Next month’s U.N. climate summit must do more to include the developing world, financial and industry leaders, as global warming reaches a critical juncture for the poorest nations. The gulf between the Global South and the developed world, in terms of climate effects and mitigation, is coming sharply into focus ahead of the COP27 meeting in Egypt.
Friction Between Developed And Developing
Developing countries are increasing demands for wealthier, carbon-emitting nations to pay for climate-induced disasters like floods and fires. African ministers who met in Cairo last month called for a sharp expansion of climate financing for their continent while pushing back against an abrupt move away from fossil fuels. “Africa’s contribution to all the carbon out there, is about 3% but the ten countries most affected by climate change are in Africa” Sudanese-British billionaire businessman Mo Ibrahim said at the conference. “Without power, there is no education, no schools, no jobs, no healthcare; you cannot have human life…There’s been a broken dialogue at COP” said Julien Perez, Vice President of Strategy and Policy at the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative. “Europe and the U.S. talk to each other, but they leave out the developing world.” he added.
“This COP needs to persuade the world that we’re going in the right direction” said Peter Hill, CEO of last year’s COP26 in Glasgow. “And that we’re doing it in a way that is collaborative and based on trust and solidarity.” Egypt, an oil and gas producer considered highly vulnerable to climate change, has positioned itself as a champion for African interests as it prepares to host the COP27 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Andrew Steer, the chief executive of Jeff Bezos’ environmental fund, told the conference the Amazon billionaire’s Bezos Earth Fund was seeking to build a coalition with African and European countries around the U.N. climate summit to add heft to land restoration efforts in Africa. The fund is championing a cause to begin reversing deforestation and land degradation on 100 million hectares in Africa by 2030, said Steer. The so-called AFR100 initiative is led by some African Union countries. “African farmers are suffering appallingly from climate change,” Steer said. Restoration’s goal would be reducing carbon in the atmosphere and better incomes for farmers, better food security, more resilient soils. Rich countries are going to have to play a bigger role in creating resilience and in helping poor countries and poor citizens to adapt. This is the time to connect the dots, no action is not an option.
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