•   
  •   
  •   

World As COVID cases rise, some activists fearful of climate talks

11:50  30 october  2021
11:50  30 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

Biden can’t afford to repeat Obama’s mistakes on climate policy

  Biden can’t afford to repeat Obama’s mistakes on climate policy It’s not too late for Democrats to go big on climate change. But it won’t be easy, and there’s no margin for error.One of the most impactful climate policies that Congress has ever considered, the clean electricity payment program (CEPP), is on the chopping block. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says he will not support a bill that penalizes coal and natural gas for the outsized role they play in US pollution. Democrats can’t pass their budget bill, the Build Back Better Act, without his support, and its size and scope has been shrinking.

LONDON (AP) — Climate activist Lavetanalagi Seru has been watching COVID-19 case numbers rise in the U.K. ahead of the U.N. climate conference beginning Sunday, and it scares him — even though he’s been vaccinated and is only 29.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, participants, workers and media wait to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham): Climate COP26 COVID Fears © Provided by Associated Press Climate COP26 COVID Fears

But the campaigner from the Pacific Islands Climate Action Network is determined to travel from his home in Fiji to Scotland to bring attention to the plight of island nations being battered by climate change.

Vikings' Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley expected to return Thursday from COVID-19 list

  Vikings' Kirk Cousins, Nate Stanley expected to return Thursday from COVID-19 list Kirk Cousins and backup Nate Stanley are expected to return to practice Thursday. Both were deemed high-risk close contacts when Kellen Mond tested positive for the coronavirus. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer would not say when Mond, who must miss at least 10 days per the league's protocols, may be back at practice. Vikings cornerback and eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson has campaigned for more of his teammates to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots amid reports that only 64.5% of Minnesota players are fully vaccinated.

“It’s a scary time to be traveling,’’ he told The Associated Press. “But I’m putting my health at risk to make sure Pacific Island states are heard.''

Despite the concerns of some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held last year but was postponed due to the pandemic.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

The government insists it can now be done safely — and said it had worked “tirelessly'' to ensure an inclusive, accessible and safe summit in Glasgow “with a comprehensive set of COVID-mitigation measures.''

The Latest: COP26: Ecuador vows to expand Galapagos reserve

  The Latest: COP26: Ecuador vows to expand Galapagos reserve The latest on U.N. climate summit COP26: GLASGOW, Scotland — Ecuador’s president has announced that his country is expanding the marine reserve around the Galapagos Islands by almost half. President Guillermo Lasso told the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow on Tuesday that the government has agreed with the fishery, tourism and conservation sectors to establish a new marine reserve in the Galapagos Islands of 60,000 square kilometers (more than 23,000 square miles).Lasso said this would be added to an existing marine reserve of about 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 square miles).

“COP26 has already been postponed by one year,'' Alok Sharma, the president-designate of the conference known as COP26, said last month. “And we are all too aware climate change has not taken time off.''

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File): Climate COP26 COVID Fears © Provided by Associated Press Climate COP26 COVID Fears

But a coalition of environmental and community groups in September called for the conference to be pushed back again amid concern that many of those most affected by global warming wouldn’t be able to attend because of the continuing threat of COVID-19. Those fears have been heightened by a surge in infections across the U.K., where the daily average of confirmed new cases has jumped more than 50% since mid-September.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, attendees wait for registration to enter the venue where the U.N. climate conference will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Campaigners also complain that organizers still haven't done enough to ensure broad participation. Documents outlining the paperwork necessary to attend came late for some who needed to travel long distances and at great expense, among other issues.

Biden sees American credibility on the line as he races to lock down climate action ahead of Glasgow

  Biden sees American credibility on the line as he races to lock down climate action ahead of Glasgow President Joe Biden wanted the stakes to be perfectly clear when he sat down with nine liberal Democrats in the Oval Office Tuesday to discuss ongoing legislative negotiations. © Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate with 40 world leaders at the East Room of the White House April 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030.

A failure to cut red tape has made it difficult for civil society activists to get the visas they need to travel. Seru, for example, is still waiting for his.

In addition, although vaccines were promised for delegates, the campaigners argued the rollout was too slow — highlighting broader issues of vaccine inequity that they largely blame on rich nations, including the U.S., Britain and the European Union, that have stockpiled vaccines for their own citizens.

