In order to prevent the worst effects of the climate disaster, there was an urgent warning before the last session of UN climate change negotiations in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
According to the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the meeting, also known as COP27, began on Sunday, November 6, with a procedural opening and was followed by the World Leaders Summit, which began on Monday and ended on Tuesday. UN Secretary-General António Guterres gave an outspoken statement about the consequences of failure on the first day of this summit of heads of state.
We are fighting for our very lives, yet we are failing. Emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise. The earth’s temperature is increasing. A UN transcript quotes Guterress as saying that our planet is close to reaching a tipping point that will make climate calamity irreversible. With our foot still on the accelerator, we are travelling down a motorway to climate hell.
The summit is taking place as the world struggles to combat the climate problem. A number of UN assessments that were made public before the discussions depicted a bleak picture. The three main greenhouse gases have record-high atmospheric concentrations, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
According to the UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report, however, current policies would put the world on track for 2.8 degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels by 2100, and this would only decrease to 2.4 to 2.6 degrees Celsius of warming if countries abided by their emissions-reduction pledges updated in the wake of last year’s COP26 climate conference.
In order to avoid the worst effects of the climate problem, scientists say it is required to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, which is far higher than the Paris Agreement objective.
According to Guterres, the science is quite clear: in order to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, we must achieve net zero emissions by 2050. But the machinery are creaking, and the 1.5 degree goal is barely hanging on. The line beyond which we can no longer turn is looming alarmingly close.
According to the UNEP’s Adaptation Gap assessment, developing nations have adaptation demands that are five to ten times more than what existing funding can provide. Despite this, the world is already witnessing extreme weather effects, including lethal heat waves throughout 2022 and devastating flooding in Pakistan this summer.
The ongoing recovery from the coronavirus epidemic and the energy and cost-of-living problems sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February have nevertheless had to contend for international attention with these disasters. Guterres countered that these incidents could not be used as a pretext for reversing course or engaging in greenwashing.
He stated that the increase in energy costs brought on by Russia’s reduction in the gas flow to Europe only served to highlight the risks associated with an energy system based on fossil fuels.
The disparity between wealthy countries that historically and now have done more to contribute to the climate catastrophe and poorer countries that are disproportionately sensitive to its effects is another key source of disagreement at COP27. According to The Guardian, developing nations are angry that wealthier nations are taking their time lowering emissions and offering them financial aid to help them transition away from fossil fuels and prepare for the effects of climate change.
The issue of whether and how much rich nations should assist developing nations in paying for the unavoidable loss and harm caused by global warming is anticipated to be a main point of dispute during the summit. As noted by VOA, this subject has now been included for the first time in the GOP agenda.
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Guterres urged rich and poor countries to join forces to create a Climate Solidarity Pact in his speech. This agreement would contain:
- A commitment by all countries to reduce emissions this decade in keeping with the 1.5 temperature target.
- A commitment from major financial institutions and developed nations to help developing countries fund their transition to energy-is-possible-here’s-how-1882182049.html”>renewable energy and to give them technical advice.
- A commitment from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries to phase out coal by 2030 and for everyone to phase it out by 2040.
- A commitment to ensuring everyone has access to affordable and sustainable energy.
As the two biggest economies in the world, the United States and China, Guterres urged that they should lead the charge in supporting this agreement. The two nations are also the main causes of the global warming catastrophe.
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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, China out emits the U.S. on a current basis, but historically, the U.S. has produced more emissions, notes Carbon Brief. China recently canceled bilateral climate discussions with the U.S. due to the two nations’ ongoing dispute over Taiwan, according to Reuters.
This is the kind of conflict, according to Guterres, that the world cannot afford.
He stated that humanity has two options: cooperate or perish. Either a Collective Suicide Pact or a Climate Solidarity Pact exists.