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Are COP27 and G20 Mere Talk Shows?

Ultimately, COP 27 and G 20 appear to have become mere diversions and a sort of entertainment for people around the world who look at these events with amusement and misgivings.

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President Joko Widodo (second from right), accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo (right), delivers his remarks in the G20 Welcoming Dinner and Cultural Performance at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Cultural Park, Badung, Bali, Tuesday, (11/15/2022).[Photo: G20 Indonesia Media Center/M Risyal Hidayat]

COP 27 in Egypt was organized with much fanfare and expectations, similar to  COP 26 at Glasgow that was organised in 2021. While nothing significant was achieved in combating the climate crisis subsequent to the  Glasgow Meet, one thought that COP 27 would be more productive and would find some real solutions to overcome the climate crisis.

Leaders and representatives from most countries participated in COP 27 including the President of USA, Prime Minister of UK and so many others.  Cosmetic speeches were made by the leaders, committing themselves to save the world from global warming and noxious emissions. Finally, resolutions would be adopted after representatives of all countries put their heads together. With no tangible agreement about the fundamental issues, the resolutions would inevitably end up as face-saving documents.

During COP 27, the UAE President clearly said that the UAE would not reduce the production of crude oil and natural gas. In the wake of the Ukraine war, a number of countries in Europe are increasing their usage level of coal as fuel, in spite of the fact that burning of coal as fuel will lead to the production of carbon dioxide and other emissions causing global warming. Countries like India, China and others that are import dependent on crude oil and natural gas, are planning to increase the production and use of coal and they have not concealed this in their speeches. There were further discussions about providing fund support by rich countries to developing countries for reducing emissions. But, there has been no clear agreement or commitment on this.

The net result of COP 27 would be that there would be no appreciable change in the ground realities with regard to climate issues. As usual, activists have been protesting about the cosmetic discussions during COP 27 Meet, and they all seem to be part of all the climate meetings, of course from outside!

If this is the case with regard to COP 27, the G 20 meeting also seems to have taken place in a routine manner which ultimately looks like only a get-together of leaders from twenty countries.

The Ukraine-Russia war has destabilized the world economy but there is no real effort to stop the war by the G 20 leaders, Resolution was passed condemning Russia for the Ukraine war, with Russia opposing the resolution. There are a few other countries which have taken a neutral stand, as they do not want to displease either Russia or USA and NATO countries.

Again, in the present conflict-ridden world with an active war going on between Russia and Ukraine and with Ukraine being supported actively by NATO countries and USA, how can there be an agreement on any issue in the G 20 meeting?

Obviously, COP 27 and G 20 take place at regular intervals and they seem to have become mere periodical calendar events.

While this is the scenario with regard to COP 27 and G-20, even U N Security council meetings have become talk shows in a discussion forum, with countries disagreeing and leaving the meetings after agreeing to disagree.

There are many peace and climate activists in the world who constantly speak and write about restoring peace in the world and solving climate issue problems.  They fill media space but the sane voices of these activists are not treated with any respect by the leadership of various countries, whose priority is self-interest rather than the world interest.

Ultimately, COP 27 and G 20 appear to have become mere diversions and a sort of entertainment for people around the world who look at these events with amusement and misgivings.

Ultimately, COP 27 and G 20 appear to have become mere diversions and a sort of entertainment for people around the world who look at these events with amusement and misgivings.

N.S.Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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