This weekend, hundreds of thousands of climate activists protested the negotiations in Glasgow. Many, led by Greta Thunberg, have attacked the promises of world leaders to be mere “greenwashes”.
Johann Rockström, head of the Institute for Climate Research in Potsdam in Germany, gives activists right and wrong. Progress is being made – but it is not enough.
It would be wrong to accuse Glasgow of non-delivery. So far, I say, the results are beyond what we expected when the meeting began.
pointing to India’s climate promise to reach net zero emissions by 2070 is crucial in this context.
– It’s a total “game changer”. Then you can’t just throw pebbles at the machines by saying that negotiations mean nothing. But I can understand that the tone of the activists has intensified, we are in an emergency situation.
He points out that there’s been a big firefight with progress – and that’s where activists give right. So far, promises are mostly talk, and emissions are still growing.
– Now it comes to delivery. There, the journey from Glasgow is far more important than the journey to Glasgow.
But can we be confident that the promises will be fulfilled?
– That’s the really big question. We made a lot of promises during many climate meetings. They must not happen again. If everything collapses like a pie after Glasgow, that’s a disaster. Then I took Greta by the hand and stood in the choir of Blablabla. But we are not there yet.
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