Climate Envoy: Science has won in Glasgow

Climate envoy Jaime de Bourbon de Parme says “science has won” at Glasgow climate summit. “No one questions climate science anymore,” he said at a meeting on greening export support. He pointed out, for example, that all countries have now recognized the importance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees and not allowing it to rise to 2 degrees. According to the diplomat, there was a “sense of urgency” at COP26, although the level of ambition was not yet high enough as far as he was concerned.

The Dutch government’s climate envoy expects countries to sharpen their ambitions in the run-up to the next climate summit, next year in Egypt. In Glasgow, the 197 countries agreed that ambitions before the end of 2022 must be tightened in such a way that a maximum warming of 1.5 degrees is in sight. In addition, in Sharm-el-Sheik there will be a lot of talk about adaptation, adaptation to a warmer climate, De Bourbon de Parme hopes. He believes that the Netherlands “has a lot to offer in this regard”.

The climate envoy was among the speakers Wednesday at an online summit of countries that intend to quickly green their support for exports. There was much to be done on this subject during the Glasgow summit. The Netherlands was not initially on a list of countries that have agreed to stop giving export support for fossil fuel projects in other countries by the end of next year, but they signed on under heavy pressure. Now 39 countries have joined, including Belgium, Germany, France, the UK and the US.

The fact that Germany joined later was mainly due to “internal dynamics” in the country, according to the climate envoy. After the Netherlands signed on, he sent a request to the Germans to participate as well.

The so-called E3F coalition will meet at the online summit on Wednesday. The abbreviation stands for Export Finance for Future. In addition to the host country, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden participate. One of the issues discussed is to what extent exceptions should remain possible in the coming years. The statement that was signed in Glasgow leaves room for that. For example, projects in which CO2 is captured and stored, so that the greenhouse gas does not go into the air, are left out of the agreement.

In recent years, the Netherlands has provided large-scale support to fossil fuel projects, such as oil and gas extraction, with so-called export credit insurance. Added together, there are still close to 5,000 million euros in outstanding liabilities. They stay out of harm’s way.

Vince Fernandez

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