In a reversal, the US won’t block local weather funds for poor nations

For the United States, this year’s climate summit, known as COP27, was a rude awakening. President Biden and his climate ambassador John Kerry arrived in Egypt promoting the new landmark legislation that will invest $370 billion in clean energy and help America drastically cut emissions. Mr Biden told the assembled ministers and diplomats that the United States wanted to lead the world in the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a future in which global warming would be limited to relatively safe levels.

But once here, Americans found themselves on the defensive as frustrated and angry leaders from developing countries insisted that the United States was doing far more to help those outside its borders.

“Our stance on the US has always been that it’s good news that Biden is in the White House and not Trump, and it’s good news that they have a domestic action law,” said Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, which advises some of the world’s poorest countries at the UN climate talks. “But they don’t have good news when it comes to their international involvement in finance.”

The two-week summit, which was due to end on Friday, went into overtime on Saturday as negotiators from nearly 200 nations clashed over several thorny issues. The talks are taking place at a time of multiple crises. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global food supplies and energy markets, fueled inflation and prompted some countries to burn more coal and other alternatives to Russian gas, threatening to undermine climate goals.

At the same time, rising global temperatures have intensified deadly floods in places like Pakistan and Nigeria and fueled record-breaking heat across Europe and Asia. In the Horn of Africa, a third year of severe drought has brought millions to the brink of starvation.

One area of ​​concern in the talks is whether nations will strive to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, a target , which nations stressed at last year’s Glasgow climate talks. Beyond this threshold, scientists say, the risk of climate catastrophes increases significantly.

The planet has already warmed by an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius, and scientists have said countries need to cut their carbon emissions faster and more significantly to keep warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The world is currently on track to warm by 2.1 to 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

Comments are closed.