Climate report for the press: Australia for coal, Brazil against resilience

Climate report for the press: Australia for coal, Brazil against resilience

Documents sent to the BBC by Greenpeace show how countries are trying to influence a groundbreaking UN climate report. Although most of the 32,000-plus comments are aimed at improving the quality of the report, according to the BBC, some countries are also trying to tone down or remove unwelcome sections from the final text.

For example, Saudi Arabia and Australia argue against the conclusion that fossil fuel use should be phased out as soon as possible, as stated in the initial version of the report. Australia, a major exporter of coal, wants to raise the recommendation to close coal-fired power plants. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia wants to do away with warnings about fossil fuels.

OPEC and Norway, which also export significant amounts of oil, believe the report should write more positively about the potential for underground CO2 storage. This technique was mentioned in the first version, but the authors immediately note that there are still doubts about its applicability.


The UN Climate Working Group IPCC told the BBC that feedback from governments and organizations was of great importance to gaining scientific consensus on the report. The organization also stresses that the authors of the report are not obligated to accept comments.

Every few years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathers all the scientific knowledge about climate change and makes recommendations on how to combat it. The sixth IPCC report, due next year, will be key to the COP26 international climate conference in Glasgow next month.

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A partial report previously released already in August showed that climate change is occurring at an unprecedented rate.

Monday without meat

Fossil fuel exporters are not the only ones with comments on the text. Major meat exporters such as Brazil and Argentina are criticizing the recommendation to eat vegan once a week under the slogan Monday without meat. According to the draft text, more plant foods could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent for a Western diet.

Argentina warns against generalizations and says there are opportunities to reduce emissions without giving up meat. Brazil writes that a vegetarian diet is not necessarily better.

A number of Eastern European countries are calling for more nuclear energy to be used to solve climate problems. India also believes that the climate report is biased against this type of energy.

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