Poor, unvaccinated countries fear getting to U.N. climate summit may be ‘almost insurmountable’

Washington Post

As host for a crucial United Nations climate summit this fall in Glasgow, the British government has vowed that the international gathering will not only be “safe and successful,” but “the most inclusive ever,” even in the face of a surging coronavirus pandemic.

But delegates from nations ravaged by the virus, unable to get vaccines and forecast to shoulder an outsize burden in a warming world, fear they will not be able to attend the historic gathering because of quarantine requirements, high costs, or travel bans, as well as a lack of vaccination.

The summit is being billed as the world’s “moment of truth” to secure reductions in greenhouse gases. The conference president, British government minister Alok Sharma, has called it the “last chance” to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — the threshold scientists say is needed to avert catastrophic, irreversible consequences for the planet.

…Mohamed Adow, director of the climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa in Nairobi, expects the summit to be the most difficult climate conference to attend ever. He said delegates are afraid that Britain will accept “the bare minimum of participation just to keep the show on the road.”

Adow said he hoped to see more leadership from Johnson’s government, which has an outsize responsibility both as host and a major polluter since the founding of the industrial revolution. “We are running out of time” for travel, visas and vaccines, he said. “You could say, we have already run out of time.”

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