Fossil fuel producing states are making progress very difficult at COP24. Instead of climate action the world’s leading oil producers are opting to defend their oil interests. Member states are falling far short of the objectives laid out for the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24). The scientific report that was meant to inform these proceeding is being resisted by the world’s three largest oil producers, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Even Poland, the host nation for COP24 is putting the brakes on climate action in an effort to protect its coal industry.
With more than 80 percent of Poland’s electricity coming from coal-fired plants, and more on the way, there is little interest in serious emission reduction. However, Poles pay a price for their government’s reliance on coal. The nation has the dirtiest air in Europe as demonstrated by the fact that 33 of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities are located in Poland. Katowice, the city in which the talks are taking place, is the second most polluted city on the continent. According to the European Environment Agency air pollution is estimated to cause 50,000 premature deaths each year in Poland.
Poland is not the only nation that is soft peddling climate action to protect their dirty energy ties. Australia is another coal producing nation that has impeded climate action. The strongest resistance comes from the world’s leading suppliers of fossil fuels, the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have all refused to embrace a scientifically sound UN report that indicates nations must do much more to keep temperatures from increasing above the upper threshold limit.
As quoted by the BBC, former climate negotiator Yamide Dagnet is among those who are outraged. Dagnet, who is currently with World Resources Institute called the actions of these countries “atrocious”. She went on to say, “some countries dismiss the messages and the consequences that we are facing, by not accepting what is unequivocal and not acting upon it,”
The biggest single detractor to to the proceedings at COP24 is the United States, the world’s largest economy and second biggest emitter of GHGs. American president Donald Trump has abandoned the Paris deal and adopted an insane energy agenda. To add insult to injury he is supporting less efficiency while encouraging increased fossil fuel use.
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