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COP26.. The developing world calls on rich countries to fulfill their commitments

The first day of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) saw calls for the world’s major economies to stick with promises of financial assistance to tackle the climate crisis, while India and Brazil, which produce high rates of pollution, made new pledges to cut emissions.

Today , world leaders, environmental experts and activists called for decisive action to stop global warming that threatens the future of the planet at the opening of the two-week COP26 summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow .

This task has been made more difficult by the failure of the Group of Twenty countries to agree on ambitious new commitments earlier this week in Rome .

The G20 is responsible for about 80 percent of greenhouse gases and a similar proportion of carbon dioxide and gas produced from burning fossil fuels, which is the main cause of rising global temperatures that lead to more intense heat waves, droughts, floods and storms .

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminded the participating delegates that the Earth is experiencing the highest temperatures ever since 2015 .

Other speakers, including activists from poorer countries affected by climate change, sent a message of challenge .

“The youth of the Pacific have rallied to chants, ‘We are not drowning, we are fighting…This is the cry of our warrior to the world, ‘” said Brianna Froen of the vulnerable Polynesian island of Samoa .

Leaders of countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh, Barbados and Malawi called on rich countries to take responsibility for not delivering promised financial assistance to deal with climate change .

“The money pledged by the developed countries to the least developed countries…is not a donation but a clean-up fee,” Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera said.

“Neither Africa in general nor Malawi in particular will accept no. Not anymore, ” he added.

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President Xi Jinping of China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, told the conference in a written statement that developed countries should not only do more, but also support developing countries to do better .

India and Brazil, two of the world’s biggest polluters , used the conference to make new pledges to cut emissions .

“We will act responsibly and look for real solutions for an urgent transition, ” said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has overseen for more than two years the clearing of the Amazon rainforest .

Brazil said it would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, compared to a previous pledge of 43 percent in that period .

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the year 2070 as a target for India to reach net zero carbon emissions, which is much later than other countries that emit heavy pollution and about 20 years later than the United Nations recommends globally .

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley compared the huge sums that central banks of rich countries have pumped into the global economy in recent years with those spent on climate aid .

“Our people are watching and observing… Can there be peace and prosperity if a third of the world lives in prosperity and two-thirds of the world lives under the seas and faces catastrophic threats to our well-being?” she asked

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