The COP26 Climate Change Summit held in Glasgow, Scotland last November led to the formulation of a number of potential solutions to the ongoing climate crisis. However, given the sluggish approach of many of the world’s governments to act on these solutions and their own climate change initiatives, any progress made at the summit may be doomed to fail.
Two nations are being put under the microscope as far as this is concerned, namely the United States and China.
So Much for Building Back Better
There has been little to no progress with regard to congressional approval for Us President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better act – something that puts the country’s ability to meet the lofty environmental goals the government has set for it in serious jeopardy.
According to Dr. Joanna Depledge of the Cambridge Center for Environment, Energy, and Natural Resource Governance, Biden’s promises at COP26 had been instrumental in fostering optimism and a sense of momentum among attendees.
However, seeing how Congress is still dithering over the proposed act, other world leaders and environmental activists have expressed their dismay. This was not the sort of sustained climate legislation that they were expecting following the US President’s statements at the summit.
The Chinese Complaint
The potential failure of Biden’s Build Back Better is already causing other countries to believe in the statement that the “West is declining.” One such nation is China which, even before COP26, has already caused a great deal of geopolitical tension with its Asian neighbors.
At COP26, the Chinese Mainland received flak for using its political might to pull strings for concessions. Indeed, Beijing is already feeling slighted when it comes to the European Union’s plan to impose carbon taxes on imported products.
China’s rising sense of unfairness and frustration is expected to make this year somehow more turbulent and this particular nation is hard-pressed to make judgments as to whether certain initiatives are truly pro-environment or are just another ploy in terms of global trade and geopolitics.
Some critics are also of the opinion that China and several other countries may opt to ignore any agreements made in Glasgow that are not to their taste or are of no particular economic benefit to them.
Meanwhile, some environmental groups are already raising concerns regarding the next two hosts for the COP summit: Egypt this year, and the United Arab Emirates in 2023. Experts agree that neither country can be considered a climate leader, though Egypt, as a developing country, could help push issues such as the loss and damage caused by climate change to the fore.