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COP 27 to test world's resolve to combat climate change

Updated: 2022-11-02 10:23

Sharm el-Sheikh is gearing up to host the COP 27 summit. SAYED SHEASHA/REUTERS

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — An international climate summit starting in several days in Egypt will test the resolve of nations to combat global warming, even as many of the biggest players are distracted by urgent crises ranging from conflict in Europe to rampant consumer inflation.

More than 30,000 delegates, including representatives from some 200 countries, will gather in the seaside resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to hash out details on how to slow climate change and help those already feeling its impacts.

But with nations dealing with the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, along with soaring food and fuel prices and stuttering economic growth, questions loom over whether they will act quickly and ambitiously enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

A United Nations report released last week showed most countries are lagging on their existing commitments to cut carbon output, with global greenhouse gas emissions on track to rise 10.6 percent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels.

Scientists said emissions must drop 43 percent by that time to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures — the threshold above which climate change risks spinning out of control.

Only 24 of the nearly 200 countries attending the COP 27 talks have submitted new or updated emissions-cutting plans since last year's UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, even though all had committed to doing so, according to the UN climate agency.

The two-week UN negotiations in Egypt follow a year of wild weather disruptions around the world, as global warming takes a toll from the devastating floods in Pakistan, South Africa and Nigeria, to heat waves in the Arctic and across Europe and record-setting droughts in the US West and France.

The talks are likely to address how these and other nations affected by climate change could be compensated by rich countries believed to have caused it.

Agencies via Xinhua

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