(From the archives of The Monthly)
With the conclusion of the Paris climate conference in December, global warming went from being the kind of problem politicians like to being the kind of problem they hate.
For at least the past year, the conversation about climate change centred on what kind of agreement Paris would produce. And so politicians got to posture, to say quotable things, to appear world-leaderish. As the talks were about to begin, for instance, Australia’s environment minister, Greg Hunt, said it was his “deepest hope and belief” that the world would reach a strong agreement, adding that it was “a deeply personal goal and commitment, as well as a national objective”. During the talks, he revealed that he, and Australia, was acting as a “broker” to make sure that the push by island nations to limit warming to an increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius would at least be “referenced” in the final accord. “Clearly [it] won’t end up as a formal goal of the text,” he said, since some nations would veto it, but he was “trying to be constructive by providing a pathway” so it could be mentioned.
Read Bill McKibben’s story on The Monthly - “This is not ideology.”