UN climate conference: protests at conference - "Children can't eat coal"

At the world climate conference in Egypt, environmentalists denounced the fact that many countries want to cushion the energy crisis with new oil and gas projects.

UN climate conference: protests at conference - "Children can't eat coal"

At the world climate conference in Egypt, environmentalists denounced the fact that many countries want to cushion the energy crisis with new oil and gas projects. The prominent Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate reprimanded particularly similar plans in Africa, in which Germany also wants to participate.

"Children cannot eat coal, children cannot drink oil, children cannot breathe gas," Nakate said in Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday. The EU Environment Agency warned that the escalating climate crisis is also driving up health risks for people in Europe - for example due to more heat waves and infectious diseases.

In the course of the Ukraine war, gas deliveries from Russia stopped, which is why many countries are now operating coal-fired power plants longer and relying on liquid gas - including Germany. The fact that Germany wants to support the development of a gas field in Senegal, for example, is causing outrage among climate protectors in view of the further increase in CO2 emissions.

The situation is "incredibly serious"

The return to fossil fuels was also part of a protest action at the entrance to the COP27 site. "The situation is incredibly serious," said activist Susanne Wong from the dpa organization Oil Change.

At COP27, representatives from almost 200 countries discuss how to step up the fight against global warming. The conference with 45,000 registered participants runs until the end of next week.

A new data report revealed that the extraction and production of oil and gas releases three times more climate-damaging gases than the states have previously officially reported to the UN. This is shown by measurements by the non-profit initiative Trace, in which data analysts, researchers and non-governmental organizations work together.

Former US Vice President Al Gore is also involved. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said that the emission of the greenhouse gas methane in fossil fuel plants is particularly grossly underestimated, for example when they are deliberately burned off and through leaks. "It's really shocking." According to the data report, half of the world's largest sources of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are oil and gas production sites and associated facilities.

According to the data, Germany emitted around 1.4 percent of the greenhouse gases recorded worldwide in 2021 - and is thus ranked 10th among all countries in terms of quantity. China ranks first with a 27.6 percent share of gas emissions, followed by the USA with just under 12 percent.

Climate experts criticize US plans

Meanwhile, the federal government and climate experts are skeptical about new US plans to allow large companies to buy credits for greenhouse gas emissions. That should be possible when financing clean energy projects in poorer countries, said US climate envoy John Kerry in Sharm el Sheikh. For example, companies should help finance the energy transition in developing countries - and be allowed to add the emissions saved to their own climate balance. "No government in the world has enough money to do this job," Kerry said.

The federal government expressed reservations. There is a "certain skepticism," State Secretary for Development Jochen Flasbarth told the Politico website. Leo Roberts of climate think tank E3G said the world needs clear commitments that this initiative is truly a net contribution to reducing greenhouse gases.

Malaria and dengue fever are spreading north

The Copenhagen-based EU energy agency said diseases such as malaria and dengue fever are likely to spread further north with global warming, with high disease burdens. And heat waves are a growing danger because they are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of climate change. They are already the biggest direct climate-related health threat to Europeans. More green and shady places in cities and adjusted working hours could provide relief.

The international medical director of Doctors Without Borders, Maria Guevara, told the German Press Agency that global health is already suffering significantly from the effects of climate change, such as floods or insect plagues. You can see an exponential growth in diseases that are transmitted via insects, water or food. "Between 2017 and 2021, for example, fewer than 20 major cholera outbreaks were reported per year. This year there are already at least 29."

China is demanding billions in pledges from rich countries for climate aid

From the Chinese point of view, the rich countries should keep their promise "as soon as possible" and provide 100 billion US dollars annually for climate protection measures in poorer countries. In addition, a roadmap should be presented on how the volume of the climate change adaptation fund could be doubled, said Chinese climate commissioner Xie Zhenhua in a speech in Sharm el Sheikh published by state media. In view of the current energy and food crisis, solidarity, multilateralism and cooperation are all the more "the only way out of the dilemma".