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    Pelosi accuses Republicans of treating climate crisis like ‘it’s all a hoax’ at Cop27

    Pelosi accuses Republicans of treating climate crisis like ‘it’s all a hoax’ at Cop27Democrat makes surprise appearance at climate summit as midterms forecasts predict Republicans will take the House Nancy Pelosi has accused Republicans of treating the climate crisis like “it’s all a hoax” while at the Cop27 climate talks in Egypt, where the US delegation is attempting to remain upbeat about continued progress on dealing with global heating despite uncertainty over the midterm election results.Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, made a surprise appearance at the climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday. The trip may be one of Pelosi’s last as speaker, with most forecasts predicting Republicans will eke out a narrow majority in the House.There has been “shall we say, a disagreement on the subject” of the climate crisis between the parties, Pelosi said at Cop27, adding that Republicans have said “‘Why are we having this discussion? There is no climate crisis. It’s all a hoax.’ We have to get over that. This is urgent, long overdue.“So we cannot just have any political disagreement or the power of the fossil fuel industry cramping our style as we go forward with this, but to show a path that gets us to where we need to be,” Pelosi said. Pelosi’s appearance at Cop27 comes at a critical point for the future of democracy in the US and the future of the planet. Joe Biden was able to pass the country’s most significant piece of climate legislation this year because Democrats have the majority in both the House and the Senate. With that set to change, the mounting anger at the US for obstructing meaningful global climate action, despite being the world’s largest polluter and richest country, may only get worse.Kathy Castor, a Democrat from Florida who chairs the House subcommittee on the climate crisis, predicted Republicans would axe her committee should they gain power. “They have not really been partners in tackling the climate crisis, and it’s inexplicable because the world’s top scientists tell us we are running out of time,” Castor said.Biden will appear at Cop27 on Friday and a delegation of his cabinet members have already descended upon Sharm el-Sheikh to stress to other, skeptical, countries that the US, which has swerved erratically on climate policy over the years and under Donald Trump completely abandoned the crisis, will still be engaged on fighting global heating even if Republicans do secure Congress.“I think the United States is seen favorably here based on the actions taken in the last two years,” Michael Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told the Guardian.Regan, who appearing at a number of events at Cop27, cited the inflation reduction act, which includes more than $370bn in climate spending, and the administration’s actions to promote environmental justice.“Polls suggest climate change isn’t a top-tier issue, but most families are focused on keeping a roof over their heads and putting food on the table … so it’s not surprising some issues were registering a little higher than climate change,” Regan said of the midterm elections.“But climate change hasn’t fallen off the list, it’s still a top priority. You don’t even have to trust scientists any more, you just have to look out of the window or put on the news. People are smart enough to see this isn’t some long-term conspiracy theory.”Faced with inconclusive midterm election results, the mood among many veteran climate activists and negotiators from developing countries is one of indifference, as they have seen little difference between the Democrats and Republicans over the past three decades when it comes to the most crucial climate issues like finance and market solutions.Representatives of developing countries have criticized the US at Cop27 for repeatedly failing to deliver promised funding to help them deal with the crippling impacts of floods, fires and droughts, as well as transition to clean energy. Poorer nations are pushing for “loss and damage” finance to help them cope with the climate crisis. John Kerry, the US climate envoy, has admitted that further funding would be unlikely should Republicans gain control of Congress.“The main difference is that at least the Democrats don’t deny climate change, and of course it matters inside America as without the Democrats the Inflation Reduction Act would not have passed, but on the global stage it makes no difference,” said Meena Raman, a climate policy expert from Third World Network and adviser to developing countries at the Cop summits.“It’s the same negotiators, the same blockages, the same bullying, and even now the planet is burning, the US doesn’t change and gets what it wants. It continues to deny its historic responsibility, emphasize the private sector and loans, and uses China as the bogeyman to distract attention away from its unfulfilled pledges.”US greenhouse gas emissions are rising, with plans to vastly expand gas production and fines for oil companies which don’t up extraction.Asad Rehman, director of War on Want and a coordinator of the climate justice groups at Cop27, said: “We are faced with a choice of Republicans who are climate denialists whilst the Democrats are mitigation denialists – happy to speak about the climate emergency but it’s simply hollow words.“From Bush to Biden the USA continues to block real finance, tinker with its emissions and are sacrificing billions to climate catastrophe while expanding fossil fuels which will sacrifice billions to climate catastrophe.”TopicsNancy PelosiCop27Climate crisisUS midterm elections 2022US politicsRepublicansDemocratsnewsReuse this content More

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    Many Republicans think climate crisis is a hoax, says Nancy Pelosi – video

    Speaking at a Cop27 panel discussion, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said it was difficult to predict how the results of the midterm elections would affect US action on climate change, but that such action was ‘long overdue’. ‘We have had, shall we say, a disagreement on the subject,’ said Pelosi, referring to the Democrats and the Republicans. ‘When Kathy [Castor, a congresswoman] had her bill on the floor, our [Republican] colleagues said why are we having this discussion, there is no climate crisis, it’s all a hoax.’

