We are on highway to climate hell, UN Chief warns

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Summary

  1. UN chief António Guterres warns the COP27 UN climate summit humanity must “co-operate or perish”
  2. “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator,” he tells world leaders gathered in Egypt
  3. UK PM Rishi Sunak will call for a “global mission for clean growth” when he addresses the summit later
  4. His predecessor, Boris Johnson, earlier called on leaders not to go weak on net zero commitments
  5. The UN says progress on cutting the emissions that cause global warming has been “woefully inadequate” since COP26 in Glasgow last year
  6. The planet has already warmed 1.1C since pre-industrial times and scientists say rises must be limited to 1.5C by 2100 to avoid the worst effects
  7. But experts predict carrying on with current policies would lead to a rise as high as 2.8C this century
  8. Poor countries are pushing for financial compensation from rich countries responsible for most historical emissions

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  1. Posted at 12:5712:57Global north should pay for climate damage – activistRicher countries should pay for the loss and damage suffered by those most affected by climate change, climate activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan says.Tan, who is the international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines, says the global north, multinational companies, and the fossil fuel industry have caused “destruction” in the lives of many across the world.”The people in the global south, like the Philippines, are already suffering the most from the climate crisis and they need to pay for that,” she tells BBC Radio 5 Live.But she says it’s difficult to decide how much money should be provided.”In 2009, $100bn was promised and that’s not even enough. But yet that hasn’t even been reached,” she says.”And what we’re seeing now with climate finance is most of it is in the form of debt. What we need is grants and not loans.”Article share tools
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      Read more about these links. Those who pollute the most should pay the most – African Union president
  2. Macky Sall, President of Senegal and President of the African UnionCOP27Copyright: COP27The President of Senegal and President of the African Union, Macky Sall, has just been on the COP27 stage.Addressing the leaders, delegates and ambassadors present, he says COP27 is an opportunity for both developed and developing countries to either “make history” or “be a victim of history”.He says Africa is a force driving low carbon development, despite the fact that the continent contributes less than 4% of global greenhouse gasses.But he adds it is “those who pollute the most” that “should pay the most in order to get our planet off this track of climate crisis”.Article share tools
  3. Posted at 12:4612:46Reasons to celebrateEsme StallardClimate reporter, reporting from COP27Despite the stark warnings from the UN, developing nations and even Boris Johnson this morning about the poor state of climate action, there have been some successes this year.Renewable energy continues to grow at lightning pace – the International Energy Agency predicts by 8% this year. This is impressive considering the downturn in the global markets.There have been new climate targets from Australia, India, and Indonesia in the last couple of months – although yesterday the new COP27 President, Sameh Shoukry, lambasted countries for repeatedly developing targets without turning them into action.Whilst at the conference, loss and damage has made it on the agenda for the first time. Agreeing what to talk about might not seem a big deal. But it is an acknowledgement from richer nations that developing countries need financial support for the impacts of climate change they are already facing.There are notable absences of leaders here, but a new leader that delegates will be happy to see is Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He will be replacing Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s president and has promised to provide new protections to the Amazon rainforest, which has seen an increase in deforestation of 48% in the last year.Brazil's president-elect Lula meeting leaders from the Amazon's indigenous tribes during his election campaignReutersCopyright: ReutersBrazil’s president-elect Lula met leaders from the Amazon’s indigenous tribes during his election campaignImage caption: Brazil’s president-elect Lula met leaders from the Amazon’s indigenous tribes during his election campaignArticle share tools
  4. Posted at 12:3912:39Loss and damage ‘can no longer be swept under the rug’UN Secretary General António Guterres speaks at the COP27 summitReutersCopyright: ReutersGuterres carries on by saying there is no adapting to the growing catastrophic events causing suffering around the world.He stresses loss and damage “can no longer be swept under the rug”.Developing countries that contributed the least to the climate crisis are blindsided by the impacts “for which they had no warning or means of preparation”.Guterres calls for a universal early warning system within five years and for governments to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuels companies.”Let’s redirect that money to people struggling with food and energy prices, and to countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis,” he adds.Article share tools
  5. Posted at 12:2512:25We are on highway to climate hell, warns UN secretary generalUN Secretary General António Guterres is next on the stage.”The clock is ticking,” he tells the audience. “We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing.”Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching the tipping point that will make climate chaos irreversible.”We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”He adds the war in Ukraine and other conflicts have had “dramatic impacts” all over the world, but “we cannot accept that our attention is not focused on climate change”.Article share tools
  6. Posted at 12:1812:18Unique historical moment to achieve goals – Egypt presidentThe Egyptian president closes his speech by stating there must be enough time to ensure climate agreements are implemented.”There is no time to slip back, there is no space for hesitation,” he says, adding this is a “unique historical moment” where countries around the world can meet their responsibilities and achieve their goals.”Implementation, implementation, implementation,” he says, repeating the strapline coined for this COP summit.”I wish you every success during your work,” he adds, addressing the attendees of the conference.He ends his speech by appealing for the war in Ukraine to end.Article share tools
  7. Posted at 12:1512:15People want ‘rapid and concrete’ actions – President SisiMore now from President Sisi.He says people across the world want “rapid, concrete implementation” of actions to reduce emissions to guarantee funding for “developing countries who today are suffering more than others the consequences of these crises”.Despite all of the challenges and difficulties, there are rays of hope, he says.”Because humanity surely can be just to those who are not responsible for the consequences that are producing so much suffering,” he adds.He says every government must work to the extent of its ability to provide solutions.Egypt has established ambitious climate change goals and is “determined” to accelerate its use of green resources and an economy with low carbon emissions, he says.Article share tools
