Last Chance Saloon: Climate Change Leaders

Five days ago, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moo named Costa Rica’s Christiana Figueres as the organization’s top official on climate change to replace Yvo de Boer of the Netherlands who had quit during the disastrous Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, December 2009.

Mark Edwards/ Still Pictures

Just over 165 days ago, leaders of the world met to set real targets to tackle global climate change through mitigation (reduction of CO2) and adaption (resilience and dealing with climate change) and came up with pretty much nothing solid.



It was pretty horrendous- some would say as was expected- and it brought to my mind something that Mark Edwards an environmental photographer I met during his Hard Rain exhibition in Manchester said:

I  think this (Copenhagen) is the last opportunity for governments to govern on this issue, and if they don’t come up with a clear plan that takes us to the point where our scientists are saying is necessary… Then it becomes a citizens imperative and we will have to act if we are at all concerned as a species.

With David Cameron now proclaiming that he wants the coalition government to be the ‘greenest ever’, it is really enough to make you wonder. Especially as Cameron failed to make any commitments to cut the UK’s emissions, to cut airport expansion, coal or to discuss any post-Copenhagen agreements.

As Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement says  “History will judge this government on its green credentials by its policies to cut the UK’s emissions dramatically and getting a fair international climate deal, not by turning off its lights at night.”

Well put.


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