“As one of the millions of unvaccinated Africans, the thought of traveling to Scotland, where cases recently spiked, is a scary one,” Mohamed Adow, director of the climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa, wrote Sept. 14 in an opinion piece for the Guardian. “The frustrating thing is that it didn’t need to be this way.”

He accused rich countries of hoarding vaccines and blamed their failure to waive certain intellectual property rights on the shots that could allow more countries, particularly poorer ones, to produce COVID-19 doses.

While some nongovernmental organizations have called the waivers vital and the U.S. has embraced the idea, some experts doubt waivers for the highly complex shots would boost production. But many agree that richer countries have fallen short in their promises to share vaccines broadly, even as they approve booster shots for their own citizens.

Presidents, prime ministers, activists and royals: who’s going to COP26, Glasgow’s climate change conference

  Presidents, prime ministers, activists and royals: who’s going to COP26, Glasgow’s climate change conference What do President Joe Biden, Queen Elizabeth II, teenage activist Greta Thunberg and even some Republican members of Congress have in common? In total, 120 heads of state will be appearing at the two-week conference. But even compared to other countries, Biden is bringing quite a crew, including former Sec. of State John Kerry, who currently serves as special presidential envoy on climate change, and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Administrator Gina McCarthy, who is the first White House national climate advisor. “Glasgow will be extremely important,” Kerry said in an interview last week with the BBC.

The upcoming meeting in Scotland comes after an international panel of climate scientists issued a stark warning to world leaders in August, saying time was running out to meet the goal of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and avert catastrophic climate change. COP26 is seen as a critical moment in the drive to persuade governments, industry and investors around the world to make ambitious commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, pedestrians walk past a shop window advertising the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, pedestrians walk past a shop window advertising the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

Waiting another year may delay action beyond the point of no return, said Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. Being in the same room matters to getting a deal.

Biden heads into international climate negotiations with a weak hand

  Biden heads into international climate negotiations with a weak hand American politics are undermining the global fight against climate change — again.It’s almost exactly a year since the Trump administration officially, though temporarily, withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Since Biden’s inauguration, the new administration has had nine months to piece together a plan for the climate negotiations in Glasgow that shows the US is making concrete progress on its domestic pollution.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, an attendee walks past a warning sign for COVID-19 measures in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, an attendee walks past a warning sign for COVID-19 measures in Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

“Despite the risks of being together in Glasgow, it’s justified given how dangerous the situation we’re in on climate change,’’ he said. “If we get it wrong on climate change, it’s not just the negotiators who will be in trouble, it will be all of us. The whole world — our children, our grandchildren, future generations. It’s that dire.”

Gurch Randhawa, a professor of diversity and public health at the University of Bedfordshire, said the conference — like any other meeting — can be held safely as long as COVID-19 security measures such as social distancing, proper ventilation and masks are employed. But those rules must apply to everyone, unlike in Britain’s House of Commons where staff members and journalists are required to wear masks, but lawmakers aren’t, he said.

FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021 people walk by banners displayed in central Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2021 people walk by banners displayed in central Glasgow, Scotland. Despite the concerns about the coronavirus from some of the delegates from around the world, the British government decided to hold an in-person conference, arguing that world leaders must act now to prevent catastrophic global warming — and that they will be more effective if they can talk face-to-face. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell, File)

The conference may actually provide an opportunity for world leaders to demonstrate the need to control the virus through continued safety measures, Randhawa said.

“It’s a great idea if public protection measures are in place and we use it as an opportunity to show global leadership to the audience that are watching,” he said. “If we’re not going to have public protection measures in place, it’s a very bad idea because it will not only be a COVID risk to the people who were attending, but it also means that the whole global audience watching will potentially lose confidence in public protection measures that are in place around most of the world.”

Meanwhile, Seru is still hoping his long-promised visa will arrive soon. He has already missed one very expensive flight, but he will get another. He might be late, but he's determined to get there.

“For the Pacific, this is a matter of life and death,'' he said. “That’s why we are fighting so hard.''

___

Read more of AP’s climate coverage at http://www.apnews.com/Climate

Climate vs. jobs: How Democrats talk about policy proposals may make the difference .
Democrats appear set to jettison the cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s climate agenda, but conservatives may have some answers about how to revive it.It isn't surprise coming from Manchin, who famously ran for re-election in 2010 with a TV ad in which he literally shot his party's last major legislative attempt to control greenhouse gas emissions.

usr: 0
This is interesting!