World crisis grim backdrop for talks.

Crown Prince to lead Kuwait delegation to climate talks in Egypt

Delegates listen as Sameh Shoukry, President of the COP27 climate summit, speaks during an opening session at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Nov 6, (Agencies): Envoys from around the globe gathered Sunday in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for talks on tackling climate change amid a multitude of competing crises, including the war in Ukraine, high inflation, food shortages and an energy crunch. The Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, along with an accompanying delegation, is scheduled to leave for Egypt on Monday.

His Highness Sheikh Mishal will partake in the 27th session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP27, and the Second Session of the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI), both due in Sharm el-Sheikh resort. Notching up a first small victory, negotiators agreed after two frantic days of preliminary talks to formally discuss the question of vulnerable nations receiving money for the loss and damage they’ve suffered from climate change. The issue has weighed on the talks for years, with rich nations including the United States pushing back against the idea of climate reparations. “The fact that it has been adopted as an agenda item demonstrates progress and parties taking a mature and constructive attitude towards this,” said the U.N.’s top climate official, Simon Stiell.

“This is a difficult subject area. It’s been floating for thirty plus years,” he said. “I believe it bodes well.” The decision was also welcomed by civil society groups. “At long last, providing funding to address losses and damages from climate impacts is on the agenda of the U.N. climate negotiations,” said Ani Dasgupta, president of the World Resources Institute. But he cautioned that participants “still have a marathon ahead of us before countries iron out a formal decision on this central issue.”

German climate envoy Jennifer Morgan, who led negotiations on the issue together with Chile in the run-up to the talks, said the agreement could help negotiators also make “serious progress” on the issue of reducing emissions. The outgoing chair of the talks, British official Alok Sharma, said countries had made considerable progress at their last meeting in Glasgow in keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Experts say that chances of meeting that target, agreed in the 2015 Paris climate accord, is fast slipping away though. Already, temperatures around the world have increased by about 1.2 C (2.2 F) since pre-industrial times Sharma warned that other global crises meant international efforts to curb climate change were being “buffeted by global headwinds.”

“(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s brutal and illegal war in Ukraine has precipitated multiple global crisis, energy and food insecurity, inflationary pressures and spiraling debt,” said Sharma. “These crises have compounded existing climate vulnerabilities and the scarring effects of the pandemic.” “As challenging as our current moment is, inaction is myopic and can only defer climate catastrophe,” said Sharma. “We must find the ability to focus on more than one thing at once.” “How many more wake up calls does the world to world leaders actually need,” he said, citing recent devastating floods in Pakistan and Nigeria, and historic droughts in Europe, the United States and China.

His successor, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, said Egypt would “spare no effort” to make the meeting in Sharm el- Sheikh a success and achieve the goals of the Paris accord. In an opening speech, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hoesung Lee, said countries have “a once in a generation opportunity to save our planet and our livelihoods.” Cutting emissions is only part of the task, however. Scientists and campaigners say the world also needs to do more to adapt to those effects of global warming that can’t be avoided anymore.

The head of the U.N. migration agency urged the international community Sunday to mobilize human and financial resources to address growing climate migration. António Vitorino told The Associated Press that millions of people across the world “are already suffering in their daily lives because of the impacts of natural disasters and climate change.” “We are running short of time to act,” Vitorino said. “The international community needs to mobilize the expertise, human resources but also the financial resources to come in to support those who are already today seriously impacted by climate change.” Vitorino, IOM’s director general, said the world needs to double the $100 billion current funding for adaption especially in regions and communities impacted by the fast-changing climate. “If we don’t focus on solutions for the future,” he said. “We will leave a dramatic humanitarian crisis in the future (that) will eat millions and millions of people in the world,” he said.

Earth’s warming weather and rising seas are getting worse and doing so faster than before, the World Meteorological Organization warned Sunday in a somber note as world leaders started gathering for international climate negotiations. “The latest State of the Global Climate Report is a chronicle of climate chaos,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action — ambitious, credible climate action.” In its annual state of the climate report, the United Nations’ weather agency said that sea level rise in the past decade was double what it was in the 1990s and since January 2020 has jumped at a higher rate than that. Since the decade began, seas are rising at 5 millimeters a year (.2 inches) compared to 2.1 millimeters (.08 inches) in the 1990s. The last eight years have been the warmest on record, the WMO said in a report that didn’t break new ground but was a collection of recent weather trends, data and impacts in one central place. “The melting (of ice) game we have lost and also the sea level rate,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas told The Associated Press. “There are no positive indicators so far.” The only reason that the globe hasn’t broken annual temperature records in the past few years is a rare three-year La Niña weather phenomenon, he said.

Source- Arab Times.


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