statement, according to an official schedule.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, one of the world’s top three oil producers along with the United States and Saudi Arabia, has dropped plans to participate in any talks live by video link, the Kremlin said. read more

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will also stay away. Two Turkish officials said Britain had failed to meet Ankara’s demands on security arrangements and protocol. read more

PROMISES, PROMISES

Delayed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, COP26 aims to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels – a level scientists say would avoid its most destructive consequences.

To do that, it needs to secure more ambitious pledges to reduce emissions, lock in billions in climate-related financing for developing countries, and finish the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by nearly 200 countries.

Existing pledges to cut emissions would allow the planet’s average surface temperature to rise 2.7C this century, which the United Nations says would supercharge the destruction that climate change is already causing by intensifying storms, exposing more people to deadly heat and floods, raising sea levels and destroying natural habitats.

Developed countries confirmed last week that they would be three years late in meeting a promise made in 2009 to provide $100 billion a year in climate finance to developing countries by 2020. read more

“Africa is responsible for only 3% of global emissions, but Africans are suffering the most violent consequences of the climate crisis,” Ugandan activist Evelyn Acham told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

“They are not responsible for the crisis, but they are still paying the price of colonialism, which exploited Africa’s wealth for centuries,” she said. “We have to share responsibilities fairly.”

Two days of speeches by world leaders starting Monday will be followed by technical negotiations. Any deal may not be struck until close to or even after the event’s Nov. 12 finish date.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Jeff Mason; writing by Mark John and Kevin Liffey; editing by Barbara Lewis

On the bandwagon to Glasgow: Climate action in the MENA region

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Al Jazeera in its Opinions on the current Climate Crisis published this article of Karim Elgendy, a Sustainability consultant based in London on how certain counties will be travelling on the bandwagon to Glasgow to relay what Climate action in the MENA region will consist of.

Countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE not only jumped on the climate bandwagon, but they may also be attempting to control its steering wheel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced his country’s plans to become carbon natural by 2053 [Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

In the few weeks leading up to the upcoming UN climate change summit in Glasgow – known as COP26 – the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region witnessed an unprecedented shift in its climate policy.

The MENA region has often had a complicated relationship with climate change and the actions required to address it.

Regional greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow on every front. In fact, during the 40 years preceding the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the MENA region was the only one where total emissions, emissions per capita, and emissions per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) all increased. Many of the region’s countries also have rentier economies that are dependent on fossil fuel exports, and so are concerned about the loss of revenues. Yet the region is also disproportionately at risk from climate change impacts, not only relative to its small share of historic greenhouse gas emissions, but also relative to its share of the global population and global GDP.

In the annual UN climate summits known as Conference of Parties – or COP for short – countries of the MENA region have often played a role that reflected this complicated relationship. They often appeared hesitant to advocate for ambitious climate action and generally opposed rapid decarbonisation claiming it will damage their developing economies. Some countries demanded international funding especially when it comes to adapting to climate change, while others made claims for compensation for possible loss of fossil fuel revenues.

As a regular observer of the annual climate negotiations, I often felt that the region was trying to hold back the tide. While the scientific community reached a consensus on transitioning to a low-carbon economy fuelled by renewable energy, and as world leaders were busy working out the details of this transformation, the region looked like a straggler stuck in a puddle of oil.

Fuelling competition, eventually

The Paris Agreement, while restoring hope in averting the worst effects of climate change, did not alter these dynamics immediately. The accord’s bottom-up approach allowed each country to voluntarily determine how much it is willing to commit to the fight against climate change. Initially, this allowed countries to pledge as little as possible, which led to a collective global commitment that fell short of the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5C.

However, the genius of the agreement only transpired over the last couple of years, when it started driving competition between nations to revise their commitments upwards. As the global transformation to a low-carbon world appeared inevitable, many countries figured out that by committing to ambitious climate action sooner rather than later they will be better positioned to shape this new world rather than be shaped by it. Many nations also figured that as first-movers, they could establish themselves as global or regional leaders through climate diplomacy.

So despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more commitments for deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions were made by developed economies. Some nations also set long-term strategies to reach zero carbon by the middle of the century including the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Canada, and South Korea.

Leaving the puddle behind

Earlier this year, signals were already emerging in the MENA region that climate diplomacy is becoming central to the diplomatic arsenal of its powers as they competed for regional leadership and to fill a perceived power vacuum. Yet in the run-up to COP26 these powers have all picked up the pace by committing to long-term climate goals that were not on the cards less than a year ago.

