The world is on a path to climate hell. That was the message U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres sent to world leaders and diplomats this week as they gathered in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to hammer out how to keep global temperature averages from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius.

The 27th U.N. Climate Change Conference of Parties, known informally as COP27, comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine has prompted a surge in oil and gas prices and as the United States marched into a midterm election largely projected to favor Republicans — a fact that many feared would hamper the U.S.’s ability to extend international climate financing to poorer countries during the talks.

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