SPAIN has scolded countries for ‘silent complicity’ in the global environmental crisis ahead of the climate change summit it is hosting next week.
Minister for the environment Teresa Ribera warned nations not to treat the summit, which takes place from December 2-13, as a ‘trade fair,’ to brag about ‘who is doing more.’
The pivotal environmental conference comes as world leaders try to agree on concrete action to ensure that the 1.5-2 degrees of warming agreed at the Paris Climate Summit is kept to.
As part of the accord signed in 2016, countries volunteered to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
However, many major countries are not on track to reduce their emissions and even if they were the world would still warm by well over the 2 degree limit.
Since 2016, the USA, which is the second largest producer of Co2 emissions in the world, has begun withdrawing from the agreement and Brazil’s new president has accelerated destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
The world’s biggest rainforest currently absorbs 5% of the world’s Co2 emissions every year. The forest recycles its own water to produce the same rain which falls on it. If over 25% of the forest is destroyed, scientists say it will stop producing its own rain and become a savannah, causing world Co2 emissions to balloon.
20% of the Amazon is already gone.
“It has not been easy to work with Brazil on this subject in recent years,” said Ribera.
She added that losing the Amazon would cause a ‘carbon bomb’ for the world.
“Sadly, those making progress get criticized more than the people who stay silent,” added Ribera, who headed France’s Institute for Sustainable Development prior to starting her current role.
Spain stepped in to host the climate summit after massive protests against inequality in Chile forced the South American country to pull out of staging it.
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is currently en-route to the summit on a catamaran across the Atlantic ocean.