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Protests and controversy as political games unravel in COP24


“We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability,” said US president’s adviser Wells Griffith, in a panel discussion he held on the side of COP24 to promote fossil fuels and kindle polarization.

The panel marketed dependence on fossil fuel industry as the highway for developing nations to eradicate poverty, and was greeted by protests and frustration. The show was joined by the Australian ambassador for the environment, taking a stance away from climate action.

Image credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Two days earlier, along with the delegations of Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the US representatives stalled negotiations refusing to “welcome” the recent UN report to policymakers which endorsed strategies for cutting CO2 emissions.

The partnership questioned once more the scientific base of the report and made clear that their intent was to obstruct the ongoing discussions. At the same time vulnerable countries, which are already becoming uninhabitable, are trying to secure support, and the financial burden of climate change is already impacting economies globally.

The clock is counting down, and the public is increasingly anxious to see concrete measures before the situation gets completely out of control. In this context, the political games in COP24 reflect not only the populism in the domestic political scene of the US, but also the concerns of the fossil fuel sector that their short-term financial gains are, even in the slightest, threatened by the priorities required to combat climate change.

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