Africa’s push for gas divides climate change summit

There is evidence of significant division between countries at the United Nations (UN) climate conference in Egypt about the future role of natural gas.

Several African countries want to exploit the resource at a time when Europe is struggling to find supplies.

But other nations believe the world needs to end its reliance on fossil fuels as fast as possible.

The former US vice-president, Al Gore, told the conference the dash for gas was a bridge to nowhere.

The International Energy Agency has said new gas fields were not compatible with global aims to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of this century.

For the first time the summit is debating whether richer nations should provide financial support to help developing countries combat the effects of climate change.

World leaders are discussing actions to tackle climate change at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt.It follows a year of climate-related disasters and broken temperature records.

UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is attending, having previously said he would not.

United Nations (UN) climate summits are held every year for governments to agree on steps to limit global temperature rises.

They are referred to as COPs, which stands for “Conference of the Parties”. The parties are the attending countries that signed up to the original UN climate agreement in 1992.

COP27 is the 27th annual UN meeting on climate. It is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh until November18.

The world is warming because of emissions produced by humans, mostly from burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

Global temperatures have risen to 1.1C and are heading towards 1.5C, according to the UN’s climate scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

If temperatures rise from 1.7 to 1.8C above 1850s levels, the IPCC estimates that half the world’s population could be exposed to life-threatening heat and humidity.

To prevent this, 194 countries signed the Paris Agreement in 2015, pledging to “pursue efforts” to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.

More than 200 governments have been invited.

In a speech on Monday, Mr Sunak is set to urge world leaders at COP27 to move “further and faster” in transitioning to renewable energy. -BBC

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