The G20 Summit. An assembly of world leaders with an opportunity to show that they take climate change seriously. And what do we get? Officials pay this urgent cause lip service and very little else. In the words of Greenpeace, for the amount of commitment shown towards the subject, they may as well have said, “we’ll sort it out later”.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, said that,
“Once again world leaders have short-changed people and the planet. The economic system and the global environment are on a devastating collision course – but despite pledging to build an inclusive, green and sustainable recovery little has been done to change direction.”
He went on to say that the opportunity had been there for world leaders to pledge investment and commitment in greener technologies, creating millions of jobs across the globe and therefore addressing one of the major issues the summit met to discuss. In addition this could help contribute to reducing the effects of the recession by getting more money into people’s pockets and reduce the amount of money paid out in benefits while people search for work. Mr Atkins emphasised the role that the financial industry has to play, stating,
“The financial system must be urgently overhauled to prioritise the urgent need to develop a low-carbon future – and avoid a massive bill to deal with the devastating consequences of unchecked climate change later on.”
He also warned that the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December will be a crucial time for the rich nations to show leadership with regard to climate change. Let’s hope that the G20 Summit isn’t a premonition of the outcome we will see later this year.