Big oil must pay for climate, say poorer nations

STORY: Leaders from emerging economies and poorer countries are using their speeches at Egypt’s COP27 climate summit on Tuesday to criticize wealthy governments and oil companies for driving global warming, demanding they pay up for damages being inflicted on their economies.

Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis:

"The realities of war, economic headwinds, the hangover from the pandemic and competition among world powers cannot be used as justification not to confront these imminent dangers. Let's get real. It's only going to get worse.”

Small island states already buffeted by increasingly violent ocean storms and rising sea-levels called on oil companies to shell out some of their huge recent profits, while developing African states called for more international funds.

President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame:

"The most valuable contribution that the developed countries can make is to reduce their emissions faster while investing with Africa to build sustainable green power."

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa added that the continent needs a predictable, appropriate and at-scale funding stream and technological support.

Meanwhile, Senegal's President Macky Sall said poor developing countries in Africa would resist calls for an immediate shift from fossil fuels if it is needed to boost their economies:

"Let's be clear, we are for the climate, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But Africa cannot accept that our vital interests are undermined on the matter of the energy transition."

The comments reflected the tension in international climate negotiations between rich and poor states, as delegates attended the second full day of the two-week U.N. conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Scores of other heads of state and government were scheduled to speak on Tuesday, but many of the world's biggest polluters - including the United States, China and India - were not on Tuesday's schedule.