What’s the hold up on ambitious climate action?

(EurActiv, 16 Jan 2020) Some point to fossil fuel and heavy industry workers as a reason for delaying climate action. As the global elite gathers at World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Sharan Burrow says “not in our name”.

Sharan Burrow is the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation and senior ambassador of the Coalition for Urban Transitions

The world faces a climate emergency and we are running out of time. Nowhere is this more horrifically depicted right now than in my own country, Australia, that is literally burning; a country where the government refuses to stand up to vested corporate interests and take vital action.

Fires, floods, droughts, hurricanes, fresh-water crises – 2019 saw it all and yet multilateralism is failing us. Why?

There were some responsible leaders at the December UN climate talks in Madrid. Most notable were the many vulnerable, developing economies, and the EU, which pushed for more ambitious action in the face of the climate crisis. But leaders of most of the big emitters were unmoved which, up against climate change, effectively means going backwards.

Youth-led protests could not move them. The 786 companies working towards net-zero emissions by 2050 could not. 631 investors representing over $37 trillion in assets urging more ambitious action could not.

Even the fact that a slice of the US economy bigger than China’s is still committed to achieving the US climate target, through action by cities, states and businesses, could not move them.

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EurActiv, 16 Jan 2020: What’s the hold up on ambitious climate action?