COP27 outlook falls as Russia, China shun climate talks with U.S.

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By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

Today in Callaway Climate Insights:
– China’s suspension of climate talks with the U.S. was inevitable after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. What’s next?
– How Sen. Joe Manchin threw a wrench into the climate plan’s electric vehicle strategy
– Biden’s climate bill opens vast new areas for off-shore wind development. Here’s where.
– Solar power driving renewable energy to a new record in 2022

It was inevitable that China’s temper tantrum over Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit would include suspension of climate talks with the U.S. And while it will likely be temporary, coming this close to the United Nations COP27 climate summit in three months means that two out of four of the world’s largest polluters — China and Russia — won’t be at the table with U.S. counterparts.

The suspension of the talks last week — as we noted, one of several strings China will pull to make its displeasure with the Biden Administration known — blows a hole in the diplomatic concept of “compartmentalization” touted by U.S. climate czar John Kerry as a way to place global warming outside of the usual geopolitical negotiations between nations.

It threatens to weaken the buildup to COP27 in Egypt to the point where there is little hope of meaningful progress in Sharm El-Sheikh around issues such as distribution of funds from wealthy polluters to small countries bearing the brunt of global warming. As Kerry rightly pointed out, China’s suspension of talks doesn’t punish the U.S., it punishes the more vulnerable countries.

Russia’s step back from international talks on things like the space station and climate change after its invasion of Ukraine, and China’s provocative acts toward Taiwan, portend a world where climate progress remains in the back seat to territorial disputes and cold war politics. More of a space-race competition than a partnership for the good of the planet.

Despite the progress made by the Biden team in getting the climate bill passed over the weekend, the drawing of lines between East and West that we’ve seen so far in 2022 remains the biggest threat to any progress. Which makes it the obvious first card to play in any dispute, as self-destructive as that is.

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