As the UN climate summit in Egypt nears its end, world leaders have been making major pledges on climate action. But activists are questioning if these promises mean anything, with gas deals on the rise and no progress on the limited promises of last year’s COP26.
Meeting at a climate summit in the UK last year, world leaders from nearly 200 countries promised to tell the UN how they would cut pollution faster and sooner. But one year on, as they meet for the COP27 summit in Egypt, only 26 countries have done so.
Broken promises are a regular part of climate conferences. In 2009, rich countries promised to provide poor ones $100 billion (€101 billion) a year by 2020 to cut pollution and adapt to a hotter planet. They reached about $83 billion in 2020 — much of which was in the form of loans that would have to be paid back — and have still not hit $100 billion. World leaders said they would try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F) this century. Their current policies will heat the planet nearly double that.
The COP27 ends tomorrow, when countries are expected to make their final pledges to address global warming and climate change.
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