“Race against the clock”, “Last chance”, “Until 2070 …”. Many slogans were thrown into the air at the Glasgow summit that dispersed yesterday, 2.11.21. It is very doubtful whether a percentage of what was said, of the promises and goals set, came true. It was evident that despite the many efforts of world leaders to show a united front in the fight against global warming, the last thing that interested the conference participants was the issue of climate. The talks between the leaders revolved around the issue of the corona virus, the removal of restrictions, the economic crises and the interrelationships between the countries, the Iranian armament, the Middle East as well as political and geopolitical issues of immigration, refugees and borders. The controversies are many and the problems are immediate and tangible – “What do ‘now’ leaders have to do with reducing emissions in 30 years’ time”?
It should be added that the absence of representatives of some of the most polluting countries in the world stood out. Chinese leader Xi Jinping was absent from the summit, and so is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The climate threat is not on their agenda. China even recently announced that it would increase the use of coal for energy production in the name of the country’s growing shortage. Reducing pollutant emissions seems marginal in the face of the global energy crisis looming over us, so most of the statements thrown into the air are hollow promises, and the likelihood that something will actually be done about it is small.
The Glasgow Summit symbolizes more than anything else the global leadership’s disconnection from morality, science and progress, the concept of environmental justice and the deep understanding that the price we will pay for our indifference is immeasurably higher than our day-to-day pursuits – as the many disasters of 2021 have taught us.
The summit is nothing more than lip service paid in the face of increasing pressure rising from the ground. A tax that we, all the inhabitants of the world, will pay in the coming years. A tax that many of us are already paying.