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Greta Thunberg Calls COP26 Climate Summit ‘A Failure’

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Greta Thunberg Calls COP26 Climate Summit 'A Failure'

“They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us,” said Greta Thunberg.

Glasgow:

Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg on Friday branded the UN climate summit in Glasgow a “failure” during a mass protest in the Scottish city demanding quicker action from leaders to address the emergency.

Thunberg said pledges from some nations made during COP26 to accelerate their emissions cuts amounted to little more than “a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah”.

“It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure,” she told the thousands of people at the protest.

“This is no longer a climate conference. This is now a global greenwashing festival.”

Delegates from nearly 200 countries are in Glasgow to hammer out how to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

The first week of talks saw countries announce plans to phase out coal use and to end foreign fossil fuel funding, but there were few details on how they plan the mass decarbonisation scientists say is needed.

The promises followed a major assessment that showed global CO2 emissions are set to rebound in 2021 to pre-pandemic levels.

“They cannot ignore the scientific consensus and they cannot ignore us,” said Thunberg.

“Our leaders are not leading. This is what leadership looks like,” she said gesturing to the crowd.

Two days of demonstrations are planned by activist groups to highlight the disconnect between the glacial pace of emissions reductions and the climate emergency already swamping countries across the world.

– Some progress –

Onlookers to Friday’s march lined the streets and hung out of windows to watch the stream of protestors, who held banners reading “No Planet B” and “Climate Action Now”.

“I’m here because the world leaders are deciding the fate of our future and the present of people that have already been impacted by climate crisis,” said 18-year-old Valentina Ruas.

“We won’t accept anything that isn’t real climate policy centred on climate justice.”

Students were out in force, with some schools allowing pupils to skip lessons to see the march and one young green warrior holding a placard that read: “Climate change is worse than homework”.

Experts say a commitment made during the high-level leaders’ summit at the start of COP26 by more than 100 nations to cut methane emissions by at least 30 percent this decade will have a real short-term impact on global heating.

But environmental groups pointed out that governments, particularly wealthy polluters, have a habit of failing to live up to their promises.

Vanessa Nakate told the crowd that people in her native Uganda were “being erased” by climate change.

“People are dying, children are dropping out of school, farms are being destroyed,” she said.

“Another world is necessary. Another world is possible.”

– ‘Take responsibility’ –

Countries came into COP26 with national climate plans that, when brought together, put Earth on course to warm 2.7C this century, according to the UN.

With just 1.1C of warming so far, communities across the world are already facing ever more intense fire and drought, displacement and economic ruin wrought by the Earth’s heating climate.

“Scientists have done what they need to do, they’ve told us about the problem. Young people have done what they need to do by calling attention to this issue,” said Natalie Tariro Chido Mangondo, a Zimbabwean climate and gender advocate.

“And it’s just up to our leaders to get their act together.”

Campaigners say they expect up to 50,000 demonstrators in the Scottish city on Saturday as part of a global round of climate protests.

Summit organisers on Thursday confirmed a number of positive Covid-19 tests among attendees, but have said they will not provide figures on how many.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Oil crashes as coronavirus strain threatens demand recovery | Oil and Gas News

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The emergence of the new strain represents the biggest threat to the recovery in global oil consumption.

Oil prices crashed more than 10% as a new coronavirus strain sparked fears that renewed lockdowns will threaten a global recovery in demand.

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled below the $70-a-barrel level on Friday for the first time since late September, while the global benchmark price, Brent, slumped to less than $75.

The downward spiral in prices comes three days after a U.S.-led effort by top consuming nations to release stockpiled crude in an attempt to tame surging energy inflation. Next weeks OPEC+ meeting will now take on an even greater significance, as the producer group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia must decide whether to continue ratcheting up supply or pause the increases in response to the latest market volatility. OPEC+ is leaning towardabandoninga plan for a modest production hike scheduled for January when it meets on Dec. 1 to 2, according to delegates.

