The latest on the U.N. climate summit COP26 in Glasgow:
GLASGOW, Scotland — U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says American climate negotiators are having meaningful talks with their Russian and Chinese counterparts at the U.N. summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
That’s despite Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping skipping world leaders’ current rounds of climate talks, a decision that sparked complaints from U.S. President Joe Biden when he attended a few days ago.
Kerry told reporters he came late to a Friday press conference because Americans had been talking with Russian officials at the summit on efforts to reduce pollution from methane, a potent climate-damaging gas.
“We were talking about how we might deal with methane, possibly work together,” Kerry said of Russians.
“And we’re meeting with China here, and we’ve been talking for several days trying to figure out, is there common ground, as a way to try to move forward,” Kerry said. “There’s a sense of urgency.”
Biden last weekend blamed Xi’s and Putin’s not “showing up” for lack of more progress at Group of 20 climate discussions on the eve of the summit. China is the world’s largest current emitter of climate-wrecking fossil fuel emitters, the United States the second, and Russia in the top five.
GLASGOW, Scotland — Hundreds of environmental activists have gathered in a Glasgow park to call on governments at the nearby U.N. climate talks to step up their action against global warming.
The activists, most of them young, carried banners at Friday’s rally with slogans such as “I have to clear up my mess, why don’t you clear up yours?” and “Stop climate crimes.”
The protest was part of a series of demonstrations being staged around the world Friday and Saturday to coincide with the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 U.N. climate change conference in Scotland.
Some at the Glasgow demonstration accused negotiators at the COP26 conference of “greenwashing” failures to curb greenhouse gas emissions and promoting policies that won’t do enough to prevent dangerous temperature rises in the coming decades.
“We are here as civil society to send them a message that ‘enough is enough’,” Valentina Ruiz, an 18-year-old student from Brazil, said.
Brianna Fruean, a 23-year-old activist from Samoa, said, “My biggest fear is losing my country.” Samao, a low-lying Pacific island nation, is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and cyclones,
Fruean was given the stage at the beginning of the conference, known as COP26, where she told leaders about the effects of climate change already being felt in her country.
“I will know if I’ve been heard by the end of COP,” she said.
GLASGOW, Scotland — Major shipping companies called Friday for governments to put more money into researching and developing cleaner technologies to help the industry reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The International Chamber of Shipping said the industry isn’t on track to meet its goal of cutting carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 with current policies.
The trade group represents shipping companies that include MSC and Hapag Lloyd. Industry representatives and government ministers are meeting at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.
The group said it is asking governments to increase R&D spending, including by backing a proposal at the International Maritime Organization that would see ship owners set up a $5 billion fund to boost clean shipping technology.
Shipping currently accounts for about 3% of global emissions.
GLASGOW, Scotland — Anti-poverty charitable confederation Oxfam says the world’s richest people continue to produce the lion’s share of greenhouse gas emissions.
A study released Friday on the sidelines of the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow concluded that the richest 1% of the planet’s population is expected to account for 16% of total global emissions by 2030.
The study, commissioned by Oxfam, calculated that each member of the richest 1% will emit 30 times more than the 2.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide deemed compatible with the goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).
The poorest 50% on the planet, meanwhile, will continue to emit less than that amount per person by 2030.
Oxfam said the study indicates that a tiny elite of ultra-rich people “appear to have a free pass to pollute.”
“The emissions from a single billionaire space flight would exceed the lifetime emissions of someone in the poorest billion people on Earth,” said Nafkote Dabi, head of climate policy at Oxfam.
Emissions caused by the wealthiest 10% alone could put the 1.5 C-goal out of reach by the end of the decade, Dabi added.
Tim Gore of the non-profit Institute for European Environmental Policy, wrote the study. He suggested that measures are needed to limit carbon emissions from luxury consumption such as mega-yachts, private jets and space travel.
GLASGOW, Scotland — Environmental campaigners have awarded their ‘Fossil of the Day’ award to the Polish government for giving — and then apparently backtracking on — a pledge to speed up its phaseout of coal power.
Climate Action Network, an umbrella group representing hundreds of non-governmental organizations, blasted Poland on Thursday for committing at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow to end coal use, but then declaring itself a poor country and sticking to its previous deadline of 2049.
The little-coveted award went to the United States on Wednesday, for what climate activists say was a new measure that benefits mainly industrial agriculture companies rather than ordinary farmers.
The U.S. shared the prize with France for its efforts to get natural gas and nuclear power plants classified as sustainable forms of energy by the European Union, and with the International Emissions Trading Association for representing oil majors such as Chevron and Shell at the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 talks.
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