  8. Posted at 12:0212:02Planet has become world of suffering – Egypt presidentEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-SisiEPACopyright: EPAThe President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, is making his opening remarks at the COP27 summit.He starts by welcoming everyone to the conference, where he says countries will “work hand-in-hand” to tackle “one of the most urgent issues the planet faces” – climate change.He says the city where the conference is located, in Sharm El-Sheik, is the first Egyptian city to go through the beginnings of a green revolution.He adds that we all share one planet, one future, one goal and one hope – but says the world is facing “one catastrophe after another” and “the planet has become a world of suffering today”.Article share tools
  9. Posted at 11:5311:53A lot of talking and no action – climate scientistAway from the centre of the action at the COP27 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, alarm bells are being sounded over the fate of the climate.Prof Hannah Cloke, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, has previously said “history will judge us to be the most pathetic, short-sighted and stupid generation that ever lived if we continue to ignore the evidence of that catastrophic man-made climate change”.Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, she says she’s “at a loss” as to what to do to try to impress on people the gravity of the effects of climate change.She says that as a climate scientist, people tell her to “stick to the facts, don’t frighten people, don’t give your opinion”.But she says she has had enough of doing that: “Us scientists, we’ve been doing that for 30 years now, with increasing alarm. We just don’t have this widespread action that’s needed.Quote Message: “We have evidence from the past year, every corner of the world showing us that there is a massive problem here. We’ve got sea levels continuing to rise faster, lethal heatwaves… getting hotter, and the time we have to change the course is getting shorter and shorter. It feels like a lot of talking and no action. And as a climate scientist it’s just awful and really, really frustrating.””We have evidence from the past year, every corner of the world showing us that there is a massive problem here. We’ve got sea levels continuing to rise faster, lethal heatwaves… getting hotter, and the time we have to change the course is getting shorter and shorter. It feels like a lot of talking and no action. And as a climate scientist it’s just awful and really, really frustrating.”She says she is very worried that the world may not meet the target of stopping global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5C: “I think most climate scientists are incredibly worried that we’re not going to make it.”She adds, however, that she believes governments have the technologies and the skills to fix the climate crisis.Article share tools
  10. Posted at 11:5011:50A look at some climate jargonHaving trouble getting your head around all the climate terminology? Help is at hand…Greenhouse gas emissionsRelease of gases which cause climate change – via the greenhouse effect which traps the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) released from burning fossil fuels is the most important greenhouse gas.Methane – natural gas – and nitrous oxide, which is released from fertilizer use, are others. They are released in smaller amounts but have a more powerful warming effect.A chart showing the rise of global co2 emissions. South America is emitting the most..Copyright: .Net zeroIn simple terms, reaching net zero means getting to a point where you are not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.It can be achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and balancing out any that remain by removing an equivalent amount – either through natural means, like trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, or using technology. Many countries, like the UK, have set targets of reaching net zero by 2050.NDCsNationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement. They are the commitments by each country to reduce their own national emissions.Article share tools
  11. Posted at 11:4411:44In pictures: World leaders pose for family photo at COP27We’re getting pictures in now of the world leaders at COP27 gathering together to pose for the traditional family photo.They will soon begin negotiations on climate action at the summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.Here’s a selection of images from the scene:Leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, France's President Emmanuel Macron, and Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev, pose for a group photoReutersCopyright: ReutersEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and others pose for a group photoImage caption: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and others pose for a group photoIsrael's President Isaac Herzog has both hands raised as he speaks with British Prime Minister Rishi SunakReutersCopyright: ReutersUK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Israeli President Isaac HerzogImage caption: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Israeli President Isaac HerzogFrance's President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Bulgaria's President Rumen RadevReutersCopyright: ReutersFrance’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Bulgaria’s President Rumen RadevImage caption: France’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with Bulgaria’s President Rumen RadevArticle share tools
  12. Posted at 11:3211:32European Commission chief has “good meeting” with SunakUK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets with European Commission President Ursula von der LeyenReutersCopyright: ReutersUrsula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, has tweeted about her earlier meeting with UK PM Rishi Sunak on the margins of COP27.”We face many common challenges, from tackling climate change and the energy transition to Russia’s war against Ukraine. I look forward to a constructive [EU-UK] co-operation based on our agreements.”Both the UK and EU have faced harsh energy price rises since the war on Ukraine began.It is Sunak’s first appearance on the international stage since becoming PM a fortnight ago.Article share tools
  13. Posted at 11:2411:24What is the Paris Agreement and why does it matter?As the nations of the world meet at COP27 in Egypt, they are under pressure to improve on landmark commitments they made seven years ago in Paris.The Paris Agreement united almost all the world’s nations – for the first time – in a single treaty on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It was a big moment. Nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP21 summit in 2015 to:
    • Keep temperatures “well below” 2C above pre-industrial times and to “pursue efforts” to limit temperature rise to 1.5C
    • Limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally – known as net zero – between 2050 and 2100
    • Each country to set its own emission-reducing targets
    • Rich countries to help poorer nations by providing funding to help them adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy
    Graph showing how the world could get warmer at different degrees..Copyright: .Some of the key discussions in Sharm el-Sheikh will be about whether and how countries are building on what they promised in Paris. All the COP meetings since have been about implementing what was agreed in the French capital. Even after some countries set themselves more ambitious targets in Glasgow last year, the pledges are still not enough to limit warming to 1.5C.And it’s all part of a UN process that started in the 1990s.”COP” stands for “Conference of the parties”, and this summit – COP27 – is the 27th meeting of the parties.Article share tools

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