The main battle lines at the Glasgow talks (also referred to as the 26th session of Conference of Parties or COP26) revolve around who is responsible for the warming of our planet, who should do what in order to prevent it from getting worse and how to deal with the damage that has already been done.
The venue itself is a reminder. The mid-19th-century saw Glasgow become a major center for shipbuilding and heavy industry. Its power and wealth rose as Britain conquered nations across Asia and Africa, extracting their riches and becoming the world’s leading industrial power, until the United States took the mantle.
The largest share of the emissions that have already heated the planet came mainly from the United States and Europe, including Britain, while the largest share of emissions produced right now comes from China, the world’s factory.
In some cases, divisions in Glasgow pit advanced industrialized nations, such as the United States and Europe against emerging economies like South Africa, India and China. In other cases they set large emerging polluters such as India and China against small vulnerable nations, including low-lying Caribbean islands, which want to take stronger action against emissions.
Tensions over money threaten to derail cooperation.
Rich countries had committed to paying $100 billion per annum by 2020 to aid poor countries in addressing climate change. The latest plan, which was announced by a group, shows that some of the money has been paid out, but not enough to cover the entire amount until 2023. This is three years late. industrialized countries.
It is more complicated to think of industrialized nations paying reparations for damage done to other countries. This fund is known in diplomatic circles as a source of loss and damage. However, discussions on this topic have been delayed for years due to opposition from countries like the United States.