News Release

Climate Meeting: “A Coverup of Their Own Irresponsibility”


Residents in a flooded quarter of Karachi, Pakistan, August 2022

BASAV SEN,, @basavips
Sen is director of the Climate Policy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “As world leaders assemble in Egypt for the UN climate talks, COP27 [Conference of the Parties], we’re once again seeing efforts by wealthy countries to evade their own responsibilities. They continue to push dangerous false solutions such as technological carbon removal and carbon offsets instead of rapidly cutting their own emissions, thereby making a giant high-risk bet on the future of humanity. Most irresponsibly, the U.S. continues to expand its oil and gas production. Rich countries’ intransigence threatens vulnerable people in the Global South. And it also threatens environmental justice communities at home who bear the brunt of oil and gas pollution. The hypocrisy of rich countries, particularly the U.S., needs to become more of a global scandal, including here in the U.S.

“Wealthy countries are still pushing offsets through negotiations on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Now, they are evidently pushing an even more dangerous scheme, where polluters can claim offsets from so-called ‘direct air capture’ or ‘technological carbon removal’ projects. The reason they’re so dangerous is that they pretty much don’t exist, except for a handful of experimental projects. So the scheme is essentially a bet on technologies that don’t exist to save us, instead of requiring polluters to cut their emissions now.

“Also, the U.S. (the unofficial leader of the rich countries) is, as we know, expanding oil and gas production, pipelines, petrochemical and plastics production, and export terminals on a massive scale. Just based on this, no one should take anything John Kerry or Biden says seriously. Everything they say at COP27 needs to be understood in this context — a coverup of their own irresponsibility.”