Don’t get me wrong: the implementation of a global fund for losses and damages from climate change, at COP28 in Dubai, represents progress in 30 years of negotiations. But it’s too little, too late.
Some rich countries have promised to deposit US$415 million (R$2 billion) into the account, which will be managed by the World Bank for four years. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are the hosts, and Germany were generous, with US$100 million each.
Other nations in the European Union (EU) will contribute a total of US$ 136 million. The USA, with US$17.5 million, and Japan, with US$10 million – which is a good measure of their commitment to compensating the poor populations of Africa, Asia and Latin America, the most vulnerable to extreme events.
The figures pale in comparison to what would be essential to make a difference. Latin America and the Caribbean alone lost, in 2022, US$320 million due to climate damage, reports Ana Carolina Amaral in this Sheet.
The drop in the value of agricultural production in Rio Grande do Sul, partly due to the impact of the climate, has exceeded R$30 billion since 2021, reports fellow columnist Mauro Zafalon. Not to mention the lives and property lost in the rains that ravage the South.
Developed countries had promised to fund US$100 billion annually, between 2020 and 2025, to help less developed countries. They never complied. In 2022, oil company profits doubled to US$219 billion.
Fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal are the main causes of global warming. This did not stop the 197 signatories of the Climate Convention from immediately choosing the UAE petrostate to host COP28.
The UAE took US$125 million out of its deep pockets to try to offset the bad impression left by the accusation that they would use the conference to do oil deals. Proof that they don’t care about the health of the atmosphere was inviting 400,000 people to COP28, generating the largest climate footprint of these meetings ever – just imagine how much aviation kerosene will be used on this.
COP28 could only be assessed as a success if the dignitaries swarming Dubai left with a plan of goals and deadlines to ban the exploration of fossil fuels. Whoever thinks the emirs will agree to such a thing wins a leaky barrel.
The Brazilian government is not far behind in duplicity. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) parades in Dubai with a green leader badge: he proposes another billion-dollar fund to preserve forests, demands fulfillment of financial promises from rich countries, shows off Marina Silva (Rede) and the drop in deforestation in the Amazon.
Hours before, the country’s entry into OPEC was being discussed, as if producing oil on the equatorial margin of the same Amazon, even for export and not burning here, was harmless to the climate. Or the carbon emitted in the destruction of the cerrado at twice the rate of the Amazon forest would be harmless.
The Paris Agreement, eight years ago, set 1.5ºC of warming as a safety threshold, but the planet is heading towards something between 2.5ºC and 3ºC. There is not even a consensus on the methodology to verify whether this Rubicon has been crossed, warns an article in the next edition of the journal Nature.
In principle, the threshold will be exceeded when the 20-year average remains at 1.5ºC, which would delay drastic measures to reverse excessive warming by at least a decade. The greatest probability is that the overtake will occur within this decade, but the reaction will be until the end of the 2030s – this is the sense of urgency, or the specter of it, that surrounds Dubai.
LINK PRESENT: Did you like this text? Subscribers can access five free accesses from any link per day. Just click the blue F below.