Government leaders from poor countries spoke about the need for financial support coming from rich nations and oil companies to make up for the climate-related damages to their economies. The speeches were part of COP27, the two-week UN Climate Change Conference that this year takes place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Small islands and developing African states both urged polluters to pay for the effects of climate change on Nov. 8.
The island countries, which already face climate disasters and sea-level rises due to global warming, said oil companies need to allocate some of their huge profits to help them adapt to extreme weather.
The island of Tuvalu, located in the South Pacific Ocean, was the first country at the conference to call for the establishment of a global treaty to phase out fossil fuels use.
“The warming seas are starting to swallow our lands — inch by inch. But the world’s addiction to oil, gas, and coal can’t sink our dreams under the waves,” Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano said in a statement. “We, therefore, unite with a hundred Nobel Peace Prize laureates and thousands of scientists worldwide and urge world leaders to join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to manage a just transition away from fossil fuels.”
Nikenike Vurobaravu, the president of Vanuatu, said the International Court of Justice should make sure that future generations’ rights were not being violated by countries lagging on climate change efforts.
The president of Senegal Macky Sall said during the summit that developing African countries needed more funding from rich nations to adapt to climate change and would not immediately shift away from fossil fuels that support their economies.
The oil industry has been making multi-billion profits since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy made an address in a video message, saying that the war in Ukraine has distracted the governments from efforts to fight climate change and has increased the demand for coal. Climate policy cannot be effective without peace, he said.
The hosts of the COP27 initiated a global plan to support the world’s poorest nations withstand the effects of climate change. The plan established 30 goals to reach by 2030.