Why COP27 needs radical ideas and a shift of paradigm

(EurActiv, 7 Nov 2022) At the COP27 climate summit, we must not lose sight of the fact that it’s big polluters who are primarily responsible for cleaning up their mess, write Silvia Modig and Petros Kokkalis.

Silvia Modig is a Finnish MEP from the Left Alliance; Petros Kokkalis is a Greek MEP from Syriza. They are both members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee and are attending the UN Climate Change Summit.

As a child, you learn at some point to clean up when you’ve left a mess behind. Well, that’s a lesson that many people don’t seem to have learned – people who are now in powerful jobs and making enormous profits, including by polluting the earth and not cleaning up their mess.

Rich industrialised countries have used the Earth’s atmosphere as a free dumping ground for more than 150 years. The wealthiest 10% of the world’s population exceed the target per capita emissions by a factor of nine, and the wealthiest 1% by a factor of 30. According to Oxfam, the super-rich live like ecological vandals with a free pass to destroy our climate.

Now we are facing a dangerous and alarming era of climate change impacts, causing massive loss and damage and driving up inequality in the world’s poorest countries that have contributed least to the climate crisis. Pakistan, for example, is one of the world’s most affected by climate change, even though it accounts for less than 1% of global emissions.

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EurActiv, 7 Nov 2022: Why COP27 needs radical ideas and a shift of paradigm