At the opening of the COP27 meeting in Egypt on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned the nations assembled that they had to choose between cooperating now to reduce emissions and damning future generations to a climate disaster.
The address should establish an urgent tone as nations gather for two weeks of discussions on how to prevent the worst effects of climate change, even though they are preoccupied with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the rising cost of living, and energy shortages. In Sharm el-Sheikh, a beach resort town, Guterres gave the assembled delegates a choice: “Cooperate or perish.” Later in the day, there will be speakers from nations ranging from Saudi Arabia to Britain.
What Actions Are Being Taken?
To speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and the delivery of the financing required to guarantee poorer nations can decrease emissions and cope with the inevitable effects of warming that has already happened, Guterres called for an agreement between the world’s richest and poorest countries.
It is especially important for the world’s two greatest economies, the United States and China, to work together to implement this agreement. We should stop using one of the most carbon-intensive fuels, coal, by 2040, according to Guterres, with members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reaching that goal by 2030.
He observed that despite years of climate negotiations—the Egypt COP is the 27th Conference of the Parties—progress has not been enough to prevent dangerous global warming because nations are moving too slowly or reluctantly. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. The earth’s temperature is increasing. According to him, the climatic turmoil on our planet is also rapidly nearing tipping points, which will be unreversible. “With our foot on the accelerator, we are traveling down a road to climatic hell.”
The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement’s signatories committed to achieving the long-term objective of limiting global temperature increases to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.