As COP24 has come to an end, we are left with the sad consequences. No bold resolves were agreed upon to implement the agenda set during COP21. The hosting country, Poland, said loud and clear from the start, that it’s not ready to give coal up anytime soon. A red carpet for all the dinosaurs and the oil countries who quickly said “me too”, #notready. The outcome of the Conference, attended by over 20,000 people from 150 countries, reflected that spirit. The US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia did not welcome the 2018 IPCC Report but simply noted it with “appreciation”, inviting countries to take “appropriate action.”
The climate of the conference was unfortunately coherent with the global rise of coal production and use, as Somini Sengupta reported recently in The New York Times. Some progress was made on the rule-book, meant to govern how countries will monitor and report their greenhouse gas and emissions cuts, but key issues were deferred to next year. As the weeks unfolded, the Island States affected by climate change, were sorrowed to see that most developed countries were not committing to top the Green Climate Fund, $100 billion by 2020 to help vulnerable countries prepare for the worst.
The heroes of Cop24, once again were youth activists. 15 year-old Greta Thunberg’s words resonate in the hearts of those who care and who cannot sit idle.
After listening to Greta, I played (as I have done often, over the decades) Severn Cullis Suzuki’s speech at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Since then the world population has almost doubled. I encourage you to do the same.
If these 2 bold, beautiful young women don’t knock us out of our seats, who will?
And if this text, written in 1992, sounds like a déja-vu, then it’s time to make a change.
“The Rio Conference has given prominence to environmental issues on the political agenda. It spelled out the questions, even if it did not have all the answers and informed an entire generation of policy makers, government officials, industry and the populace about the issues. In addition, it reiterated the call for international cooperation on environmental issues that was first heard in 1972.”