‘Everyone will be watching’: US midterms cast a long shadow over Cop27 | Police 27

For Joe Biden at the United Nations climate summit Egypt It is the crowning moment to recommend that the United States finally pass major legislation to slow dangerous global warming. But the thoughts of the US president and delegates from around the world are likely to nervously drift to events 6,000 miles (9.65 km) away – America’s knife-edge midterm elections.

It is known as the climate talks Police 27, begins in earnest on Monday when more than 90 heads of state gather in Sharm el-Sheikh, amid warnings from scientists that the world is headed for catastrophic climate change without deeper reductions in planet-warming emissions. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned governments heading to Egypt that they are facing “economy-destroying levels of global warming” and that their efforts to avert the disaster are “falling woefully short”.

The Biden administration aims to enter Police 27 Resolutely upbeat officials said in briefings after a Democratic vote in Congress over the summer successfully secured passage of the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, the first major $370bn (£331bn) package to boost clean energy. A climate bill passed by the United States.

But the White House’s efforts to portray the United States as a competent standard-bearer for climate action fizzled a day before the conference, with Tuesday’s midterm elections potentially handing control of Congress to Republicans and sharply criticizing the president’s remarks. radical green agenda”.

Biden will arrive in Sharm el-Sheikh on November 11, shortly after the midterm elections, but probably before the full results of the vote. The prospect of the president’s program being partially undone by Republican successes will dampen hopes for further progress from the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases.

“Everyone at Cop27 will be watching the US election and trying to figure out what that means, which will affect the overall content of the talks,” said climate policy expert Nathan Hultman, who was part of last year’s US negotiating team. Cop26 talks in Scotland.

“We have this powerful, transformative partnership from Congress that is completely changing the narrative about the United States.” We are well placed to meet our emissions reduction target, but it will clearly be more difficult if the election does not go according to plan.

The United States has been a highly effective but unreliable actor during the climate crisis, with unusually partisan politics that have left leaders of other countries nervously watching American elections for drastic changes in climate policy. Alice Hill, a former adviser to Barack Obama and now a climate expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said: “The United States will come with a good message to show that it is a leader on climate, but the political winds can change quickly.”

“If the results go against the Democrats, we won’t see more climate legislation and there will be more legal challenges to actions taken by the Biden administration. There will be question marks over how far the US can act on climate.

John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, is bullish on the prospects of using American influence in Egypt. Scientists have warned that the world remains on a bad path to avoid catastrophic climate change, and pledges to cut emissions so far will deliver 2.5C (4.5F) of global warming in pre-industrial times, well above the internationally agreed limit. safe’ limit 1.5C (2.7F).

“No country has the right to violate the law by not establishing the NDC [a nationally determined contribution to cut emissions]Not stepping up where they can and not being a part of that effort,” Kerry said in a recent briefing with reporters, adding that “everybody has to do their part here” and he wants to “make sure everybody understands that this is our job. It does what it needs to do to keep the 1.5C alive.”

A sign promoting Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
A sign promoting Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Photo: Thomas Hartwell/AP

Kerry is likely to be frustrated that the $100bn (£89.4bn) promised from rich countries in climate finance from developing countries at Cop27 has yet to be delivered, as well as the loss and damage. to provide poor nations with a form of compensation for floods, heat waves, droughts and other impacts beyond their control.

There is a group of 143 climate groups written Criticizing Kerry’s “recalcitrant” US stance on casualties and demanding progress in Egypt. Ugandan climate justice activist Vanessa Nakate said, “The United States stood on the object of loss and damage, and the countries that are currently suffering are still demanding this object.” he said recently. “I need to see that the United States helps those who are suffering right now.”

Representatives of less wealthy countries say they are almost at their wits end about the lack of progress on damages paid by the United States and others. Madeleine Diouf Sarr, the Senegalese official who chairs the Least Developed Countries, the negotiating bloc, said: “We recognize the key role of the United States in these climate negotiations and congratulate them on their steps to take the lead in the fight against climate change at home.” from 46 nationalities.

But Sarr added, “We’re getting to the point where we’re getting tired of hearing the same old arguments. Now look around the world to see all the devastation that cannot be adapted, it is simply obvious that climate change is beyond our ability to perfectly prepare for it. We cannot build houses with words.”

US negotiators said they were open to discussing the idea at Cop27, but refrained from revealing any responsibility that could be placed on America. Kerry said he wanted a “serious dialogue” about the loss and damage but promised no deal. Regardless, Republicans are likely to try to derail any new climate aid to developing countries if the GOP wins the midterm elections.

“There are still two years left in Biden’s term, and now there are solid regulations that will stick and help accelerate the current momentum on renewable energy and electric cars,” Hultman said. “Depending on this speed, the outcome of the election may not be very effective. But we have to see how the situation will be after November 8.”

Democrats, meanwhile, are not only worried about the electoral prospects going into Cop27, but also question how the negotiations will be conducted given Egypt’s dire human rights record. “Egypt was the wrong choice for Cop27,” said Democratic congressman Don Beyer, who urged Kerry to raise human rights issues with the Egyptian government. “His government jails environmental and political activists and treats NGOs as threats.”

About the author


Leave a Comment