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Current climate pledges could still see Earth warming up to `catastrophic` 2.9C: UN report – WION

The greenhouse gas reduction pledges adopted by the countries are insufficient to attain the pre-industrial level global temperatures, the United Nations said in its report on Monday (Nov 19).

The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) annual Emissions Gap report said that based on existing policies and emissions-cutting efforts, the planet’s temperature could still go up to a catastrophic 2.9 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The report, which was released just ahead of crucial COP28 climate talks, warns that nations’ decarbonisation plans would still see the planet heat between 2.5C and 2.9C by this century.

It also noted that 2023 would be the hottest in human history, adding that “the world is witnessing a disturbing acceleration in the number, speed and scale of broken climate records”.

“Due to the failure to stringently reduce emissions in high-income and high-emitting countries (which bear the greatest responsibility for past emissions) and to limit emissions growth in low- and middle-income countries (which account for the majority of current emissions), unprecedented action is now needed by all countries,” the report said.

World continues to pump record levels of emissions 

It said that the world continues to pump record levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, with emissions up 1.2 per cent from 2021 to 2022, thanks to burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes.

UNEP chief Inger Andersen urged the G20 nations – the world’s wealthiest economies responsible for around 80 per cent of emissions –to lead on reductions, but noted some were in “snooze mode”.

“It is absolutely critical that the G-20 step up,” she said, according to AFP news agency.

The UNEP report stated that Paris Agreement goals can still be fulfilled if countries adopt strong mitigation measures this decade to narrow the emissions gap.

Silver lining 

Under the 2015 deal, countries had agreed to limit global warming at “well below” 2 degrees C above pre-industrial times – with a safer limit of 1.5 degrees C if possible.

However till this year, countries have already emitted nearly 1.2 degrees C of global heating, the impact of which could be seen across the planet, the report said.

UNEP said temperatures have gone above 1.5 deg C for more than 80 days already in 2023, although the Paris warming thresholds will be measured as an average over several decades.

However, UNEP chief expressed optimism in making progress in the upcoming COP28 summit on Nov 30 in Dubai, despite the fissures caused by the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas conflict.

“Countries and delegations understand that, irrespective of these deep divisions that do exist and that are undeniable, the environment doesn’t wait and climate most certainly will not,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Galway honour three Ireland rugby stars celebrating their sporting … – Irish Independent

Mayor of the City of Galway, Cllr Eddie Hoare, with Connacht Rugby and Irish international players Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen and Finlay Bealham

Erika Sassone

Today at 17:30

Three Connacht and Ireland rugby stars have been honoured by Galway City Council.

On Tuesday November 28, a mayoral reception was held in City Hall for rugby players Bundee Aki, Finlay Bealham and Mack Hansen.

The trio were honoured by Galway City Council for their sporting achievements in this year’s Six Nations, at the Rugby World Cup, and as part of the Connacht Rugby squad.

Cllr. Eddie Hoare, Mayor of the City of Galway, said: “Every try, every point, every ruck, every line out, every throw in – whether we were in Knocknacarra or Westside or Mervue or France – we were there with you at the Rugby World Cup. All of us are here today to acknowledge you – your sporting prowess, your dedication, your sportsmanship – that is an example to any young player in any sport. There’s no doubt you have inspired a new generation of rugby players in Galway and in Ireland.

“We have a number of clubs in the city with boys and girls taking to the pitch every day of the week, inspired by what you did at the World Cup, the Six Nations, and in Connacht Rugby. Your energy, your physicality, your prowess – the preparation you put in – are an example to them. We share our gratitude and thanks to your families, friends and teams at home, who set you on the course to be here with us today in Ireland.”

The Mayor also recognised the essential work of Connacht Rugby in bringing world-class players to the province.

Galway City Council is sponsor of Connacht Rugby through the Marketing Fund. The Fund supports events and activities that drive footfall into the City Centre during the tourism off season. Connacht Rugby plays a huge contribution to the economic, sporting and social activity in Galway City. Mayor Hoare closed the event by wishing all in Connacht Rugby the best for the remainder of their 2023 Fixtures, and in 2024.

