U.N. climate talks open in Egypt, climate compensation on agenda for first time

November 06, 2022 09:23 pm | Updated 09:23 pm IST

Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP27, at the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of the same name.

Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP27, at the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of the same name. | Photo Credit: AFP

Delegates at the U.N.’s COP27 climate summit in Egypt agreed to discuss whether rich nations should compensate poor countries most vulnerable to climate change for their suffering.

“This creates for the first time an institutionally stable space on the formal agenda of COP and the Paris Agreement to discuss the pressing issue of funding arrangements needed to deal with existing gaps, responding to loss and damage,” COP27 president Sameh Shoukry told the opening plenary.

The item was adopted to the agenda in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, as world leaders arrived for the negotiations scheduled to run through November 18.

Much of the tension at COP27 is expected to relate to loss and damage — funds provided by wealthy nations to vulnerable lower-income countries that bear little responsibility for climate-warming emissions.

The loss and damage discussions now on the agenda at COP27 will not involve liability or binding compensation, but they are intended to lead to a conclusive decision “no later than 2024,” Shoukry said.

In an opening speech, the head of the U.N.’s panel of climate scientists highlighted the urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of global warming. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our planet and our livelihoods,” said Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

More than 40,000 participants have been registered for this year’s talks, reflecting the sense of urgency as major weather events around the world impact many people and cost billions of dollars in repairs.

Egypt said over 120 world leaders will attend, many of them speaking at a high-level event on November 7-8, while U.S. President Joe Biden was expected to arrive later in the week. But many top figures, including China’s President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, were not planning to come, casting doubt on whether the talks in Egypt could result in any major deals to cut emissions without these two nations.

BJP wins 4 seats in Assembly bypolls; TRS retains Munugode, RJD keeps Mokama

The BJP won four out of seven Assembly bypolls held across six States, for which results were declared on Sunday. It also registered its presence in Telangana’s Munugode Assembly seat, where it lost to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi but still managed to get over 39% of votes, pushing the Congress to the third position.

Elections were held on November 3 for seven Assembly constituencies: Mokama and Gopalganj in Bihar, Andheri East in Maharashtra, Adampur in Haryana, Munugode in Telangana, Gola Gokarannath in Uttar Pradesh, and Dhamnagar in Odisha.

Out of the four seats the BJP won, three were in constituencies it already held. The only new addition to its tally was Adampur in Haryana, where former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson Bhavya Bishnoi emerged victorious. The polls were necessitated here because of his father Kuldeep Bishnoi’s decision to defect from the Congress to the BJP. The Bhajan Lal family has never lost any election from this constituency since the creation of the State in 1966. The high voltage campaign was pitted as a battle between Congress satrap Bhupinder Singh Hooda versus the Bishnois. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is trying to establish itself as a national force, especially after its Punjab victory, got less than three percent of the votes cast in the constituency.

The BJP retained the Gopalganj assembly constituency in Bihar, where polls were necessitated by the death of the incumbent BJP MLA Subash Singh. The BJP fielded his widow. This is the party’s first electoral victory since the political realignment in the State when the Janata Dal (U), its ally of almost two decades, left it for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Meanwhile, the ruling RJD retained the Mokama seat. 

In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party fell short of posting a credible challenge to the BJP in the Gola Gokarannath constituency, with its candidate losing by a margin of over 35,000 votes. BJP had fielded 26-year old Aman Giri, son of its late legislator Arvind Giri, whose demise forced the bypoll. The Samajwadi Party repeated Vinay Tiwari, who lost bids for the seat in the 2017 and 2022 Assembly elections. 

The BJP also retained the Dhamnagar seat in Odisha. 

More than these victories, however, the Munugode bypoll results gave the BJP a reason to rejoice. Although the party was defeated by the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi by a margin of more than 10,000 votes, it managed to clock in over 38 per cent of votes. This was its second significant electoral performance in Telangana after its November 2021 victory in the Huzurabad Assembly constituency where the TRS rebel Eatala Rajendran had won. These results should surely worry the Congress, which currently is the key Opposition party in the State, but was pushed to the third slot in the bypoll.

The Andheri East Assembly seat went to the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena. This was the first electoral test after the split in the party. The Thackeray faction fielded Rutuja Latke, the widow of the sitting Sena legislator whose death created the vacancy. However, the BJP candidate supported by the Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena withdrew from the contest, giving Latke a walkover.

PM Modi launches ‘I have made this Gujarat’ slogan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the forces that indulged in spreading hatred and defamed Gujarat will be swept out of the state in the next month’s Assembly elections.

