Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2023. 12:51 pm CST.
By Jose Luis Cruz: Leaders from around the world addressed the urgent issue of climate change at a summit during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, criticizing major polluters for their insufficient efforts in tackling the global warming crisis. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the world was running out of time due to the “naked greed” of fossil fuel interests.
Countries, particularly those most vulnerable to climate change, took advantage of the opportunity to call for immediate and decisive action. Among the 34 nations invited by Guterres for their strong action on climate, many focused on the immediate need to phase out fossil fuels. They also highlighted the necessity of changing financial systems to help developing countries access crucial funding needed to address climate change and its impact.
Notably, China, the United States, and other major carbon emitters were absent from the stage, raising concern among climate activists about the slow pace of global action ahead of the upcoming COP28 conference.
One interesting proposal was made by Kenyan President William Ruto who proposed an ambitious universal tax on fossil fuel trades along with levies on aviation and maritime emissions.
The UN’s Green Climate Fund announced a goal of capitalizing at least $50 billion by 2030 and indicated a shift in focus from supporting individual projects to overhauling entire systems.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley called for debt cancellation for low-income countries as part of a multi-pronged approach to climate adaptation and mitigation.
The summit concluded with a note of cautious optimism from the United Arab Emirate’s COP28 President Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber who assured the world that it is not “powerless” in the fight to limit the rise in global temperatures.
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