People are being wound up by a storm in the headlines. There is no call, or discussion going on at COP27 about reparations. There is a discussion going on about loss and damage. As the secretary general said yesterday, we are on a “highway to hell” on climate change, and the argument is about whether we have any responsibility to help those people who are a bit further down the highway than we are to cope with the consequences of that? That is the debate that is going on at COP27 on loss and damage.
What is under discussion is not how to pay for the past, but how to deal with the current problems being experienced. Remember this is not just a moral issue, there is clearly a moral responsibility to help deal with this, but there are also practical considerations. These countries are our future markets, if they are damaged by climate change then we are damaging our own future and prospects. If the damage from climate change is bad enough, these countries become failing states, and that leads to migration all over the world, and this is particularly an issue for us the UK. So, there are real practical issues as well.
Particularly for the young people in “Just Stop Oil”, I do have a deep understanding of why they are so frustrated. They are the people who will have to live with the consequences of our failure to do what we know needs to be done. We know that we can do it. We simply do not have the political will to deal with the problem. We don’t have a technological problem with dealing with climate change. We don’t have an economic problem with dealing with it either. We do have a real problem with political will. I think that the protests draw attention to the fact that the politicians are not doing their part to deal with the problem.
These are some excerpts of an interview for Good Morning Britain. The full interview can be seen here: