Saturday , May 25 2024

After a few weeks, COP27’s failures are ALREADY becoming clear

Christmas season seems to come around earlier every year – and of course, the annual UN climate conference. COP27, held in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, is already behind us. But its conclusion, which is purportedly when attendees announce the new plans they have come up with and agreements they have signed about how to protect the planet going forward, passed almost without a whisper.

The COP26 summit, held in Glasgow last year, didn’t have much of an impact on global environmental policy. While concluding remarks were being made, conference president Alok Sharma broke down in tears on stage and apologized to the audience for the conference’s inability to significantly advance its goals to consolidate its world-saving environmental policies. He apologized for the arduous process’s outcome, saying, “May I just say to all delegates, I apologize for the way this process has unfolded and I am deeply sorry.” 

Maybe the only thing that went off without a hitch – or so it seemed at the time – at COP26 was a radical new deforestation strategy. It was promised by world leaders that deforestation will come to a grinding halt by the year 2030. In addition, they claimed that by the end of the decade, the effects of deforestation will have been reversed. Then British  Prime Minister Boris Johnson remarked, “We have to halt the tragic destruction of our woods.”

It did not take long, however, for what had first seemed like a triumph to turn out to be a disaster. The plan’s inability to meet its first milestone in February was the first sign that it was running behind schedule. Massive international conventions are excellent for establishing goals and making the right noises, but when delegates return to their home nations, they find that little has changed. When leaders engage in such virtue-signaling, the world suffers because effective measures are put on hold in favor of grandiose plans that attract attention but fail to address the nitty-gritty.

While it may be simple to set goals at conferences, actually preventing and reversing deforestation is a formidable challenge. Companies and international leaders appear to have made those same mistakes at COP27 by reinforcing their commitment to the ‘goal’ of ending deforestation but failing to illuminate what that actually involves. Delaying action on deforestation in this way raises the likelihood of short-sighted, harmful measures like meat levies and product import restrictions further down the line. Delaying action on deforestation in this way raises the likelihood of short-sighted, harmful measures like meat levies and product import restrictions further down the line.

Undeterred by last year’s failures, COP27 seemed to spark interest in additional poorly conceived programs to combat deforestation, combined with unrealistic goals. Several major participants in the food sector, for example, stated their intention to “eliminate deforestation from their supply chains,” but they have not elaborated on what this statement means in practice.

Beef, soy, and palm oil are among the typical targets of those who want to look like they are confronting deforestation without worrying about the details. These leaders look to be following in the footsteps of the European Union’s (EU’s) Due Diligence Proposal from earlier this year, which severely restricted imports of those villainized products to Europe, driving up prices for businesses and consumers and, in some cases, forcing manufacturers to switch to alternative ingredients that cause more, not less, deforestation.

Clearly, innovation is the key to stopping deforestation. Deforestation from palm oil, for example, has decreased to a four-year low, and 72% of corporations have set deforestation pledges. With each passing day, deforestation shrinks further in the palm oil industry. This was accomplished without political intervention and well in advance of COP26 and COP27, but you would never know it from the way regulators talk about it, as if preventing the use of palm oil is the only way to reduce deforestation.

No matter what eco-socialists claim, we would be shooting ourselves in the foot by trying to mitigate the effects of industry on the environment by reversing technological advancement, actively raising prices during an inflationary crisis, limiting access to commodities, and making millions of people’s lives worse. To save the planet and ensure that capitalism can continue to make people’s lives better and the world wealthier, we need market-based approaches to environmental problems.

About Daily Globe

Check Also

The War on the Moon

There was a time when the HG Wells story ‘War of the Worlds’, made into …