TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO- At Monday’s climate talks in Egypt, world leaders are being urged to deepen emissions cuts and financially support developing countries already suffering from global warming.
As the UN’s COP27 climate summit takes place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, nations around the world are experiencing increasingly intense natural disasters that have claimed thousands of lives and cost billions of dollars.
The official opening ceremony for COP27 on Sunday urged governments to continue combating climate change despite the economic crises linked to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the energy crunch, rising inflation, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Simon Stiell, a top UN climate change official, “The fear is other priorities take precedence.”
The “fear is that we lose another day, another week, another month, another year — because we can’t”, he said.
A 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 is required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above late-19th-century levels.
Current trends will lead to an increase of 10 percent in carbon pollution by the end of this decade, and a rise of 2.8C in the Earth’s surface temperature, according to recent research.
According to Stiell, only 29 of 194 countries have submitted improved climate plans, as demanded at the UN talks last year in Glasgow.
A total of 110 heads of state and government are expected to attend the two-day meeting, with the notable absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.
U.S. President Joe Biden, who represents a country that ranks second on the top-polluters list, will attend COP27 this week after midterm elections that could result in Republicans taking control of
Congress and opposing international climate action.
‘LOSS AND DAMAGE’
Having defeated climate-sceptic President Jair Bolsonaro in the election, Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to attend the summit to protect the Amazon from deforestation.
It is expected that another new leader, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, will urge nations to transition away from fossil fuels “further and faster”.
Also, on his agenda is a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Delegates on Sunday agreed to include the controversial issue of money for “loss and damage” on the summit agenda, a small victory for developing nations.
Over 130 developing nations are part of the powerful G77+China negotiating bloc, which Pakistan chairs.
“We definitely regard this as a success for the parties,” said Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry, who chairs the COP27.
A fear of creating an open-ended reparations framework has kept the United States and European Union from moving forward on the issue for years.
Nonetheless, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans welcomed the inclusion of loss and damage, tweeting that “climate crisis has impacts beyond what vulnerable countries can shoulder alone“.
According to the OECD, the promise is already two years behind schedule and remains $17 billion short.
With ministerial meetings scheduled until November 18, COP27 will continue until then.