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Good morning, this is Pip, and as Cop27 wraps up in Sharm el-Sheikh today, we’re hearing why some organisations and countries are calling on wealthy nations to spend less on conflict and more on fighting climate change.

And over in Dublin today, 75 countries are expected to adopt a key agreement, finalised this summer in Geneva, to curb the use of explosive weapons in urban areas, signalling a breakthrough for civilians after three years of talks.

photo journaliste

Pip Cook


What if countries spent less on conflict and more on climate?

Photo article

Climate activists protest outside COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 12 November. (Keystone/EPA/Sedat Suna)

At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly in September last year, Colombia’s president Gustavo Petro took to the podium and asked: “What is the use of war if what we need is to save the human species?”

In a fiery address that was far removed from the carefully worded, diplomatic statements typically heard in the halls of the UN, Petro accused the global north of turning a blind eye to the destruction of the planet while using war as an excuse not to combat climate change.

Gustavo’s words were echoed by a number of other leaders from nations bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. “Sadly more resources are spent on wars than on combating climate change,” Manasseh Sogavare, the prime minister of the Solomon Islands, declared. “This is extremely unfortunate.”

As the UN climate summit wraps up today in Sharm el-Sheikh, the question of whether western countries should be spending less on their militaries and more on fighting climate change has not featured on the formal agenda. But a number of civil society organisations present at the conference were keen to raise the issue on behalf of countries at the frontline of the crisis.

Read the full story on Geneva Solutions

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