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Gaza: 104 Palestinians killed, 160 injured by Israeli bombings last 24 hours

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Gaza: 118 Palestinians killed, 163 injured by Israeli bombings in last 24 hours

Gaza: 103 Palestinians killed, 142 injured by Israeli bombardment last 24 hours

Gaza: 107 Palestinians killed, 145 injured by Israeli bombings last 24 hours

Gaza: 127 Palestinians killed, 205 injured by Israeli bombing last 24 hours

Gaza: 83 Palestinians were killed, 125 injured by Israeli bombings in last 24 hours

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Gaza: 87 Palestinians killed, 104 injured by Israeli bombardment 14-15 Feb

Gaza: 103 Palestinians killed, 145 injured by Israeli bombing 13-14 Feb

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Gaza: 112 Palestinians killed, 173 injured by Israeli bombardments last 24 hours

Gaza: 123 Palestinians killed by Israeli bombardments between Tues-Wed

Pakistan: 3 bombings in Balochistan kill 29 on eve of polls

Gaza: 107 Palestinians killed, 143 injured by Israeli bombing Feb 5-6

Gaza: Israeli forces have killed 113 Palestinians, injured 205 in last 24 hours

Gaza: 127 Palestinians killed, 170 injured by Israeli bombings since Sat

Gaza: 112 Palestinians killed, 165 injured by Israeli bombing in past 24 hours

Gaza: 118 Palestinians killed, 190 injured by Israeli bombing 31 Jan-1Feb

Gaza: 150 Palestinians killed by Israeli bombings last 24 hours

Dire UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and COP26’s prospects

24th Sep 2021

In early August, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a scathing report that many media outlets called “code red for humanity.” The report warned that humans have a decade to make substantial changes to the world’s energy infrastructure or suffer a massive loss of human life due to exacerbated natural disasters.

The report offered five emissions scenarios or “shared socioeconomic pathways” (SSP) from a business-as-usual track (SSP5-8.5) to negative emissions by the 2050s (SSP1-1.9).

The report offers more detailed assessments of the compounded effects of climate change, explaining in its FAQ section, “These compound events can often impact ecosystems and societies more strongly than when such events occur in isolation. For example, a drought along with extreme heat will increase the risk of wildfires and agricultural damages or losses.”

This past year, extreme floods, heatwaves, winter storms and cyclones/hurricanes around the world left scores dead and many more displaced. The report called for policymakers to take action to reduce emissions quickly. COP26, the UN climate conference postponed from last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is set to take place in Glasgow in November.

Each COP seeks higher commitments from world leaders to lower carbon emissions. This year’s event has come under controversy over last-minute planning, Coronavirus concerns and a trade deal with Australia that exempts Paris targets from consideration.

Scrambled planning

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced criticism for reducing foreign aid budget by £4 billion when many underdeveloped countries need assistance to attend the conference.

COPs mirror one another in terms of talking points and strategy, with host countries coordinating with diplomats’ years before the event, but despite Johnson’s assurance that the conference is the UK’s top international priority, logistics around the event seem to be lacking.

Coronavirus

Vaccine inequities, prohibitive quarantine costs and stopped flights will mean that some leaders from the global south, many of whom will face the worst of climate change’s effects, will not be able to attend the summit. Many underdeveloped nations are on the UK’s foreign travel “red list” due to high COVID-19 infection rates, meaning delegates will have to quarantine before the event.

After receiving criticism from environmental groups calling for another postponement, Johnson pledged to work with the UN to offer vaccine doses to anyone registered with the UN.

The UK Government has offered to pay the costs for those from “red list” countries required to quarantine before the summit. Packing thousands of people into a room that will be difficult to ventilate during the Scottish winter could result in an Olympic-style Coronavirus case spike. COP26 planners want to keep the event in person, claiming that Zoom is no substitute for in-person negotiations when the planet’s future is at stake.

UK-Australia trade deal controversy

The UK has been negotiating a trade deal with Australia that came under controversy after a leaked email showed that it removed references to decarbonisation under the Paris Climate Agreement targets. Australia has been reluctant to increase its emissions goals, and the UK needs new trade deals to prop up its economy post-Brexit. Jean Blaylock, a trade campaigner at Global Justice Now, says, “This is typical of the Government’s approach to trade deals.

Climate commitments will always come second to a free trade arrangement, regardless of the consequences for the planet.” Negotiators of the deal have expressed that its final version will include references to decarbonisation commitments related to the Paris accord.

COPs are major events, hosting tens of thousands of delegates, including world leaders, diplomats, journalists and activists. Nations come with their grievances regarding one another.

The US and China have had issues cooperating because American leadership has criticised China’s humanitarian record, causing reluctance from Beijing to cooperate on things like investing in fewer coal plants.

As with any diplomatic conference, the major economic players have the most clout, and smaller nations have less bargaining power, as they rely on wealthy economies to help invest in their infrastructure to help mitigate and adapt to the worst effects of climate change.

In rare fashion, leaders from the Anglican and Catholic churches issued a joint statement calling for robust action to tackle climate change, focusing on addressing how it affects the world’s poorest.

This year, COP26 comes when nations focus on their economies after almost two years of varying levels of pandemic lockdowns. Even with the backdrop of the IPCC’s dire report that if plans fail and commitments are not upheld now, disaster awaits, leading polluters are often more talk than action.

The rhetoric around ambitious climate plans, such as Johnson’s 10-Point Plan, which boasts significant investment in hydrogen technologies, runs hollow when air travel is being encouraged and hushed trade agreements prevail over emissions targets.

Sarah Sakeena Marshall,
Grit Daily Contributor 7
The Muslim News Environmental Columnist

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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