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Role of negotiating blocs in COP26 Summit

Published : Thursday, 28 October, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 400
Sauid Ahmed Khan & Md Tarek Rahman

In Climate Change negotiations, parties usually do not work alone. They act in blocs to represent their countries and share common goals.These coalition groups are originated from regional groups, Official UN groupings and institutions. Coalition groups are formed through some intergovernmental common interests like culture, economy, climate vulnerability and principles by which they share knowledge, forming voting align and achieving political goals.

COP26 summit is scheduled in Glasgow, Scotland between 31st October and 12 November, 2021 under the presidency of the UK minister of the cabinet Alok Sharma. Over 198 parties will attend in this conference.Several technical issues are to be finalized in COP26 summit. Carbon market mechanism, net zero emission targets, committed parties to update their NDCs, $100bn finance distribution, migration fund, nature based solution will be talk of the table in this conference.

Countries have conveniently formed different blocs for negotiating. Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Least Development Countries Group (LDCs), Coalitions for Rainforest nations, Alliance for Eight Latin American and Caribbean Nations (AILAC), African Group, Arab Group, European Union, BASIS, G77+China, Umbrella Group will play a vital role.

Power Shift Africa proposed five point demands titled, "COP26: Delivering the Paris Agreement; A Five Point Plan for Solidarity, Fairness and Prosperity." The explicit five demands which Power Shift Africa proposed are: Mitigation, Adaptation, applying loss and damage theory, distributing climate finance and implementation.

These mentioned points are strongly supported by the African Group, CVF, LDCs, and ASIS. Cutting emissions, funding and distributing green climate fund, transparence, carbon trading and common timeframe for accelerating will be presented by the developing countries.

Climate Vulnerable Forum, under the presidency of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, represents world's most climate vulnerable 48 countries. CVF states call for an "emergency pact" to limit global temperature rise by 2030. This emergency pact claims to be approved of two main components: 1. to deliver $100 billion climate finance for developing countries applying loss and damage theory for adaption and mitigation from 2020 to 2024 and 2.

Updating countries NDCs in every year as a commitment required by the Paris agreement. As the CVF leader, Bangladesh aimed to trigger climate finance $100 billion to trillion and propose to allocate 50% of climate finance by applying loss and damage theory.

European Union is struggling to agree their negotiating position. They do not come to a point for their own emission cutting targets. Some countries want to shorten their targets within five years and others want a long term emission targets. EU is the biggest climate finance provider to the developing countries, providing 22 billion euro per year.

They urged to scaling up the climate finance and net zero carbon. Andrej Vizjak, Slovenian Minister of the Environment and spatial planning said, " In COP26, the EU will call for all parties to the Paris Agreement to come forward to ambitious national emissions reduction targets and for developed countries to set up international climate finance.

With the conclusions adopted today, the EU not only the willpower but a strong mandate to lend the discussions in the right direction- the direction of protecting the planet for the benefit of all and standing on the side of those that are most vulnerable to climate change."  

World's most advanced economies United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy based G-7 agreed to set out the goal of Paris Agreement as the standard for climate action. They agreed to reduce coal finance; zero-coal fired plants and committed to cut emission by 2030. G-7 countries urged to close 59% coal power plants within 2030. They are on a track for zero carbon power system by 2035. After G-7 summit Germany announced to increase its climate finance from 2 billion euro to 6 billion. US president urged to trigger double climate finance by 2024.

G77+ China, 134 developing and middle income country based coalition group, are strongly raising voice against climate change and they demand to reduce global temperature below 2 degree. They also demand for climate finance guarantee and sustainable development for adaption. As though some member states in this coalition group including China, India, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are the culprit of carbon emission, they do not agree with providing climate financeto the vulnerable states. China is the largest global greenhouse gas emitter.It has not yet decided NDCs and set ambitious targets to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

Non-EU developed country (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russian Federation, and Japan) based Umbrella group founded following the adaption of the Kyoto protocol urged to net zero emit and trigger funding green climate fund. UK and Canada led Powering Past Coal Alliance aiming to accelerate renewable energy based power station and sustainable green technology. Australia is dropping climate commitments and did not limit its coal fired and fossil fuel power station. Australia is the second highest coal exporter.

In climate negotiation, there is a solidarity gap between the parties. Emitter and vulnerable groups should call for rapid and immediate action to fight climate change. Climate change is a global issue and only single country will not suffer; rather every country will suffer as well.

In COP26 summit, Coalition bloc will play a death or live role for fair share for climate vulnerability. Blocs like LDCs, AILAC, AOSIS, CVF, African Group will raise their voice to net zero emit and climate finance for adaptation and mitigation.

Developed countries should increase climate finance as grant rather than loan for their pre-development carbon emit. Combination of political and diplomatic leadership, bilateral and multilateral relationship between the parties and contextual presentation of the blocs will play effective role in COP26 summit. All parties must have call for an equitable action to save the earth.
The writers are with Green Movement Bangladesh.

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