World leaders gathered in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday for a family photograph at this year’s annual UN climate conference.
Discussions at COP27 will be held on how to deal with a worsening problem that scientists’ call Earth’s biggest challenge.
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Much of the focus will be on national leaders telling their stories of being devastated by climate disasters, culminating on Tuesday with a speech by Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Sharif, whose country’s summer floods caused at least $40 billion in damage and displaced millions of people.
Most of the leaders are meeting on Monday and Tuesday, just as the US has a potentially policy-shifting midterm election.
Leaders of two of the three biggest carbon polluting nations - China and India - appear to be skipping the climate talks, although underlings were in the resort town negotiating.
The leader of the other top polluting country - US President Joe Biden - is coming days later than most of the other presidents and prime ministers on his way to Bali.
And Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine created energy chaos that reverberates in the world of climate negotiations, didn’t travel to Egypt.
The leaders showing up in droves are from the host continent Africa.
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