It took 26 UN climate change summits for world leaders to tentatively describe the solution to global heating: ending the combustion of coal, oil and gas. That text formed the Glasgow climate pact, signed in November 2021, which pledged a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies and a “phase-down” of coal power. Now negotiators representing most nations on Earth are meeting again, this time in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, for COP27.

In a progress report written as the conference begins, Warwick University’s Mathieu Blondeel highlights that humanity is far from the narrow path to averting climate breakdown sketched in Glasgow – and is burning more fossil fuels than ever. Meanwhile, check out our guides to why COP27 is important and what you should watch out for at the summit.

We also hear how deepfake videos and images are actually being put to good use in some instances, despite the dangers of the technology. And UK prime minister Rishi Sunak supposedly loves Star Wars. Here’s what he should learn from the space saga.

Jack Marley

Environment + Energy Editor

Lane V. Erickson/Shutterstock

COP27: a year on from the Glasgow climate pact, the world is burning more fossil fuels than ever

Mathieu Blondeel, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

Fossil fuels were named as the problem at COP26. We’re no closer to eliminating them a year on.

The Reface App on a smartphone. Italy stock images / Alamy Stock Photo

Deepfakes are being used for good – here’s how

Dominic Lees, University of Reading

Despite their dangers, highly realistic deepfake images and videos are finding positive uses in the creative arts.

Andy Rain / EPA-EFE

Rishi Sunak and Star Wars: what the UK prime minister can learn about governing from his favourite films

David Kenny, Trinity College Dublin; Conor Casey, University of Liverpool

Star Wars is full of interesting and relevant lessons for the leader of a country (or galaxy) in turmoil.

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