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Developed Nations Damage Global Environment and Its Talks: UN climate talks wrap up after thin progress

A failure by wealthy nations to deliver on longstanding climate finance pledges are casting a shadow over the UN-led process.

A “significant amount of work” remains to be done ahead of November’s COP26 summit in Britain, with developing nations warning issues of finance and vaccine inequity could derail a successful outcome, said the United Nations climate chief said on Thursday.

Patricia Espinosa called on countries to overcome their differences and work together in the remaining months before the key COP26 negotiations in Glasgow while speaking at the end of three weeks of mid-year climate talks.

She said governments had “engaged effectively”, despite the challenges of virtual working, and made advances in several areas, including common time-frames for emissions-cutting goals and transparency in how countries report their climate action.

Espinosa further said that there are still divisions on the rules governing how global carbon markets will work, the UN climate body noted — and higher-level political guidance will be needed.

Efforts would continue to “ensure maximum progress before COP26”, she added.

“So much is at stake. I urge us to rise to the challenge of our time, to get the job done, to overcome our differences, to fulfill our promises.”

Said the top UN official.

The June talks were the first official UN climate negotiations to be held since the end of 2019, due to delays caused by the pandemic.

The COP26 summit is tasked with finalising rules for the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change so that the pact can be fully implemented, UN officials have said.

“We must achieve success at COP26.”

Espinosa told journalists on Thursday.

“It is a credibility test for our fight against the climate emergency — it is central to a green recovery and it is an affirmation of multilateralism when the world needs it most.”

Many nations have yet to submit stronger climate action plans that were due last year under the Paris accord but thrown off course due to the pandemic.

But a failure by wealthy nations to deliver on longstanding climate finance pledges to help poorer, vulnerable countries shift to renewable energy and adapt to climate change impacts are casting a shadow over the UN-led process.

The pandemic has also thrown an­­other spanner in the works with many developing nations struggling to secure access to vaccines after supplies were mostly bought up by rich countries. That means many delegates do not know whether they will be able to attend the COP26 summit in person.

 “The road to COP 26 remains nebulous — Covid-19 remains a serious concern for many of us.”

Diann Black-Layne of Antigua and Barbuda, representing the 44-member Alliance of Small Island States, told the closing session of the June talks.

The group is also still waiting for major progress on climate finance, she added, calling for a “new, scaled-up finance goal” at COP26 for climate-vulnerable nations.

Palwasha Khattak
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