Accord on creating fund must be 1st step toward unity on global warming

The U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Egypt has come to a close. A decision has been made to create a fund to support developing countries, likely giving momentum to future measures against global warming.

The main agenda at this session of the COP was the “loss and damage” that developing countries have suffered due to extreme climate events. The focus was on whether developed countries, which have emitted the most greenhouse gases, would provide funds to support developing countries.

Initially, developed countries were cautious, citing the difficulty of accepting a framework that would require them to compensate for damage caused by global warming. However, toward the end of the session, they compromised and reached an agreement to create a fund to support countries that are vulnerable to disasters.

The specifics of the fund were left for further discussion. Pakistan has suffered from flood damage with one-third of its land area submerged, and Africa has also been hit by a record drought.

Securing funds for recovery is surely an urgent task for developing countries. It is hoped that each country will take this agreement as the first step and create a mechanism to effectively use the fund.

The support needed is not limited to money alone. At the session, the Japanese government announced a plan to provide developing countries with disaster prevention technologies and know-how that it has cultivated through years of experience with natural disasters.

A warning system to predict the occurrence of torrential rains and alert residents would certainly be useful in any country. It can be said that this was a constructive proposal that will also expand business opportunities for private weather data companies.

At last year’s COP, limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels was set as an effective goal. This is because the 2 C target under the Paris Agreement international rule is insufficient.

The Japanese government has also set a target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but in reality, the 1.5 C target is unlikely to be achieved even by combining the climate pledges of these countries. Efforts over the next 10 years will be important for avoiding a critical situation.

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the global situation completely. European countries that used to rely on Russian natural gas are increasingly shifting back to coal.

The importance of combating global warming remains unchanged. However, a temporary pullback is inevitable to stave off the immediate energy crisis. Adopting realistic technologies is essential, to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions while fossil fuels are being used.

World peace is a prerequisite for the discussion of global warming. Each nation must unite and restore an environment in which they can focus on working toward preventing global warming.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 21, 2022)