Sustainability must be integrated into all aspects of governance and at all levels of society, say two prime ministers during the ‘Climate in Crisis: Rising Tides’ panel at the inaugural Global Citizen NOW Thought Leadership Summit in New York May 23.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who joined the panel moderated by legendary science teacher Bill Nye, championed climate action globally. They have also enacted laws in their own countries to steer their economies away from fossil fuels and environmentally destructive practices.
Trudeau has pinned the climate crisis on a form of political engagement that prioritizes short-term profit over long-term well-being.
“We need to step back from the short-term thinking that led us to take on this challenge and move beyond it,” he said. “It’s not just about embedding sustainability into day-to-day actions, but integrating it into our thinking – thinking about the broad impacts of everything we do and the profound impacts across the next generation of everything we do. that we do.”
Global Citizen NOW featured more than 200 speakers from the public and private spheres, including heads of state, scientists, activists, celebrity advocates and corporate executives, who discussed the overlapping crises affecting communities around the world – from the climate crisis to the current crisis. COVID-19 pandemic to gender inequality. They also talked about the opportunities that can arise when different sectors work together to achieve the United Nations global goals.
A major theme throughout the event was reflected in the title: NOW. Countries must embrace a much greater sense of urgency to overcome poverty, protect the planet and empower marginalized communities.
According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world has until the end of the decade to halve greenhouse gas emissions in order to have a chance of reaching the Paris climate agreement goal of preventing temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. .
Mottley has been a strong advocate for policies that center climate justice, including redistributive climate finance for low-income countries. In particular, wealthy countries like Canada must follow through on the $100 billion in annual climate funding that has been pledged to help the most vulnerable countries adapt to continued environmental impacts and embrace renewable energy.
Although Trudeau was a leading voice in the negotiations around the Paris climate accord, the Climate Action Tracker said Canada’s current climate policy is “grossly inadequate.”
During the panel, Mottley called on Trudeau to facilitate technology transfers.
“In Barbados, I would like someone to give us long-term commercial batteries now, which belong to a company in Canada. Justin, can you do it? ” she says.
“If you can do it, that’s great. I met with them last week and they told me they couldn’t get supplies until December 2023,” she continued. “I announced a tax exemption for electric vehicles in my country, but we cannot supply ourselves. So let’s understand that just having a movement that does not appreciate supply problems, which does not appreciate not the reality of our existence, will get us nowhere.
Mottley also called out wealthy countries for not redistributing funds associated with special drawing rights to the International Monetary Fund, which could be used to accelerate global climate action and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trudeau and Mottley agreed that climate action depends on the broad participation of citizens around the world who must hold their leaders accountable and demand action. The discussion was comfortably guided by Nye, who has become something of an expert in recent years at bringing diverse groups together under the collective cloak of climate action.
“We’re going to work the problem from the bottom up,” he said at the end of the panel. “Then we will elect leaders who will work the problem, these complicated problems, from top to bottom. And together — it’s not called, it’s not called Local Citizen. It’s not called County Citizen. It’s called Global Citizen, because we’re all in this together.