COP 27: Take Real, Concrete Steps towards Reducing Emissions
By Joyce Ojanji
Countries have been urged to take real and concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) in Egypt.
Abdel Fatah El-Sisi, Egypt’s President, said in his opening address, adding that world leaders are expected by their people to enhance adaptation to the consequences of climate change, and provide the necessary financing for developing countries that suffer the most from the current climate crisis.
He noted that the poor and vulnerable people around the world were already experiencing the effects of extreme weather. “The intensity and frequency of climate disasters have never been higher, in all four corners of the world, bringing wave after wave of suffering for billions of people. Is it not high time today to put an end to this suffering?” El-Sisi questioned.
He urged global leaders to view the need for climate change action as an opportunity to create stronger economies for a better future. ‘’The people of the world are looking to us today and they want a rapid implementation of genuine concrete action to reduce emissions,” Egypt’s President said.
In his remarks, Former US Vice president, Al Gore made an impassioned call for leaders to “choose life over death” by ending the use of fossil fuels that are stocking climate change.
Gore, a long-time environmental campaigner who was among the first to raise the alarm about climate change, told leaders that they should turn away from destructive behavior, saying that countries have other choices in the form of renewable energy.
He called for massive amounts of private capital to be unlocked in order to fund the transition to clean energy, saying this would provide the trillions, not billions, needed.
“We need to obey the first law of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging. We continue to use the thin blue atmosphere as an open sewer. It is getting steadily worse,’’ Gore said.
In addition, he said the dash for gas in Africa, a contentious issue at COP27, is a new form of colonization, with the fuel being sent to rich nations while warning investors of stranded assets worth billions, especially in Africa if climate action closes oil and gas plants early.
Gore joined rich and poor nations in calling for a complete reform of the World Bank system to get money to reach developing nations. He emphasized that this was a time for moral clarity, not reckless indifference.