The countries that contribute the least amount of planet-warming gases to the atmosphere are also the most susceptible to devastating consequences of climate change, including drought, extreme heat, and violent storms. These countries are also struggling to procure enough coronavirus vaccines and as a result may be unable to attend the world’s most important climate conference in Glasgow next month. A report from the Climate Action Tracker, released yesterday, shows almost every nation is failing to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement. The exception is the small African nation of The Gambia, essentially paying a debt accrued by others. Even though The Gambia’s carbon footprint is negligible, the country has nonetheless felt the effects of climate change, namely droughts.
The report called efforts by the United States, the European Union, Germany and Japan “insufficient” and more in line with global warming of 3°C (5.4°F) since the late 19th century. The consequence of these countries not being able to attend the COP26 has the potential to further stack the deck in favor of the countries that grew rich burning coal and oil. (AP, Bloomberg $, The Guardian, CNN, The Hill)