Treaty against fossil fuels floated at UN climate summit

Nov 8, 2022, 6:07 AM | Updated: 4:34 pm
People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in...

People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The world should confront climate change the way it does nuclear weapons, by agreeing to a non-proliferation treaty that stops further production of fossil fuels, a small island nation leader urged Tuesday.

The proposal by Tuvalu came as vulnerable nations pushed for more action and money at international climate talks in Egypt, while big polluters remained divided over who should pay for the damage industrial greenhouse gas emissions have done to the planet.

“We all know that the leading cause of climate crisis is fossil fuels,” Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Natano told his fellow leaders.

The Pacific country has “joined Vanuatu and other nations calling for a fossil fuels non-proliferation treaty,” Natano said. “It’s getting too hot and there is very (little) time to slow and reverse the increasing temperature. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize fast-acting strategies.”

Vanuatu and Tuvalu, along with other vulnerable nations, have been flexing their moral authority against the backdrop of recent climate-related disasters. The idea of a non-proliferation treaty for coal, oil and natural gas has previously been advanced by campaigners, religious authorities including the Vatican, and some scientists, but Natano’s speech gave it a boost in front of a global audience.

A year ago at climate talks in Glasgow, a proposal to call for a “phase out” of coal — the dirtiest of the fossil fuels — was changed at the last minute to “phase down” by a demand from India, earning the wrath of vulnerable countries.

Since then the global energy crunch triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has prompted a scramble by some countries and companies seeking to tap fresh gas and oil sources.

Pushing back against that, vulnerable nations also called for a global tax on the profits of fossil fuel corporations that are making billions of dollars daily from sky-high energy prices.

“It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage,” said Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda. “Profligate producers of fossil fuels have benefited from extortionate profits at the expense of human civilization.”

The idea of a windfall tax on carbon profits has gained traction in recent months amid sky-high earnings for oil and gas corporations even as consumers struggle to pay for heating their homes and filling their cars. For the first time, U.N. climate conference delegates are to discuss demands by developing nations that the richest, most polluting countries pay compensation for damage wreaked on them by climate change, which in climate negotiations is called “loss and damage.”

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said fossil fuel companies should contribute to those funds, which would provide vulnerable countries with financial aid for the climate-related losses they are suffering.

Other leaders rejected the idea.

“I think this is not the place now to develop tax rules, but rather to jointly develop measures to protect against the consequences of climate change,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters.

If the small islands can’t get a global tax on fossil fuel profits, Antigua’s Browne suggested going to international courts to get polluters to pay. Scientists from Dartmouth College calculated specific damages for all the world’s countries and how much was caused by other nations, saying it would work well in international court cases.

Browne quoted William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” in sharing his frustration with lack of action.

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death,” Browne said.

Despite 27 climate summits “tomorrow has not come,” he said.

Speaking for a country that has suffered from the consequences of climate change recently, Somalia’s president said it faces “one of the worst droughts in modern history.”

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said more than 7 million Somalis, or about half the population, cannot meet their basic food needs as the Horn of Africa region has seen two years of failed rains.

“We are trying desperately to respond,” he said. The drought has killed thousands of people, many of them children. It is also reshaping Somalia’s landscape as the country struggles with one of the world’s fastest urbanization rates as many people flee parched areas.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif told fellow leaders how his country was struck by catastrophic floods in recent months that affected 33 million people and caused more than $30 billion in economic damage.

“This all happened despite our very low carbon footprints,” Sharif said, insisting: “Of course it was a manmade disaster.”

Sharif called for additional financial support for his country and others suffering from the effects of climate change, saying money to help Pakistan rebuild after the floods should be on top of other aid and not come in the form of loans. Further debts, he said “would be a financial death trap.”

The president of Malawi, meanwhile, praised those leaders present in Egypt for simply showing up.

“The temptation to abstain from COP this year was great,” President Lazarus Chakwera said, referring to the talks by their U.N. acronym, “because of the great and unprecedented economic hardships your citizens are suffering.”

“But you resisted this temptation and chose the path of courage,” he said.

Chakwerea said any agreements forged at the two-week meeting should recognize the different abilities of countries such as the United States and China, and developing nations like his own.

There is growing pressure on Beijing to step up its climate efforts given its massive economic clout.

So far, the world’s biggest polluter has insisted that it cannot be held to the same standards as developed economies like the United States or Europe because it is still lifting millions of its citizens out of poverty.

Beijing’s climate envoy said Tuesday that the meeting in Egypt should focus on “implementation” of existing pledges.

“The developed countries will take the lead in effectively scaling up their emission reduction targets and achieving carbon neutrality ahead of time,” Xie Zhenhua said, according to an official translation of the speech.

Xie said it was up to developed countries to “achieve substantive results” on measures for adapting to climate change and financial aid for the poor that are “of greatest concern to developing countries.”

The U.S. mid-term elections were hanging over the talks, with many environmental campaigners worried that defeat for the Democrats could make it harder for President Joe Biden to pursue his ambitious climate agenda.

Also hanging over the conference was the fate of one of Egypt’s most prominent jailed pro-democracy activists, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who has been imprisoned for most of the past decade. He stopped even drinking water Sunday, the first day of the conference, vowing he is willing to die if not released, his family said.

