Why Stakeholder Coalitions Could Be Key to the Glasgow Climate Summit’s Success

A new article in Inter Press Service

by Felix Dodds and Chris Spence

The past few weeks brought a burst of optimism on the climate front. It began on April 18 with the US-China announcement on climate cooperation. This was followed in quick succession by the EU Parliament’s vote to cut emissions 55% by 2030, the UK’s promise of a 78% cut by 2035, Japan nearly doubling their commitment from 26% to 46% based on 2013 levels and US President Biden’s pledge of a 50-52% reduction, also by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels). Since such cuts offer a clear pathway to limit temperature growth, only the most ardent cynic would deny it has been a great start to the run up to Glasgow. Not to mention the announcement by a court in the Netherlands  as we wrote this article (26th of May) that Shell will need to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 on 2019 levels this could result in a wave of court action against fossil fuel companies. 

An important question now is how do we use the Glasgow Climate Summit to build on governments’ good intentions?  

As we noted in a recent article published in IPS, the limitations on in-person meetings in a Covid-hit world are a particular problem for such a complex, high-stakes process. The Bureau managing the preparatory process for Glasgow recently announced its intention to hold virtual “informal meetings” starting next week. While we welcome the resumption of such discussions under the UN umbrella and can see a benefit to online discussions, these will only get us so far. 

We hope diplomats, key stakeholders and journalists will be able to meet in person prior to the formal start of the Glasgow Summit, perhaps in October under a negotiating ‘bubble’ in Italy (which is hosting the G20 on the 30th and 31st of October) and the UK (which is hosting the Summit from November 1-12). 

The current work being undertaken on COVID vaccine passports should make such in-person gatherings quite feasible, with the EU advancing plans in recent days to introduce them as early as July Furthermore, the UK’s offer to provide vaccinations to developing country delegations is a welcome move and should be expanded to other stakeholders. Continues in Inter Press Service here.