    Cop27: climate justice activists call for fossil fuel ‘criminals’ to be kicked out of conference – live More

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    After the flood: inside the 4 November Guardian Weekly

    After the flood: inside the 4 November Guardian WeeklyCop27’s climate prospects. Plus: Can the Democrats rescue the US midterms?Get the Guardian Weekly delivered to your home address For readers of the Guardian Weekly magazine’s North American edition this week, the cover focuses on the Democrats’ precarious hopes in the midterm elections. Elsewhere, the spotlight shines on the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt.Cautious optimism followed the last Cop conference in Glasgow, where an international roadmap was agreed to keep the world within 1.5C of global heating. On the eve of this year’s summit, however, a slew of alarming reports have shown that carbon emissions are still rising.Further carbon cuts therefore ought to be a priority, argue scientists. However, Cop27 is likely to be dominated by debate about compensation that poorer nations feel richer countries should be paying for climate damage. Observer science and environment editor Robin McKie sets the scene for a summit that seems engulfed in a storm of its own. And there’s a fascinating report by Mark Townsend on the Just Stop Oil protests, as debate stirs among activists about whether direct action tactics are effective in changing attitudes.The US midterm elections next week could see a Republican party still dominated by Donald Trump gain control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. David Smith asks whether an intervention by former president Barack Obama could give a late kickstart to the Democrats’ hopes.Jubilation and relief accompanied Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s narrow election victory in Brazil, ending Jair Bolsonaro’s era of Amazon destruction. Latin America correspondent Tom Phillips reports on a much-needed moment of hope for the region and the world, but Andrew Downie warns that difficult challenges await the returning president-elect.On the culture front there’s an interview by Simon Hattenstone with the actor Damian Lewis, who talks about life after the death of his wife, Helen McCrory. And Jonathan Jones meets the artist David Shrigley, for whom a move to the countryside has not exactly mellowed his anxiety-laden brand of pop art.Get the Guardian Weekly delivered to your home addressTopicsCop27Inside Guardian WeeklyClimate crisisUS midterm elections 2022DemocratsRepublicansUS politicsBrazilReuse this content More

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    The Guardian view on climate diplomacy: it’s crunch time – again | Editorial

    The Guardian view on climate diplomacy: it’s crunch time – againEditorialFreezing relations between the US and China threaten this year’s crucial Cop27 summit Less than two weeks before Cop27 opens in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, an outline of what to expect from the negotiations is becoming more distinct. The issue of loss and damage is expected to dominate – as it should. Wealthy countries have broken the promise made in 2009 at Cop15 in Copenhagen. An annual climate finance budget of $100bn was agreed then to help the countries most dangerously exposed to global heating to adapt. But contributions have fallen short. The group of countries known as the V20, which includes the Philippines and several small island states, are justifiably angry and determined to ensure that past failures are confronted.So is Pakistan, which is not part of V20 but suffered catastrophic losses during recent floods. With one-third of its landmass under water and valuable crops destroyed by what one senator, writing in the Guardian, called a “monster monsoon”, the country now faces an immediate crisis as well as a longer-term, existential threat from melting glaciers. Pakistan, with its population of around 220 million people, is responsible for just 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, G20 countries between them produce 80%.“People are enjoying their lives in the west, but someone here is paying the price,” said one government minister, Ahsan Iqbal. Such views have been echoed by other leaders. At Cop26, Madagascar’s environment minister, Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, told the Guardian she believed that some short-haul flights should be banned. “You have to make a choice or have to make a sacrifice,” she said, pointing to the climate-induced famine in her country as the price being paid for western consumption habits.But while lifestyle changes such as reducing meat-eating and car use are increasingly recognised as an important element of emissions-cutting plans, it is governments that must step up in Egypt. A bilateral agreement between the US and China was among the most encouraging developments at Cop26. Then, the US’s climate envoy, John Kerry, spoke of global heating as an issue of “math and physics” rather than politics. His Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, said “there is more agreement between China and the United States than divergence”.Eleven months on, relations between the two superpowers have chilled. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in the summer angered Chinese leaders. A recently unveiled US national security strategy described China as “America’s most consequential geopolitical challenge”. It was swiftly followed by new export controls on microchips, intended to hamper Chinese ambitions. The question is whether climate negotiations can be forced back on track despite this. While Mr Kerry used an interview in the Guardian on Tuesday to appeal for renewed cooperation, the war in Ukraine, combined with the China-US standoff, have significantly raised tensions and lowered expectations.The hope is that once leaders gather in Egypt, the scale of the threat from rising temperatures will focus minds. In asking for international support with loss and damage, the global south countries have right on their side – as rich countries knew when they agreed to the original climate finance package. Governments left Glasgow last year knowing that they had fallen short of what is required if humanitarian disasters of unimaginable severity are to be prevented. The window of opportunity for policies that will deliver on the headline commitment to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C gets smaller every year.Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.TopicsCop27OpinionClimate crisisJohn KerryChinaUS politicsExtreme weatherGreenhouse gas emissionseditorialsReuse this content More

