Vulnerable countries demand progress on climate change loss

Thursday November 17, 2022

Somali families displaced by severe drought gather at a makeshift camp on the outskirts of Burco, Somalia, on June 18, 2017. Scott Peterson—Getty Images

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — A Somali official said he is “disappointed” that little has been done to address loss and damage to nations vulnerable to climate change at the U.N. climate conference.

Mohamed Osman Mahmoud, an economic advisor to the Somali president, said he wanted to see “structured dialogue with accountability, with legally binding structure.”

He said that the talks on the issue are “not really encouraging.”

Mahmoud added that his country has experienced the devastating impacts of climate change, with some 7.8 million people impacted by drought. Somalia, one of the world’s poorest nations, has been experiencing its fifth consecutive failed rainy season.

“We’re talking about the massive displacement. We’re talking about the rising malnutrition, severe depression,” he said.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday of a “breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies” at this year’s international climate meeting, according to prepared remarks sent by his office.

“The world is watching and has a simple message: stand and deliver,” he told leaders after flying back to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where the two-week meeting is taking place.

Guterres said it was time to show that the world is prepared to help those who are getting most hurt by climate change, and to take the action needed to curb greenhouse has emissions.

He urged countries to “deliver the kind of meaningful climate action that people and planet so desperately need,” adding that there was “no time for finger pointing” with just 24 hours left before the official close.

“The blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction,” he said.
 

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