Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky stressed on Tuesday that the international community needs peace to have joint and effective actions to respond to the climate crisis, in a virtual address to the UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt.
“We must stop those who, with their insane and illegal war, are destroying the world’s ability to work united for a common goal,” Zelensky said in a pre-recorded video message.
“There can be no effective climate policy without peace on earth because in fact nations are thinking only about how to protect themselves here and now from the threats created in particular by the Russian aggression,” he added.
He pointed at the potential danger of a nuclear accident at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, where shelling continues in the area. The power plant has lost external electricity power several times since the war first broke out, forcing it to temporarily switch to diesel generators.
“Who will care, for example, about the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere if part of Europe or the Middle East and possibly Northern Africa, God forbid, are covered by a radiation cloud after an accident in Zaporizhzhia?” Zelensky said.
“We must ensure that suffering doesn’t multiply because the world doesn’t have time to respond to climate challenges. But to do this we need joint [and] effective actions and for that we need peace,” he added.