Global leaders and delegates at the COP27 conference have been warned of the addiction and dependence on fossil fuel proven by Rassin-Ukrain war.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has roiled the markets and geopolitics of energy, driving oil and gas prices to their highest levels in nearly a decade and forcing many countries to reconsider their energy supplies.
In Kenya, this has also manifested itself as an increase in fuel prices leading to inflation hence a high cost of living.
In his address at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore challenged global leaders not to be fooled by the absolute need that comes with a shortage of fossil fuel caused by a cruel war launched by Russia in Ukraine as an excuse for lacking a long-term commitment to ending fossil fuel colonialism.
“We can choose to rely on renewable energy each dollar spent in renewable energy creates three times many jobs as dollars spend in fossil energy,” he said.
Gore vouched for the renewable energy potential in Africa: “Africa can be the renewable energy superpower, Africa has 40 percent of the entire world's global potential for the renewables the potential for solar and wind in Africa is 400 times larger than the total fossil fuel reserves.”
He speaks when soaring energy prices spurred by the war have led to new investment in oil and gas.
A recent Climate Action Tracker (CAT) report says the world risks being locked into "irreversible warming".
According to the report, there is broad consensus that the emission of gases produced by fossil fuels must be dramatically cut by 2030.
That is seen as the only path that would keep the global temperature rising to 1.5 degrees and avoid the most damaging effects of climate change.
The summit has also seen a number of leaders rallying toward calls to end the ongoing war.
Egypt’s President Abdel El-Sisi called for an end to the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
“Please allow me to say this in all respect, this war must stop; this war and the suffering it has caused must finish. This is a sincere appeal,” he said.
“Of course, we must act, we are urged to act and much is expected from us because the crisis shakes the entire world,” he noted.
He noted that Egypt, which is not one of the strongest economically, suffered greatly from the covid pandemic over two years and is again suffering due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
“This is an unnecessary war. I imagine of course that the entire world is suffering because of the war between Russia and Ukraine and so I would like to appeal to you,” Mr El-sisi appealed.
He added; “it is not that I want to play a particular role in this affair but of course, like many others, I’m ready to act to ensure the end of this war and I am sure that many of you share my opinion and I believe that all of us believe that we must put an end to this war.”
Russia and Ukraine have been at war since February 24 when Russia attacked Ukraine, it's neighbour with claims of denazification.
257 days later, the war has continued with over 14 million people directly affected.
15 per cent of Ukraine’s territory was annexed by Russia; until August, grain exportation was cut off, plunging most of the developing world into a food crisis. The war has also led to an unprecedented energy crisis in Europe.
UN chief, Antonio Guterres, said indeed the war in Ukraine and other conflicts have caused so much bloodshed, violence and dramatic impacts all over the world, “we cannot accept that our attention is not focused on climate change.”
“We must of course work together to support peace efforts and end tremendous suffering but climate change is on a different timeline and a different scale. It is a defining issue of our age,” he said.
Climate change, Mr Guterres noted, is a central challenge of our century, adding that it is unacceptable, outrageous and self-defeating to put it on the back burner.