• UN calls for rapid action and does not seek subsidized cooking gas
As more than 100 world leaders and over 20,000 delegates from around the world converged on Glasgow for the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) climate change conference which kicked off yesterday, renowned global environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg called on leaders to stop pretending to take on the task of fixing the climate.
While accusing the G20 countries of failing to honor the promise they themselves, alongside former US President Barack Obama, made in 2015 to double green energy research and development by 2020 , he wrote that hardly anything has changed since then.
Defending against mere rhetoric in the Daily Mail’s Saturday essay, Lomborg, author of the acclaimed 2001 book The Skeptical Environmentalist, noted that there was a need to increase what is currently being spent on research and development at 100 billion dollars a year for better results.
Lomborg, who is also a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and chair of the Copenhagen Consensus, observed: “Right now the world is spending $600 billion in annual climate finance. We could take a sixth and use it in the smartest way to help fix the climate.
The reason, he said, is that: “Copenhagen Consensus experts concluded that we should increase spending on research and development to $100 billion a year, which does not mean that we should spend more , but just spend it smarter.”
ALSO, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the summit he must act to “save humanity” and protect the planet.
He warned that “we are digging our own graves”. Topping his list of summit priorities, the UN chief said countries must maintain the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Calling for the decarbonisation of global economies and the phasing out of coal, he said world leaders needed “maximum ambition” to make the summit a success.
He also urged world leaders to do more to protect vulnerable communities, adding that nearly four billion people have suffered climate-related disasters over the past decade. “This devastation will only grow,” he added.
More than 120 world leaders are meeting in Glasgow on Monday in a ‘last, best hope’ to tackle the climate crisis and avert impending global catastrophe.
Also yesterday, a professor of environmental management and control at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Christian Madu, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently attending the event, to subsidize the cost of cooking gas for low-income people in the country.
He explained that the measure was necessary to limit the massive reliance on the use of alternatives like firewood, which the donation says endangers the environment.
Madu added that the increased awareness of the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) should not be allowed to go back. While claiming that the oil subsidy, which was meant to cushion the effects of rising costs, was not trickling down to low-income people, the donation sounded the alarm that the skyrocketing cost of gas from kitchen was pushing the masses to cut down trees for firewood. .