Flood in India Pacific Press

De geopolitieke aspecten van milieuproblemen

LONDEN – Een groot deel van de wereld maakt een gespannen indruk. De verhoudingen tussen Rusland en het Westen, de toekomst van de NAVO, de Syrische burgeroorlog en de vluchtelingen, het opkomende rechtse populisme, de impact van de automatisering, en het dreigende vertrek van Groot-Brittannië uit de Europese Unie: al deze onderwerpen – en meer – hebben wereldwijd tot publieke discussies geleid. Maar één probleem – je zou kunnen zeggen het belangrijkste van allemaal – wordt genegeerd of opzij gedrukt: het milieu.

Dat was het geval op de jaarlijkse bijeenkomst van het World Economic Forum in het Zwitserse Davos. Afgezien van een vermelding van het klimaatverdrag van Parijs door de Chinese president Xi Jinping haalden onderwerpen als klimaatverandering en duurzame ontwikkeling het hoofdpodium niet eens. In plaats daarvan werden ze naar nevenbijeenkomsten verbannen, die nauwelijks verband leken te houden met de huidige politieke en economische gebeurtenissen.

In deze tijd van geopolitieke en sociale instabiliteit is het een vergissing milieuproblemen te negeren, en niet alleen omdat dit toevallig een cruciaal moment blijkt te zijn in de strijd om de beheersing van de klimaatverandering. De achteruitgang van het milieu en de onzekerheid over onze natuurlijke hulpbronnen ondermijnen ons vermogen om een paar van de grootste mondiale problemen aan te pakken waar we voor staan.

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