COP27: UN head says world on highway to climate hell
By Linda Bordoni
On the first day of the UN Climate Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, the head of the United Nations warned 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.
Thus, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made an impassioned plea to world leaders saying that humanity must “cooperate or perish,” and added that rich industrial nations must lead the way.
But he noted, emerging economies must also do their bit to bend the global emissions curve, and he called out the world’s two biggest emitters, the United States and China, whom, he said, have a particular responsibility.
Guterres‘ appeal was echoed by French President Emmanuel Macron who said the US, China and other non-European rich nations must pay “their share” to help poorer nations deal with climate change.
And former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore told heads of state to “choose life over death” by ending the use of fossil fuels that are stoking climate change.
Energy crisis fuelling new gas projects
On the sidelines of the summit, environmental campaigners warned 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.
A spokesperson of the Climate Action Network claimed fossil fuel companies were attending the current U.N. climate talks in Egypt “in numbers” to influence negotiations.
Talks continue until 18 November. The Holy See is represented by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin who is scheduled to address the forum on Tuesday.
The most notable no-shows are China’s Xi Jinping and India’s Narendra Modi, leaders of the world’s largest and third-largest emitters.