We have seriously considered making this session hybrid, but the low response for in person attendance at the November meeting, coupled with the probable rise in the daily infection rate by Tuesday and Wednesday from 7,000 to 9,000 or higher, and the number of instances of covid in foreign firms plus the apparent infectiousness of the omicron variant indicates we should be cautious and remain completely on line for the final session of KBF for 2021 until we have all got our booster shots.
In our December session on Thursday 16 December we will briefly review the course of 2021, before considering whether COP-26 will do the job of bringing global warming under control and arriving at 1.5 degrees average temperature rise.
The general consensus is that COP-26 made progress, but not enough in a number of directions, and that much rests on COP-27 to be held next year in Egypt. The announcement of a methane reduction led the US and China was welcomed, but some big methane producers notably Russia did not commit. Major holdouts on the early phasing out of coal included India and Australia. Korea advanced its goals with a better NDC, though not on coal.
Chatham House concluded that governments urgently need to do more because if you add up all the world’s NDC’s the climate rises 2.4 degrees, and not the target 1.5 degrees. The Council on Foreign Relations said that COP was a success but barely.
We may take a slightly more pessimistic view as the aim of COP was to cut GHG by 45% by 2030 which experts say is essential to level off at 1.5 degrees and was not really met. The winter power shortages in China and the high price of oil while COP-26 was on highlighted many of the issues related to actually providing enough renewable power to those who need it. Korea has its own serious problems in this direction until or unless hydrogen becomes the universal answer.
Korea’s average temperature is rising 60% faster than the global average. Does this mean that if the world stops at 1.5 degrees warmer, Korea stops at 2.4 degrees warmer and what does that mean? Seas around Korea are rising in temperature at almost double global averages.
The last two days of COP were taken by financial institutions and reports at the time indicated a huge switch to ESG and Green funding where estimates of the total amount more or less matched the estimates of the cost of converting to a green climate policy. China and Korea seem to have agreed to fund no new coal mines overseas. However none of this suggested that adequate funds would be given to developing countries to help them adapt.
Join us on December 16 for our final session of 2021 to assess where we are right now, and to discuss what happens next. Given all new restrictions and the spread of omicron we are reluctantly expecting to only be online. If the situation improves we will notify you next Monday.
Managing Director, KABC Ltd.