Today marks a year since the UK Parliament supported a motion to declare a climate emergency. As the world still grapples with the COVID-19 outbreak today is an opportunity to reflect on the seismic challenges ahead to conserve our planet, not just for the UK, but for the most vulnerable developing nations who continue to bear the brunt of climate injustice.
Covid 19 has exposed the fragility of our societies and has laid bare deep inequalities inflicting suffering on many and putting the world economy in turmoil. In the same way this pandemic demands global leadership, the deeper challenge of the climate emergency must also heed a global response. We must build back better – a green recovery focused on sustainable development, international cooperation and transitioning away from a fossil fuel driven global economy. Failure to do so risks further entrenching inequalities in some of the poorest communities.
A vital lesson to be learnt from COVID-19 is our interconnectedness. The virus knows no borders and similarly the climate emergency can’t be kept out, no matter how high the walls. We simply cannot afford for lower income countries who have contributed least to the climate crisis to be left behind in the fight– if one country fails, we all fail.
Delayed climate action will cost us vastly more each year in terms of lost lives and livelihoods, crippled businesses and damaged economies. The highest cost is the cost of doing nothing.
Working in partnership and rebuilding our world economies we must:
- Deliver new jobs through a green, fair and just transition.
- Invest public money in green and sustainable futures for all.
- End overseas fossil fuel subsidies.
No country can succeed in this alone. It will take us all working together as a global community to succeed.