During the UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh a giant ‘lighthouse’ was installed by the activist team behind The Climate Clock to ‘shine some of the most important numbers in the world at COP27’.
The Climate Clock’s Loss and Damage Lifeline tracks the climate debt of wealthy, high-emission G20 countries, calculating how much they owe ‘for the devastating impacts their excessive carbon emissions have caused’ in ‘so-called developing countries’ – many of which have ‘contributed the least to carbon emissions’.
Messages displayed on the lighthouse warned how long the world has left of its ‘window of hope’ – down to the minutes and seconds, with the clock face updating in real time throughout the conference. Digital displays pleaded with the G20 to ‘act in time to stay below 1.5°C’. ‘Indigenous lands in indigenous hands is a key climate solution’ read one message, beside a reminder of the 43.5 million km sq of indigenous land which must remain protected. $31.8 trillion was the figure cited by the Climate Clock for the ‘loss and damage owed’ by the G20 nations.
Our new estimates take into account the full scale of the damage that emissions will cause
The installation also called for the end of fossil fuels to be brought forward to 2030 because ‘delay = denial’, with the original goals of 2040, 2050 and 2070 crossed out. ‘Leaders, presidents, minister, delegates – be bold! The future is counting on you,” read one digital display.
“The Climate Clock’s Loss and Damage calculation is far larger than what is currently being discussed at COP27 negotiations,” comments Ian Mitchell, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, and lead author of the study whose research informs the Climate Clock’s calculations. “Traditional figures tend to focus only on the damage from individual extreme weather events or relate only to annual climate finance commitments from developed countries. But our new estimates take into account the full scale of the damage that emissions will cause.”
Portable Climate Clocks were carried throughout the grounds of the summit by activists. The deadlines and statements also appear on more than 100 monumental and hand-held clocks in several African nations, including Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa, as well as cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, London, Rome and New York.
Image credit: The Climate Clock/Raul de Lima
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