Pedro descended on the climate summit with a strong message: “COP is not working, we need to take action.”

The Egyptian delegation welcomed Colombian President Gustavo Pedro in Sharm el-Sheikh this Sunday.Colombian Presidency

Gustavo Pedro will receive his first intervention this Monday World Climate Summit (COP27) At the table where Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden and others are sitting. Colombia’s president will spend three minutes explaining his stance on protecting the Amazon and against dependence on fossil fuels. It’s difficult to summarize in those 180 seconds, especially for a speaker like him, who has written a decalogue that tends to stretch. For this reason, he admits, he might be tempted to tear up the papers at the time and send a forceful message that “the COP is not working, we need to take action.”

A staunch environmentalist since years in exile in Brussels, the president landed with the chancellor and two of his ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian city nestled between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. Pedro looked out the window of the military plane in which he sailed through a sea of ​​windswept sand. A few hours earlier, he had made a stopover in Cape Verde A two-hour meeting with Lula da Silva, the winner of Brazil’s recent election, was scheduled for two hours while the planes were refueling., he is a politician who feels genuine admiration. But due to coordination problems, the meeting did not take place, and the president only held talks with the Colombian ambassador to the archipelago. A few stoic African soldiers, fully dressed and sleepy-faced, made him the hall of honor despite the fact that it was three in the morning and the airport was empty of activity.

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On the plane, the president pondered the worst possible means of dealing with a pressing issue like climate. He thinks that at summits like the one he’s going to attend, leaders make political decisions, and then some technical team tries to implement what they can. The answer is usually not enough. Pedro will be content to leave here with a real commitment to protecting the Amazon, especially from Latin American countries.

There are conflicting interests in this matter. At a meeting in Caracas last week, he convinced Colombian President Maduro to form a common front to protect forests. But the Venezuelan position is, in fact, conservative in taking concrete steps against climate change. Chavismo has typically partnered with other oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia rather than natural partners such as Petro in these forums.

The Colombian president also recognizes that his radical message to bury dependence on oil and coal forever clashes with the interests of other countries more powerful than his own. India argues that the governments of the world’s major economies used these resources to develop and now cannot stop them from doing so. Petrova has met with the reluctance of his economy minister, the prestigious José Antonio Campo, who, while more militant, is still an important source of income for the state coffers. Both share the idea that Latin America – and Colombia in particular – must stop being an extractive economy, but one is in a hurry to make it happen, while the other thinks the transition should be gradual and more progressive.

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His intervention in the general debate of this United Nations conference will follow this difficult course. In between, he will meet UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and attend an all-leaders reception hosted by Egypt in the evening. It comes with the conviction that action is necessary at least once. He also knows that those big deals he wants to sign will ultimately end up being negotiations between the US and China. He tries to find a place with his rower among these sea boats.

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Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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