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Stock market news today: US stocks split as Fed’s favorite inflation … – Yahoo Finance

OPEC+ agrees on additional output cuts

Oil has had a volatile trading session in reaction to the latest production decision from OPEC+. After initially trading higher, West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) futures fell nearly 2% after 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Yahoo Finance’s Ines Ferre reports:

The OPEC+ group on Thursday agreed to additional output curbs of 1 million barrels per day in a move that could send oil prices higher. The deeper reductions come alongside an extension of Saudi Arabia’s unilateral reduction of 1 million barrels per day.

The move was reported by multiple outlets, citing delegates at the group’s meeting. Members of OPEC+, the consortium of some the world’s largest producers and its allies, will vote on the deal at the group’s meeting Thursday.

“Production increases in the U.S., Guyana and Brazil will soften the blow caused by OPEC’s announced production cuts but that doesn’t mean consumers in the US won’t feel some sting from this at the pump,” KPMG US energy leader Angie Gildea said immediately following the announcement.

“Further, even though weaker global economic expectations have been keeping prices relatively low right now, it just takes one wildcard event to disrupt the market and put us back in a tight supply situation that could send prices back up,” added Gildea.

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Thu. 10:06 a.m.: Global leaders pay tribute to Henry Kissinger, but … – Warren Tribune Chronicle

In this Nov. 2, 2015, photo, China’s President Xi Jinping, right, listens to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who led the China-U.S Track Two Dialogue, during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Kissinger, the diplomat with the thick glasses and gravelly voice who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam and broke down barriers with China, died Wednesday. He was 100. (Jason Lee/Pool Photo via AP, File)



TOKYO (AP) — Global leaders paid tribute to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger this morning, but there was also sharp criticism of the man who remained an influential figure decades after his official service as one of the most powerful diplomats in American history.

Kissinger, who died Wednesday at 100, drew praise as a skilled defender of U.S. interests. On social media, though, he was widely called a war criminal who left lasting damage throughout the world.

“America has lost one of the most dependable and distinctive voices” on foreign affairs, said former President George W. Bush, striking a tone shared by many high-level officials past and present.

“I have long admired the man who fled the Nazis as a young boy from a Jewish family, then fought them in the United States Army,” Bush said in a statement. “When he later became Secretary of State, his appointment as a former refugee said as much about his greatness as it did America’s greatness.”

Kissinger served two presidents, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and dominated foreign policy as the United States withdrew from Vietnam and established ties with China.

Criticism of Kissinger, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating a cease-fire in Vietnam in 1973, was especially strong on social media, where many posted celebratory videos in reaction to his death.

A Rolling Stone magazine headline said, “Henry Kissinger, war criminal beloved by America’s ruling class, finally dies.”

Across South America, Kissinger is remembered as a key figure that helped prop up bloody military dictatorships, claiming they would put the brakes on socialism in the region. Documents have shown Kissinger’s and Nixon’s support for the 1973 coup that deposed Chile’s president. Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship went on to violate human rights, murder opponents, cancel elections, restrict the media, suppress labor unions and disband political parties.

“A man has died whose historical brilliance never managed to conceal his profound moral misery,” Chile’s Ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdes, wrote on X. Chile’s leftist President Gabriel Boric retweeted the message.

The head of the independent Documentation Center of Cambodia, Youk Chhang, described Kissinger’s legacy as “controversial” though not widely debated in the country. Well over half of the population was born after the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979, and even those who lived through the civil war and the group’s brutal rule recall the U.S. involvement and its B-52 bombers, “but not Henry Kissinger,” he said.

“Henry Kissinger’s bombing campaign likely killed hundreds of thousands of Cambodians — and set (a) path for the ravages of the Khmer Rouge,” Sophal Ear, a scholar at Arizona State University who studies Cambodia’s political economy, wrote on The Conversation.

“The cluster bombs dropped on Cambodia under Kissinger’s watch continue to destroy the lives of any man, woman or child who happens across them,” Sophal Ear wrote.

Kissinger’s legacy in Africa is pinned for many historians on his official visit to apartheid South Africa in 1976, just a few months after the apartheid regime’s police had killed more than 170 Black protesters, most of them schoolchildren, in the Soweto uprising.

