Risks due to climate change are growing

Climate change was identified as the first of the most severe risks on a global scale over the next 10 years, according to a survey released by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

While the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) saw 197 countries align with the Glasgow Climate Pact and other historic pledges, even these new commitments are expected to fall short of the 1.5°C goal set in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016 and increase the risks of a disorderly climate transition.

According to a WEF report, the economic strain of the Covid-19 crisis and weakened social cohesion, in both advanced and developing economies, may further limit the financial and political capital available for stronger climate action.

For example, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States were reluctant to commit to a formal climate finance target to respond to worsening climate change impacts on developing country Parties.

cuadro wef
cuadro wef

Meanwhile, China and India pushed to change the Pact’s wording from «phase out» to «phasing out» «incessant coal power and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.»

Climate change

From the WEF perspective, the economic crisis created by the pandemic risks delaying efforts to address climate change by encouraging countries to prioritize short-term measures to restore economic growth, regardless of their impact on the climate, instead of looking for green transitions.

Brazil, for example, joined the 140 other countries responsible for 91% of the Earth’s forests in endorsing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, even as deforestation in the Amazon accelerated at a 15-year maximum in 2021 following the 2020 pandemic-induced recession.

Geopolitical tensions and nation-first positions will also complicate climate action.

In addition, the WEF stated that COP26 revealed greater tensions over compensation for climate damage, with affected countries facing rejection from large emitters, including the United States.

Climate change continues to be perceived as the most serious threat to humanity.


Redacción Opportimes