With war and inflation, COP27 starts in Egypt with US and EU “green” chasing coal and oil

The 27 th edition of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP

), held a year ago in Glasgow, Scotland, was marked by speeches by the United States (already chaired by Joe Biden) and the European Union for increased efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

From next Sunday (6), the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, will receive the COP27 in a scenario that can cause a lot of embarrassment due to the distance between theory and practice. The US and EU started this year an intense race after oil and coal, motivated by the inflation that afflicts the whole world and the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In August, Biden signed a large investment package that includes actions to contain climate change, but the US president has at the same time adopted measures to increase the production and availability of oil worldwide.

Its objective is to lower the price of the commodity to contain the highest inflation in the United States in decades and reduce Russia’s revenues from oil exports, with which Moscow finances its aggression against Ukraine.

Biden’s actions include negotiations with partners who produce the commodity, such as Saudi Arabia (which didn’t work out for now), release of barrels from the United States’ strategic reserve and pressure on American companies in the sector.

“You are making record profits and we are giving you more peace of mind to invest in production now,” Biden said recently. “You should use these record profits to lower the price at the pumps.” The EU, in turn, to reduce dependence on Russian gas, has reactivated coal plants, previously demonized by the bloc.

The rise in oil prices was already afflicting the world economy before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, but the problem intensified in the following months. The values ​​have decreased in recent months, however, they are still above those practiced at the end of 2021.

To leave the situation Even more difficult, in early August China withdrew from several partnerships with the United States in crucial areas such as climate change, in retaliation for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan — an independently administered island, but that Beijing considers part of its territory.

A United Nations report released at the end of October indicated that a reduction of 43% in carbon emissions up to 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures. With some of the world’s largest economies turning even more to oil and coal (albeit in an emergency), there is no prospect that such a goal will be achieved.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, headquarters of the COP27, said in an interview with the English newspaper The Guardian that the timing of the conference “is more fragile” than the previous one, “due to the impact of the current global situation”.

“[As circunstâncias para a COP27 são] quite challenging. They exceed the circumstances that existed in Paris [em referência ao acordo sobre o clima definido na capital francesa em 2015 e assinado no ano seguinte] or Glasgow in terms of challenge and impacts, economic or geopolitical. But we have to remain optimistic and focused, and try to separate the negotiation process from some of the external circumstances,” Shoukry argued.

However, experts are far from showing the same optimism. . “The hardest work is yet to come. The truth is, not enough has been done in the last months — and some would say we’ve gone backwards,” said Hortense Bioy, the company’s global director of sustainability research. American independent investment research firm Morningstar, at Reuters.

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