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The world’s largest plastic waste pyramid is revealed in Egypt ahead of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Zero Co/The Hidden Sea/Cover Ima via Reuters Connect

What to expect from COP27: “It’s pretty grim”

Last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where central governments and the private sector worked together in unforeseen ways, gave us reason to hope for climate progress. Nearly 200 countries gathered to agree on details of the Paris Agreement with an eye toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C. This year was meant to be all about implementation.

But in the last 12 months, the world’s been rocked by war in Europe, soaring inflation, and deepening political and economic divides between rich and poor countries. As world leaders descend this weekend on the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh for the COP27 climate summit, climate warriors are wondering what can be done at this pivotal moment to save the planet.

We spoke with our very own climate expert, Eurasia Group’s Vice Chairman Gerald Butts, for a reality check on the goals and possibilities for this year’s COP27. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Eurasia Group’s Gerald Butts: US climate change debate has moved from finger-pointing to solutions
EG’s Gerry Butts: US Climate Change Debate Moves From Finger-pointing to Solutions | Global Stage

Eurasia Group’s Gerald Butts: US climate change debate has moved from finger-pointing to solutions

Five years ago, for the US president to say it's time to move away from fossil fuels sounded like an episode of The West Wing. Not anymore, says Eurasia Group Vice Chairman Gerald Butts. In his view, the climate debate in the West has (finally) moved from who's responsible, to what we're going to do about it — "much more productive ground." Butts admits the enormous inertia in the US political system that'll fight change on climate, but ultimately believes that "when you take the very long view, the direction of travel of has set in."

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