They say money makes the world go round and climate talks are no exception.
After surprising everyone by finally agreeing to a loss and damage fund at Cop27, developed countries were back to playing Scrooge in Bonn the last two weeks.
They wanted to talk about narrowing the gap to 1.5C but not if that also meant talking about paying more to help developing countries reduce that gap.
After nine days of debate and a desperate plea from the talks’ chair, they and a group of developing countries with Bolivia as their spokesperson made a compromise. It was the worst of both worlds: no formal emission cut talks and no talks on finance.
Small islands were “disappointed” while the chair of the world’s poorest countries (LDCs) said, “it doesn’t seem like everyone is ready to address this climate crisis with the urgency it requires”.
In Bonn, developed countries claimed their opposition was just procedural. But in Rotterdam last year, the EU’s climate lead Frans Timmermans was perhaps more honest when he claimed his citizens “will not buy” the argument that the historic polluters should pay to fix the climate crisis.
As they head to Paris for Thursday and Friday’s global financing summit, the supporters of Mia Mottley’s Bridgetown Agenda seem resigned to this.
They’ll talk about changes to equity-to-loan ratios, debt suspensions after climate disasters, renewable investment and shipping levies – any way to help developing countries finance climate action without actually taxing the citizens of developed countries.
This week’s news:
- After “difficult experience” at Cop27, Mexico leads anti-harassment push in Bonn
- Last-minute compromise avoids breaking point on adaptation goals
- UN head Guterres contradicts Cop28 host on fossil fuel phaseout
- Small islands “disappointed” as talking about emissions cuts proves too controversial for climate negotiators
- Bonn climate talks at risk of collapse, after 7-day agenda debate
- The Overshoot Commission is talking about solar geoengineering. Not everyone thinks it should
Another sign of how bad things are is the growing seriousness with which geoengineering is being treated.
A group of researchers who want to cool down the planet by blocking the sun has teamed up with a high-profile group of ex-politicians, scientists and youngsters to form the Overshoot Commission.
Several of these commissioners told Climate Home they are worried about the commission’s focus on techno-fixes to climate change.
But others, like the former president of the sinking islands of Kiribati feel the situation is so desperate that these risky measures can’t be ignored. “What other options do we have?” he asked.