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A world in crisis provides a grim backdrop for Cop27 UN climate talks in Egypt. News Jani

A world in crisis provides a grim backdrop for Cop27 UN climate talks in Egypt.

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Envoys from around the world have gathered in Egypt’s coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss climate change as the world grapples with multiple crises, including war in Ukraine, inflation, food shortages and energy shortages.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned last week that the planet is headed for irreversible “climate chaos” unless countries cut emissions and help poor countries cope with the effects of global warming. So don’t look for a way to get the world back on track.

More than 40,000 participants are registered for this year’s talks, reflecting a sense of urgency as major weather events around the world affect many people and cost billions of dollars in repairs.

Egypt said more than 120 world leaders will attend, most of them to address a high-level event on November 7-8, while US President Joe Biden is expected to arrive later in the week.

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A delegate from the Cook Islands attends an opening session at the Cop27 United Nations climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (Peter DeJong/AP)

But several high-profile figures, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were not planning to attend, casting doubt on whether talks in Egypt would lead to emissions reductions. For the world’s two biggest polluters, there could be no major deal.

German Foreign Minister Annalina Birbock said the talks were overshadowed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused political and economic upheaval around the world.

“But 2022 must not be a lost year for climate protection,” he said in a statement.

“For many states, it is about the survival of their population and their culture. For them, the climate crisis is the most important security issue, not Russia’s war in Europe.

Ms Bierbach said Germany was ready to show solidarity with poor countries, including on the thorny issue of compensation for climate change damage caused by rich countries’ emissions.

Human rights groups criticized Egypt on Sunday for limiting protests and increasing surveillance during the summit.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch cited Egyptian media as saying that authorities have arrested dozens of people for calling for protests.

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People look at a map after arriving at the Cop27 summit (Peter DeJong/AP)

The group’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, Adam Kogel, said in a statement, “It is becoming clear that the Egyptian government has no intention of relaxing its repressive security measures and allowing free speech and assembly. “

Human Rights Watch said it had joined about 1,400 groups from around the world urging Egypt to lift restrictions on civil society groups.

Prominent jailed pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel Fattah extended his hunger strike on Sunday, the first day of Cop27, according to his family.

Mr Abdul Fattah’s aunt, the award-winning novelist Ahdaf Suf, said he went on a “total hunger strike”, and stopped drinking water at 10am local time.

Concerned that he could die without water, she responded to local and international calls for authorities to release him.

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