I don’t want to be “the generation that blew it”!
By Jim Haywood
UN Secretary General António Guterres told the plenary session at the COP24 in Katowice “We’re running out of time. To waste this opportunity would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change. It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.”
The PM of Fiji and outgoing Chair of COP23, Frank Bainimarama, was even more blunt: He told delegates they risked going down in history as “the generation that blew it – that sacrificed the health of our world and ultimately betrayed humanity because we didn’t have the courage and foresight to go beyond our short-term individual concerns: craven, irresponsible and selfish”.
Guterres, in a pointed criticism aimed at the four countries that have been refusing to “welcome” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on 1.5-degree warming, said rejecting climate science was indefensible. He added: “The IPCC special report is a stark acknowledgment of what the consequences of global warming beyond 1.5 degrees will mean for billions of people around the world, especially those who call small island states home. This is not good news, but we cannot afford to ignore it.”
As the New Year approaches I look back on the events of 2018 and think how 2019 will unfold. We are – without doubt – in worrying times. For me the highlight of 2018 was the birth of my first grandson – an immensely moving and proud moment which gives me hope for the future. I’m going to spend as much time with him as I can in 2019 but, as I do, I want to keep reminding myself what Tanya Steele, CEO at WWF, said so well:
“We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it”.
So – I’m going to step into 2019 with a new resolve to raise my game in the battle against climate change. I really really hope that my grandson will never be able to say that his grandparents’ generation was the one that blew it for future generations. That would be the worst legacy any grandparent could leave!
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