Two months ago, the UN’s climate change panel warned that unless humanity takes drastic action, we have 12 years to save the planet from disaster. But will we?
Representatives from almost 200 nations are currently meeting in the Polish coal mining town of Katowice to try to turn the pledges made in Paris in 2015 into a political reality. There are, with children in Australia walking out of school to protest the climate inaction, signs of generational optimism. On the other hand, we have Donald Trump dismissing his own government’s climate report while the incoming Bolsonaro administration is refusing to host next year’s climate talks in Brazil. There is still time to save the world but at the moment, Robin McKie writes on page 10, a climate catastrophe looks inevitable – and nowhere will be unaffected.
With the White House actively disinterested in the process in Poland, a key role will fall to Obama’s “climate diaspora” – a group of former state department climate officials now working in the private sector who are doing all they can to protect the goals agreed in Paris. In a fascinating piece, Karl Mathiesen profiles the likes of Sue Biniaz and Todd Stern, who are trying to save the Paris accord from their own president.