COP15 traffic jams loom in Montreal

COP15, which will be held from December 7 to December 19 at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, will cause many obstacles for motorists.

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At the corner of rue Saint-Urbain and avenue Viger, a lane has already been cut to promote fluid traffic.

The SPVM police will also work jointly with the City of Longueuil and Laval to ensure transportation logistics.

Philippe Sabourin, administrative spokesperson for the City of Montreal, recalls for his part that the COP15 event will have significant spinoffs for the City.

« It’s a massive event. What you have to see is that the fallout is going to be major. In terms of Montreal’s influence, everyone will have their eyes riveted on Montreal. But hoteliers and local businesses will benefit from it, because we are talking about 10,000 to 15,000 delegates and 196 countries who will come to visit us.

But discouragement is felt among some citizens, who fear the congestion on the roads.

“We are used, I think, to Montreal. We block anything for any event, ”drops a woman.

An assessment noted for the cop27

After difficult negotiations that overshot the schedule, COP27 ended on Sunday with a hotly contested text on aid to poor countries affected by climate change, but also on a failure to set new ambitions for the reduction of greenhouse gas.

Opened on November 6 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the UN climate conference became one of the longest COPs in history by ending at dawn on Sunday.

“It was not easy”, but “we finally fulfilled our mission”, underlined its president, the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sameh Choukri.

A final declaration resulting from many compromises was adopted, calling for a « rapid » reduction in emissions, but without new ambition compared to the COP in Glasgow in 2021.

« We must drastically reduce emissions now, and this is a question that this COP has not answered, » said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The European Union said it was « disappointed », while British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for « doing more ».

However, this edition was marked by the adoption of a resolution described as historic by its promoters, on compensation for the damage caused by climate change suffered by the poorest countries.

These climate “losses and damages” almost derailed the conference, before a last-minute compromise was found. Even if the text leaves many questions unanswered, it enacts the principle of the creation of a specific fund.

« Loss and damage in vulnerable countries can no longer be ignored even if some developed countries had decided to ignore our suffering, » said young Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate.

The South African Ministry of the Environment hailed « progress », but called for « urgent action » to « ensure compliance with the obligations of developed countries ».

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed a summit in Paris before COP28 scheduled for the end of 2023 in Dubai, for « a new financial pact » with vulnerable countries.

Decline criticized

The text on emission reductions was also hotly contested, with many countries denouncing a backsliding on the ambitions defined at previous conferences.

In particular on the most ambitious objective of the Paris agreement: to contain global warming at 1.5°C, however reaffirmed in the final decision.

The current commitments of the signatory countries do not make it possible to meet this objective, nor even that of containing the rise in temperature to 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era, when humans began to use responsible fossil fuels en masse. of global warming.

These commitments, if they are fully kept, would at best put the world on the trajectory of +2.4°C in 2100 and, at the current rate of emissions, on that of a catastrophic +2.8°C.

However, at nearly +1.2°C currently, the dramatic impacts are already multiplying: 2022 has seen its procession of devastating droughts, megafires and floods, impacting crops and infrastructure.

The costs are also soaring: the World Bank estimates the cost of the floods at 30 billion dollars, which covered a third of Pakistan with water for weeks and caused millions of victims.

Poor countries, often among the most exposed, but generally responsible for little of the warming, have been calling for funding for “loss and damage” for years.

Decline criticized

Accused by some of a lack of transparency in the negotiations, the Egyptian Choukri affirmed that there had been “no bad intention”.

However, the battle will not end with the adoption of the Sharm el-Sheikh resolution since it remains deliberately vague on certain controversial points.

Operational details are to be defined for adoption at COP28, promising further clashes. Particularly on the issue of contributors, the developed countries, led by the United States, insisting that China be part of it.

US climate envoy John Kerry said he was working to increase the US contribution to $11 billion, which would make Washington “the single largest contributor to the climate economy”.

A State Department spokesperson, however, pointed out that the agreement did not mention any binding points.

Another subject that shook the COP: emissions reduction ambitions.

Many countries considered that the texts proposed by the Egyptian presidency constituted a step backwards on the Glasgow commitments to regularly raise the level.

« This COP has weakened the obligations for countries to present new and more ambitious commitments », regretted Laurence Tubiana, architect of the 2015 Paris agreement.

Not to mention the question of reducing the use of fossil fuels, the cause of global warming, but barely mentioned in the texts on the climate.

Briton Alok Sharma, president of COP26, said a point on fossils had been “watered down at the last moment”.

Coal had been cited in 2021 after tough exchanges, but in Sharm el-Sheikh the “usual suspects”, in the words of one delegate, once again opposed it for oil and gas. Saudi Arabia, Iran or Russia are the most often cited.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said she was disappointed that the reduction in emissions and the phase out of fossil fuels had been « evaded by some big emitters and oil producers ».

The development of renewables is however the subject of an unprecedented mention alongside “low emission” energies, an expression generally applied to nuclear power.


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