Special issue: COP27 Week 1
This brief special issue will sum up the most important news from the first week of COP27.
As mentioned in the last newsletter this special issue will be short and focussed on COP27 due to the fact that I was gone all last week. The issue goes out to all subscribers, paid and free a like. Paid memberships will be unpaused as you read this.
Most of week 1 was spent on leaders given speeches of the status of the climate crisis and how the climate crisis is impacting their economies. Here’s a number of articles about that.
Where we’re at
[#images] — New York Times had an excellent feature that shows various images of the climate crisis from the last year. It sure haven’t been a boring year so far.
[#video] — And The Guardian have a video feature on the same topic.
[#goals] — The world is falling short on it’s climate goals and this article sums it up by looking at how the four biggest emitters are not meeting their climate goals. Bear this one in mind as you read the rest of the newsletter as this is the problem that must be solved.
[#fossilfuels] — Oh yeah that and this one too. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are expected to set a new record this year. Which is obviously related to the prior article shared.
What really occupied the most news I’ve seen on COP27 last week was without a doubt the different activist rallys held. And yeah.. when activists get more news time than actual action then something is wrong IMO.
[#overview] — Here’s a broad overview of the different activist rallys held last week.
[#prisoners] — By far the biggest thing that happened so far is related to a protest surrounding Egypts political prisoners. This is not very relevant to climate (if I’m missing something here please let me know in the comments) but for sure relevant to the world as a whole, so if you want to dive deeper into this, here’s an NYT article about that.
[#frustration] — All in all there’s a whole lot of frustration as so far no results, no progress at all. Only more greenwashing and netzero plans that makes no sense. Inside Climate News reports that this is very likely to increase the confrontational climate activism.
You may remember from the introduction that emissions from fossil fuels are expected to reach a new record in 2022. Well, here’s what the fossil fuel industry was up to last week in relation to COP27.
[#lobbyists] — 600. That’s the amount of fossil fuel lobbyists present at COP27. That’s a 25% increase compared to COP26. Why?
[#fossilgas] — (continued) As was already hinted at prior to COP27 starting, fossil gas producers (and the 600 lobbyists present) are using COP27 to rebrand (again) fossil gas as a transitional fuel, which it for sure isn’t.
[#antiproliferation] — As always it’s the small developing nations that has to start an anti-fossil fuel push. Tuvalu joins other small nations like Vanatu in a call to sign the international Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, which is modelled after the Treaty for the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It’s a little scary that it’s the smaller nations that has to bring this to the attention at COP27 which really shouldn’t be about anything else than this treaty.
[#protection] — Pretty much the only positive-ish result I’ve been able to find from COP27 so far is a push to conserve 30% of the planets land and ocean by 2030, which seems totally obvious. 112 nations signed on to this idea, but final agreement won’t be before next month.
[#offsets] — While nature protection is important apparently Biden didn’t read my newsletter last week about how offsets need more land area than we have. Because US wants to fund climate finance to countries devastated by climate change using carbon offsets. Which seems to indicate that useless netzero plans are still very much being used. He also did try to make it clear that the US is committed to solve the crisis and also promised a crackdown on methane emissions (not related to nature, but posted here because of the Biden link).
Various other news that doesn’t fit into other categories.
[#ukraine] — Ukraine president Zelenskiy gave a talk at COP27 and said that the war in Ukraine need to end before we can tackle the climate crisis. And while we’ve seen a faster switch to renewables due in some part to the war, it’s clear that we’re never going to get any sort of climate action for one the biggest polluter Russia before the war ends.
[#imfworldbank] — The IMF and World Bank was created after World War II to help rebuild countries crushed by the war, but there’s now a push for redesigning these organizations to solve another need: Countries to be devastated by global warming.
A few interesting / notable tweets from #COP27
Next week we’re back with the regular format, so remember if you’re feeling down, angry or sad from some of the news in this newsletter one cure is to act. And one way you can always act that also happens to be one of the most powerful things you can do is to talk about it. That also works if what you just read made you hopeful or happy btw.
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See you all next week 👋
It's easy to think "this issue doesn't have to do with climate change" and then dismiss it as a climate story, even as it clearly intersects with a climate change agenda/meeting as in the case of Egypt. I think it's telling that COP was placed somewhere where big demonstrations couldn't be held given that they're otherwise a mainstay of these kinds of meetings from WHO to COP. It also speaks to an uncomfortable truth, that the richest countries with the highest emissions also tend to be more democratic whereas people in countries with very little emissions tend to have less of a say in national matters and almost no say in international matters.
That's before you consider that the climate crisis has inspired a sustained protest movement unlike anything we've seen for generations, leading to laws cracking down on various forms of peaceful protest in many jurisdictions around the world. The bad guys are looking for ways to make these protest movements less impactful and one way might be to place these meetings in places that are inaccessible to protest.
There are some legit security concerns for any event of this size, but it stands to reason that placing it in Western or Central Europe would allow a lot more civil society participation than placing it in Egypt. Now that it has been in Egypt there might be a push to place it in similarly problematic countries going forward while using woke washing it with some bullshit about the countries being postcolonial or part of the global south to deflect from the obvious problem of not having an authentic civil society voice at the table.