COP26 – Current State of International Affairs towards Climate Change

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I woke up surprisingly early for a Saturday morning and I had this travel mood again. If I hadn’t told you before, one of my “things” is actually watching international news channels. Nope, not CNN or an American media but more like France24, EuroNews, Sky News, Al Jazeera. and so I did.

I got caught up on COP26 and what’s going on. Oversimplified, these are the world meetings (26th time) where climate change talks are done, guidelines and documents like the Paris Accords are drafted.

At the time of writing, this is the part where the decisions are being delayed to 2:30pm Glasgow time.

“What’s going on?”

Oversimplified, these are the events where world leaders huddle together to plan and come together agreement. All the accords and UN guidelines and rules about climate change? No, it’s not just one person scribbling and pulling out plans out of his butt and making it international rule. Countries actually talk about it: what’s the problem, what to fix, how to fix, who can do what, who needs what, who does what.

The goal is that countries will have to do their own thing and take care of their shit so that globally climate doesn’t warm no more than 1.5 degree Celsius.

“So What’s interesting about all of this?”

If you know me, I try to position and groom myself to be a leader. Being a leader requires diplomacy, political and social engineering, compromises, and seeing the big picture. Plug in organization, team planning and management, ugh šŸ¤¤ This event is just FULL of it and for me it’s EXTREMELY interesting!

We’re talking about individuals (in turn a country) influencing other individuals (in turn another country) and making compromises, how they compromise, their stance (what they stand for), their demeanor (how imposing or not they are), etc.

These are all just mind-blowing and just ā¤ļøšŸ¤¤ to me because, guys!, this is literally how you mobilize the world! This is how you figure out how to come together and all point in the same direction and make a big change.

Us recycling and people with picket signs are good and all…but here we’re talking about ulta macro changes!

Let me summarize(oversimplified) to you why climate actions and guidelines are taking so long

Everybody and all countries want to end climate change tomorrow if they could, the problem is how and any one or any institution’s decision almost always cause a ripple effect thus making decisions difficult (not impossible).

  • There are countries like the G7 who’s down to help however they can.
  • Note though that they’re also figuring out their own shit, trying to hit their targets (e.g.: Canada isn’t the best and bright and shining example lel)
  • 7 out of 195 countries that’s 3.5 percent of the world are ‘capable’…and again they’re having to figure out their own shit too and they’re not doing well themselves lol
  • There are countries that are putting on the table that they should be compensated for RECENT loss and damages due to climate change damages (I can see where this is coming from; it’s valid)
  • There are countries are looking for restitution from the developed countries; and of course no country is willing. I can see both sides. Sure, there’s the original responsibility but “restitution” is definitely a very big can of worms, which any social issues actually. Like where does it end? Who’s responsible for what and what will they be doing to compensate? There’s a possibility that this becomes a “guilt trip + hostage situation galore” if it’s out of hand.
  • There are countries where they are actually doing a job at being net zero and are asking for compensation (also very valid) (e.g.: Gabon[Africa] is doing an excellent job preserving their nature which is functioning as a great carbon sink)
  • There are countries who are doing a good job economically and now with all these talks they’re are being asked to do a lot more, disproportionately, so they’re like: “YO WTF”. Which I also understand.
  • There are people/countries that are just want more (progress) with no specific plans on how to do so
  • Some countries are requesting that there be a UN / COP fund. It’s not necessarily for rewards and damage fees but ideally this would be used as a global fund so that the world can help the technologically/economically challenged countries to jumpstart their efforts (these guys should call Angela Merkel šŸ˜‚ She been doing this for years with EU and dispersing EU funds to lagging EU countries lol)
  • Countries are apprehensive about the idea because the instruction is vague: who qualifies for the funds, for what, how will it be implemented, etc. As mentioned by the reporter, “no one wants to be on the hook for an open condition” (roughly quoted)
  • One big challenge is the great reduction and dependency on coal and oil. Sure, everybody wants that, but Middle East to name a few is having a hard time to say yes or even figure out a way to pull it off. Mind you, ‘doing it’ is not the problem. Globally, all countries are doing their efforts. The challenges for them is ‘doing them in a tight deadline‘ (there’s another COP meeting 2022)
  • In terms of coal, countries like Australia are having a tough time staving off coal. In Australia for example, they’re very coal reliant at the moment. One, coal is a big % of their energy production for the country. At the same time, they export coal. Those energies are also used a lot for mining and exporting of their iron ore (this is their top exports, if not the top export). So as you can see, it’s tough to impose and force countries to do things which will for sure make their economy nosedive. I can’t even have that in my conscience even if I could. We’re talking about mass unemployment, poverty, economic destabilization, sudden changes thus triggering the “every man for himself” response.

And even if let’s say everyone says yes, everyone is good to go go go, and everything finalized and ratified. Your next level of challenge are:

  • federal/provincial/local corruption
  • are they going to do it on time / with expediency
  • basically all the same issues but brought down in a smaller scale (surely everyone has their own, different concerns).

Wrap Up

So imagine that, so many parties involved, so many compromises and balance to be had. All countries and the concerns they raised are all valid. So…how do you navigate this in the world stage right?

For me, these are all just interesting and salivating for me. This shows how the world is complex, and this is how you make changes (one of the many ways). But if you’re talking about changes and decisions are scale, this is the world theatre for it.

Like how do you navigate that? I’m trying to imagine if I’m the Foreign/Environmental Minister of Canada:

  • How do you bolster your own progress in Canada itself
  • How do you report to the world why you guys are lagging behind
  • How do you decide on the issues above
  • At the end of the day they’ll come up with a plan, and when they do, “how dafuq am I going to implement it” (remember, nation leader attendees here are most foreign representatives at most, not presidents/prime ministers). So say you say yes to things and you get your instructions, you can’t just brandish this document to Canada and everybody follows. You have to convince, instruct, maintain the public/private sector, you have to convince organizations to swap energy sources, where are you gonna get the funds, etc

The world’s a beautiful place. It’s complicated, but I find beauty in the process. That’s all you can do in life…maybe that’s all you should do.

My source: I’ve been watching Sky News live for 3 hours now šŸ˜‚

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