Obama says not enough progress on climate... calls for mobilization

Former U.S. President Barack Obama told the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday that world leaders at the summit "have not done nearly enough" to address the climate crisis.

Speaking during the second full week of the talks, known as COP26, Obama said that most nations failed to meet the commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate conference agreement and that the world is nowhere near where it needs to be in confronting climate change.

He said it was "particularly discouraging" that the leaders of China and Russia — two of the largest emitters — declined to attend the Glasgow conference, saying both nations have demonstrated what "appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency" on climate change.

China is the world's biggest carbon emitter. In a statement to the conference last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on other nations to "step up cooperation" and act on climate targets. Xi, however, offered no new commitments.

Obama said advanced economies such as the United States and Europe need to lead on this issue, but so do China, Russia and India. "We can't afford anybody on the sidelines," he said.

He also argued it was essential to listen to people who objected to swift action on climate change.

"We actually have to listen to their objections and understand the reluctance of some ordinary people to see their countries move too fast on climate change. We have to understand their realities and work with them so that serious action on climate change doesn't adversely impact them," he said.

He added, "We've got to persuade the guy who has got to drive to his factory job every day, can't afford a Tesla, and might not be able to pay the rent or feed his family if gas prices go up."

The United States is the second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China.

Source: VOA News

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