Climate leaders issue doomsday warnings to get climate talks moving

In an effort to revive the sputtering international climate talks, world leaders turned up heat Monday and used end-of-theworld rhetoric.

Climate leaders issue doomsday warnings to get climate talks moving

At the beginning of the talks, referred to as COP26, the metaphors were dramatic and mixed. Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, said that global warming was a "doomsday device" tied to humanity. Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary General, stated to his colleagues that people "digging their own graves". Mia Mottley of Barbados, speaking on behalf of vulnerable island nations, also warned leaders against "allowing greed and selfishness the path to our common destruction."

Johnson, who will host the summit in Glasgow, Scotland, likened the ever-warming Earth to James Bond's fictional secret agent James Bond. He is strapped to a bomb to destroy the planet and trying out ways to defuse it.

He explained to leaders that there was only one difference: the "ticking doomsday" device is real and that "it's one to midnight on the doomsday clock" and that they need to act immediately. He pointed out that climate change began in Glasgow with James Watt’s steam engine powered solely by coal.

Johnson spoke at the U.N. climate summit's opening. This summit is designed to get governments to reduce carbon emissions quickly enough to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels. Already, the world has warmed by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degree Fahrenheit). Based on current projections, it is expected to reach 2.7C (4.9F), by 2100.

Other goals of the meeting include for rich countries to provide $100 billion per year in climate aid to poor nations and for a deal to allocate half the money for adaptation to worsening impacts of climate change.

Mottley of Barbados warned that negotiators were falling short.

Mottley stated, "This is immoral. It is unjust." "Are our eyes so hardened and blinded that we cannot hear the cries from humanity?"

Johnson made his own call for action and pointed out that Johnson was over 60 years old, while the world's leaders gathered were all older than the average person. The generations most affected by climate change are yet to be born.

Guterres was the one to follow him, and it only made matters worse.

Guterres stated, "We are digging ourselves our own graves." "Our planet is changing in front of our eyes - from the ocean depths and mountaintops, melting glaciers to unrelenting extreme weather events," Guterres said.

Prince Charles of Britain told world leaders that they must "save the planet". He also said that the "eyes and hopes of the entire world are on you."

Numerous other leaders will take to the podium Monday and Tuesday, following Charles, Guterres and Charles, and an enthusiastic 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough.

On Monday, the biggest names will be on stage, including President Joe Biden of the United States, Narendra Modi of India, President of the Maldives and Emmanuel Macron from France.

The leaders will then leave.

They will then do the political deal-and-take and set out broad guidelines for agreement. Then, other government officials will work out the details. Former U.N. climate secretary Christiana Figueres said that this was what made the 2015 Paris climate agreement a success. The Associated Press was informed by Christiana Figueres, Climate Secretary.

Figueres stated that "for heads of state it is actually much better to use their strategic thinking,"

Figueres stated that the leaders-first process in Paris created the signature goals of Paris -- the 1.5-degree Celsius limit, and net zero carbon emission by 2050. The leaders arrived at the last minute of the 2009 Copenhagen meeting, which was a failure.

On Monday, thousands gathered in Glasgow in cold wind to pass through a bottleneck at its entrance. There will be a few major exceptions that will be obvious.

Xi Jinping is the president of China's top-carbon-polluting country. He won't be visiting Glasgow. Figueres stated that his absence is not significant because he won't be leaving the country during the pandemic, and his climate envoy has been a veteran negotiator.

Biden has, however, criticized Russia and China for not being ambitious in reducing their emissions and blamed them, at the conclusion of the meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 major economic economies in Rome, for their disappointing statements on climate change.

The U.N. summit will be even more difficult if several small countries from the Pacific islands are absent. This is due to logistical and COVID-19 logistics restrictions. Figueres stated that this is a problem as their voices convey urgency.

Moreover, many leaders of major emerging economies, other than China, are skipping Scotland. This includes those from Russia Turkey, Mexico Brazil, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey. India's Modi is the only representative from the so-called BRICS countries, which account more than 40% global emissions.

Kevin Conrad, a negotiator representing Papua New Guinea and who chairs the Coalition for Rainforest Nations said he is watching the big polluting nations. "I believe it's important that the United States and China show leadership as the largest emitters. He said that if both countries can demonstrate it is possible, they can give hope to the rest.

Experts say that such warming would result in melting of a lot of the planet's glaciers, raising global sea levels, and increasing the probability and intensity of extreme weather.

However, G-20 leaders made vague climate promises before the U.N. summit. They said they would seek carbon neutrality by or around midcentury, but did not set a target for eliminating coal-fired power generation domestically. This was a clear nod towards China and India.

More than three quarters of the world's climate-damaging emission are from G-20 countries. Britain and Italy hosted the summit.

India, third largest emitter in the world, has not yet joined the U.S., China and the European Union in setting a goal to achieve "net zero" emissions. Negotiators hope Modi will declare such a goal in Glasgow.

The Biden administration tried to temper expectations.

John Kerry, Biden's climate ambassador, said Sunday that Glasgow was not a quick fix.

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