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COP28 summit ‘not looking good’ as climate leaders gather in Dublin
Welcome to Callaway Climate Insights. We're in Ireland today at the annual Climate Summit in Dublin. Please enjoy, and share.
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DUBLIN (Callaway Climate Insights) — With a Middle East regional war brewing and following two of the biggest oil mergers in history in the past few weeks, I asked Irish Climate Minister Eamon Ryan this morning what chance he and other delegates to COP28 had of achieving a goal of agreeing a phase-out of fossil fuels at the climate summit in Dubai next month.
“It’s not looking good,” Ryan said in a frank Q&A after his speech at The Climate Summit in Dublin here. Ryan sits on the loss and damages committee for COP28 but was also talking about the phase-out goals. He spoke of some of the frustrations of forging international consensus among COP delegates at these events despite the urgency of climate change.
“You listen to the science tell us we have five or 10 years and then you go back into the (negotiating) room and start rattling about some comma.”
Ryan spoke at an A-list conference of business and political leaders that included Irish Deputy Prime Minister Micheal Martin, known as Tanaiste (Taw-nish-ta), sustainability banking head Jonathan Maxwell, and Earth Live CEO Andrew Dudley, among others.
Martin kicked off the conference with a brief talk about placing the climate emergency into context of all the other world’s recent challenges, including Brexit, the Covid pandemic, the Middle East turmoil, and the European energy shortage caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“In many ways, it can be bigger and more consequential than any of these, the climate emergency,” Martin said. “It’s urgent, but it’s not hopeless.” Martin said progress can still be made, and cited an upcoming announcement by the government to put rooftop solar panels on schools.
A lot of the discussion surrounded carbon taxes and finding a mechanism for more regional and global carbon pricing. The EU is adopting a regional carbon border adjustment mechanism (tax) next year, and both Ryan and Martin said that Ireland’s own tax was working and has support across parties.
Later on, Maxwell talked about how the global competition for natural resources leads to geopolitical flashpoints like we are seeing now in the Middle East and Ukraine. And how the rush to renewable energy has overshadowed one of the biggest ways to combat climate change, which is energy efficiency, or reducing energy use in buildings.
“We lose 70% of the energy we deliver to and use in buildings, much of it just getting it there,” Maxwell said. “I am optimistic, but it will take more than just developing more renewables.”
Maxwell’s new book on the subject, and his climate journey from investment banker to running the UK’s largest sustainable investing business, called “The Edge,” is due out next month.
Don’t forget to contact me directly if you have suggestions or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Help save bats this Halloween
Appropriate to the season, Bat Week runs though Halloween. It’s an international celebration to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation. According to BatWeek.org, bats are amazing creatures that are vital to the health of our natural world and economy. Although we may not always see them, bats are hard at work all around the world each night — eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees. Sadly, they are in decline nearly everywhere. They face threats including habitat loss, pesticide use, destruction of roost sites, over-harvesting for bush-meat, climate change; and much more. Learn more about efforts to help the bats at Bat Conservation International.
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Words to live by . . . .
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