ROUNDUP / Climate Conference: Alliances to protect forests and reduce methane emissions

Protesters demand action against global warming (symbol picture).

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In the fight against global warming, dozens of states forged new alliances at the UN climate conference in Glasgow to protect forests and reduce climate-damaging methane emissions. On Tuesday, more than 100 countries pledged to stop the destruction of forests and other valuable ecosystems by 2030 at the latest. The participating countries have 85 percent of the world’s forest area, or about 34 million square kilometers, as the British COP26 presidency announced. More than 100 countries have also announced that they will significantly reduce their methane emissions.

At COP26, which is due to end on November 12th, around 200 countries are fighting to see how the goal set in Paris of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times can still be achieved. The plans presented by the states so far are still far from being sufficient for this.

The initiative launched by the USA and the EU in September aims to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020. If it is successfully implemented, global warming could be reduced by around 0.2 degrees by 2050, according to the EU Commission. “Reducing methane emissions is one of the most efficient things we can do,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who presented the pact together with US President Joe Biden.

Methane is the second most harmful greenhouse gas and is responsible for global warming and air pollution. Biden spoke of a “pioneering commitment”. He said the 30 percent target could probably even be exceeded. The problem with the new pact: Big climate sinners like India, China and Russia are not included.

Distribute green electricity across borders

In addition, more than 80 countries around the world want to better link their power grids in order to better distribute climate-friendly and environmentally friendly energy for the benefit of all. The so-called “Green Grids” initiative was presented by the governments of India and Great Britain in Glasgow. The idea: Green electricity from solar, wind and water power should be passed on across borders and time zones. Germany, the USA, France and Australia have also joined the initiative.

Help for South Africa

Germany wants to invest 700 million euros to support the exit from coal-fired power generation in South Africa. This was announced by the Federal Environment and Development Ministry in Glasgow. The funds are part of a new energy partnership with South Africa, which Great Britain, the USA, France and the EU have also joined. A total of US $ 8.5 billion is planned for the next five years, mostly loans.

Activists criticize the organizers of the COP26

The British government, as the host of the world climate summit, has been named “Fossil of the Day” by the environmentalists of the Climate Action Network (CAN) – among other things because of organizational deficiencies at the mammoth meeting with 28,000 participants. CAN also complained that civil society representatives who had traveled far were told there was no space in the events and that they should watch online. “We could have stayed at home right away – although: Then we would have missed the weather,” they said with a view of the dreary Scottish autumn./swe/DP/jha


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