The identification of the new Covid variant has already prompted the U.S., the European Union and the U.K. to restrict air travel and triggered a selloff across financial markets, even as researchers have yet to determine whether its more transmissible or lethal than previous strains.

The development apparently wrong-footed many in the oil market who had been comforted by low inventory levels and demand that had rebounded to 2019 levels, said Rebecca Babin, senior energy trader at CIBC Private Wealth Management.

It was a lack of downside that had us continuing to think nothing bad could happen, she said. No one was thinking we could get a variant that were not familiar with and it could have meaningful impact.

The price plunge marks a dramatic change in market sentiment. Crude hit multiyear highs in recent months amid an energy crisis in Europe and China that had also sparked rallies in prices for coal and natural gas. Some traders and analysts predicted oil could reach $100 a barrel or more.

High gasoline retail prices prompted U.S. President Joe Biden to seek ways to ease the pressure on consumers, leading to Tuesdaysannouncementthat the U.S. will release 50 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, with China, Japan, India, South Korea and the U.K. also set to tap inventories. Still, oil rose on the day that the move was confirmed, suggesting traders had already priced in the new supply, or that they were underwhelmed by the supply response.

OPEC+ had warned previously it would reconsider a potential output increase if other nations went ahead with a reserve release. UBS Group AG said Friday that OPEC+ could choose to pause its current planned output hike of 400,000 barrels a day, or even cut production.

Prices

  • West Texas Intermediate for January fell $10.24, or 13.1%, from Wednesdays close to settle at $68.15 a barrel in New York. The decline was the largest since April 2020.
  • There was no settlement Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday and all transactions will be booked Friday
  • Brent for January settlement tumbled $9.50 to settle at $72.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange

Fridays oil selloff was likely exacerbated by a lack of trading activity during the U.S. holiday period, coming a day after Thanksgiving, and as the New York market closed early.

Its a sign the market got carried away from itself and that we still remain very vulnerable to Covid-19, said John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital LLC.

Aside from the headline prices, crude traders also watched several other notable shifts in the market. WTI crude futures closed below its 200-day and 100-day moving averages, signs of technical weakness. The extreme pressure on the U.S. benchmark meant its discount to Brent expanded, reaching the widest since May 2020.

The picture wasnt much brighter in oil-product markets, the part of the oil complex most directly affected by end-user demand.Dieselplunged, particularly in Asia, as the market began to price in a potential renewed hit to economic growth.

This is a huge overreaction in terms of the market, Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultant Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a Bloomberg Television interview. This is the market pricing in the worst possible scenarios.

Other key news:

Chinas ambiguity on whether it will join the U.S.-led coordinated release of oil reserves is aimed at a domestic audience to show Beijing isnt following Washington, according to government officials involved in the discussions.

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Even fully vaccinated, you’re anti-vax if you oppose mandates, Australian minister declares RT World News

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People who oppose Covid-19 vaccine mandates are anti-vaxxers, pure and simple, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said during a heated press conference, noting more positive cases in his state were expected.

Gunner made it more than clear during a press conference in which he was asked if his hardline stance on vaccine mandates might have turned some away from getting the jab that anyone who wasn’t 100% for the state’s increasingly draconian vaccination mandates was a true “anti-vaxxer.” Even if they themselves had been vaccinated, he argued, Australians were either with the virus or with the mandates.

If you give a green light, give comfort to, support anybody who argues against the vaccine, you are an anti-vaxxer. Your personal vaccination status is utterly irrelevant,” Gunner declared.

The term ‘anti-vaxxer’, previously used to denote a parent who opposed vaccination for their children, has seen its meaning expanded during the Covid-19 pandemic to include anyone who opposes vaccination for themselves – and now, in the eyes of ardent vaccine supporters, anyone who opposes a mandate, whether or not they themselves have taken the shot.