At the time, the United States was allied with apartheid South Africa as a buffer against Soviet influence in Africa during the Cold War. Kissinger saw South Africa as “merely a gambit in the game of the Cold War,” said Prof. John Stremlau, Honorary Professor of International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and a former vice president for peace programs at The Carter Center.

“He (Kissinger) never, I think, saw Africa as anything more than instrumentality in the larger geopolitical game,” Stremlau said. “And so therefore not recognizing that Africa had its own integrity and its own drives and its own ambitions and its own values that needed to be accommodated.”

China’s President Xi Jinping sent President Joe Biden a message of condolence this morning.

“Dr. Kissinger will always be remembered and missed by the Chinese people,” the message said, according to state broadcaster CCTV. Further, “China is ready to work with the United States to carry on the cause of friendship between the Chinese and American people, to promote the healthy and stable development of China-United States relations for the benefit of the two peoples, and to make due contributions to world peace and development.”

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called Kissinger an “old friend and good friend of the Chinese people, and a pioneer and builder of China-U.S. relations.”

Many on social media in China mourned his passing. CCTV shared on social media an old segment showing Kissinger’s first secret visit to China in 1971, when he broached the possibility of establishing U.S.-China relations and met then-Premier Zhou Enlai.

Kissinger exerted uncommon influence on global affairs long after he left office. In July, for instance, he met Xi Jinping in Beijing while U.S.-Chinese relations were at a low point.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid tribute to Kissinger, praising his contributions to the peace in the region, especially his role in normalizing U.S.-China relations, saying he learned a lot from the former diplomat.

“I myself had the privilege of meeting him in person a number of times since I was younger and had the honor of learning from his insights,” Kishida told reporters in Tokyo.

“Henry Kissinger’s strategy and excellence in diplomacy has shaped global politics throughout the 20th century,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement posted on X. “His influence and legacy will continue to reverberate well into the 21st century.”

Kissinger initiated the Paris negotiations that ultimately provided a face-saving means to get the United States out of a costly war in Vietnam.

Nixon’s daughters, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, said their father and Kissinger enjoyed “a partnership that produced a generation of peace for our nation.”

“Dr. Kissinger played an important role in the historic opening to the People’s Republic of China and in advancing détente with the Soviet Union, bold initiatives which initiated the beginning of the end of the Cold War,” the Nixon daughters said in a statement. “His ‘shuttle diplomacy’ to the Middle East helped to advance the relaxation of tensions in that troubled region of the world.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was “in awe” of Kissinger.

“Of course, like anyone who has confronted the most difficult problems of international politics, he was criticized at times, even denounced,” Blair said. “But I believe he was always motivated not from a coarse ‘realpolitik,’ but from a genuine love of the free world and the need to protect it. He was a problem solver, whether in respect of the Cold War, the Middle East or China and its rise.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said as he met U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv that Kissinger “laid the cornerstone of the peace agreement, which (was) later signed with Egypt, and so many other processes around the world I admire.”

Blinken said Kissinger “really set the standard for everyone who followed in this job” and that he was “very privileged to get his counsel many times, including as recently as about a month ago.”

“Few people were better students of history,” he said. “Even fewer people did more to shape history than Henry Kissinger.”

U.S. climate envoy and former secretary of state John Kerry called Kissinger “a major figure in global politics.”

“I’ve put out a public statement that honors his incredible service, historic individual,” Kerry said while in Dubai for the U.N. climate conference, or COP 28. “And our thoughts are with the family.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a message to Kissinger’s wife that he was “a wise and far-sighted statesman” and his name “is inextricably linked with a pragmatic foreign policy line, which at one time made it possible to achieve detente in international tensions and reach the most important Soviet-American agreements that contributed to the strengthening of global security.”

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on X that “Henry Kissinger was a giant of history. His century of ideas and of diplomacy had a lasting influence on his time and on our world.”

Leaders of Kissinger’s native Germany paid tribute to the former diplomat, a Jew who fled Nazi rule with his family in his teens.

“His commitment to the transatlantic friendship between the USA and Germany was significant, and he always remained close to his German homeland,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X.

In a message of condolences to Kissinger’s family, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote that “with his détente and disarmament policy, Henry Kissinger laid the foundation for the end of the Cold War and the democratic transition in eastern Europe” which led to Germany’s reunification.

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