SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The Latest on COP27, the United Nations climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the U.N. told ministers Tuesday that the island nation won’t leave the summit without a fund for climate-related loss and damage caused in large part by industrialized nations to developing ones.
“As we see the inaction of many developed countries the potential to stall talks and land a devastating blow for us as small island developing states is looming,” Conrod Hunte said in an address. “Antigua and Barbuda will not leave here without a loss and damage fund.”
Hunte slammed developed nations for continuing to use and even ramp up fossil fuels.
“The system is being gamed at our expense as small island developing states and the expense of future generations,” he said.
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The European Union announced Tuesday that it is raising its target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, albeit only slightly.
The 27-nation bloc’s top climate official told delegates at a U.N. climate meeting in Egypt that the EU will increase its target for reducing emissions by 2030 to 57%, from 55% previously, compared with 1990 levels.
Frans Timmermans said that the increase showed the EU was not backtracking on its commitments due to the energy crisis resulting from the war in Europe.
“Europe is staying the course,” he said. “Actually, we’re even accelerating.”
Environmental groups called the EU’s increased target “breadcrumbs,” saying the EU’s fair share should be cuts of at least 65% by 2030.
“This small increase announced today at COP27 doesn’t do justice to the calls from the most vulnerable countries at the frontlines. If the EU, with a heavy history of emitting greenhouse gases, doesn’t lead on mitigating climate change, who will?” said Chiara Martinelli of Climate Action Network Europe.
The prime minister of Samoa appealed Tuesday to countries gathered at the U.N. climate talks in Egypt to respond as strongly to the threat of global warming as they did to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said Samoa and other Pacific states are “at the mercy of climate change and our survival hangs in the rush of the climate hourglass.” She praised those major emitters who have made commitments to sharply cut their greenhouse gas emissions, but said those are still too few.
“Why is it not possible to apply the same level of urgency of action witnessed for the COVID-19 pandemic to the meeting of the 1.5-degree Celsius promise?” she asked, referring to the warming temperature limit set in the Paris agreement to limit the effects of climate change.
She also called for more financial support to vulnerable countries, including the creation of a dedicated fund for ‘loss and damage’ suffered as a result of climate change, noting that failure to keep past funding promises had caused distrust among nations.
“We cannot afford the further erosion of trust between the developed and developing countries,” she said.
Germany announced that it is providing more than half a billion euros (dollars) to two funds that will foster the expansion of hydrogen projects.
Hydrogen gas, if produced through renewable energy, is seen as a low-carbon alternative substitute for natural gas in high-energy industries such as steel-making.
Germany, which has scrambled to replace imports of Russian natural gas following the invasion of Ukraine, says it wants to shift to hydrogen use in the medium term.
Germany’s Development Minister said Tuesday that “many developing countries have ideal conditions for green hydrogen production” and that they risked being excluded from future lucrative markets without support in setting up infrastructure.
The 550 million euros provided by Germany will be administered in the form of grants by its development bank KfW.
The world must move quickly to slash carbon dioxide emissions from coal in order to avoid severe impacts from climate change, a report by the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
The report found that the overwhelming majority of current global coal consumption occurs in countries that have pledged to achieve net zero emissions sometime this century. However, far from declining, global coal demand has been stable at near record highs for the past decade.
If nothing is done emissions from existing coal assets would by themselves tip the world across the 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) warming limit set in the Paris climate agreement.
“A major unresolved problem is how to deal with the massive amount of existing coal assets worldwide,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.
Coal is both the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions from energy and the single biggest source of electricity generation worldwide. There are around 9,000 coal-fired power plants around the world today.
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