Delhi sustainable development summit highlights need for urgent action | Global development | guardian.co.uk
Rajendra Pachauri has been called the UN's "world climate chief" because he chairs the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But his background is in grassroots development, and in Delhi he spoke more of the challenge to developing countries.
Thomas Friedman, American author of the bestselling book Hot, Flat and Crowded, was master of the Delhi soundbite. "I'm 59, a baby boomer," he said. "Our parents built us an incredible world of freedom by practising sustainable values. We are the grasshopper generation. We ate it all. The situation allows me to emit more carbon, so I do it."
...For Jeffrey Sachs, the star economist turned development adviser to UN secretary general Ban ki Moon, the question was whether humans were smarter than frogs in the steadily warming waters: "It's actually possible to kill a frog with gradual warming. If the temperature is hot enough, the frog jumps out. But can humans jump?" he asked.
Steven Chu, Obama's energy secretary until a few days ago, could have devised a plan to tackle climate change, but didn't because he feared the oil lobby, said Sachs. "Obama's political advisers stopped him because he might have upset Exxon Mobil and that could have affected the next election."
[Jonathon Porritt] We are heading for 4C increase in temperatures, where we will not be having fun. This is all going to be incredibly painful. It isn't helpful to think this will be pain free."
Last word went to Friedman: "What freedom was to our parents must be sustainable development to our children. There is a happy ending, but we just don't know yet whether it will be fiction or non-fiction."