Former US climate chief criticizes leaders for slowing climate action

Todd Stern, former U.S. climate envoy, criticizes political leaders for their cautious approach to climate change, claiming it jeopardizes global safety.

Fiona Harvey reports for The Guardian.


In short:

  • Todd Stern rebukes leaders who advocate for slowing down decarbonization, arguing it leads to global catastrophe.
  • Stern emphasizes that advancements in renewable energy and technology prove that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is feasible.
  • He warns against the dangers of right-wing populism in Europe, which may undermine climate action efforts.

Key quote:

"We are slowed down by those who think of themselves as grownups and believe decarbonisation at the speed the climate community calls for is unrealistic."

— Todd Stern, former U.S. Climate Envoy

Why this matters:

International agreements such as the Paris Agreement have set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming. However, progress towards these goals has been slow, with many countries failing to meet their obligations or setting insufficiently ambitious targets. Fossil fuel industries and other vested interests often lobby against regulations aimed at reducing emissions, leading to inertia or resistance in implementing climate policies.

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