Just in the last few weeks, we saw a flurry of regional announcements from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signalling their intention to become zero-carbon economies by the middle of the century. A few months earlier, Israel had also announced an “almost zero” carbon plan, by pledging to reduce its emissions by 85 percent in 30 years. Iran is now the only regional power that is yet to develop an ambitious climate target or even ratify the Paris Agreement.

The Turkish announcement of its plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2053 came first and was followed within days by the UAE’s 2050 Net-Zero Initiative which was hailed as the first such target by an oil exporter outside of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD. The Saudi announcement earlier this week outlined the kingdom’s vision to reach zero carbon by 2060 as part of the Saudi Green Initiative and its regional vision, known as the Middle East Green Initiative. Bahrain immediately followed with a similar pledge.

Unsurprisingly, there are many commonalities between these announcements. They all included plans to dramatically expand their renewable energy capacity and improve energy efficiency. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel also share plans to use tree planting as a carbon-capturing measure, while Turkey and Arabia both plan to develop an emissions trading scheme.

Yet climate policy always reflects national circumstances and priorities. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have made it clear that despite their commitment to reducing emissions from their oil and gas industries, their plan is to maintain their role as big fossil fuel producers. In fact, the Saudi climate commitments are conditional on its ability to maintain its fossil fuel exports.

Saudi Arabia’s green initiatives are also unique in promoting the Circular Carbon Economy – a new approach that the kingdom is championing which proposes that fossil fuels are not immediately phased out, and advocates removing carbon from the atmosphere using trees in addition to carbon capture and storage technologies.

Financing these visions is also a differentiating factor; while Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel are all making unconditional commitments and do not seek climate funding, Turkey’s move is likely to have been influenced by its efforts to access the growing climate finance flows.

Such announcements are nothing short of transformative economic visions. By introducing these emission reduction targets, the regional powers are setting in motion a direction of travel for their economies for the next 30 to 40 years, shaping all future infrastructure spending, and signalling to their peoples and businesses to start moving towards products and services that have minimal effect on the environment.

Working alone and succeeding together

But long term visions need short-term plans, and regional powers have also increased their 2030 emission reduction pledges ahead of COP26, in line with their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Saudi Arabia, for example, committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030 while the UAE committed to a 23.5 percent reduction, both compared with business-as-usual scenarios. Israel on the other hand committed to a 27 percent reduction in emissions compared with 2015. Other countries across the MENA region have also raised their 2030 targets including Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan. Most of these revised pledges remain relatively modest, indicating that the journey to zero carbon will be slow, to begin with, but they are certainly moving in the right direction.

The new climate focus may also be bringing the region together, as different countries attempt to lead regional climate efforts. Saudi Arabia has gone further than anyone else in fostering a sense of regional collaboration around its vision by launching the Middle East Green Initiative and by inviting 30 regional and international leaders as well as the Arab League to support it. It has also announced the establishment of a regional centre for carbon capture and storage, as well as an investment fund and a collaboration platform to support its Circular Carbon Economy approach.

This collaboration could not have come a moment too soon in a region so vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Regional countries can either succeed together or fail alone.

More engagement

Next week, as the world’s eyes turn to Glasgow, many would be looking to see if these impressive developments in the MENA region’s climate policy would translate into a different negotiating position and more international collaboration.

The region’s countries might have individually arrived at a conclusion that being at the table could help them shape the new world being forged. And while the priorities of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, and Israel vary significantly, a coalition around a regional climate plan might be in the offing, with a different approach than that of European countries currently driving climate action.

How this plays out remains uncertain, but one thing is indisputable; the region wants to become more engaged in shaping the future. The fact that Egypt has been selected to host COP27 next year, while the UAE is the frontrunner to host the following COP in 2023, is further proof of that.

The MENA region not only jumped on the climate bandwagon, but it may also be attempting to control its steering wheel. Over the next months and years, we will find out if it succeeds and what direction it might steer it towards.


Karim ElgendySustainability consultant based in LondonKarim Elgendy is a sustainability consultant based in London. He is an Associate Fellow with Chatham House and the founder of Carboun, an advocacy initiative promoting sustainability in cities of the MENA region.

