Greta Thunberg has a point. We’ve heard it all before. Speaking at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan last year, the climate activist mocked world leaders ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow by saying: “Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah.”
The problem, of course, is that governments are pretty good at setting long term targets knowing they cannot be held immediately accountable. Promise the earth. Literally. We’ve had the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Climate Change Accord and now the Glasgow Climate Pact. The world is not short on plans and the latest one is not exactly winning over the sceptics. As Greenpeace director John Sauven told the BBC in December, “The government is moving far too slowly – what are we going to tell future generations about how we wrecked the climate?” Not a lot. We won’t be here. Someone else’s problem.