It is not often we see, former Presidents and high dignitaries taking a dig at their counterparts around the world. However, in a recent video, Mary Robinson, who served as the President of Ireland who was invited at a Climate Change forum earlier this week, spoke from the heart about the issue.
Without mincing words, she pointed fingers at world leaders of Brazil, China, Russia, and Australia for not putting the best foot forward. While talking about Australia she said, the country is “still in fossil-fuel mode, not in crisis mode.” Robinson drew attention towards poor, climate-vulnerable countries, as they were living in “in crisis mode.”
She emphasized the imminent need to tackle global warming, by stating, “We are literally talking about having a safe future … You can’t negotiate with science. You can’t talk about a glass being half full. We have to get it down. We have to be on track for 1.5 [degrees of global warming].”
The nature of the COP-26 is such that, the action has to be collective, i.e. must be agreed by all the 196 member states. The possibility of a single veto could nullify its effort to dust. She pointed by raising serious questions and using some harsh terms for Saudi Arabia.
She accused Saudi Arabia of ‘playing dirty games’ in allegedly meddling with the language of the text to suit their own personal narrative and devoid it of its essence.
“What Saudi Arabia has been able to do is take language out of a lot of the [COP 26 Summit’s] text,” Robinson said. “They’ve taken out the language that refers to youth, human rights, gender equalities … Saudi Arabia is there when it matters, and they kind of block things.”
Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said in a statement, “Saudi Arabia is making its play. They’re at the chessboard, manipulating the pieces in an effort to stop an outcome that keeps 1.5C within reach,” He went a step further and implied that Saudi delegates were not ready to work in harmony, so it is better to move ahead without them “to succeed for everyone, not just fossil fuel interests.”