–Club membership is looking tricky, to say the least
–CarrZee hopes behind the scenes collaboration is more productive than it looks on the surface (and it might be –see below)
By Mathew Carr
June 28-30, 2022 — The leaders of Germany, Argentina, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Senegal, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union agreed to work together to form a climate club by the end of the year, according to Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
“We will continue to initiate additional partnerships with India, Indonesia senegal and Vietnam. We’ve planned these already. And what we want to do is cooperate with one another. Once again, one thing that brings us all together and that is our common values — democracy, human rights, peace and freedom. This also brings us together with our partner countries, and they were invited to join us here as I said, Senegal, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina and India. These are democratic voices from the Global South, and they are the right partners for us to discuss these problems of our common world,” he said.
“In all of our discussions, we agreed that G20 should not be split,” Scholz said in a press conference at the end of a G7 summit in Germany.
The Ukraine war, which has caused about 300 million people to go hungry, shows nothing short of a rewriting of the global economic system was required, said Alberto Fernández, president of Argentina, who attended the G7 representing the Latin America and Caribbean nations.
“The problem is not poverty, the problem is the economic model that generates poverty,” he said.
He said the Southern Hemisphere, or the world’s “periphery,” was seen as a processor of CO2 into oxygen and proper financial collaboration was needed to deal with the climate crisis, he said via an interpreter. “Please pay attention to the periphery,” he told the G7, he said.
See here for the three pillars of the climate club …and how everyone’s invited (published after the first version of this story) — yes potentially even Russia:
CarrZee: A climate club of the countries listed in the first paragraph above could split the G20 (of which Russia is a member).
It’s clear that preventing a split of the G20 will require delicate (if not near impossible) negotiations.
Multilateralism was alive and well, Scholz signalled, amid global tension over climate change, war and trade.
Yet there are tricky issues to sort out, beyond the G20 split mentioned above.
The Brics countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are part of the world stage on which we walk, Scholz said. (This is another group which could be split if there was a climate club that includes the members mentioned in the first paragraph above.)
On May 27, China said that the Foreign Ministers of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) have ‘reached consensus on its expansion process’ and agreed to include the new developing countries, according to Republicworld.com.
“Beijing is holding a rotating Presidency of the BRICS bloc this year, and its foreign ministry said Friday that it actively supports the expansion of the five-member group. The remark comes just a day after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Saudi Arabia and Argentina have expressed a desire to join the group,” it reported.
The BRICS May 19 Foreign Ministers’ virtual meeting included Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, Senegal and Thailand who were also given a formal invitation. India External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also took part in the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting convened by his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) has already enrolled Bangladesh, the UAE, Egypt and Uruguay as its official members. (The NDB isn’t mentioned by the G7.)
(Note: Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal ARE listed in the first par above)
Back to this week:
“We had a very good exchange of views. This is a multi-polar world,” Scholz said. Increased collaboration via multilateralism is feasible, he said.
The G7 nations discussed a wide variety of topics during this week’s meeting, agreeing measures to counter aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin and to spend $5 billion to boost global food security.
On climate action:
By 2035, the EU will have co2 neutral cars and fuels, he said.
The planned climate club is to be a working structure, not just an abstract idea, Scholz said. It’s not entirely clear who will be members of the club, he signalled.
“Of course this club is not restricted to the G7,” Scholz said.
CarrZee’s Mysterious Hope:
The reason why I’m still hopeful for climate protection in the face of apparent hopelessness:
I travelled to Bonn, Germany, for climate talks last week …and I witnessed multilateralism (almost) first hand.
While reporters were not officially allowed in negotiation sessions, I spoke with several people familiar with the situation of the talks.
Imagine a huge rectangular room with a massive negotiation desk of the same shape, enough to seat 100-200 negotiators around it, some positioned immediately behind the main envoy at the front.
Diplomats were diligenty working through texts, line by line — projected onto a massive screen at the front of the huge room.
Meantime, dotted around the room, huddles of various skin colors and mixed skin colors were deep in specific negotiation, still attempting to find common ground after three decades of negotiation. Envoys rushed around the room and between each huddle.
Similar WTO negotiations were happening more than 400 kilometers away in Switzerland.
Even this week, with G7 leaders inviting emerging countries into its ranks, climate negotiations were still continuing, according to another person familiar with the situation.
These underreported negotiations across multiple fronts is why I still hold some hope the climate can, indeed, be saved — and markets improved for sustainable development.
(Adds Argentiana, hope, statement translation, clarifies G20 and Brics comments; more to come; Scholz was speaking in German and interpreted)