Climate urgency stressed at COP27
 updatetime:2022-11-07 17:40:02   Views:0 Source:China Daily

The world needs to act urgently to increase the political will to fight climate change and transform words into actions, which was described at the opening on Sunday of a key global conference on climate change as "humanity's greatest challenge" in modern times.

"Today, a new era begins, and we begin to do things differently," Simon Stiell, the United Nations' climate change executive secretary, said at the opening ceremony of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

"Paris gave us the agreement. Glasgow gave us the plan. And Sharm El-Sheikh shifts us to implementation," he said, referring to two previous COP sessions held in France and Scotland.

"We must demonstrate this transformational shift to implementation, put in negotiations into concrete actions. And every corner of human activity must align with our Paris commitment of pursuing efforts to limit" the global temperature increase to 1.5 C above preindustrial levels.

With intensified havoc caused by climate change-induced extreme weather across the globe, ranging from record-breaking high temperatures in many countries in Europe and North America this past summer to ongoing severe drought in the Horn of Africa, this year's UN climate change conference has prompted high expectations from around the world to find solutions to climate change.

Much of the agenda at this year's conference focuses on implementation of major targets reached during previous climate conferences, such as developed countries providing $100 billion each year to help poorer countries fight climate change.

Many experts have also called for wealthy developed countries, which have contributed to the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming, to compensate developing countries for the loss and damage caused by global warming, — a topic expected to be hotly discussed during COP27.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, president of COP27, said the conference will become a milestone for countries in renewing commitment and scaling up ambitions and for seriously implementing the agreements and plans to efficiently deal with "humanity's biggest challenge" in modern times.

"All types of evidence undoubtedly show that climate change is a real threat to people's lives, wherever they live. ... The development track that humanity has endorsed since the Industrial Revolution is no longer sustainable. And if it continues without any radical change, future generations will definitely face more serious consequences compared with those witnessed by current generations," he said at the opening ceremony.

Shoukry cited the unprecedented floods in Pakistan that claimed hundreds of lives over the summer, the extremely hot summer in North America and Europe, and the Horn of Africa drought, which has left millions of people on the verge of starvation.

He called for rich countries to honor their pledge to provide $100 billion annually to developing countries to fight climate change.

The international community should unite to tackle the dire challenges of climate change, he added.

Li Gao, chief of climate change affairs at China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said that implementation of existing policies, plans and projects should be a primary task of COP27. Li also urged developed countries to honor their pledge of financial assistance to help developing countries fight climate change.

Web Editor:MXJ