Wealthy countries and wealthy individuals must urgently think about how to find the money to help poor countries hit by climate catastrophe, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said.
At the COP27 UN climate summit in Egypt, which ended a week ago after a marathon final session that lasted more than 50 hours, the first steps were taken to create a “losses and losses” fund. damage” for vulnerable countries hit by extreme weather conditions.
But while he welcomed the achievement, Williams said the “much harder” job of filling the fund had yet to begin. “I’m not dancing in the streets yet,” he said.
“The fact that the fund exists now is certainly something to be thankful for, because it’s a key building block,” he said in an interview. “But it remains ambitious. We don’t know what the US Congress will do with it, for example. We need strong statements from key international players.
Williams said the world’s wealthiest people, sometimes referred to as the global “polluting elite” because of sky-high greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their lavish lifestyles, must take greater responsibility for financing vulnerable people affected by the climate crisis. , and make changes in their own lives.
“It’s quite difficult to get the wealthiest countries and the most visible consumers to recognize the physical emergency we face,” he said. “I think that would really help bring [those consumers] focus.
The poorest people in developed countries should not be asked to shoulder more of the burden at a time of high energy prices, he added. “It’s important to keep in mind exactly where the weight will fall on people, in times of energy crisis,” he said.
“Where the burden falls heavily on the poorest, we must ensure that we do not simply transfer this urgent burden from one [set of poor people] to another.”
Williams said a windfall tax on oil and gas producers could be a way to raise money needed for a loss and damage fund. “In principle, it’s a good idea and to be welcomed,” he said.
He noted that COP27 failed to produce an agreement to phase out fossil fuels and expressed concern about the influence of fossil fuel companies at the summit. He called on governments to consider excluding them from future meetings. “It seems perfectly clear to me that this is not a place for this kind of lobbying,” he said. “I would certainly be relieved if they weren’t here. I am very worried about next year at Cop28.
Cop28, the next UN climate summit, will be held in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which brought a delegation of over 1,000 people, including many high-ranking representatives of fossil fuel companies, at the Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.
According to research seen by the Guardian, there were more than 630 fossil fuel lobbyists present at COP27.
Williams will be one of several high-profile faith leaders to lead a faith and environment-focused gathering this Sunday in Wales, on a mountain outside Abergavenny. Alongside representatives of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh and Hindu faiths, as well as clergy and followers of the Anglican and Christian traditions, he will read the “10 Principles of Climate Repentance”.
These principles include the recognition that “we are stewards of this world”, that “creation manifests divinity” and that “everything in life is interconnected”. People are asked to ‘do no harm’, ‘care for tomorrow’ and ‘rise above ego for our world’.
Williams said it was important for people to “stay positive” and remember that “small actions can have a big effect” on the planet. “It’s not about making people feel bad,” he said.
“There are better and worse, healthier and more unhealthy ways to relate to the environment,” Williams said. “Think about this and how to put yourself and your loved ones in a better relationship with the external environment.”
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