We've no choice but to clean up our act

By OP Rana
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, November 18, 2014
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The G20 Summit in Brisbane has, it seems, taken a step further than the APEC conference in Beijing in the fight against climate change. The climate deal struck in Beijing was between two of APEC's (nay the world's) largest economies, the United States and China. It indicated that the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) agree that climate change is man-made and only humans can stop the rot.

Within days of the China-US climate deal, the G20 Summit responded by including climate change in its communiqué, at the last minute, despite Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, also the G20 president this year, being a climate skeptic and "standing up for coal". Abbott may have his own reasons to believe in unfettered economic development. And many leaders across the world share his belief.

But believing that the only choice we have is between strong economic growth and a healthy environment is fallacy ab initio. This is a notion floated by fossil fuel proponents and political leaders who refuse to see the other side of the truth, the real truth.

The G20 seems to have taken a step back from that unscientific stance by agreeing to mobilize "finance for adaptation (to) and mitigation" of climate change. This includes the Green Climate Fund, for which US President Barack Obama has pledged $3 billion. The fund, designed to help developing countries adapt to and fight climate change, has been short of money despite developed countries promises. Such is condition that even with the US pledge it will be short of the $10-15 billion targeted by the end of the month. The G20, however, has left the main pledge on the bloc's combined economic output by an extra 2 percent, which would be about $2 trillion by 2018, going by the current trajectory.

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