Numerous world leaders raised his case in meetings with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, and the head of the U.N. human rights office called for his immediate release.

Egypt’s longtime history of suppressing dissent has raised controversy over its hosting the annual conference, with many climate activists complaining that restrictions by the host are quieting civil society.

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Seth Borenstein and Samy Magdy contributed to this report.

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              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, Helena Marschall, of Germany, center right, and Licypriya Kangujam, of India, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, Helena Marschall, of Germany, center right, and Licypriya Kangujam, of India, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, Helena Marschall, of Germany, center right, and Licypriya Kangujam, of India, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, Helena Marschall, of Germany, center right, and Licypriya Kangujam, of India, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, Helena Marschall, of Germany, center right, and Licypriya Kangujam, of India, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              People walk past image of wind turbines at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy for climate, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Members of the Kuwait delegation talk at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, center left, walks after speaking at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. European Council President Charles Michel is at left. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Journalists work in a media room at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, speaks during a sessions at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Trees stand in a small park in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Mia Mottley, prime minister of Barbados, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activists Luisa Neubauer, of Germany, left, and Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, center, joined by others of Fridays for Future protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks to The Associated Press at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Teresa de Miguel)
            
              Abdoulaye Maiga, acting prime minister of Mali, walks onstage to speak at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Volodymyr Zelenskyy, president of Ukraine, speaks via video at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              From left, Gadir Lavadenz, of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, Sanaa Seif, sister of Egypt's jailed leading pro-democracy activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is on a hunger and water strike, Asad Rehman, War on Want, speak at a news conference at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              European Council President Charles Michel speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Jose Maria Neves, president of Cabo Verde speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              European Council President Charles Michel speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Commmuters drive on one of the main roads from the forests of the Taunus region to the city of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Kausea Natano, prime minister of Tuvalu, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              European Council President Charles Michel speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Jose Maria Neves, president of Cabo Verde speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Commmuters drive on one of the main roads from the forests of the Taunus region to the city of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
            
              Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, president of Malawi, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Climate activist Vanessa Nakate, of Uganda, is joined by others of Fridays for Future to protest against Germany's Olaf Scholz's climate policy at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
            
              Nicolas Maduro, president of Venezuela, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              George Manneh Weah, president of Liberia, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              European Council President Charles Michel speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Chandrikapersad Santokhi, president of Suriname, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Ranil Wickremesinghe, president of Sri Lanka, speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              South African president Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            
              Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon receives a written declaration from runners and organizers at the finish line of the Running Out Of Time climate relay, which arrived from Glasgow, Scotland after 40 days through 18 countries to reach the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, at the Park Regency Hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell)
            
              The sun rises over the beach during the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
            Janene Yazzie, of the U.N. Indigenous Peoples Major Group on Sustainable Development, speaks at the opening of the U.S. Pavilion at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, speaks at the opening of the U.S. Pavilion at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty) U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry speaks at the opening of the U.S. Pavilion at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

AP

FILE - A sign for the Chipotle restaurant in Pittsburgh's Market Square is pictured Feb. 8, 2016. R...
Associated Press

Chipotle looks to hire 15,000 amid continuing labor shortage

Restaurants are beginning the new year with a recurring problem: labor shortages. Chipotle said Thursday it’s looking to hire 15,000 people in North America to ensure its stores are staffed up ahead of its busy spring season. Other chains are also looking for workers: Taco Bell has more than 25,000 listings for crew members posted […]
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FILE - Jack Phillips, who's case was heard by the Supreme Court five years ago after he objected to...
Associated Press

Colorado baker loses appeal over transgender birthday cake

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado baker who won a partial U.S. Supreme Court victory after refusing to make a gay couple’s wedding cake because of his Christian faith lost an appeal Thursday in his latest legal fight, involving his rejection of a request for a birthday cake celebrating a gender transition. The Colorado Court of […]
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FILE - A locomotive stops to switch tracks before arriving at the Selkirk rail yard Wednesday, Sept...
Associated Press

Amid gains, railroaders seeking quality-of-life improvements

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The contract imposed on railroad workers last fall didn’t resolve their quality-of-life issues, but already this year there are indications the major freight railroads are starting to address some of their concerns about demanding schedules that keep many of them on call 24-7 without paid sick time. Still, most workers and […]
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Associated Press

Climate groups decry selection of oil chief to oversee COP28

Hundreds of climate and environmental groups from around the world released a letter Thursday that decried the nomination of an oil executive to oversee the United Nations climate negotiations at COP28 this year. Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates, host of the U.N. climate talks this year, named Sultan al-Jaber to the presidency of […]
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A gate at the entrance to the former Ciba Geigy chemical plant in Toms River, N.J., displays a warn...
Associated Press

Town where kids cancer rose blasts deal over polluted site

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — In hindsight, it’s clear that something was very wrong in this suburban town at the Jersey Shore, where many people worked at or lived near a chemical company that was flushing toxic waste into waterways and burying it in the ground. Men would come home from the plant, which made […]
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Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for March delivery rose 86 cents to $81.01 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for March delivery rose $1.35 to $87.47 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 2 cents to $2.61 a gallon. February heating oil rose 4 cents $3.40 a gallon. February natural gas fell 13 cents to $2.94 […]
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