Leaders Emerge From Egypt With a Deal
An inconvenient truth of climate change was the main focus during the recently wrapped COP27 summit in Egypt.
No, not that inconvenient truth. The one where rich countries burn the greatest chunk of fossil fuels, while the poorest will suffer the worst consequences of climate change.
It's been a hairy issue without much of a path forward since The Paris Agreement, but COP27 may have set the foundation for a resolution.
- Marathon negotiations resulted in a deal where rich countries would pass the hat around to give poor countries the resources needed to both avert and adapt to a warmer world
- While specifics still need to be ironed out, the pact points to a glimmer of hope that hundreds of nations can work together to deal with a problem that affects them all, even though the effects won't be evenly spread
- The 1.5C goal still seems like a pipedream even after the deal, but there's still a massive difference between 2 and 3 degrees of warming long-term
Hovering over the meetings in Egypt was the energy disaster that Europe's found itself in. After going all-in on renewable energy investments and shunning fossil fuel production, the continent found itself bending over backward to Russia to avoid shivering all winter.
Poorer nations have it even worse, and without a hand up from the wealthiest, they will be forced to decide between development and climate change mitigation, all while the effects of the latter slam them disproportionately hard.
Business leaders like Larry Fink and Bill Gates have been ratcheting up demands for economic changes to sidestep emissions growth, but actual changes have been a slow drip.
Oil giants are well-capitalized after an incredible year for the industry, and unless the regulatory hammer comes down, they'll have a lot of power in determining the energy future of the world.
The big question: Will COP27 turn out to be just another showy agreement without legs, or will it unlock better cooperation between advanced and emerging economies to deal with climate change?