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Alfredo Sirkis

The climate villains and the Greta brat

Zero surprise. At the COP 25 in Madrid, what I had already predicted at its opening took place. No significant progress towards more ambition, that is to say, strengthening the countries' targets in their NDCs - which, moreover, do not seem to be on track to be met by many of them - and finding financing mechanisms for decarbonisation, the famous negotiation of Article 6, which once again came to nothing.

 

The novelty in relation to the other COPs was the villains. Before, they were mainly Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and the so-called like-minded group. Now it is the USA, Donald Trump, Australia (on fire), Scott Morrison and Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. In fact, Brazil came out in 3 delegations: the group of the anti-minister who understood little of what was being negotiated and arrived to produce factoides for the Brazilian media in their social networks; the Itamaraty, impotent, entrenched in old positions such as that of "double counting" and totally spiked in the role of articulation that it used to exercise; and the Brazilian civil society delegation, this time excluded, with people bringing credentials from Chile, Egypt and a plethora of international entities to enter the so-called "Blue Zone".

 

Unlike almost all the other countries whose pavilions were owned by governments, ours was a civil society one, organized by the Climate and Society Institute (ICS) and became the meeting and debate point for activists, scientists, indigenous people, governors, mayors, parliamentarians and youth, Brazilians and other countries. There were certain partial advances: Colombia and Indonesia managed to obtain an Amazon-type Fund for them. Our Bolsonaro government paralyzed and ruled out billionaire losses. The Amazon states have signed terms of cooperation that may have worked. I helped articulate one of them.

 

The most positive fact may have been the announcement of the European Union unilaterally committing itself to an emissions neutrality target in the middle of the century despite Poland's resistance. They also made progress in establishing a green tariff for imports. But Europe is not decisive. The key is in the hands of China, India and the USA. Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and Russia have significant weight. A swallow doesn't make summer...

 

The COPs always present some small collateral progress and are a moment of meeting, debate and reverberation of the climate issue. But on the central issue: significant reduction of emissions to get the planet off the 4.5 degrees (hell on earth) trajectory in which it is packed or how to finance decarbonization and adaptation, we are stuck as the consequences unfold in our eyes and the literature on the subject becomes simply apocalyptic like a bunch of new books similar to what I am reading, terrible, by David Wallace-Wells "The Uninhabitable Earth". My friends, you are punk.

 

Over the next few years we do not have much to expect from the vast majority of national governments pathetically paralyzed when not deniers. The remaining gap in the path is a revolution in economic value that gives the least carbon status to the "new gold". We must work with states, regions, companies, municipalities and the mobilization of civil society, especially young people. We must mobilize hundreds of millions of Greta brats to flood the streets of the planet.

A rhyme way to a solution...