Hot News on the Hot Climate — USA Launches Carbon Credit Program

two men smiling and shaking hands
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Hot News on the Hot Climate — USA Launches Carbon Credit Program

The discussions this Wednesday, November 9, at the UN Conference on Climate Change, which is being held in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, revolved around the issue of climate finance. Progress in the negotiation rooms was few, but the United States took the opportunity to announce the launch of a carbon market mechanism to help the energy transition of developing countries.

Called the Energy Transition Accelerator, the mechanism is based on a public-private alliance that involves buying carbon credits, reducing the use of fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy.

John Kerry personally went to the COP to announce the initiative.

“We want climate justice now”

The first protest of the event took place on Wednesday morning at the premises of the UN Climate Conference. Historically, the COPs have been marked by the intense participation of civil society, as a way not only to expose their wants and needs but also to pressure negotiators towards a more audacious position in relation to the fight against climate change.

At COP27, however, Egypt made it clear that demonstrations are not welcome and are prohibited inside or outside the venue. On Tuesday night, a demonstration was repressed at an event held by the German government. Organizers, fearing for the safety of the participants, were quick to ask that slogans not be chanted.

Human rights problems in Egypt as a whole, and the lack of a guarantee of well-being for COP participants, led some participating countries to file a formal complaint with the Egyptian government. The fear is that such issues overlap with what should actually be discussed at the conference.

Childhood, adolescence and climate change

Today, UNICEF Brazil released its first report on children, adolescents and climate change, showing that, currently, 40 million girls and boys are exposed to more than one climate or environmental risk, such as air pollution and intense heat, among many others.

For UNICEF, climate change compromises the guarantee of fundamental rights and healthy development. The report also points to the fact that most public policies and national plans concerning climate and the environment mention little or completely ignore the specific vulnerabilities of children and adolescents, in general, and of the most vulnerable groups, in particular.

Fossil of the day

The Fossil of the Day, an “award” created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and given daily during climate conferences to nations that have behaved contrary to the objectives of the meeting, was given to Japan. On the day of financing discussions, Japan was highlighted as the world's largest public financier for oil, gas and coal projects. The resources poured into these projects were on the order of 10.6 billion dollars per year. Money is not lacking.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published in Portuguese by ((O)) Eco on 9 November 2022 and has been translated to English and lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: John Kerry and the Secretary General of the United Nations at Wednesdays COP activities / Credit: UN Climate Change via Flickr.

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