timmermans1_Mike KempIn Pictures via Getty Images_climate uk Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

The Geopolitics of Climate Change

By tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, everyone will be better off, thanks to better jobs, cleaner air and water, fewer pandemics, and improved health and well-being. But, as with any broad transition, the coming changes will upset some and benefit others, creating tensions within and between countries.

BRUSSELS – The European Union is emerging as the world’s climate trailblazer. Just recently, lawmakers and European governments agreed on the European Climate Law, which anchors our climate-neutrality target in statute. With the Green Deal as our growth strategy and our 2030 emissions-reduction target of at least 55%, the EU is well on the way to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. But Europe is not alone: a critical mass is developing globally as more countries strengthen their decarbonization commitments.

Recent meetings with John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate, confirmed that the EU and the United States are once again working closely to mobilize an international coalition around the goal of substantially raising climate ambitions for November’s United Nations climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow.

There is no time to lose. Unchecked climate change – with its devastating droughts, famines, floods, and mass dislocations – would fuel new migration waves and significantly increase the frequency and intensity of conflicts over water, arable land, and natural resources. To those who complain about the large investments needed to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, we would simply point out that inaction would cost far more.

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