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The politician whos used Covid to restrict peoples rights to an unprecedented level strikes again

The politician whos used Covid to restrict peoples rights to an unprecedented level strikes again

If you’re out there in any way, shape or form campaigning against the mandate, then you are absolutely anti-vax,” he continued, insisting the state’s vaccination mandate was “absolutely critical” to saving lives. “I will never back away from supporting vaccines, and anyone out there who comes for the mandate, you are anti-vax,” Gunner snarled.

A lockdown in the state’s town of Katherine was set to be extended until 6pm local time Wednesday night because with 1,300 test results still outstanding, the authorities were “still expecting more positive cases.” Two cases had been detected on Monday – a 67-year-old man and a 33-year-old mother said to be a “close contact of a confirmed case.” However, her child had repeatedly tested negative. 

Despite the paucity of cases, Gunner insisted it was “highly likely” there were other positive cases in the area, citing “continual positive traces” in the wastewater catchment area of the neighborhood, but allowed the nearby Robinson River area to move out of lockdown, giving residents the freedom to move around so long as they did not leave the neighborhood.

The minister insisted “enforcement, rather than encouragement” was the only way to get vaccination levels to the desired target.

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Go through, go, Lukashenko tells asylum seekers near EU border | News

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Belarusian leader makes first public appearance near the chaotic border since crisis broke out.

With no end in sight for the weeks-long crisis at the European Unions eastern frontier, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has told hopeful asylum seekers that his country would not stop them from attempting to cross into the bloc.

Addressing a group on Friday, his first public appearance at the border since the start of the crisis, Lukashenko met asylum seekers and refugees at a warehouse turned into a shelter and told them they were free to head west or go home as they chose.

An Iraqi teenager told Lukashenko she could not return home and hoped to continue on to Europe.

We wont only hope, Lukashenko answered. We will work together on your dream.

Lukashenko said no one would be coerced.

If you want to go westwards, we wont detain you, choke you, beat you, he said as hundreds applauded. Its up to you. Go through. Go.

He added, We wont in any circumstances detain you, tie your hands and load you on planes to send you home if you dont want that.

Belaruss President Alexander Lukashenko visits a centre for asylum seekers and refugees near the Bruzgi border point on the Belarus-Poland border [Maxim Guchek/Belta/AFP]

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers are stuck between Belarus and Poland, in what the EU has said is a crisis Minsk engineered by distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying them in and pushing them across the border.

Lukashenko said it was the EU that deliberately provoked a humanitarian crisis that needed to be resolved.

On Friday, he told the asylum seekers he would not play politics with their fate.

Hybrid war

Poland and other EU nations have argued the crisis is part of a hybrid war Minsk is waging in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed in response to Lukashenkos crushing of protests against his disputed re-election last year and is designed to destabilise the bloc.

The EU has agreed on new sanctions in response to the border crisis, which diplomats in Brussels said should be approved and adopted in early December.

Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have deployed thousands of border guards, soldiers and police to seal the border and push back people attempting to cross over from Belarus.

On Friday, Lithuania said it could close its border crossings if more attempted to cross from Belarus in trucks.

Belarus has begun to fly some people home.

On Friday, two planes brought hundreds of Iraqis back from Belarus to Erbil, capital of Iraqs Kurdish autonomous region.

Two more flights were expected on November 26 and 27, the TASS news agency reported.

Warsaw has said the repatriation of refugees and asylum seekers marked a change of tactics rather than a genuine attempt at de-escalation and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, touring European capitals this week to rally support for a tough response, has raised the possibility of further sanctions if the crisis escalated.

Poland and Lithuania have continued to report crossing attempts by people who are increasingly desperate with the onset of winter conditions. Polish authorities also reported unrest at one of the detention centres set up for refugees and asylum seekers who made their way into the country.

The issue has exacerbated strife between Russia, which is Belaruss main backer, and the EU, whose ties have been at post-Cold War lows since Moscows annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped Lukashenko ride out mass street protests after last years election, has also supported Minsk in its most recent standoff with the EU.

Meanwhile, humanitarian fears are growing, with the reported deaths of at least a dozen refugees and asylum seekers in the past few weeks. The real number of casualties is widely understood to be higher.

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