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Regional Integration in the MENA region

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Opinions|World Bank

Some views expressed in this article are by David R Malpass, President of the World Bank Group and posted on Al Jazeera‘s blog tell us that the World Bank is concerned with the Regional Integration in the MENA region, hence a call for action.

MENA countries are on the cusp of important regional integration initiatives that will provide much needed efficiency gains, diversification, trust building and green growth.

Published On 28 Oct 2021

Countries of the MENA region today have a strong economic incentive to accelerate their efforts at regional integration, writes Malpass [Johannes P Christo/Reuters]

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a region of abundant human and natural resources, shared culture and languages and a well-established heritage of skill in trade. With a total population close to that of the European Union, the MENA region is, however, the least economically integrated in the world. As they strive to create more jobs, attract more investment, boost growth and recover from the pandemic, countries of the MENA region today have a strong economic incentive to accelerate their efforts at regional integration.

The MENA region has been at the crossroads of regional trade throughout history. Countries have previously established a host of multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements, with limited tangible outcomes. The benefits of regional integration include growth spillovers, larger markets, and production scale economies. These are well recognised by MENA economists, traders and farmers alike. What is lacking is not a rationale or capacity to integrate, but rather a sense of urgency to prioritise and move forward with integration.

Opportunities for regional integration include energy and water and certain geographic regions within MENA. These would benefit from advanced dialogue, foundational technical work, and the promise of strong and near-immediate positive economic impact.

With the exception of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the energy sector in MENA is interconnected but not integrated. This means only two percent of the electricity produced in the MENA region is traded between countries each year. Recognising the benefits, the Arab Ministerial Councils for Electricity (AMCE), under the League of Arab States (LAS), has prioritised the establishment of a Pan-Arab Electricity Market (PAEM). The World Bank is engaged in this initiative and has been offering technical assistance and advice. Indeed, the PAEM has the ambitious objective to increase cross-border electricity trade from the current two percent to 40 percent by 2035. This will equip the MENA region with one of the largest multi-country integrated systems in the world – producing a total generation capacity of more than 600 gigawatts by 2035.

In North Africa, scaling up existing regional energy with Europe’s Mediterranean countries should also be expanded. At my recent meeting with Arab Governors during the World Bank Group Annual Meetings, I emphasised the need to sustain and accelerate these critical regional energy initiatives and to prioritise actions that will help alleviate demand and supply imbalances across many countries of the MENA region.

The fact that most of the MENA region’s water is shared also presents an opportunity to accelerate regional integration efforts. In the MENA region, all major river basins, tributaries, and groundwater aquifers are considered shared waters. As pressure increases due to climate change, population growth and development it will become increasingly important to develop adequate frameworks for advancing regional cooperation. There is a broad range of global examples that showcase the power of water as a catalyser for cooperation. As a result, strengthening transboundary water cooperation can be a powerful tool not only for improving water security in the countries in the region, but also for promoting economic prosperity and greater cooperation.

Finally, and as described in the recent update of the World Bank Group’s approach to Regional Integration in Africa, it is critical to strengthen and enable the strong historical and socioeconomic linkages that exist between countries of the Maghreb and those of sub-Saharan Africa. In anticipation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), now is the time to expand and deepen existing platforms for regional cooperation, including in agriculture and digital sectors where progress is most needed, and to explore additional opportunities for regional integration between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

While the challenges of establishing – and sustaining – regional trade, infrastructure and institutions are significant, MENA countries are on the cusp of important regional integration initiatives that will provide much-needed efficiency gains, diversification, trust-building and green growth – all of which will play a catalytic role in economic growth and poverty reduction in MENA. The World Bank Group is ready to play a part in furthering this forward-looking agenda.


David R Malpass, President of the World Bank GroupDavid R Malpass was named President of the World Bank Group in April 2019. Malpass previously served for eleven years in US government roles at the US Treasury, State Department, Senate Budget Committee, and Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. In between government service, he worked for twenty-four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked economist, a columnist with Forbes magazine, and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal. Malpass earned a degree in physics at Colorado College as a Boettcher Scholar, an MBA from the University of Denver, and studied as a Mid-Career Fellow at Georgetown University.

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PArtition, now !

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PArtition, now ! by fadymozaya, posted on 25, 2021, could teach us a lot about how not to share an area of land despite all different and differing aspects of everyday life has direct consequences beyond any description.

