Thursday May 28th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below each days climate, weather and environmental news section. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: COVID-19 Delays Crucial Climate Talks And Negotiations
Dear Diary: What we least can afford to do during the early part of this crucial decade is kick the proverbial can down the road on climate. I’ve noticed that the Paris Accords are flimsy at best, with most nations such as the United States not earnestly making great commitments to rapid transition away from fossil fuels. Annual meetings have been held to strengthen commitments and efforts to fight the climate crisis, many allowing corrupt energy companies at the table, but slowly (and too slowly) some progress has been made since the accords were ratified in 2015. Yesterday we learned that COP26, which was to take place in Glasgow this year, has been put off a full year due to pandemic fears. For more details here is a New York Times piece:
Britain, Host of U.N. Climate Talks, Proposes Full-Year Pandemic Delay
The postponement, expected to be approved, could result in national recovery plans with high environmental costs, some diplomats say.
Alok Sharma, the British cabinet secretary responsible for the Glasgow climate conference. Credit…Pool photo by Tolga Akmen
Ms. Sengupta attended COP25 in Madrid as our global climate reporter and has also worked as United Nations correspondent.
- May 26, 2020
International negotiations designed to address the sweeping global threat of climate change will quite likely be delayed by a full year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain, the host of the talks, which were initially scheduled to be held at the end of this year in Glasgow, proposed on Tuesday that they be postponed until November 2021. A decision is to be made Thursday by countries that make up the rotating governing board of the United Nations agency that sponsors the talks.
“Given the uneven spread of Covid-19, this date would present the lowest risk of further postponement and the best chance of delivering an inclusive and ambitious COP,” British officials said in a letter to countries in the accord, using shorthand for Conference of the Parties, the formal name of the meeting.
The conference is meant to rally world leaders to chart ways to avert the worst effects of climate change, including fatal heat waves and flooded coastal cities.
It took more than 20 such conferences before countries agreed on the landmark 2015 Paris pact, under which they pledged to keep global average temperatures from rising well below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with preindustrial levels.
The next round of talks, the 26th annual COP, is the most important session since then. Countries are expected to announce revised climate targets in order to reach that global target, which remains elusive.
- Thanks for reading The Times.
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Virus-induced lockdowns around the world have resulted in a sharp drop in greenhouse gas emissions in recent months, but the decline has been nowhere near enough to shake loose the thick blanket of gases that already wraps the planet.
Delaying the talks by a full year could have other repercussions, some diplomats say. It could encourage countries and international financial institutions to enact economic recovery plans without paying much heed to their climate implications. If the climate talks take place sooner, said Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, the energy and environment minister for Costa Rica, government leaders will feel more pressure to align their stimulus packages with sustainability goals.
“We’re losing time,” he said. “If there are no strings attached to international aid and national recovery plans we may be in a very difficult spot. Having a COP soon would help influence global recovery plans.”
The British letter gave a nod to those concerns by saying that “Covid-19 economic recovery is an opportunity to build more sustainable and inclusive economies and societies.”
The United Nations announced in April that the talks, originally scheduled for mid-November this year, would be delayed but did not give a new date.U.N. Climate Talks End With Few Commitments and a ‘Lost’ OpportunityDec. 15, 2019‘Bleak’ U.N. Report on a Planet in Peril Looms Over New Climate TalksNov. 26, 2019
Somini Sengupta is an international climate correspondent. She has also covered the Middle East, West Africa and South Asia for The Times and received the 2003 George Polk Award for her work in Congo, Liberia and other conflict zones. @SominiSengupta • Facebook
I’m very sure that holding these climate talks entail a high carbon footprint, especially when one looks at air travel involving all representatives from each distant country. I have to ask, why not hold a zoom conference coordinated by the United Nations? Surely alternatives can be found that are safe from COVID-19 that can be productive without much, if any, delay from November 2020. Just sayin’.
Here is more climate and weather news from Thursday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Here are some “ET’s” from yesterday:
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(As usual, the most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”