Former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, criticized the Chinese and Russian governments for not joining other world leaders during the COP26 climate crisis, held in Glasgow, Scotland.
To actualize the Paris agreement, representatives from 200 countries met in Glasgow, for the COP26 summit. The agreement was about reducing temperature increases to around 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius (2.7F- 3.6F).
He described the absence of Russian president, Vladimir Putin and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, as a serious lack of urgency. He said when addressing the summit, “I have to confess. It was particularly discouraging to see the leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters, China and Russia, declined even to attend the proceedings, and their national plans reflect what appears to be, a dangerous lack of urgency.”
He pointed out that their absence from the COP26 summit showed a “willingness to maintain the status quo on the part of the government. That is a shame.”
Obama also pointed out why every nation, whether an ‘advanced economy’ or not, needs to support climate change. He said, “We need Russia leading on the issue, just as we need Indonesia and South Africa, and Brazil leading on this issue; we can’t afford to have anyone on the sidelines.”
He pointed out that even though international cooperation is reduced among countries due to numerous reasons, including the Covid19 pandemic and also nationalism, climate change is an issue that transcends geopolitics.
Obama also slammed the members of the USA Republican party for constraining his and President Biden’s efforts towards climate change, with their hostility. “One of our major parties has decided not only to sit on the sidelines but express active hostility towards science and make climate change a partisan issue,” he said.
He continued, “For those listening back home in the US, let me say this: it doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or Democrat, if rising seas flood your Florida house, crops fail in Dakota, or your California house is burning down, nature, physics, science do not care about party affiliation.”
In addition, Obama established why the onus is on voters to assert more pressure on the government to be ambitious about climate change: “The cold hard fact is, we will not have more ambitious climate plans coming out of government unless government feels some pressure from voters.”
Obama Told Youth to Get Busy
Former President Barack Obama continued in his address at the Climate Change Summit, in Glasgow, Scotland. He told young people to get busy. Just then, he remembered the advice his mother gave him when he was young.
“Don’t sulk. Get busy, get to work, and change what needs to be changed,” Obama recounted. “Vote like your life depends on it – because it does,” he said. Obama said when addressing young people, not to be frustrated about the present situation.
In a similar climate summit event, organized by the UN in 2009, in Copenhagen, wealthy countries planned to hand over $100 billion to underdeveloped and developing countries by 2020. The fund was aimed at making everyone adapt to the costs of climate change. However, the targets could not be reached. The world agreed at the COP26, to fulfill their agreement, at the latest, by 2023.
Climate change has been a big problem threatening the world. In Glasgow, scientists pointed out the urgency of global warming. The world has only limited time to save itself from the damage caused by petroleum, coal, and other earth pollution sources. There have been huge protests from people around Europe for faster action by the government to tackle the issue of global warming.