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Halfway between the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the year 2030, the deadline to cut global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in half, the United Nations climate regime and collective action by multiple actors still fails the required results.
She is a ship with a clear north, but poorly supplied, with a conflicting crew and a captain (yes, in the masculine) who is easily disoriented.
To support your navigation and ensure the arrival at a safe port, the World Balance (WB or GST, for its acronym in English) will evaluate this year if we are collectively advancing.
Let us remember that the north of the Agreement is described in terms of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5°C with respect to pre-industrial levels, reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience and adaptive capacity, and aligning financial flows with resilient and low-emission development pathways.
It does not take a crystal ball to know that we have not reached that destination nor are we on the right track.
In the latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Experts (IPCC, 2023) stated that it has no doubt that human activities have warmed the planet at an accelerated rate.
Likewise, extreme climatic events, increasingly frequent and intense, have generated irreversible consequences on ecosystems and human systems, especially affecting vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Meanwhile, developed countries do not mobilize the 100,000 million dollars per year that they agreed to during the past decade, and most of the financing provided was in the form of loans (71%), deepening the debt crisis in developing countries.
And now that?
In order to envision a future beyond the fog, the decisions of COP28 will have to transcend the simple recognition that we have not done enough and put forward a road map with far-reaching and structural proposals to transform our social and economic systems.
This roadmap should help us weather the storms of the oil and other fossil fuel lobby, and the prevailing economic model that feeds on inequalities at all levels and threatens to minimize available scientific evidence and information, and maintain the status
The World Bank must recognize the importance of achieving a fair energy transition at a global level, drastically reducing the extraction and use of fossil fuels for transport, industry and electricity generation, while scaling up investments in renewable energies with socio-environmental safeguards.
It will also have to rethink the nexus between humans and nature, and generate fundamental changes in the food and extractive systems, through the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, hand in hand with their best guardians: indigenous peoples. and local communities.
As enabling elements, it will be critical to transform the global financial system, paying special attention to debt, guaranteeing relief, cancellation, or swaps for climate action for developing countries that have been affected by the adverse effects of climate change, including those that have suffered to assume the losses and damages resulting from global inaction.
Having traced the course, a determined captain is missing to advance.
It will be the governments, on behalf of the ship's crew, who define the path and measures to reach the mainland.
Although achieving it will not only depend on them, their signal will be decisive for other critical actors such as the private and financial sectors and civil society.
Currently, the political inertia and lack of leadership of the main emitting countries, the G7 and G20, and, in general, the bulk of the developed world, as well as the influence of the fossil fuel industry in global and national processes of decision making, loom as the main obstacles.
Without strong leaders in the climate negotiations, even the most disruptive technical report will be insufficient to drive an action-oriented outcome at COP28, wasting a once-in-a-decade opportunity.
Against all odds, Latin America and the Caribbean have positioned themselves at the forefront of climate ambition.
Despite contributing to the problem with only 8% of global GHG emissions, and receiving only 17% of global climate finance, behind Asia (42%) and Africa (26%), and being one of the regions most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, is one of the most promising for achieving a just energy transition and safeguarding strategic carbon sinks for the world.
Costa Rica is on its way to achieving carbon neutrality, Uruguay covers 98% of its electricity needs with renewable sources, Chile is the Latin American country that invests the most in the fight against climate change.
In addition, the electoral changes in the continent promise to continue with these trends.
Brazil and Colombia have already started dialogues to strengthen their strategies to stop deforestation in the Amazon.
Likewise, Barbados has assumed the leadership in the call to reform the international financial system, and specifically the debt system, since Latin America and the Caribbean is the most indebted region on the planet.
We cannot continue on a ship adrift when the passengers are all of humanity, and even less when we have the necessary tools to adjust the course.
The BM is the opportunity to adjust our trajectory with a true transformation, beyond a simple diagnosis.
María Laura Rojas Vallejo
María Laura Rojas Vallejo
is Executive Director of Transforma, a Colombia-based think tank promoting climate and ecological transitions.