Addressing his first election rally in his home State after the announcement of poll dates, PM Modi came up with a new slogan in Gujarati — Aa Gujarat, mai bnavyu chhe” (I have made this Gujarat) — and also made people chant it several times during his 25-minute-long speech.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at supporters during a public meeting at Kaprada in Gujarat’s Valsad district on November 6, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@BJP4Gujarat via PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at supporters during a public meeting at Kaprada in Gujarat’s Valsad district on November 6, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@BJP4Gujarat via PTI

“Those divisive forces that have indulged in spreading hatred, those who have tried to defame and insult Gujarat have been swept out of Gujarat. In this election also they will meet the same fate,” he said. “Sitting in Delhi, I am getting the inputs that BJP will win with a record margin this time in Gujarat. I have come here to beat my past records (of BJP’s victory margin). I have told the Gujarat BJP that I am ready to give as much time as possible to it (for campaigning),” he added.

In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling BJP released its manifesto, promising implementation of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the State and extending commitments regarding jobs for youth and women welfare.

BJP president J.P. Nadda released the manifesto in Shimla, saying that commitment made in the party’s ‘Sankalp Patra’ would go a long way in bringing uniformity in society and empowering farmers-horticulturist, the youth, and the women. The election in the State is scheduled to take place on November 12, 2022.

Nadda said that UCC will be implemented in the State. “A committee will be set-up surrounding the Uniform Civil Code and based on the committee report it will be implemented,” he added.

He also said that the BJP will institute a scheme to provide ₹3,000 annually to small farmers, over and above the ₹6,000 given through ‘PM Kisan Samman Nidhi’. He said that eight lakh employment opportunities in a phased manner will be provided.

The BJP will conduct a survey of ‘Wakf’ properties as per the law and set up a Judicial Commission to investigate the illegal usage of such properties, he said.

Asserting that special focus has been given to women’s welfare, Nadda said the BJP will provide a bicycle for school-going girls of class 6th to 12th and a scooty (two-wheeler) to the girls pursuing higher education.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also campaigning in Himachal Pradesh, said that UCC will be implemented and all irregularities in the salary system of government employees will be looked into if the BJP comes back to power. He was addressing a poll rally poll rally at Mehatpur in Una district.

Missing Arunachal mountaineers may be in China, fear families

Everest conqueror Tapi Mra and his aide Niku Dao, missing from an expedition to Arunachal Pradesh’s highest snow-capped mountain since August, could be in captivity in China, members of their families fear.

The All Tagin Students’ Union (ATSU) also aired similar apprehensions as the 6,900-metre Khyarii Satam — the peak in East Kameng district Mra attempted to scale for the fourth time — is almost on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and the Tibetan region of China. The ATSU caters to the aspirations of the Tagins, an ethnic community the mountaineer duo belonged to.

The members of the families of Mra and Dao, staging a dharna in State capital Itanagar’s Indira Gandhi Park for the seventh day on Sunday, lamented the “indifference” of the Arunachal Pradesh Government to the demands for bringing them back — dead or alive.

They also said the Pema Khandu Government should approach the Centre for initiating communication with Beijing to find out if Mra and Dao strayed into China or were captured by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of that country.

Mra and Dao had left for Khyarii Satam with seven porters on July 27 from Sario-Saria, a Puroik community village in the Sawa circle of East Kameng district. The porters returned but the two mountaineers went missing on August 17.

A search and rescue operation organised by the district authorities with the help of the armed forces had to be called off because of heavy rain. In October, another team comprising Mra’s kin and three mountaineers brought back the belongings of Mra and Dao from Mt. Khyarii Satam but did not find any trace of the duo.

Villagers close to the LAC say it is not unusual for locals, usually out hunting or collecting medicinal plants, to stray into Chinese territory.

In Brief: 

Bharat Jodo Yatra set to enter Maharashtra on Monday

After traversing Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana for two months, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will enter Maharashtra on Monday evening at Madnur Naka in Deglur of Nanded district. The Maharashtra Congress has made elaborate arrangements and a massive turnout of the party cadre is expected. During his 14-day journey in the State, Gandhi will walk 381 km through 15 Assembly and six parliamentary constituencies. The marathon walk will move in two batches – from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. 

Russia becomes India’s top oil supplier in October

Russia became India’s top oil supplier in October surpassing traditional sellers Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to data from energy cargo tracker Vortexa. Russia, which made up for just 0.2% of all oil imported by India in the year to March 31, 2022, supplied 9,35,556 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to India in October, the highest ever, and accounted for 22% of India’s total crude imports, ahead of Iraq’s 20.5% from Iraq and 16% from Saudi Arabia.

Evening Wrap will return tomorrow.  

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