I HAVE mixed feelings about the Prime Minister’s pledges of now £7million in total to the countries hardest hit by climate change. It is a drop in a vast ocean of need, an ocean where sea levels are now rising at an alarming rate.
Some will point to the desperate needs of our own citizens who will run out of food and fuel this winter.
The £7million is just over £1 for each of us living in Scotland. I would be happy to pay a few extra pounds to compensate some of the angry unionists around the country who will decry the idea.
However, it would be really helpful if the Prime Minister gave us details on how the money will be distributed and what it will be spent on.
An unrestricted donation, for example, to the flood-stricken government of Pakistan, well known for its nuclear weapons program, would not be my first choice.
We can only hope that it acts as a catalyst for the United States, China, Germany, Japan, even Russia and the other major industrialized countries to play their part and find the serious money needed to even begin to address the issues of global warming. .
How to stop China’s massive coal-fired power plant expansion and Brazil’s destruction of its rainforests is a mystery to me. These are problems that cannot be solved by giving money, money or even more money.
I am confident that COP27 will be hailed as a success by many participants, but actions speak louder than words. As the delegates return home, perhaps they could also spare a thought for the approximately 60,000 political prisoners they leave behind locked up in Egyptian jails. Many are held without trial and languish in deplorable conditions with little or no medical care.
The venue for the COP meeting rotates between the five regions identified by the UN: Africa, Asia-Pacific, East Africa Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Western Europe. The countries of the region propose a candidate and a host is usually chosen at least two years in advance. The rotation cycle was not followed very strictly.
After COP 2012 in Doha, the event has not yet returned to Asia. Countries are sometimes not enthusiastic about hosting the event.
This is mainly due to two reasons. First, the host city incurs expenses, not all of which are reimbursed. Specifically, the host country, which chairs the conference, should show leadership by taking action to address climate change. This is the reason why countries like the United States, China, Russia, Japan, Australia or Canada do not wish to host the COP.
Japan hosted the 1997 event that produced the Kyoto Protocol, but it was also the first country to exit in 2011. Australia, which also withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, never hosted the conference.
COP28 is to be held in the United Arab Emirates, another place where human rights are lacking.
Article 155 of its new penal code provides for life imprisonment or the death penalty for anyone “intentionally committing an act which undermines the sovereignty of the State or its independenceits unity or territorial integrity”.
Maybe the Prime Minister needs to be a little careful when she attends!
Brian Lawson Paisley THE big issue for me with Alister Union Jack’s peerage has nothing to do with whether or not he defers it to stay active in the House of Communal roomthis is how, in the first place, an honor could be bestowed by Boris Johnson – a man with little or no honour.