negotiation is meant to depart everybody feeling just a little unhappy. The US presidential envoy on local weather, John Kerry, mentioned as a lot when the newest UN local weather change convention – COP26 in Glasgow – drew to an in depth. The Glasgow Local weather Pact it produced can have upset most international locations for one motive or one other. However the delegates who arrived in Glasgow hoping for a brand new monetary settlement between wealthy and poor international locations, to assist the latter climate the local weather disaster, will really feel most let down of all.
That is half 5 and the ultimate episode of Local weather struggle: the world’s greatest negotiations, a sequence on COP26 from The Anthill podcast. On this episode we reported from Glasgow the place we spoke with lecturers who’ve been researching the UN local weather negotiations for many years, and among the folks representing their international locations within the talks.
As we heard within the first episode, developed international locations promised to pay the growing world US$100 billion (£75 billion) a yr by 2020, however fell brief by about US$20 billion. Local weather finance is meant to assist among the world’s poorest folks survive a disaster they didn’t create and develop economies that are inexperienced and resilient.
However there’s one thing else growing international locations argue prosperous international locations owe them for: loss and injury. Lisa Vanhala, professor of political science at UCL, explains that this refers back to the irreversible impacts of local weather change which international locations can not adapt to, like sea degree rise. Compensation for loss and injury was “actually the large factor that growing international locations got here into [COP26] united in asking for,” Vanhala says. However the outcome was “no money on the desk”, because the EU and US blocked the creation of a facility for delivering loss and injury finance.
The fortnight in Glasgow handed with a flurry of pre-arranged offers and speeches by world leaders. Within the negotiating rooms, delegates from 197 international locations gathered to grind out an settlement, usually haggling over strains within the draft textual content lengthy into the night time. COP26 was labelled the least accessible UN local weather change summit but, as COVID-19 vaccine hoarding and worth gouging for lodging in Glasgow restricted attendance by poorer nations, and guidelines set by the UK presidency saved civil society teams at bay.
Within the first days of the summit, lengthy strains saved delegates and observers ready outdoors within the rain for hours. So how did all of this have an effect on the eventual settlement?
“I believe a mistake that’s generally made is to imagine that each one these negotiation outcomes are rational,” says François Gemenne, director of the Hugo Observatory on the College of Liège in Belgium. Gemenne has studied the UN local weather negotiation course of for a very long time, and noticed how administrative blunders helped derail an settlement at COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009.
Whereas he says the UK’s dealing with of the talks and the place of different wealthy international locations on loss and injury can have sowed resentment amongst growing nations which got here to hammer out a deal, “COP just isn’t a one-shot occasion. It’s a steady course of … and it’s vital for international locations of the worldwide outh [especially] to maintain the method rolling.”
Abhinay Muthoo, a professor of economics and skilled in negotiating on the College of Warwick, says “belief is essential… in enriching offers.” The Glasgow Local weather Pact reaffirmed the will of all international locations to restrict world warming to 1.5°C. However the discord of COP26, which included a last-minute intervention by India and China to water down a decision on coal energy, confirmed how a lot work continues to be wanted to bridge the divide between developed and growing international locations.
On this episode, we additionally converse to Hadeel Hisham Ikhmais, a local weather negotiator from Palestine, who explains what it’s wish to be a negotiator behind closed doorways at COP26.
The Local weather Battle podcast sequence is produced by Tiffany Cassidy. Sound design by Eloise Stevens and the theme tune is by Neeta Sarl. The sequence editor is Gemma Ware.
A transcript of this episode might be obtainable quickly.
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Local weather Battle: the world’s greatest negotiation is a podcast sequence supported by UK Analysis and Innovation, the UK’s largest public funder of analysis and innovation.