The main battle lines being formed at the Glasgow talks, known as the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties or COP26, relate to who is responsible for warming a planet that is already underway, who should do what to keep it. from aggravation and how to live with the damage already done.
The scene itself is a reminder. In the mid-19th century, Glasgow was a center of heavy industry and shipbuilding. Its power and wealth grew as Britain conquered nations across Asia and Africa, gaining their wealth, and becoming the world’s leading industrial power until the United States took over the mantle.
The largest share of emissions that have already warmed the planet comes mainly from the US and Europe, including the UK, while the largest share of currently produced emissions comes from China, the global factory.
In some cases, divisions in Glasgow have opposed advanced industrialized countries, including the US and Europe, against emerging economies, including China, India and South Africa. In other cases, they place large emerging pollutants, such as China and India, against small vulnerable countries, including low-lying island nations in the Pacific and the Caribbean, that want more aggressive action against emissions.
The tensions over money are so deep that they threaten to derail cooperation.
In 2010, rich countries pledged to pay $ 100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries tackle climate change. Some of this money has been paid, but the full amount will not be realized until 2023, three years later, according to the latest plan published by the group. industrialized countries.
Even more difficult is the idea that industrialized countries would also pay compensation to vulnerable countries to make up for the damage already done. Known in diplomatic circles as the Loss and Damage Fund, discussions on this have been postponed for years due to opposition from countries such as the United States.