The climate catastrophe is gaining momentum. Scientists emphasize that there is no time for promises, we need to act here and now. It is necessary to move away from fossil fuels, which emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide. A climate summit is taking place in the United Arab Emirates, around which there has been a lot of controversy.
A great tree planting campaign is underway on the Seine. They are intended to provide residents and tourists with relief during the extreme heat that Paris – in the face of the ongoing climate catastrophe – is struggling with more and more often. – The temperature felt in this small forest will be 4 degrees Celsius lower than that felt in the rest of the city – says Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris.
Scientists have no doubt that 2023 will go down as the world’s warmest year on record. The climate catastrophe, fueled by the burning of fossil fuels, affects not only the condition of our planet, but also our health. – Over the last two decades, heat-related deaths among people over 65 have increased by 75 percent. Every year, 7 million people die because of air pollution, says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization.
The Global Carbon Budget report – prepared by scientists from over 90 research centers around the world – shows that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels will reach record levels this year. Almost 37 billion tons of CO2 will be released into the atmosphere.
– We must do whatever it takes to follow the science. We must achieve zero emissions by 2050. By the end of this decade, emissions must be reduced by a minimum of 43 percent, emphasizes John Kerry, US climate envoy.
The debate on the future of fossil fuels is taking place at the COP28 summit in Dubai. It is unclear whether delegates will be able to reach an agreement on phasing out oil and gas. More than 80 countries are pushing to phase out all CO2-emitting fossil fuels. The opponents are the main producers of oil and gas, including Russia and Saudi Arabia.
– Humanity is in great danger. COP28 is a test for us. The point is simple: if an agreement is reached to phase out fossil fuels, we will have succeeded. If not, it will be a failure, says Al Gore, former US vice president.
Controversy surrounding the COP28 summit
Despite the development of renewable energy sources, today fossil fuels are responsible for producing approximately 80 percent of the world’s energy. Activists present at the climate summit are demanding a switch to renewable sources.
– It is disappointing that COP28 is taking place in the United Arab Emirates, which is dependent on fossil fuels and is pushing for their development – points out Lorraine Chiponda, a climate activist.
The COP28 president added fuel to the fire. Sultan al-Jaber, head of the oil company ADNOC, said there was no scientific basis behind the demands to phase out fossil fuels. He later explained his words, claiming that they had been misinterpreted. – This statement was taken out of context, but it is widely disseminated. I respect science. I respect statistics, assures Sultan al-Jaber.
Before the summit, the BBC published a document showing that the United Arab Emirates wanted to use COP28 to conclude oil and gas agreements. According to information cited by The Guardian, at least 2,456 fossil fuel lobbyists are taking part in the climate summit.
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Main photo source: Reuters