After months of hype, hubris and denial UK officials have finally acknowledged that Boris Johnson’s shambolic climate diplomacy and the COP26 summit in Glasgow are heading for the rocks.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that leaked documents reveal that China is sticking to the Paris Agreement and is refusing to commit to more drastic cuts in CO2 emissions.
This is, of course, no news for interested observers since China’s communist leaders have made their opposition quite clear and for some time, as we have repeatedly reported on this website in recent months. And China, of course, is not alone in its opposition to Joe Biden and Boris Johnson’s Net Zero agenda.
In fact, it has been evident for years that huge and growing energy demands by China, India and other emerging nations and the Net Zero agenda by the US, the UK and the EU are incompatible and insurmountable. For much of this year we have been warning of the growing risk of another Copenhagen-type COP fiasco.
Boris Johnson, of course, is being blamed for the likely debacle, paying the price for surrounding himself with green ideologues who are unwilling to listen to any second opinion or political realists who have been warning about a likely COP26 flop.
Following the habitual play book of UN climate summits, it is almost certain that on the last day of COP26, after days of walkouts and deadlocks, the delegates will finally agree a communiqué and celebrate the ‘breakthrough’ in the dying minutes of the conference. The only real question now is whether this agreement will be drafted by British and US officials or by Chinese delegates and their BRICS allies — thus repeating their Copenhagen coup.
Recent reports in the British media suggested that Boris Johnson may be considering to abandon his 1.5C goal in order to avoid a COP-flop in Glasgow in November.
However, if the price for a COP26 compromise is the abandonment of the 1.5C goal, the West’s 2050 Net Zero agenda itself would become futile and self-destructive in face of China’s unrestrained expansion of cheap energy and its rise to global dominance.
International climate talks led by the UK are at risk of “failure” over China’s refusal to slash its emissions, revealed in leaked documents seen by the Telegraph.
UK climate envoy Alok Sharma held talks in China this week to push Beijing to stop increasing carbon emissions well before their current deadline of 2030.
China’s provinces have approved dozens of new coal-fired power plants this year, and analysts say a new deadline is crucial to keeping the aims of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5C on track and ensuring success at the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.
But a source on the Cop26 team yesterday acknowledged in the wake of talks that it was clear that “we won’t get everything in Glasgow”.
“There’s a growing understanding that if we come to Glasgow and there remains a gap to get closer to 1.5C we will need to work on that together,” the source said.
Mr Sharma said he had “constructive discussions… but time is running out to prevent a climate catastrophe”.
In leaked documents outlining their negotiating position seen by the Telegraph, Beijing says its current climate commitments represent its “utmost efforts” and are “consistent” with the Paris Agreement.
The documents, which have been seen by Mr Sharma’s team and No 10, reveal the gulf between China and the West, just two months before the summit.
One Chinese observer of the talks said “a fight is inevitable in Glasgow”.
Mr Sharma visited the city of Tianjin shortly after US climate envoy John Kerry made his own visit to meet their Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua.
The two trips prompted an editorial in the Chinese state-run Global Times warning the UK not to “allow Washington to hijack the summit for its ill geopolitical intentions” and saying Beijing would “stick to its own pace” on emissions reductions.
The row risks embarrassing the UK as the hosts of Cop26 if it is unable to secure a clear win in its first big post-Brexit diplomatic role.