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In six years at the helm of UN Climate Change, Mexico’s Patricia Espinosa has kept her advocacy conscientiously within the guardrails of international consensus.
Yes, call for more ambitious national climate plans. No.
During her two terms the UN’s center of activism shifted from Bonn towards New York. Antonio Guterres, the UN’s top dog, was the one who made the 1.5C global heating limit simple and understandable in real-world terms. Building. New. Coal. Plants.
While some may grumble that it was unfair to target Asia’s fuel for growth rather than America’s oil addiction, that’s an argument for more direct diplomacy, not less. Every sector and government must have clear science-based standards. Finance should be mobilised to meet these standards.
As Guterres prepares to choose Espinosa’s successor, he should hold onto that boldness.
There are very few chances that temperatures will drop below 1.5C. To prevent temperatures from spiraling out of control, rapid emissions reductions are necessary. This means addressing problems directly, not hiding behind process and jargon.
Our sources say it’s an African woman’s turn to lead this agenda – and Guterres’ deputy Amina Mohammed, from Nigeria, is understood to be pointing him in that direction. We’ve thrown a few Asian and western names into the mix too, plus a token male.
Who would you prefer to see taking the reins? Let us know.
This week’s stories…
In a field of developed countries underdelivering on climate action, Australia stands out as the one that’s not even trying.
Under Scott Morrison’s leadership, if you can call it that, Canberra refused to strengthen its pitiful 2030 emissions-cutting target and axed its contribution to the Green Climate Fund.
A Labor victory in tomorrow’s general election would see an upturn in ambition, albeit with no plans to curb fossil fuel exports or find significant new money for international climate aid.
The curveball is a new movement of “Teal independents” running on pro-climate (green) platforms in conservative (blue) constituencies, who could end up holding the balance of power.
It’s a nailbitingly close election with high stakes for the climate.
“Hope is not yet turning into action at the scale or pace you aspire to… Understandably, this is leading to frustrations.”
Ibrahim Thiaw, UN chief for desertification, speaks out about the Great Green Wall
Source: Climate Change News