CLIMATE advocate and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has slammed the world’s richest countries for failing to meet their climate commitments.
rs Robinson, arriving at the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt on Saturday, said leaders of wealthy nations must “step forward” and deliver on their promises.
“I haven’t heard much leadership from the G20 countries,” she said of the leaders’ statements earlier in the week.
“In fact, half the leaders weren’t here.”
The leaders of China, India, Russia, Brazil and the US were absent from the leaders’ segment that opened the summit.
US President Joe Biden stayed behind to deal with the midterm elections at home and instead came for a brief stint on Friday.
Ms Robinson acknowledged his late arrival but said: “Even the United States has not stepped up enough on climate finance and certainly not stepped up enough on reducing emissions.”
Her comments came a day after Secretary of State for Foreign Aid Colm Brophy also singled out the US for criticism.
He said President Biden made a strong call for action, but there’s “no point in saying this over and over unless you actually come out of here and live it in a meaningful way.”
The G20 are meeting in Bali next week and Ms Robinson said they needed to be given a message to do more.
“You have to stand up and get involved and make sure we have to stay below 1.5 degrees,” she said.
She said she was concerned that the 2015 Paris Agreement’s pledge to take action to halt global temperature rises of more than 1.5 degrees is being abandoned.
“We don’t have a goal, we have a limit, a scientific limit of a world worth living in, and so we have to stick to it,” she said.
She welcomed the inclusion of loss and damage finance for climate-damaged countries on the cop agenda for the first time, but said there must be concrete action on this when the summit ends.
She pointed out that $1.8 trillion would be spent on subsidizing fossil fuels and other high-emission sectors “to support what is destroying us.”
“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” she said.
Ms Robinson also drew attention to the lack of protest at this year’s cop.
“I am sorry that there is not so much marching or protesting. Shame about the environment in this country,” she said.
The discussion she raised also heard from climate activists in Uganda and the Marshall Islands.
Ugandan activist Constance Okollet said her country is witnessing climate devastation, most recently hit by deadly floods outside of the traditional rainy seasons.
“Cop talks, talks, talks, talks when people die, die, die, die,” she said.
Secretary Brophy also addressed the event, returning to his earlier criticism and saying he was “fed up” with people coming to cop talk of action and walking away with nothing to do.
“They don’t seem to realize that the impact of their inaction is causing children to die in the Horn of Africa,” he said.
He supported calls for significantly more funding for climate-prone nations.
“We have to put money where our mouths are,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/mary-robinson-criticises-us-lack-of-leadership-and-says-rich-nations-must-step-up-on-climate-42139009.html Mary Robinson criticizes the lack of leadership in the US and says that the rich nations must “get involved” in climate protection.