As close to 100 heads of state and government meet in Egypt for the COP27 summit, facing calls to deepen emission cuts and financially back developing countries already devastated by the effects of rising temperatures, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that nations must cooperate or face “collective suicide” in the fight against climate change.
“It is either a Climate Solidarity Pact or a Collective Suicide Pact,” he told the summit.
Guterres urged the world to ramp up the transition to renewable energy, and for richer polluting nations to come to the aid of poorer countries least responsible for heat-trapping emissions.
He said the target should be to provide renewable and affordable energy for all, calling on the United States and China in particular to lead the way, even as US-Sino tensions have prompted Beijing to freeze climate cooperation with Washington.
Money has emerged as a major issue for COP27, with wealthy countries scolded for failing to fulfill their pledge to provide $100 billion per year to help developing countries green their economies.
To make matters worse, crises like Russias invasion of Ukraine, soaring inflation and the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic have raised concerns that climate change has dropped down the priority list of governments.
Despite past agreements and efforts, nations worldwide are still coping with increasingly intense natural disasters that have taken thousands of lives this year and cost billions of dollars.
“We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator,” Guterres said.
As one of the poor countries that has been among the most vulnerable to those intense natural disasters despite contributing less greenhouse gas emissions, the Philippines could benefit from more help from the international community as it embarks on the necessary greening of its economy with meager resources.
We are hopeful that COP27 will allow countries like the Philippines to be more prepared for a world where climate is changing because of rising temperatures caused by human activities that mankind must control or limit if future generations are going to continue thriving in this planet.*