Everyone seemed disappointed with the Glasgow climate summit. But maybe it was not as bad as it looked? That is the provocative insight of Isabel Hilton, an expert on both climate action and on one of the pivotal countries, China. Yes, it was “unhelpful,” as she put it, that India, with China’s backing, changed the wording of the final communique to promise a “phase down” rather than a “phase out” of coal. But this language may have reflected the need to manage domestic politics while actually making progress.
“I don't think coal is safe at all after Glasgow,” Hilton told co-host Edie Lush.
More generally, Edie and co-host Claudia Romo Edelman explore a fascinating reversal. Where in the past political leaders overpromised and under delivered on climate action, Glasgow may mark a moment when what is actually happening exceeds what politicians feel able to talk about as they worry about nationalist and anti-climate forces.
Not everyone, of course, shares this hopeful outlook. Edie describes conversations she had with several experts who expand on the widely held view that action on climate simply is moving too slowly to cap rising temperatures at 1.5 centigrade.
The mayor of Dhaka North, Atiqul Islam, described how 1500 climate migrants were arriving in Dhaka every day as sea level rises in Bangladesh. Walter Roban, deputy premier and Home Minister of Bermuda, explained his vision to create a blue economy in the island nation and why help would be needed from the rich world.
Anne Cairns, from our sponsor Mastercard, and Jude Kelly, from the Women of the World Foundation, describe the importance of gender equity in solving the climate emergency. “Climate change is a man-made problem and needs a female solution,” Kelly says.
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