COP26, the 26th Conference of Parties (COP) 26, the 26th of its kind held in Glasgow, UK, from 31 October to 12 November, resulted in an official agreement between the US and China and in a series of official commitments to reduce the use of methane, on the production of steel and aluminum and against deforestation. All this to achieve zero global net emissions by 2050, supporting countries affected by climate change in protecting and restoring ecosystems.
Environmentalists are disappointed, and they’re not wrong. We need more efforts to tackle global warming, but these will have a major impact on our lives. The complaints about the price increases of gas and other strategic raw materials, which we hear and utter these days, are nothing compared to what we will to go through, and no one is going to radically change their lifestyle.
This is the same in developing countries, China, India, but also Brazil, where we have just begun to glimpse the consolidated level of economic (and political) well-being that is taken for granted in Europe, no one is going to be pushed back to the situation of ten or just five years ago. A house built of concrete and bricks, with a floor that is not of clay court, electricity and running water, even if drinking water does not come out of the taps in most of the world, the first refrigerator, the first means of personal transport, these are not things that are easily renounced once they are known.
How to do? This policy of small steps, to be constantly monitored, with objectives to be reviewed on a frequent basis, is probably the only way to proceed. But it is up to the more industrialized countries to lead the path, and to work out alternatives that are feasible to developing ones. History tells us, becayse we are the ones who started to pollute, and we have neglected the consequences. It is imposed on us by the way we want to be seen and the way we want to be considered by other peoples.