July 21, 2024

The COP is advancing, but the dispute between China and the United States threatens its 2nd week

3 min read
Gold closes high, cautiously following data from China and the US
Gold closes high, cautiously following data from China and the US

The search for a leading role among world leaders and the unprecedented nature of some agreements marked a promising start to the intergovernmental talks in Glasgow, England, in the first week of COP-26. Still, there is tension between the United States and China, two of the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases, which could prevent future outcomes: the outcome of the UN climate summit and one of its key points. Regulation of the carbon credit market.

At the same time, Brazil’s alignment with the United States and the European Union (not to mention maintaining the same militant stance adopted from the beginning of Jair Bolsanaro’s administration) helped soften the country’s image.

The definitive results of the negotiations are, in fact, beginning to appear in the second week. That is, from promise to disappointment, the distance may be short. However, so far some results are significant. The international agreement on methane, with the commitment of 90 countries to reduce emissions (including Brazil), the commitment of 46 countries to abandon coal and the promise of one hundred governments (once again Brazil among them) to put an end to deforestation were some of the key points.

Apart from these, other important announcements took place: US $ 130 trillion in private capital pledged to switch to zero carbon and the first negotiations to implement the US $ 1 billion annual fund, which will be maintained by rich countries and focus on the development of countries. In addition to the $ 1.7 billion pledge in the Climate Fund for Indigenous Peoples.


The methane deal began to cause open controversy between the United States and China. Announced on Tuesday, the United States has led more than 100 countries to sign a pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from last year’s. China, Russia and India are not on the list.

Although it disappears faster than carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, methane has 80 times the potential for warming. Therefore, reducing the release of this pollution is considered as a strategy to accelerate the fight against climate change.

The world would have left the scene if it had expected Donald Trump To ease the relationship with China, on the concrete plane, things are not so easy. “What has changed Joe Biden The possibilities for reaching an agreement are very high, but the two have a history of resolving conflicting relationships and internal problems such as a major dependence on coal, “said Mauricio Santoro, a professor at UERJ’s Department of International Relations.

Not only the paradoxical relationship between the two major emitters of CO2 on the planet, but also their enormous dependence on the polluting energy matrix is ​​weighed here. “It is possible to reach a consensus, but it is not easy, especially considering the economic problems brought about by the epidemic,” he says.


The promise of 100 governments to end deforestation by 2030 was the first step in Glasgow, in which US President Trump appointed himself head of negotiations for a role that had been abandoned in the era. The group of these countries covers 85% of the world’s forests and will be US $ 19 billion in investment from public and private funds. “Our forests are also the way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and capture natural carbon,” Biden said when launching the initiative.

The new era

Alok Sharma, head of COP-26, which announced that 46 countries would abandon the use of coal, said, “The time has come for us to add coal back to the history books.”

The United States and China did not join the agreement, but promised not to finance coal-based projects in other countries. “In the eyes of the major coal users, this is still a very low commitment,” said Myara Foley, project director of the Glasgow-based environmental think tank Plataforma CIPÓ.

Decisive week

According to her, in general, despite the positive announcements, the promises made by countries still fall short of expectations. This can be seen in the negotiations for the credibility of the US $ 1 billion annual fund to combat climate change in developing countries.

Although developed countries have expressed an interest in negotiating and raising the amount to be transferred to this fund, in the first negotiations, the amount has not been reached. In return, the most vulnerable countries have asked for a guarantee of at least $ 5 billion over the next five years.

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