Climate change tokenism - We need to do more to be right side of history

Climate change tokenism - We need to do more to be right side of history

One of the tragic consequences of Brexit is that a once-stable and more or less united country has been bitterly divided.

When or how that division might be resolved is an increasingly difficult question to answer.

It is equally difficult to quantify the opportunities lost because of that division.

It is not, however, the most significant division facing us our our world. Brexit, for all the difficulties it might bring is, to use a Jacob Rees-Mogg-style phrase, in the ha’penny place.

The real division in today’s world is between those who have accepted science’s verdict on climate change and have begun to mend their ways and those who have not.

Tragically, Donald Trump’s America has begun the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, even though the majority of the world’s countries — and many of America’s states — are beginning to take their obligations to the future, and the threat of climate collapse, more seriously.

This week Minister for Communications, Climate Action, and Environment Richard Bruton announced proposals designed to curtail the use of single-use coffee cups.

Though important and laudable, this measure must be seen as largely symbolic.

Its greatest impact might be in changing attitudes to what is acceptable and and what is no longer acceptable.

It would be more laudable and have a greater impact if it was extended to plastic bottles — as it eventually must be.

There may be a sense that these measures are a day late and a dollar short. That anyone planning a visit to Lapland in the coming weeks to introduce children to Santa need not expect snow hints at that.

There were no snowfalls in most of Lapland during October, a month where anything up to 30cm could be expected.

The frozen north is becoming the temperate north as California becomes an inferno.

Not for the first time, the world can look to New Zealand for example.

That country has just made a constitutional commitment to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Against this benchmark, a levy on paper cups may seem laughable but it also show that a small country can, by doing the right, brave thing set the agenda.

It also shows how much more we have to do to be on the right side of the climate change divide.

[readmore][/readmore]

More on this topic

British-Irish Council to focus on BrexitBritish-Irish Council to focus on Brexit

Asda sales slide in UK as supermarket bosses blame Brexit concernsAsda sales slide in UK as supermarket bosses blame Brexit concerns

Magee clothing firm hit by Brexit fearsMagee clothing firm hit by Brexit fears

Johnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threatJohnson insists voting Tory ‘only way’ to deliver Brexit despite Farage threat