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COP27: What world leaders have done in 2022 on climate change

COP27: What world leaders have done in 2022 on climate change

During the Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow last year, world leaders met and agreed on the steps to stop climate change.

But climate experts told the BBC that progress in this direction has been slow in 2022, with governments around the world pulling away due to the global financial and energy crisis.

Last week, the United Nations warned that the world was headed for ruin. But there are also some glimmers of hope, including the new law introduced in the United States and the change of power in Brazil. Brazil’s new government is expected to make up for the damage it is doing to Amazonian forests.

Aware that industrialized countries bear a heavy responsibility for warming that is already causing droughts, floods and fires around the world, low-income nations have spent more than a decade lobbying for compensation for damages. In particular, they want a loss-and-damage mechanism whereby rich countries help poorer ones pay for the impacts of global warming, which are now unavoidable. Those efforts are gaining ground.

In Glasgow, countries agreed to establish a dialogue on the issue, but the main negotiating blocs representing low-income countries are calling for action in Sharm El-Sheikh. “This is the area that has been completely neglected in the negotiations,” says Tasneem Essop, based in Cape Town, South Africa, and executive director of the Climate Action Network International, a coalition of advocacy groups. “Now it’s on the political agenda.”

World leaders are leaving for COP27 to be held in Egypt next week. We’re looking at seven major countries to understand who’s ahead and who’s falling behind.

America: Again at the forefront of climate?

America passed many new climate laws this year and has gone far ahead in this direction compared to other countries.

Provisions made under the Inflation Reduction Act aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the US by forty percent by 2030.

Great Britain: leadership and ‘panic’

The UK hosted COP26 and managed to deliver on many great global promises. Britain had shown leadership on climate change.

But now Britain is entering a weak position at COP27. “The UK goes into COP27 with ‘weak’ and ‘disappointing’ leadership,” says Alyssa Gilbert, director of policy at Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had previously expressed his inability to go to Egypt for COP27 due to other priorities, but on Wednesday he made a U-turn and will now go to the conference.

European Union: Russia squeezed

Historically, the European Union has been at the forefront in the fight against climate change, but the EU’s efforts in this direction have also been curtailed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact on its energy supply.

“Politicians have extended the life of coal-fired power plants and we estimate that carbon emissions have increased 2 percent in the first six months of this year,” says Robert Faulkner.

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