Not living up to the promises

Same old same old. It’s a dire emergency, and we won’t do anything to stop it.

The US envoy on climate change John Kerry has warned that the war in Ukraine must not be used as an excuse to prolong global reliance on coal.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Kerry criticised a number of large countries for not living up to the promises they made at the COP26 climate summit.

I can explain. Promises are easy. Living up to them is hard.

The fragile unity shown in Glasgow last November is likely to be tested in Bonn as countries deal with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

Mr Kerry told the BBC that despite these drawbacks, “as a world we are still not moving fast enough,” to rein in the emissions of warming gases that are driving up temperatures.

“We can still win this battle,” the former senator said, but it will require a “wholesale elevation of effort by countries all around the world”.

Which is not going to happen. Why? See above: “the cost of living crisis.” The immediate problems always take precedence. We’re just animals. We don’t have it in us to make radical painful changes for the sake of people who don’t exist, i.e. future generations. Our immediate needs always shove long term needs onto the back burner, and by “back” I mean somewhere in the middle of Antarctica, watching the ice melt.

So how much progress on climate has been made since COP26?

Bluntly, not a lot.

BBC analysis shows that across a range of issues, very little has been achieved.

The world emerged from Glasgow into an energy crisis sparked by a rapid rise in the price of gas. This has been massively compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and ongoing problems in global supply lines.

Shortages! Price rises!

Both put the climate crisis into deep deep shade, because that’s how we’re wired.

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