US, Russia block UN panel report on climate change
Katowice (Poland) : The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait have blocked the other 193 assembled countries in this Polish city from "welcoming" the recent IPCC report, even though the report had been requested by the earlier UN climate summit in Paris in 2015.
The US had even rejected the science itself, standing alone among all the world's countries in refusing to endorse the findings of the report.
Reacting to this development, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid's International Climate Lead, said: "Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and especially the United States are rogue nations.
"These four major fossil fuel producers are working together against the interests of the rest of the world and jeopardising the chances of a safe climate.
"They show disregard for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Climate change even threatens the future of their own people and yet they act to suppress scientific warnings.
"I had hoped that Saudi Arabia was undergoing reform and this was their chance to demonstrate it. But they have shown they don't care about human rights, people or the planet."
These nations are climate villains and they must be opposed by the rest of the world, instead, they have found a steadfast ally and co-conspirator in the world's most powerful country, the US, he said.
Regarding the US pro-coal side event taking place on Monday at the ongoing UN climate summit, known as COP24, he added: "With great power comes great responsibility, and yet the US has failed to take this responsibility seriously. President Trump's actions threaten the lives of many of the poorest people around the world.
"The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that coal is the cause of our climate crisis and needs to be left in the ground, not touted at meetings designed to solve the suffering it has caused. The fact President Trump's America is holding a pro-coal event at the climate summit underlines his utter ignorance and recklessness," he added.
(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at email@example.com)