COP26 has been described as the last, best chance' to keep 1.5 degrees in reach but, with the high-level segment concluded, what progress has been made?
As COP26 kicked off, Greta Thunberg accused world leaders of pretending' in Glasgow, while developing countries' opening statements were clear - enough of the big talk and empty promises, no time for showmanship remains. The task at hand is one of delivery, nothing less will avert the greatest human tragedy of all time.
Statements by the Republic of Maldives and other climate vulnerable developing countries during the World Leaders Summit underscored what is really at stake with brutal, heart-wrenching clarity. If the rise in temperature remains unchecked at 1.5 and jumps to two degrees, that is a death sentence to the Maldives'.
The frustration, especially with G20 countries' failure to come up with sufficiently ambitious plans and to act, was evident as epitomized by Belize's remarks that every dollar my country invests in climate action, G20 countries undo multiple times over with the trillions they invest in oil, coal and gas'. The G20 leaders' summit in Rome appeared to have done little to reassure.
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