A challenging, multilateral balancing act awaits COP15 as heavy overcast hangs over Kunming.
This will be the first of two rounds of negotiations for ministerial representatives from around the world. As @lemonlover mentioned, this meeting will mostly convene remotely for obvious reasons.
The previous congregation of such was held 11 years ago in Japan. The bar (of agreement reached) was set low. Degradation of nature and the climate change fallout have never been more evident than as of late.
More urgency is needed this time around, but don’t expect a dramatic outcome this week. The final deal, dubbed “Kunming Declaration,” is to be ironed out in Spring City again next year, in April or May 2022.
The main goal of these conferences is to renegotiate the reversal of habitat destruction caused by man-made global warming & human encroachment decades in the making. Most participating members of the United Nations will be nudged to commit to protecting 30% of their total land by the end of this decade.
The current state of reality is bleak.
Only 17% of land (7% for oceans), on average, are conserved. Negotiating the near doubling of that land protection may be a tall order. Thus far, 70 nations have pledged commitment to reach this 30% target.
Unfortunately, the majority of the U.N. parties are spending more on subsidizing their industries that harm biodiversity than for funding conservation. USD$500 billion of worldwide government subsidies are currently allocated to fishing, fossil fuel-related, and agricultural industries that upend mother nature and her ecology, according to data from the WWF.
China has more weight on their shoulders at the lectern as this year’s host. To extol, to urge, and to lead by example, as an aspiring world leader ought to demonstrate on the global stage.
China has already pledged to protect 25% of their total land. Commendable, but that figure needs to be increased by an additional 5%. Agreeing to keep 30% of territory ecologically unsullied is a gesture of goodwill. Nations more resistant to change may or may not follow suit because the political dynamics for each country is uniquely complex.
Covid-19 (presumably side effects of human encroachment into wildlife habitat) has hammered the global economy. Governments have been pressured to pump more recovery stimulus into their respective economic engines. Spurring industries to churn for GDP gain, entails the costs of carbon emissions/deforestation.
The cost-benefit calculus is further complicated by the recent power outages. For example, coal-fired power plants were ordered to ramp up at all costs by top brass. Heavy rains and floods (byproducts of global warming) have been hampering these power plants, whereby limiting energy supply for the coming winter in several regions of Mainland. Such circumstances do not bode well for making ecology protection a top national priority. Collective action dilemma and its cyclic cycle ensue.
As discussed in other threads, the tightening of regulatory policies of reigning in land sales to developers, may also align with land preservation commitments for China. The demolitions of villas near Dianchi and projects near XiShan both demonstrate the government’s resolve for change.