Amid growing fears that the upcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow (COP26) could end in failure, UK officials are beginning to look for scapegoats.
As the Biden administration’s disastrous Afghanistan retreat unfolds, there is now a growing realisation that Biden’s colossal strategic fiasco will greatly undermine American credibility on the world stage.
There can be little doubt that America’s military and strategic failure will have devastating consequences for its international standing for years to come. This loss of global credibility is almost certain to play out later this year when the Biden administration together with the UK government intend to push through a Net Zero agreement at the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow.
The chances of a global Net Zero deal, which was unlikely even before the fall of Afghanistan, have now essentially evaporated. And as a Net Zero agreement at COP26 looks out of the question, the blame game has begun, with UK officials blaming the Biden administration for refusing to increase its annual transfer of climate $$$billions to more than 100 developing nations.
The main problem the US president now faces is that after his humiliating defeat, none of his administration’s pledges at the Glasgow climate summit will be seen as trustworthy. And while his approval ratings continue to drop, the next US president could simply overturn Biden’s empty promises and the Paris agreement at the stroke of a pen.
America must increase its cash pledge to help developing countries fight climate change or one of the main targets of the Cop26 conference will be missed, British officials fear.
The Telegraph can reveal that Boris Johnson’s government is locked in an increasingly fraught tussle with Joe Biden’s administration over money to counter global warming.
Mr Johnson has made rich nations giving $100 billion a year of climate finance to poorer nations a top objective for Cop26, the UN climate change conference.
But with the Glasgow conference now a little over two months away, insiders close to the negotiations believe they are still between £10 billion and £15 billion a year short of hitting the goal.
Britain, Germany and Canada have all substantially increased their pledges, but America’s figure is roughly similar to what it was under former US president Barack Obama.
UK officials are understood to see America’s current proposed contribution as “pitiful” and are demanding that it “catch up” with other G7 countries.
They also acknowledge that Washington’s decision on whether to give more cash is effectively “make or break” for hitting the $100 billion ambition.
One UK source familiar with discussions said: “The big player that has to come to the $100bn pledge with a substantial offer is America. They’ve been saying for a long time ‘we’re on the case’. We’ve got two and a half months. We’re running out of time.”