The Levant

Some expressions rhyme and flow as if they were a cluster of a hymn or the words of a Renaissance poet.
In my middle eastern mountain area, some words suppress many others and hint at ideas and events that seem to flourish around distinct communities and not others as if they are parasites feeding on an organic scheme.

The invasion of the capital of Phoenicia Libanesis started in the 7th century, it is said that it only took less than a year to take over the “byzantined” capital of Phoenicia Libanesis, some claim that Jeb’El took that role at that time!

The invading herds filled the buffer zone that the sad events of the cataclysmic event of 551-553 A.D caused in the Lebanese littoral, survivors managed to reach the Highlands at that time through the straits of Mount Lebanon, mentioning here Bisri valley, Lycus surrounding, Fidar straits, Madfoun valley, Turza alleys, Kadisha/kalamus sea gate, and Terbol pathways.

The theory that a vacant Mount Lebanon was occupied by oppressed communities of the Syrian inner lands and further has been thoroughly examined by Historians and scribes of the “higher authorities” for centuries.



In the time of emergence of accurate sciences like Anthropology, Geophysics, demography and more .. it is the simple-minded way of thinking to believe any of these texts, clearly controversial in the spectrum of scientificity, and Truth!

Modern scholars have proved continuity of life since the 2nd millennium BC in the cities of Phoenicia Libanesis, and other studies identified clearly a 5000 years of sustainability of Human life in the northern mountains of Lbnn , the way it seems indicates a larger and deeper ancestry! (1)

The culture of Mount Lebanon has been remained untapped and undisturbed unless for brief times of political turbulence, since the Assyrian times and up until the Ottoman period, with slight changes in demographic maps, like the Sharkass implantation on the maritime edge of the river of Kadisha valley, and some others in the Jbeil Kesserwan district.

The invader mindset remained clearly non-homogenous to the native cults and habits, this can clearly be seen in socio-ethnic studies about the Lebanese maze of population, one can clearly identify differences (and minor similarities) between the communities of today’s fragile matrix .

The hard economics, the fragile agreements, the hint-backs to origins and roots still seem to widen the gap between these social components, now it is clearly seen that the self-identification terminology has turned into a complete narrative in the lives of the Lebanese communities, I would like to label it the “Ento-Nehna” speech!

What will come is only the fruit of what we have been doing for years, and we have not changed a bit, since the 7th century onwards.

Making it clear, we require a new socio-political system, and why not, partition.
We have one life to live, and it is precious enough to say what we need, to claim what we earn!

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What is COP26? Here’s how global climate negotiations work

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This article republished from The Conversation is by Shelley Inglis, University of Dayton, Ohio, USA. It looks at the forthcoming international gathering of Glasgow on Climate Change and on the potential confrontations from a practical point of view and elaborates in its own way on What is COP26? Here’s how global climate negotiations work.

The image above is about U.N. climate summits that bring together representatives of almost every country. UNFCCC

What is COP26? Here’s how global climate negotiations work and what’s expected from the Glasgow summit

Over two weeks in November, world leaders and national negotiators will meet in Scotland to discuss what to do about climate change. It’s a complex process that can be hard to make sense of from the outside, but it’s how international law and institutions help solve problems that no single country can fix on its own.

I worked for the United Nations for several years as a law and policy adviser and have been involved in international negotiations. Here’s what’s happening behind closed doors and why people are concerned that COP26 might not meet its goals.

What is COP26?

In 1992, countries agreed to an international treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which set ground rules and expectations for global cooperation on combating climate change. It was the first time the majority of nations formally recognized the need to control greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming that drives climate change.

That treaty has since been updated, including in 2015 when nations signed the Paris climate agreement. That agreement set the goal of limiting global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F), and preferably to 1.5 C (2.7 F), to avoid catastrophic climate change.

COP26 stands for the 26th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC. The “parties” are the 196 countries that ratified the treaty plus the European Union. The United Kingdom, partnering with Italy, is hosting COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 through Nov. 12, 2021, after a one-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why are world leaders so focused on climate change?

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, released in August 2021, warns in its strongest terms yet that human activities have unequivocally warmed the planet, and that climate change is now widespread, rapid and intensifying.

The IPCC’s scientists explain how climate change has been fueling extreme weather events and flooding, severe heat waves and droughts, loss and extinction of species, and the melting of ice sheets and rising of sea levels. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the report a “code red for humanity.”

