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Saudi Arabia's energy minister speaking at the COP26 climate conference. Saudi Arabian Minster of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud speaks at the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit, Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 10, 2021 (AP photo by Alberto Pezzali).

The Middle East’s Climate Crisis Is a Glimpse of the World’s Future

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021

The COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow that wrapped up Saturday was intended to draw the world’s attention to the slow-burning emergency of global warming, as well as create policies for mitigating and adapting to its worst effects. Above all, however, the international gathering illustrated the problems of timing and collective action that frustrate efforts to stop climate change. 

At the summit, world leaders, scientists and activists called for urgent action to reduce emissions and slow the rise in average global temperatures before the world crosses a threshold into an unlivable future. Instead, the conference delegates drafted what amounts to a series of strategy statements, with lofty goals but only a few specific targets. Taken together, the Paris Agreement and COP26 have done important, but only incremental, work to reduce hydrocarbon emissions.  ...

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