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A Huge Disconnect Between Climate Rhetoric and Doing Anything About It

Expect COP26 to be the biggest climate summit failure to date vs expectations and goals.
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COP26 Guaranteed Failure

Conference of Parties 

COP26 is the 26th annual Conference of Parties on climate change. The goal of these meetings is to agree to methods of limiting global warming to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels by 2100. 

COP15 in Paris set lofty goals, but goals are one thing and actions are another. The rest of the 25 previous conferences failed totally.

Unless China, India, and developing nations are on board, don't expect COP to do anything. And here's a hint: China, India, and the developing nations are not on board,

Goals of COP26

  • Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5C within reach
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  • Mobilize finance
  • Work together to deliver

Except for the first bullet point the goals are mush, but I can translate. 

Mobilize finance means payments to developing nations to meet their goals. Developing nations want more money than will be agreed on.

China is not committed net zero by mid-century. Countries are not working together.

COP26 Agenda

  • October 30-31: G20 leaders gather in Rome. Key moment: look for climate pledges from China, India, and Saudi Arabia. More climate cash from France and Italy. A G20 communiqué reaffirming 1.5C goal.
  • November 1-2 : World Leaders Summit opens COP26. Speeches will call for more climate action as talks begin. Key moment: an appearance from Xi Jinping will signal China means business.
  • November 4: Energy Day – Alok Sharma will be fighting to “make coal history”. Key moment: look out for new signatories to the UN’s No New Coal pact.
  • November 5: Youth and public empowerment day. Key moment: expect noisy protests from Greta Thunberg for more action.
  • November 10: Transport day, with focus on cutting carbon from cars. Key moment: Boris Johnson will hope for new national bans on petrol and diesel car sales.
  • November 12: Negotiations are due to end, so expect last minute scuffles to delay proceedings. Key moment: release of the negotiated text. No climate target, but nations are likely to reaffirm support for 1.5C goal. The text may agree to present more ambitious carbon-cutting targets by 2023. Nations should also have agreed common time frames for their climate targets, and the format for progress reports against those targets.

The above from COP26 meaning: What the name of Glasgow climate summit stands for and its aims explained

What to Expect

  • October 30-31: Another useless communiqué reaffirming 1.5C goal.
  • 1-2 November: Lots of speeches including another world will end in 15 years keynote address. Xi Jinping will not signal China means business or if he does, it will be a lie.
  • 4 November: Energy Day – Alok Sharma will fight to “make coal history”. There will be new signatories to the UN’s No New Coal pact but China and the US won't be among them.
  • 5 November: Expect noisy protests from Greta Thunberg. This goal will certainly be met but it will not accomplish a damn thing.
  • 10 November: Transport day, with focus on cutting carbon from cars. Key moment: Boris Johnson will hope for new national bans on petrol and diesel car sales. If there is anything to cheer it will come in this sector. But there will not be meaningful bans on petrol other than perhaps diesel cars. Most of the success will happen anyway from car makers. 
  • 12 November: Negotiations are due to end, so expect last minute scuffles to delay proceedings. Key moment: release of the negotiated text. No climate target, but nations are likely to reaffirm support for 1.5C goal. The text is sure to disappoint climate change activists.

Climate Summit to Nowhere

The Wall Street Journal has the right idea in its outlook The Climate Summit to Nowhere.

It’s incongruous bordering on the bizarre to organize a summit like this while Europe is battening down for a winter fuel crisis, President Biden is begging OPEC to produce more oil, China is firing up its coal-fueled power plants amid an electricity shortage, and climate-change plans wilt as soon as they’re exposed to the sunlight of democratic politics.

No matter. This summit is called COP26 because there have already been 25. No less than the United Nations admitted this week that nations have made little progress on their previous climate pledges. But rather than adjust to this political reality, the delegates will make even more unrealistic promises.

The commitments of developing countries are even flimsier and depend on bribes from the rich. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) this week called for more international aid to finance emissions reductions: A “floor” of $100 billion annually should do it, with $367 billion over the next five years going to Asean, thank you. Out of the 75% reduction in carbon emissions the Philippines plans to achieve by 2030, 72% is contingent on foreign aid, Nikkei reported this week.

Rich countries first made the $100 billion pledge in 2009, but the money still hasn’t appeared. Taxpayers in rich economies will be even less willing to sacrifice their own cash for the climate when they realize who isn’t coming to COP26: Vladimir Putin of Russia and China’s Xi Jinping.

Leaders of other big CO2 emitters, such as world number-three India, will be in Glasgow but might as well not be. Delhi’s environment minister suggested this week that his government won’t sign up for net zero. With several hundred million Indians still living in poverty, India needs more energy from fossil fuels, as does all of Africa.

Mr. Xi promised in 2020 to reduce climate emissions—but only after 2030. In the here and now, China is building more coal-powered plants because growing the economy is a far higher priority. The Kremlin’s budget floats on oil and gas production, and Mr. Putin won’t mind if Western Europe goes to net zero. He’ll then have more energy leverage.

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More Money Please 

Please consider the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change COP 26.


"The Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, reaffirmed our commitments ...."

Based On ...."a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, which takes into account the needs and priorities of developing countries."

NIKKEI Asia reports ASEAN urges developed world to lift climate financing over $100bn

Developed countries should "continue and further scale up the mobilization of climate finance ahead of initiating deliberations on the setting up of a new collective quantified goal from a floor of $100 billion per year," the bloc said in a joint statement issued Tuesday at its annual summit, ahead of the COP26 climate conference opening next week in Scotland.

Yet a study by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a Singaporean think tank, found that Southeast Asians have little awareness of their countries' climate policies. Nearly 60% of respondents were unsure whether their country had submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris climate agreement.

ASEAN would need at least $367 billion through the next five years for its energy plans, bloc Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi said this week.


  • China will continue to build coal-fired plants through 2030
  • China has a net neutral target of 2060 not 2050
  • Russia will not do a thing
  • India will not agree to goals 
  • Developing countries will demand but not receive more money
  • Gretta, will give a rousing speech on the end of the world as we know it within 15 years. 

How much carbon will be released by all those jetting around the world to attend this useless summit? 

COP26 will be the biggest failure yet. 

But hey, Gretta will get her picture on countless newspapers and magazines. That counts for something, doesn't it? 

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