Hundreds of lobbyists for oil and gas at the climate conference – all excitement at the COP27. At the end of the week, many were still energized, also because of the visit of US President Biden.
Despite all the warnings of an impending climate catastrophe, global greenhouse gas emissions remain at record levels. There is “no sign of a decline,” according to the research report “Global Carbon Budget 2022,” which was presented at the world climate conference in Egypt on Friday.
On the fringes of the meeting, the USA, the European Union, Japan and Canada and other partners committed themselves to “dramatically” reducing greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas production. Health organizations and environmentalists are outraged that Coca-Cola is a main sponsor at the climate conference.
Before the eagerly awaited appearance of US President Joe Biden at the world climate conference in the late afternoon, environmentalists demanded that the American government promise additional financial aid as compensation for climate damage. Powershift Africa director Mohamed Adow said the US, historically the largest polluter of the atmosphere, must push such a pot for compensation payments and also provide money itself. The mammoth meeting in the seaside resort of Sharm el Sheikh, for which around 45,000 participants are registered, will end at the end of next week.
Biden: “Fighting Together” Challenges
Biden’s climate advisor Ali Zaidi said on the allegations, on the debate about compensation for losses and damage, called “loss and damage” in the UN jagon, that Biden’s commitment to the topic was clear. “We recognize that we must tackle a challenge in one part of the world – be it through supply chains, migration or otherwise – together.” The US is historically the largest polluter of the atmosphere. They have one of the highest CO2 emissions per capita, are the largest oil producer and also the largest oil consumer.
In contrast, the damage caused by climate change primarily affects developing countries in poorer parts of the world. The debate about compensatory payments by rich industrialized countries for losses and damage in connection with climate change has made little progress for years.
In their declaration, the USA, the European Union, Japan, Canada, Norway, Great Britain and Singapore announced that the focus in particular was on the emission of the highly effective greenhouse gas methane. Among other things, the hitherto routine flaring is to be reduced; Leaks in the conveyor and production systems are also to be detected and plugged. The aim is to reduce global warming by a tenth of a degree by the middle of the century.
Oil and gas dependency makes people vulnerable
The Alliance also stressed the need to accelerate the transition to “clean” energy production. Because a dependency on fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal makes the states vulnerable to “market fluctuations and geopolitical challenges,” it said – probably with a view to the energy crisis and the lack of coal and gas supplies from Russia as a result of the Ukraine war.
Only on Wednesday did a new data report reveal that the extraction and production of oil and gas releases three times more climate-damaging gases than the states have previously officially reported to the United Nations. This is shown by measurements by the non-profit initiative Trace, in which data analysts, researchers and non-governmental organizations work together. According to this, half of the world’s largest sources of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are production sites for oil and gas and associated facilities.
Commenting on Coca-Cola’s sponsorship at COP27, an open letter from 60 health organizations to the United Nations said: “Coca-Cola is the world’s largest plastic polluter, with products linked to obesity, poor dental health and non- communicable diseases like cancer and diabetes.” Signatories include the World Obesity Society, the Health Climate Network and the George Institute for Global Health, among others. Environmentalists at the Environmental Justice Foundation wrote on Twitter: “Coca-Cola’s plastic pollution stretches along beaches, blankets oceans and smothers unique wilderness. They have no place at COP27.”
636 lobbyists at the conference
The day before, environmentalists reacted with outrage to a data report that 636 lobbyists for oil, gas and coal were registered at the mammoth meeting – 25 percent more than last year in Scotland.
According to the “Global Carbon Budget 2022”, total emissions – from land use and burning fossil fuels – are expected to amount to 40.6 billion tons this year. This is only slightly lower than the previous highest value from 2019 (40.9 billion tons).
If CO2 emissions remain at this high level in the coming years, the amount of CO2 that can still be emitted for a 50 percent chance of meeting the 1.5 degree target will be used up in nine years, according to the report . The goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.