Climate: World leaders at COP27 against a backdrop of crises

Climate: World leaders at COP27 against a backdrop of crises

Political leaders from around the world gather at COP27 on Monday under pressure to step up their climate commitments amid runaway global warming and seek financial support for…

Political leaders from around the world gather at COP27 on Monday under pressure to step up their climate commitments in the face of runaway warming and provide financial support to poor countries that suffer most.

Nearly 100 leaders will address delegates gathered for the 27th UN World Climate Change Conference in Sharm e-Sheikh on Monday and Tuesday.

Interventions against the background of multiple and interconnected crises shaking the world, invasion of Ukraine, runaway inflation and looming recession, energy or food crisis.

A context that risks eclipsing climate change, whose devastating effects have multiplied in 2022 – devastating floods, heat waves, droughts affecting crops.

Wasted time

“All crises are important, but none have as much influence,” pounded on Sunday at the opening ceremony of the COP27 UN climate chief Simon Stiell.

“The fear is that we lose another day, another week, another month, another year: we can’t afford it.”

However, countries’ current commitments fall far short of meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the cornerstone of climate diplomacy. Either contain global warming “significantly” below +2°C compared to the pre-industrial period, if possible at +1.5°C.

Recent “national contributions”, once fully respected, would at best put the world on a +2.4°C trajectory by the end of the century, according to the UN.

And with the current policy, there is even a risk of a catastrophic +2.8 °C.

Symbolic of the “pull back” many fear, only 29 countries have presented plans for stepped-up reductions since the 2021 COP, despite having adopted a “pact” asking them to do so.

All announcements of further reductions in Sharm el-Sheikh will therefore be closely examined.

The two biggest global polluters, China and the United States, whose cooperation is vital, will not speak at the summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping will not come to Egypt, and his American counterpart Joe Biden, who was held back from the midterm elections, will quickly move to the COP on November 11.

MM. Xi and Biden could, however, meet on the sidelines of the G20 in Bali next week.

Put under pressure

French President Emmanuel Macron urged them on the sidelines of the COP on Monday to “really be there” in reducing emissions and showing financial solidarity. In general, it is necessary “to put pressure on the rich non-European countries to tell them + they have to pay their share +”, he estimated.

Aid to poor countries, which are often most exposed to the effects of global warming even if they have hardly contributed to it, is another crucial issue for this COP27.

As a first step, the delegates decided on Sunday to put the thorny question of financing the damage already caused by global warming on the official agenda of the conference for the first time.

They are already numbered in the tens of billions of dollars – more than 30 for example for the recent floods that submerged a third of Pakistan – and are expected to grow strongly.

Vulnerable countries are demanding a specific financing mechanism, opposed by the wealthiest, who fear their responsibilities will be called into question and argue that climate finance is complex enough as it is.

The COP27 will not result in a decision, discussions are expected to continue until 2024.

For his part, Brazilian President-elect Lula, whose victory has given hope to the defenders of the Amazon, one of the planet’s “lungs”, could pay a visit to Sharm el-Sheikh before the end of the conference on November 18.

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will also speak on Monday to advocate for the energy transition and defend his country’s record, which chaired the last COP.

He assured that during his trip he would also discuss the case of British-Egyptian political prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is on hunger strike and his family said stopped drinking on Sunday.

According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of people who called for demonstrations on the sidelines of the COP and restricted the ability of climate activists to speak out or demonstrate.

“With the interrogation we had at the airport, it will not be easy to do what we had planned,” said Nyombi Morris, a young Ugandan activist.

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At the conference center in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, which is hosting COP27, on November 6, 2022
• MOHAMMED ABED

The chances of reducing global warming

The chances of reducing global warming
• Sabrina BLANCHARD

French President Emmanuel Macron (centre) meets young Africans on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 7, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron (centre) meets young Africans on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, November 7, 2022
• Ludovic MARIN

The inequalities of global warming

The inequalities of global warming
• Julia Han JANICKI

Reference: www.guadeloupe.franceantilles.fr

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