COP26: Barack Obama criticized the "dangerous lack of urgency" of China and Russia in the fight against climate change.
The former president was confident that Joe Biden's ambitious climate bill would pass in Congress. But, instead, he lambasted Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin for not joining other world leaders in Glasgow.
Barack Obama expressed confidence that the administration of President Joe Biden will finally pass its $ 555 billion climate package in Congress and criticized China and Russia for what he called a "dangerous lack of urgency" to reduce their emissions.
"When it comes to the climate, time is running out," Obama said during his speech at the Climate Change Summit. Although he considered that there has been progressing since the historic Paris climate agreement of 2015, he lamented: "We are not even close to where we should be."
The former US president's comments came as conference leaders acknowledged on Monday that there are many key sticking points after a week of talks.
Those of us who live in wealthy nations, those of us who help precipitate the problem ... we have an additional burden.
An issue of disagreement between rich and developing nations on climate change arose as the negotiations went through verification of what has been achieved and what remains to be done. Developing countries used versions of the word "disappointing" five times when leaders spoke on Monday about progress to date.
The UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is the first for the former US president to participate since he helped win the 2015 Paris climate accord when nations pledged to reduce fossil fuel emissions and fast enough to keep global warming below catastrophic levels of 1.5. degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
That celebration has faded and been replaced by worry. First, Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris agreement. Then, president Joe Biden re-included the United States when he took office this year. Still, Washington's efforts were delayed years by Trump's move.
Obama's appearance on the sidelines of the talks sought to remind governments of the Paris agreement's euphoria and urge them to announce more immediate and concrete steps to put the 2015 agreement into action.
"America is back and moving with more courage. But, America is not alone, "Obama said.
Obama noted that efforts by his country, the world's second-worst climate polluter after China, stalled when Trump withdrew from the climate deal.
"I was not very happy with that," he admitted but added that optimism is required to save the planet.
"There are times when I feel discouraged. There are times when the future looks bleak. There are times when I doubt humanity can get going before it's too late, "Obama said. "We cannot afford hopelessness."
Despite opposition within Biden's own Democratic Party that has blocked climate legislation, Obama said he was confident that some version of Biden's ambitious climate bill would pass Congress in the coming weeks.
"It will put the United States on track to meet its new climate goals," he said.
And while in 2015, the relationship between Obama administration negotiators and their Chinese counterparts was seen as paving the way for the global Paris agreement. On Monday, criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin for not joining. To other world leaders at the Glasgow climate talks.
"I was particularly unmotivated to see that the leaders of two of the world's largest issuers, China and Russia, refused even to attend the proceedings, and their national plans reflect What a dangerous lack of urgency, "Obama said.
Obama spoke early Monday in a session on Pacific island nations, including those whose existence is threatened by rising seas due to climate change.
"We all have a role to play. We all have work to do. We all have sacrifices to make "for the climate, he said. "But those of us who live in rich nations, those of us who help precipitate the problem ... we have an additional burden."
There are times when I feel discouraged. There are times when the future looks bleak. There are times when I doubt humanity can get going before it is too late. Unfortunately, we can't afford hopelessness.
When he was reporting to the UN climate conference (COP26) on the first week's progress, COP26 president Alok Sharma had to correct himself on the number of issues resolved, swapping "many" for "some."
No agreement has yet been made on the three main objectives of the UN conference.
Those are promises to cut emissions in half by 2030 to keep alive the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature limit target of the Paris climate agreement; the need for $ 100 billion a year in financial aid from rich countries to poor ones; and the idea that half of that money goes to adapt to the worst effects of global warming. But, unfortunately, several other issues, including carbon trading and transparency, have not yet been resolved either.
Many developing nations were pessimistic. He described the developments as "disappointing" and not close enough, saying the announcements about tackling climate change were high but worried they were low.
Representatives from 77 developing nations and China said that until this climate conference solves the financial promises to help developing countries tackle climate change, these talks cannot be successful.
Guinea's Ahmadou Sebory Touré speaking on behalf of developing countries, said rich countries that fail to deliver on their 100 100 billion pledge show that they are merely making "empty promises".
"There is a history of unfulfilled promises and unfulfilled commitments by developed countries," Diego Pacheco Balanza from Bolivia said at the conference.
Scientists say the urgent need for global warming is as great as the horrific speeches made in Glasgow, just a few years later when it will be impossible to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement because of the damage. Goes
Growing coal, oil. Agriculture and other sources of pollution.
The last few days have seen considerable protests in Glasgow and across Europe for faster action in the fight against global warming.
Obama told young people that "they are right to be frustrated," but then relayed his mother's advice when he was young.
"Don't get in a bad mood. Get to work, get to work, and change what needs to be changed, "he said. "Vote as if your life depended on it because it does."