Climate fight has been lost in the heat of a maelstrom

World

Climate fight has been lost in the heat of a maelstrom

Global warming’s challenges have not disappeared, but they are now even further from the minds of those in power

Rachel Millard

Former UK energy minister Claire Perry O’Neill received a phone call on January 31 from Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings. He had called to dismiss her from her role as president of the United Nations’ annual climate change conference to be hosted by the UK. Angry and shocked, she fired off a letter on the Monday morning to prime minister Boris Johnson, expressing her “surprise and dismay” and warning that “we are almost out of time to win the battle against climate change”.

The annual Cop conferences needed to be “re-energised and focused”, she wrote. “You can’t fault the negotiators for doing their jobs, sometimes under awful circumstances — it’s a systemic failure of global vision and leadership.”

If global leadership on climate change was lacking then, it is now at risk of disappearing altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic...

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