The Straits Times says

Pausing on highway to climate disaster

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The COP27 summit in Egypt’s resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh provides the world with an opportunity to pause and possibly change course on what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warns is the “highway to climate hell”. If temperatures tend to be high in hell, that discomfort could well be reflected in global warming. Human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, have altered the climate and distorted natural processes as well. Countries gathered at the summit face a stark choice: they could work together now to cut emissions, or they could condemn future generations to climate catastrophe. That the choice is still theirs is good news, because coming generations will not have one. They will be doomed.

Fighting climate change is a political activity which requires rich and poor nations to overcome real differences. The latter blame the former for having brought the world to this point of no return. The developed world has benefited economically from the dawn of industrial civilisation, in which the burning of coal, natural gas and oil has added significantly to the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Now that there is a call to cut back on the use of fossil fuels – on which many nations depend disproportionately because of their lower levels of economic development – these nations see no reason why they should have to pay to ameliorate the effects of climate change of which they were not the principal cause. Hence the need for an equitable financing formula that would help developing nations share the burden of paying for the upkeep of a world for all.

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