What next for climate change debate?

We’ve had a week or so of newspaper articles and blogs focusing on the impact of climate change. How we really do need to take this seriously, otherwise huge areas around the world will be under flood water or temperatures so hot they will be unlivable. It will result in a huge migrationary influx, with people moving to more favourable climatic destinations.

But what happens now? Yes last week’s talks in New York were about continuing discussions that will lead to more concrete proposals in Paris at the end of 2015. But that’s 15 months away. We should be working towards and supporting ways to mitigate against climate change now. We can’t do that when fossil fuel companies continue to receive favourable tax incentives  and subsidies. We can’t do anything without leaders of all nations and industries joining together to develop strong and lasting policies.

Between now and next December we’ve an election in the UK and we’ve yet to see how the new make up of the European Parliament will impact on developing policies across the continent. Despite the hundreds of thousands of people who marched in cities around the globe I fear the topic will move out of sight, particularly by politicians who are more hung up on more pressing issues, such as economic recovery.

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It’s a classic case of dealing with issues in the short-term while ignoring the longer view. Investment in the right renewable technologies, encouraging behaviour change and developing new business models now are crucial now, not in five or 10 years time. To paraphrase Leonardo DiCarprio, ‘our economy will die if the eco system collapses’.

So despite the progress made last week – France promising a $1 billion fund for climate change; the United Nations supporting a price on carbon and China pledging to take action to curb emissions – there were no targets, a lot of words with no definitive actions attached.

We need large-scale action. Now.

To watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech at the UN Climate Change conference, click below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka6_3TJcCkA

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