World Leaders Meet to Discuss Future of Planet While UK is Absorbed by a General Election

While we in the UK have been absorbed over the last few weeks (although it seems much longer) with a General Election, world leaders have been meeting to discuss the climate.

One of the countries which is a huge contributor to the climate crisis is China.

Climate Home News reports that  Chinese emissions are close to double the next largest contributor, the US, according to the 2019 global carbon budget, released on Wednesday. In other words, China’s decisions will make or break the Paris climate targets.

In a rare press conference hosted by the government of China, a panel of experts (which didn’t include any government officials) dodged questions about whether Beijing would enhance its climate plan next year.

China’s current plan to peak emissions by 2030 and before if possible “was already made with great ambition,” they said.

He Jiankun, a professor from Tsinghua University and the deputy director of the national expert committee on climate change, said China was “shifting from an economy developing at high speed to an economy developing at high quality”.

The press conference continues a teasing series of non-statements by those in China’s climate echelons. All while the world (and many in China’s coal smoke wreathed cities) holds its breath.

iscot orkney news cartoon last call climate emergency

The media in the UK when it hasn’t been talking about the GE has focused on Trump and whether other world leaders were laughing at him at the UN Climate Change Conference in Spain. A few report on Greta Thunberg’s arrival by yacht and Jeremy Clarkson’s attack on her having views about the future of the planet.

Climate Strike Greta Thurnberg

What is being missed is what is actually going on at the UN conference at such a crucial time for not just humanity but for the world as we know it.

There’s lots of arguing over the actual rules in the Paris agreement meanwhile:

“a new report launched in Madrid by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) found that average temperatures for the last decade were “almost certain to be the highest on record”.  2019 is also on course to be the second or third warmest year on record with global temperature average of 1.1C above the pre-industrial period.”

And on Friday look out for major protests to highlight the plight of our planet.


Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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