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U.N. Postponing Climate Summit: Realistic or Overly Cautious

The U.N. is putting off the Climate Summit for a year that was to meet in November in Glasgow. Is this decision realistic given the depredations and ongoing risks of the Covid-19 pandemic? Or is it overly pessimistic? Overly cautious? Delaying the Summit gives countries another year to put off committing to take significant action to cut carbon emissions. Another year of delay. A year the Earth and all its creatures can’t afford.

We won’t know until this Fall if the U.N.’s decision is the correct one, but we can insist that the Secretary General urge countries to submit their commitments electronically by this November. Climate activists should clamor for that. The world’s efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic have have done more than return clear skies to millions of city dwellers in China, India, Europe and the U.S. The dramatic reduction in pollution has created converts, opportunities, and momentum. As we global citizens emerge from our forced seclusion, all of us will rejoice, and many will become advocates for a healthy, carbon-free environment. We will support the U.N.’s call for urgent climate action and lobby our leaders to act on our behalf. Let’s seize the day.

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