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Climate Strife and Political life

2011 March 9
by admin

Interview with Joe Aldy who was special assistant to President Barack Obama for energy and environment, and represented the White House during climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Cancún, Mexico, in 2010. He stepped down last December and now teaches public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School.

Q: Kyoto Protocol commitments by industrialized nations will run out next year. Does Kyoto have a future?

A: Kyoto doesn't necessarily disappear, but the idea of splitting the world into developed and developing economies on this issue seems destined to disappear. More than half of emissions are coming from the developing world. If we don't adjust to that, then everything we are negotiating and all of the actions that will be driven by these negotiations will be inadequate to the challenge of climate change.

The solipsism of business and the Théâtre de l'Absurde of governments are exacerbating this divide. Both business and governments need to be held accountable for their actions. This means commending the progress of leaders and calling out laggards who disrespect nature and disadvantage people. Adjusting to the changing environment means that every decision must be a mindful one because the planet cannot sustain ignorance and we cannot suffer fools.
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