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    What does the US-China row mean for climate change?

    What does the US-China row mean for climate change? Analysis: breakdown of cooperation between world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters over Taiwan could spell disaster for global warming targets China’s decision to halt cooperation with the US over the climate crisis has provoked alarm, with seasoned climate diplomats urging a swift resumption of talks to help stave off worsening global heating.On Friday, Beijing announced a series of measures aimed at retaliating against the US for the “egregious provocation” of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, visiting Taiwan. China, which considers Taiwan its territory and has launched large-scale military exercises near the island, said it will stop working with the US on climate change, along with other key issues.While the extent of China’s withdrawal from climate discussions is still not clear, the move threatens to derail the often fragile cooperation between the world’s two largest carbon emitters, with only a few months to go before the crucial UN Cop27 in Egypt this autumn. Experts say there is little hope of avoiding disastrous global heating without strong action by the US and China, which are together responsible for about 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.The rupture in relations has occurred amid a summer of climate change-fuelled disasters, with record heatwaves and wildfires sweeping the US and Europe, punishingly high temperatures scorching India and China, and ruinous flooding affecting the US, south Asia and Africa.Revealed: how climate breakdown is supercharging toll of extreme weatherRead moreThe US is on the brink of passing landmark climate legislation at home, but collectively the world’s governments are still not doing enough to avoid breaching agreed temperature goals. The goal of limiting heating to 1.5C is “on life support” with a weakening pulse, António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, warned last month.“US-China relations have always been a rollercoaster and we often witness flare-ups, but while you can freeze talks, you cannot freeze climate impacts,” said Laurence Tubiana, chief executive of the European Climate Foundation and a key architect of the Paris climate accords.“It’s in the self-interest of China and the US to act on climate and start talking. Indeed, China recognizes its own self-interest to act; it is still committed to Paris and is moving forward on domestic pledges around methane and coal phasedown.”The US and China have accused each other of not doing enough to cut planet-heating emissions at various points in recent years. China attacked US “selfishness” when then-president Donald Trump rolled back various environmental protections in 2017, while Joe Biden, Trump’s successor, last year claimed the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, had made a “big mistake” by not attending the Cop26 climate summit in Scotland.However, the two powers achieved a breakthrough at the same talks in Glasgow in November, agreeing a surprise plan to work together “with urgency” on slashing emissions. Xie Zhenhua, the head of China’s delegation, said both countries must “accelerate a green and low carbon transition”. John Kerry, the US climate envoy, acknowledged that the nations have “no shortage of differences” but that “cooperation is the only way to get this job done. This is about science, about physics.”This rapprochement on climate has helped foster collaboration between US and Chinese organizations, as well as providing leadership to other countries, according to Nate Hultman, a former aide to Kerry and now director of the Center for Global Sustainability at the University of Maryland.“The US and China working together is an important dimension of addressing climate change, it has the potential to motivate others to do more,” said Hultman.“The broader relationship is very complex but both countries understand this is not just a bilateral issue, there is a global dimension to this. That is what I hope will bring them back together. Hopefully this suspension is brief and they can get back to the table as soon as possible.”Hultman said that while high-level climate talks could now be curtailed, other bilateral collaboration may continue, although details on this are still scant. Regardless of the situation between the US and China, progress could still be made at the Cop27 talks in Egypt, he insisted.“This has been challenging and at times we are going to stall out,” Hultman said. “But Cop27 won’t just crash out if the US and China don’t iron out their differences. We would have to focus on what else can be done as an international community.”TopicsEnvironmentChinaClimate crisisUS politicsCop26Cop27analysisReuse this content More