The Cop26 message? We are trusting big business, not states, to fix the climate crisis | Adam Tooze

The Cop26 message? We are trusting big business, not states, to fix the climate crisis | Adam Tooze

The summit exposed a world in thrall to the neoliberal model which socialises the risk and privatises the profits of green policies

  • Adam Tooze is a professor of history at Columbia University

Cop26 delivered no big climate deal. Nor, in truth, was there any reason to expect one. The drastic measures that might – at a stroke – open a path to climate stability are not viable in political or diplomatic terms. Like climate breakdown itself, this is a fact to be reckoned with, a fact not just about “politicians”, but about the polities of which we are all, like it or not, a part. The step from the scientific recognition of a climate emergency to societal agreement on radical action is still too great. All that the negotiators at Cop26 could manage was makeshift.

When it comes to climate finance, the gap between what is needed and what is on the table is dizzying. The talk at the conference was all about the annual $100bn (£75bn) that rich countries had promised to poorer nations back in 2009. The rich countries have now apologised for falling short. The new resolution is to make up the difference by 2022 and then negotiate a new framework. It is symbolically important and of some practical help. But, as everyone knows, it falls laughably short of what is necessary. John Kerry, America’s chief negotiator, said so himself in a speech to the CBI. It isn’t billions we need, it is trillions. Somewhere between $2.6tn and $4.6tn every year in funding for low-income countries to mitigate and adapt to the crisis. Those are figures, Kerry went on to say, no government in the world is going to match. Not America. Not China.

Adam Tooze is a professor of history at Columbia University

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EnvironFriend

FREE
VIEW