Monday, December 6, 2021

WATCH: Obama Speaks at COP26 Climate Talks

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) – Barack Obama expressed confidence in the UN climate talks on Monday that the Biden administration will eventually receive its $ 555 billion climate package through Congress, and blamed American rivals China and Russia for what he called “a dangerous lack of urgency.” reduction of own emissions harmful to the climate.

Watch Obama’s lines live on the turntable above.

“On the climate side, time is really running out,” Obama told climate advocates. While progress has been made since the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was signed, “we are far from where we should be”.

His comments came after conference leaders acknowledged on Monday that there are many key points after a week of negotiations. The trust gap between rich and poor countries on climate change issues arose when the negotiations went through a review of what had been achieved and what remained to be done. Developing countries have used variations of the word “disappointment” five times when leaders spoke of progress on Monday.

The UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland is the first conference of a former American president since he helped make the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement a success, when countries committed to cut fossil fuel and crop emissions fast enough to keep the Earth warmer. below the catastrophic level of 1.5. degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

This celebration faded and was replaced by anxiety. Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement. President Joe Biden brought America back as soon as he took office this year, but US efforts to tackle climate change have been set back years by Trump’s move.

“1.5 C is now on life support, in intensive care,” said Alden Meyer, a longtime observer of the climate negotiations with E3G, an environmental think tank.

Obama’s appearance on the sidelines of the talks sought to remind governments of the excitement surrounding the Paris Agreement and to induce them to announce more immediate concrete steps to implement the 2015 agreement.

“The US is back and moving more boldly. The US is not alone, ”Obama said.

Obama noted that efforts by the United States – the world’s second-largest climate pollutant after China – stalled when Trump pulled out of the climate deal.

“I wasn’t particularly happy about that,” he admitted, but added that optimism is needed to save the planet.

“There are times when I feel disappointed. There are times when the future seems somewhat bleak. There are times when I doubt that humanity can act together before it’s too late, ”Obama said. “We cannot afford to be hopeless.”

READ MORE: Magic 1.5: what lies behind the key elusive goal of the climate negotiations

Despite opposition within Biden’s own Democratic Party, which has blocked the climate bill, Obama said he is confident that some version of Biden’s ambitious climate bill will be passed in Congress in the next few weeks.

“This will set the United States on track to meet new climate targets,” he said.

And while the 2015 rapport between Obama administration negotiators and their Chinese counterparts was seen as paving the way for a global Paris agreement, Obama criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday for not joining other world leaders on Climate Talks in Glasgow.

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“It is especially discouraging that the leaders of the world’s two largest issuers, China and Russia, refuse to even attend meetings, and their national plans reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency,” Obama said.

Obama spoke earlier Monday at a meeting on the Pacific island nations, including those threatened by rising sea levels in the face of climate change.

“We all have a role to play. We all have work to do. “We all have something to sacrifice,” he said. “But those of us who live in rich countries, those of us who helped speed up the problem … we have an additional burden.”

When he briefed the UN Climate Conference (COP26) on the progress of the first week, COP26 President Alok Sharma had to correct himself regarding the number of issues resolved, replacing “many” with “some”.

No deals have yet been made on the three main objectives of the UN conference. It’s a pledge to cut emissions in half by 2030 to keep the Paris climate agreement target for a temperature limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius; the need for $ 100 billion in annual financial aid from rich countries to the poor; and the idea that half of that money goes towards adapting to the worst effects of global warming. Several other issues have yet to be resolved, including carbon trading and transparency.

Many developing countries are pessimistic. They called the progress “disappointing” and insufficient, saying that there are a lot of announcements about the fight against climate change, but they are concerned that there are few of them.

Representatives from 77 developing countries, as well as China, said that until this climate conference addresses the issue of financial commitments to help poor countries cope with climate change, these negotiations cannot be successful.

Ahmadu Sebori Toure of Guinea, speaking on behalf of poor countries, said that rich countries that have defied their $ 100 billion pledges show that those countries are simply making “empty commitments”.

“There is a history of unfulfilled promises and unfulfilled commitments on the part of developed countries,” said Diego Pacheco Balanza from Bolivia at the conference.

Scientists say the urgency of global warming is as great as the terrible speeches in Glasgow said, as the planet is only a few years away from the point where the goals set in the Paris Agreement will become impossible due to the growing damage from coal and oil. , agriculture and other sources of pollution.

In the past few days, there have been huge protests in Glasgow and across Europe calling for faster action in the fight against global warming.

Obama told the young people that “you’re right if you’re upset,” but then passed on the advice his mother gave him when he was young.

“Don’t sulk. Get busy, get to work and change what needs to be changed, ”he said. “Vote as if your life depends on it – because it is.”

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