University of São Paulo: Current geopolitical framework is a challenge for COP 27

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The 27th UN Conference on Climate Change will be held in Cairo, Egypt, from 7 to 18 November 2022. It will discuss goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the consequences of climate change in the world. all. Pedro Luiz Côrtes, professor at the School of Communications and Arts and head of the Institute of Energy and Environment (IEE) at USP, analyzes expectations for this edition of the conference.

This year’s COP may encounter challenges. Côrtes comments that the pressure scenario created by the possibility of the European Union not being able to meet the climate goals stipulated in the previous edition, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is intensified by the war in Ukraine: “It is possible that Europe will face difficulties to meet the targets for the coming years”.

The context mentioned by him involves the issue of natural gas supply and the use of other fossil fuels. With Russia’s cuts, Germany has been considering reactivating thermoelectric plants, powered by fuel oil or coal, the most intense sources of greenhouse gas generation. Last year there was also a very intense movement within the European Union, after the last climate convention, for the inclusion of natural gas in the taxonomy of energy sources considered “environmentally friendly”.

Côrtes explains that this pressure from European countries occurred after several governments understood that it would be necessary to adopt natural gas as a “transition fuel”, for the stipulation of clean energy. The same thinking is applied to the perspective or reconsideration of the return of nuclear energy, in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which present the problem of safety in its operation and in the storage of the fuel.

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Here in Brazil, although the topic has not entered the radar of Brazilian journalistic coverage, due to the 2022 elections, Côrtes says that it should receive special attention. Some of the reasons involve the very severe climate change in the country, such as the rains that affected the cities of Petrópolis and Angra dos Reis.

Worldwide, we have temperature records in Europe, North America and Asia: “Finally, the effects of climate change have been verified in different areas of the planet. That in itself deserves a deeper discussion,” he adds.

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