World Climate Conference in Egypt
Baerbach: “Humanity is headed for the abyss”
11/07/2022, 12:19 PM (Updated)
Starting tomorrow, nearly 200 countries are negotiating in the fight against climate change. Germany wants to act as a “bridge builder”. Foreign Minister Berbach clarified the seriousness of the situation in advance: for many states, it is already “a question of the survival of their population”.
Just before the start of the COP27 world climate conference in Egypt, Germany has called curbing global warming its top priority. “Humanity is heading towards the abyss, towards warming above 2.5 degrees, with catastrophic consequences for our lives on the only planet we have,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach. The world has “all the tools needed to contain the climate crisis and stay on track to 1.5 degrees”.
40,000 participants are expected at the conference, which starts on Sunday and will be held in Africa for the first time since 2016. At COP27, representatives from nearly 200 countries gathered in Sharm El Sheikh for two weeks of talks on how to step up the fight against global warming. Timing is of the essence, as the past seven years have been the warmest since weather records began.
Extreme weather events in countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia have recently shown the enormous damage and deadly destructive power of climate change. Global emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases must be halved by 2030, according to researchers. At the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015, there was no other way to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. According to the climate protection plans currently proposed by the states, they will increase further.
Expectations for the conference were muted
Despite the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, 2022 “must not be a lost year for climate protection. For many states, it’s about the survival of their population and their culture,” said Baerbach, with the ministries for economy, development and environment. . “For them, the climate crisis is still the most important security issue, not Russia’s war in Europe.” These states will expect more solidarity from rich countries. Svenja Schulze declared: “Germany will build an important bridge between industrialized and developing countries at this climate conference.”
Due to the ongoing war in Europe, the associated energy, food and economic crises and the growing national debt, expectations for the climate conference are very low – compared to COP26 in Glasgow a year ago. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier assessed the chances of victory as slim. Renowned climate economist Odmar Edenhofer and climatologist Mojib Latif also tendered their resignations.
The conference formally opened on Sunday morning with a handover from British COP26 President Alok Sharma to his successor, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Samih Choukry. Starting Monday, around 100 heads of state and government are expected in the Red Sea, including Chancellor Olaf Scholes and US President Joe Biden. China’s President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be attending the conference, two of the most important leading figures in countries that, along with the United States, are among the biggest CO2 emitters. Russian President Vladimir Putin also did not attend.
(This article was originally published on Sunday, November 06, 2022.)
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