The Latest on COP27, this year’s annual UN summit on climate change.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley warned on Monday that leaders lacked “the simple political will” to “make a definable difference in the lives of the people who we have a responsibility to serve” as she called for new funding mechanisms that would allow nations to address climate change.
Mottley called for $5 trillion of private sector savings to be unlocked to stop the emissions of planet-warming gases, but added it would “require a change in the attitude” of developed countries.
She urged that nations should “look at other innovative ways to expand the lending that is available from billions to trillions.”
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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore made an impassioned call Monday for leaders to “choose life over death” by ending the use of fossil fuels that are stoking climate change.
Gore, a long-time environmental campaigner who was among the first to raise the alarm about climate change, told leaders at this year’s U.N. climate summit in Egypt that they should turn away from destructive behavior, insisting that “we have other choices” in the form of renewable energy.
“We need to obey the first law of holes,” he said. “When you’re in one, stop digging.”
Gore called for massive amounts of private capital to be unlocked in order to fund the transition to clean energy, saying this would provide the trillions, not billions, needed.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Egyptian authorities closed off several roads on Monday around the venue where the U.N. climate summit is taking place in the seaside resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. Nearly 50 heads of states or governments on Monday have taken the stage the first day of “high-level” international climate talks.
As the leaders headed to the conference, police closed off some roads and redirected some routes. Delegates and journalists arrived late to their events.
Michael Bloomberg, U.N. Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, arrived late at Bloomberg/Sustainable Energy for All event which was held at a luxury hotel in Sharm.
“I apologize for being late,” he told the event participants. “They closed all the roads and you’ve never seen as many empty roads in your life.”
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Environmental campaigners warned Monday that the fossil fuel industry has been “emboldened” by the current global energy crunch and efforts by some countries to invest in new gas projects, particularly in Africa.
Tasneem Essop of the Climate Action Network claimed fossil fuel companies were attending the current U.N. climate talks in Egypt “in numbers” to influence negotiations.
She urged the United Nations to put in place policies that prevent those companies from taking part in the annual meeting in future, alleging that they are engaged in “a massive greenwashing exercise.”
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Nigeria’s Environment Minister Mohammed Abdullahi called for wealthy nations to show “positive and affirmative” commitments to help those developing countries that are the hardest hit by climate change.
He said Monday that even though nations are “strongly divided,” there must be “urgent and decisive action from the countries most responsible for the emissions and, of course, climate change,” he said.
“The blame game should stop,” he said, adding that the country would be “aggressive” during negotiations about financing and reparations for vulnerable countries.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — The head of the United Nations warned Monday that the world is on a “highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator” unless drastic action is taken to curb global warming.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told world leaders gathered for this year’s climate summit in Egypt said humanity must “cooperate or perish,” saying rich industrial nations must lead the way.
But Guterres said emerging economies must also do their bit to bend the global emissions curve, calling out the world’s two biggest emitters, the United States and China, have a particular responsibility.
The U.N. urged countries to forge a “climate solidarity pact” that includes giving poor countries sufficient financial support to cope with the effects of global warming, and reiterated his call for a tax on the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi warned that “the planet has become a world of suffering” in his opening remarks to leaders at the summit.
“Climate change will never stop without our intervention … Our time here is limited and we must use every second that we have,” he said. El-Sissi also called for an end to the Russia-Ukraine war.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo called for wealthy nations who are more responsible for climate change to pay and compensate African nations that are among the hardest hit by the impacts of climate change.
“The damage is obvious,” he told The Associated Press on Monday. “Those who are responsible should be very, very much aware of the need to compensate others.”
He said his government needs around $561 billion to implement the country’s transition plan to clean energy, and at the same time avoid job losses in the oil and gas sector.
GENEVA — The World Trade Organization chief is acknowledging that trade contributes to carbon emissions but says a new WTO report estimates that lifting tariffs and other barriers to trade in environmentally friendly energy products could both boost exports and reduce emissions.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says the Geneva-based trade body’s latest World Trade Report, whose release was timed for Monday’s opening of the U.N. climate conference, found that trade has helped prices of solar electricity to plunge 97 percent since 1990.
However, trade, like most economic activities, emits greenhouse gases — and CO2 emissions linked to international goods and services exports accounted for 30% of global carbon emissions as of 2018, the report said.
The WTO chief acknowledged the perception that trade contributes to global emissions.
“That’s exactly what we want to tackle here: That trade is seen as contributing to the carbon emissions. And this is true,” she told reporters at the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. “But on the other hand, you couldn’t solve the climate crisis without trade. And that’s the part of the equation that has not been looked at.”
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — More than 100 world leaders are preparing to discuss a worsening problem that scientists’ call Earth’s biggest challenge — greenhouse gas emissions, which leads to global warming. However, observers say it will be hard to make progress given all the other things happening in the world. Dozens of heads of states or governments Monday take the stage in the first day of “high-level” international climate talks in Egypt with more to come in following days. Much of the focus will be on national leaders telling their stories of being devastated by climate disasters.
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