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Global leaders tasked on $100b yearly research, development funding to check global warming

By Tunde Oyedoyin (London) and Leo Sobechi (Abuja)
02 November 2021   |   4:01 am
As over 100 world leaders and more than 20,000 delegates from across the world converged on Glasgow for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) climate change conference that kicked off yesterday...

World Leaders pose for a group photo at an evening reception to mark the opening day of COP26 on the sidelines of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021. – COP26, running from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow will be the biggest climate conference since the 2015 Paris summit and is seen as crucial in setting worldwide emission targets to slow global warming, as well as firming up other key commitments. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali / POOL / AFP)

• UN urges swift action, don canvasses subsidised cooking gas

As over 100 world leaders and more than 20,000 delegates from across the world converged on Glasgow for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) climate change conference that kicked off yesterday, renowned global environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg, has called on the leaders to stop paying lip service to the task of fixing the climate.

While accusing G20 countries of not honouring the promise that they, alongside former U.S. President Barack Obama made in 2015 to double green energy research and development by 2020, he wrote that nothing barely has changed since.

Making his case against mere rhetoric in the Saturday Essay of the Daily Mail, Lomborg, author of the 2001 acclaimed book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, noted that there was need to increase what is being currently spent on research and development to $100 billion yearly for better outcomes.

Lomborg, who doubles as a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and President of the Copenhagen Consensus, observed: “Right now, the world is spending $600 billion in annual climate finance. We could take a sixth of that and use it in the smartest ways to help fix the climate.”

Reason, he said is because: “Copenhagen Consensus experts have concluded we should increase spending on research and development to $100 billion per year, which doesn’t mean we have to spend more, just spend it smarter.”

ALSO, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the summit that it must act to “save humanity” and protect the planet.

He warned that, “we are digging our own graves.” Top on his list of summit priorities, the UN chief said countries must keep the Paris deal goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive.

Calling for decarbonisation of global economies and the phase out of coal, he said world leaders need “maximum ambition” to make the summit a success.

He also urged global leaders to do more to protect vulnerable communities, adding that nearly four billion people suffered climate-related disasters over the last decade. “That devastation will only grow,” he added.

More than 120 world leaders meet in Glasgow on Monday in a “last, best hope” to tackle the climate crisis and avert a looming global disaster.

Also yesterday, a Professor of Environmental Management and Control at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Christian Madu, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently at the event, to subsidise the cost of cooking gas for low-income earners in the country.

He explained that the measure was necessary to curtail the massive recourse to use of alternatives like firewood, which the don said, endangers the environment.

Madu added that the increased awareness about the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) should not be allowed to backtrack. While contending that the subsidy on petroleum, which was meant to cushion the effects of rising cost, does not trickle down to low-income earners, the don raised the alarm that the skyrocketing cost of cooking gas was pushing the masses to fell trees for firewood.