Led by the European Climate Fund, former COP 21 ambassador and architect of the Paris Agreement, this important expert wants to believe in the potential success of the Dubai conference.
Madame Figaro. – What memories of 2015 does Police 28 evoke in you?
Lawrence Tubiana. – At the time, the United States and China were discussing a term agreement that would expire in 2020. I fought this to advocate for review and catch-up mechanisms that would force countries to review their ambitions upwards. Here we are. COP 28 forms these reunions, which are included in the provisions of the Paris Agreement. This is a key moment as carbon emissions continue to rise and warming accelerates.
Despite everything, we risk missing the mark. Why do you think?
Due to several consecutive shocks. First, the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris Agreement, which sent a very negative signal. The Covid pandemic then added to the political tension. Questions about the role of Beijing, Washington or the WTO, the distribution of vaccines between the North and the South, inflation, the worsening debt of developing countries… All this has broken some kind of agreement. Then, efforts to catch up to the economic slowdown due to the health crisis put a stop to much positive progress. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in turn led to a major political and energy crisis. And in the meantime, the oil sector has become an extraordinary windfall, quadrupling profits from one year to the next. A context hardly conducive to the discussion ahead.
How can we convince developing oil or gas producing countries to abandon it?
Let’s not forget the many who don’t. For them, the issue is rather the flight to renewable sources. Just like island nations who view the climate crisis as an existential threat. I believe that this year we will witness the restoration of alliances between these countries, which allowed us to achieve ambitious goals in 2015. I have no hope. Since the Paris Agreement, companies have recognized the risks and we are measuring the impacts and costs. And then we went from global temperatures expected to rise by 4°C to between 1.5 and 2.5°C. The trend is reversed. We only signed the Paris Agreement very late, because changing systems takes time.
Now we have our foot in the door and the global economy is shifting to something else
Could we lose more if the talks are stopped?
Tensions over fossil fuels promise to be extreme. But, for the first time, the elephant is in the room. we talk about it even though the oil, gas and coal industries have long been able to ensure that we never talk about it. Now we have our foot in the door and the global economy is shifting to something else. If changes seem inevitable to managers, they will review their activities. They had already started doing this before the epidemic and the war.
What inspires you about the position of the European Union?
He disappointed me a little without being completely bad. The Spanish presidency of the council wanted to clear things up by limiting the use of fossil fuels to sectors that could not otherwise do so, such as aviation or certain industries, and charging them with sequestering the carbon they emit. But the opposition remains like Poland or Hungary. The EU should get out of this lesson-giving attitude, clean its house, invest more in renewable sources, offer a fair partnership to developing countries. Their help will be essential to us as they carry essential materials to electrify our energy system. We must develop together.
I expect this police to set a clear action plan by 2030
What do you expect from this police officer, in short?
A binding text that takes into account and sets out a clear plan of action between now and 2030. We need to involve states, but also cities and regions, simplify and improve mechanisms for monitoring commitments, for example through national parliaments. And then, we have to understand that this is the beginning of the end of fossil fuels. Companies in the industry would have us believe that technology will prevent us from adapting our behavior. Certainly an attractive idea. We would all like nothing to change.
Source: Le Figaro