Le 15/11/2021. The United Nations, commenting on human rights and the environment, has stated, “From New Zealand to...
Niveau B2 (intermédiaire avancé)
“This is no longer a climate conference. This is now a global greenwashing* festival.” These are the words from 18-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg concerning COP26.
But what is greenwashing? It’s the process of giving the false impression about how a company is environmentally friendly. But why? The aim is to win the loyalty of people by making promises that are never delivered.
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COP26 is running from October 31st to November 12th 2021. Although delegates from almost 200 countries will be in Glasgow, Scotland, discussing how to meet the Paris Agreement goals of slowing down temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius, Thunberg believes that COP26 is “a two-week long celebration of business as usual and blah, blah, blah”. Thunberg is indeed a hard taskmaster. But is she right?
A study showed that global CO2 emissions are set to rebound in 2021 to pre-pandemic levels. In reaction to this information, the first week of COP26 saw countries promising to phase out the use of coal and to put an end to foreign fossil fuel funding. Unfortunately, very few details on how the mass decarbonisation will be undertaken has been provided. And this is the type of blah, blah, blah that Thunberg loathes.
Groups of activists have planned two days of demonstrations to highlight the gulf between finding ways to reduce emissions and the actual climate emergency that is sweeping its way across the globe.
Natalie Tariro Chido Mangondo, a Zimbabwean climate activist said, “Scientists have done what they need to do, they’ve told us about the problem. Young people have done what they need to do by calling attention to this issue. And it’s just up to our leaders to get their act together.”
Activists are accusing governments – particularly those from wealthy nations – of not living up to their promises. And experts say a commitment made during COP26 by more than 100 countries to reduce their methane emissions by at least 30 percent this decade will only have a short-term impact on global heating.
“Our leaders are not leading,” said Thunberg during a protest. The world needs more Greta Thunbergs to tell it like it is.
*see Go English No110 (September-October 2021), Industry Focus on Greenwashing
the aim = le but
to deliver = tenir ses promesses
business as usual = continuer comme si de rien n’était
a taskmaster = un chef de corvée
to rebound = rebondir
to phase out = supprimer progressivement
coal = du charbon
to undertake = entreprendre
to loathe = détester
to highlight = souligner
a gulf = un gouffre
to sweep = s’étendre
to call attention to = attirer l’attention à
wealthy = riche
a commitment = un engagement
a decade = une décennie
heating =(ici) réchauffement
to tell it like it is = dire ce qu’il en est
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