World leaders are sitting idly by while the planet burns. Those heads of government who can be bothered to attend are due to gather for climate change talks in Copenhagen next month.
It will be their last chance to agree a new climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol before it expires in 2012.
But they have already admitted that they will fail. Even the “targets” they want to propose are so low that they will not be enough to stop climate change.
The big news this week was that the US is thinking of taking a target to the talks – supposedly a step forward from its former position of refusing to agree to be bound by any figure.
But the target is sure to be dire. It is unlikely to be more than a 20 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020 compared to 2005 levels – and it could be even lower. In a situation where cuts of at least 80 percent are needed by 2030, this falls well short.
Barack Obama has still not decided whether saving the planet is important enough for him to attend the talks. Gordon Brown says that a “timetable” of yet more talks would be “a result”.
But what’s the point of talking if all it achieves is more talks?
We can’t rely on these people to do anything about climate change. They are the ones who are backing up a system that is wrecking the planet, while it is the poorest people across the globe who suffer the consequences. It is up to us to stop them.
Demonstrate Saturday 5 December – assemble 12 noon in Hyde Park to march to The Wave protest at parliament.