UN climate report, the conflict between science and politics

Next Monday, August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations (UN) will publish its long-awaited report on the global environmental situation and the measures humanity must take to avoid a planetary catastrophe, a document that, given its importance, becomes a catalyst for protest movements But it is also the target of far-reaching political pressure.

The diplomats and scientists who make up the IGC met for two weeks via video conference to prepare their next report. The mission is gigantic, and totally updates the global consensus on climate science for the first time since 2013.

For the 234 authors, the process involves compiling more than 14,000 studies and, most importantly, obtaining approval from the 195 member states, any of which may prevent key conclusions from appearing in the “Summary of Policymakers”, the part where it comes in The essence of the obligations.

“These characteristics make the IPCC vulnerable to politics, particularly the policies of the world’s largest oil exporters,” said a report published this week in Bloomberg News. He explained that “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change received an objective lesson about this danger in 2018, when Saudi Arabia attempted at the last minute to remove the report.”

According to a Bloomberg publication, when countries signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, they pledged to keep temperature rises “well below 2°C” compared to pre-industrial times, while “pursuing efforts” to limit them to 1.5°C.

Last hour changes

“It was not clear what exactly the world would have to do to achieve the more ambitious goal. So governments, in the language of diplomacy, “invited” the IPCC to provide a response. This was a very unusual request. The IPCC ( IPCC) is an association of volunteer scholars who produce arduous technical assessments, not policy recommendations,” the text explains.

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On that occasion, scientists answered that the consequences of rising temperatures above 2 degrees Celsius would be fatal to humanity, and they urged countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“All of this was included in his draft report on a meeting of IPCC scientists and climate diplomats at a summit in Incheon, South Korea, which took place in the first week of October 2018. Negotiations continued at their usual pace, for turnarounds, great and heavy,” he recalls. Bloomberg.

With only 24 hours left, Saudi Arabia halted production when it moved to cross out the language of one of the report’s titles. The paragraph in question expressly refers to “Nationally Determined Contributions,” the official name for countries’ climate goals, for not achieving the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement,” the agency explains in the text. Signed by Eric Ruston and Akshat Rathi.

New instructions

Delegates from 195 countries agreed on the new forecasts of the United Nations Group of Climate Experts (IPCC) on Friday, which will be released on Monday. The IPCC said on Twitter that the report was “approved and accepted in the first historic hypothetical approval session”.

Committee members have been meeting since July 26 behind closed doors to negotiate line by line, word for word, a “summary for decision makers” of this assessment, seven years after the last assessment.

Amid a string of disasters around the world, from floods in Germany and China to wildfires in Europe and North America, scientists will not reveal their new climate assessments and predictions of rising global temperatures until Monday. Sea level rise and other extreme phenomena.

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The report comes three months before the UN’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow (Scotland), and is crucial to the future of the planet, as only half of the signatories to the Paris Agreement have revised their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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