Enough greenhouse gas emissions are already in the atmosphere, and they stay there long enough, that even under the most ambitious scenario of countries quickly reducing their emissions, the world will experience rising temperatures through at least mid-century.

However, there remains a narrow window of opportunity. If countries can cut global emissions to “net zero” by 2050, that could bring warming back to under 1.5 C in the second half of the 21st century. How to get closer to that course is what leaders and negotiators are discussing.

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the latest climate science findings a ‘code red for humanity.’ UNFCCC

What happens at COP26?

During the first days of the conference, around 120 heads of state, like U.S. President Joe Biden, and their representatives will gather to demonstrate their political commitment to slowing climate change.

Once the heads of state depart, country delegations, often led by ministers of environment, engage in days of negotiations, events and exchanges to adopt their positions, make new pledges and join new initiatives. These interactions are based on months of prior discussions, policy papers and proposals prepared by groups of states, U.N. staff and other experts.

Nongovernmental organizations and business leaders also attend the conference, and COP26 has a public side with sessions focused on topics such as the impact of climate change on small island states, forests or agriculture, as well as exhibitions and other events.

The meeting ends with an outcome text that all countries agree to. Guterres publicly expressed disappointment with the COP25 outcome, and there are signs of trouble heading into COP26.

Celebrities like youth climate activist Greta Thunberg add public pressure on world leaders. UNFCCC

What is COP26 expected to accomplish?

Countries are required under the Paris Agreement to update their national climate action plans every five years, including at COP26. This year, they’re expected to have ambitious targets through 2030. These are known as nationally determined contributions, or NDCs.

The Paris Agreement requires countries to report their NDCs, but it allows them leeway in determining how they reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The initial set of emission reduction targets in 2015 was far too weak to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

One key goal of COP26 is to ratchet up these targets to reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

Another aim of COP26 is to increase climate finance to help poorer countries transition to clean energy and adapt to climate change. This is an important issue of justice for many developing countries whose people bear the largest burden from climate change but have contributed least to it. Wealthy countries promised in 2009 to contribute $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing nations, a goal that has not been reached. The U.S., U.K. and EU, among the largest historic greenhouse emitters, are increasing their financial commitments, and banks, businesses, insurers and private investors are being asked to do more.

Other objectives include phasing out coal use and generating solutions that preserve, restore or regenerate natural carbon sinks, such as forests.

Another challenge that has derailed past COPs is agreeing on implementing a carbon trading system outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Chinese street vendors sell vegetables outside a state-owned coal-fired power plant in 2017. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Are countries on track to meet the international climate goals?

The U.N. warned in September 2021 that countries’ revised targets were too weak and would leave the world on pace to warm 2.7 C (4.9 F) by the end of the century. However, governments are also facing another challenge this fall that could affect how they respond: Energy supply shortages have left Europe and China with price spikes for natural gas, coal and oil.

China – the world’s largest emitter – has not yet submitted its NDC. Major fossil fuel producers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia seem unwilling to strengthen their commitments. India – a critical player as the second-largest consumer, producer and importer of coal globally – has also not yet committed.

Other developing nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa and Mexico are important. So is Brazil, which, under Javier Bolsonaro’s watch, has increased deforestation of the Amazon – the world’s largest rainforest and crucial for biodiversity and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

What happens if COP26 doesn’t meet its goals?

Many insiders believe that COP26 won’t reach its goal of having strong enough commitments from countries to cut global greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030. That means the world won’t be on a smooth course for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and the goal of keeping warming under 1.5 C.

But organizers maintain that keeping warming under 1.5 C is still possible. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been leading the U.S. negotiations, remains hopeful that enough countries will create momentum for others to strengthen their reduction targets by 2025.

The world is not on track to meet the Paris goal. Climate Action Tracker

The cost of failure is astronomical. Studies have shown that the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius can mean the submersion of small island states, the death of coral reefs, extreme heatwaves, flooding and wildfires, and pervasive crop failure.

That translates into many premature deaths, more mass migration, major economic losses, large swaths of unlivable land and violent conflict over resources and food – what the U.N. secretary-general has called “a hellish future.”

[Get The Conversation’s most important politics headlines, in our Politics Weekly newsletter.]

Shelley Inglis, Executive Director, University of Dayton Human Rights Center, University of Dayton

Read the original article.