Al Gore Urges World Leaders: “This is No Time for Moral Cowardice”

al gore standing on stage at a podium with a blue background, giving a speech at cop27
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Al Gore Urges World Leaders: “This is No Time for Moral Cowardice”

“This is a time for a global epiphany, this is no time for moral cowardice and reckless indifference to the future of humanity,” former US Vice President and climate activist Al Gore said today in a speech at the official opening of the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The climate of exhortation marked the speeches of world leaders that followed one another throughout this Monday. More than 100 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state are gathered to discuss complex topics, such as climate finance, and bring forward their demands.

Brazil did not send any representative to this first round of speeches, but that did not stop it from being mentioned. In his speech, Al Gore indirectly mentioned the victory of president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, when he said that humanity has the potential to choose less destructive paths.

Lula, as he is known, won the presidential elections against Jair Bolsonaro in October 31th. “[…] we have the basis for hope. Just a few days ago, the people of Brazil chose to stop the destruction of the Amazon,” he said.

Al Gore previously congratulated Lula on his victory on his Twitter account: “Today's election results mark a significant turning point for Brazil's future and demonstrate the power of democracy to advance progress for our planet and its people. I offer my congratulations to President-elect Lula da Silva. The world looks forward to Brazil's renewed leadership in driving solutions to the climate crisis and halting the loss of biodiversity,” he said on the occasion.

The absence of the Brazilian government was also felt in the country's official pavilion. Little is known about what will happen there in the coming days. This is because, unlike other countries and the non-governmental organizations themselves, which have already made public the activities that will be carried out during the two weeks of COP, Brazil has not yet released its list of events.

A previous printed agenda could be consulted in person at the Brazil stand, but it was not allowed to photograph or make copies of it. In this agenda, it was stated that Brazil will be officially represented by the Brazilian Environmental Minister, Joaquim Leite. He is expected to arrive at the begining of next week, for an event on November 15.

This is a summary. Read the full story in Portuguese on ((o)) eco's website.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. It was first published by in Portuguese by ((o)) eco on 7 November and has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Banner image: Al Gore speaking at COP27 / Credit: UNFCCC.

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