World leaders and other delegates gathered in Egypt over the weekend for international climate talks known as COP27. For the next two weeks, they’ll purport to hash out ways to tackle climate change.

As Christopher Wright writes today, it’s hard to be optimistic that the talks will generate any radical departure from the inexorable rise in global greenhouse gas emissions over the past two centuries. But given all we know, why has there been so little action in response to the existential threat of climate change?

Wright and his colleagues have spent years examining this question. The answer, they argue, rests on a prevailing assumption perpetuated by corporate and political elites: that endless economic growth fuelled by fossil energy is so fundamental, so commonsensical, it cannot be questioned. As today’s article explains, there is an alternative. But it means challenging the illusion that economic growth can continue unabated.

A top item on the agenda will be who should pay for the damage when climate change harms the world’s poorest countries. A glance at the maps in Bethany Tietjen’s article shows the challenge: the countries contributing the least to climate change are often the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters, while the biggest greenhouse gas emitters are some of the world’s wealthiest. Tietjen explains some of the solutions being floated.

And Mathieu Blondeel explains why those attending the summit don’t have much to celebrate one year on from the last summit in Glasgow given that countries are burning more fossil fuel today than they were then. For his part, Nicholas P. Simpson unpacks the findings of a new report on how climate change will force over a hundred million people to relocate across the African continent.

Nicole Hasham

Energy + Environment Editor

A technologically advanced society is choosing to destroy itself. It’s both fascinating and horrifying to watch

Christopher Wright, University of Sydney; Daniel Nyberg, University of Newcastle; Vanessa Bowden, University of Newcastle

Why does civil society accept a system that condemns today’s children life on a hostile planet? And what can we do about it?

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.

Mass migration from Twitter is likely to be an uphill battle – just ask ex-Tumblr users

Casey Fiesler, University of Colorado Boulder

The communities that call Twitter home might decide to pack their bags. If they do, they are unlikely to be able to completely reconstitute themselves elsewhere.