McKibben on climate action and COP 25 Madrid
December 13, 2019
Post Carbon Fellow Bill McKibben was interviewed by Cleantechnica ahead of the COP25 climate change conference in Madrid.
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McKibben explained that “we have to get change, which is great to see with the Green New Deal (GND).” But the GND isn’t the end all of US domestic policies, he noted. “We’re also working on the financial power of the fossil fuel industry — some of the biggest insurers in the world will no longer be insuring the big coal and tar sands companies. But those insurers are in Europe,” he noted. He offered insights that, because “these companies benefit from a measure prod in the right direction,” US insurance companies should follow the European lead and “refuse to give insurance.”
“We’re not going to solve the problem, one Prius at a time,” McKibben reflected. He said that he had been “heartened by the Yale alumni” who stopped the Harvard-Yale football game in November, “demanding that elites stop investing in fossil fuels.” Unfurling banners with slogans like “Nobody wins — Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” protesters from both schools called on the universities to divest their multi-million dollar endowments from fossil fuels companies, as well as companies that hold Puerto Rican debt.
Another area McKibben discussed during the BPR interview was youth activism around the climate crisis. He expressed his admiration for groups like Sunrise and others who are working diligently to make the subterfuge of fossil fuel billionaires transparent. But he also acknowledged, “It’s not fair to take the biggest problem the world ever faced and assign it to 14-year-olds.”
“It’s time for everybody with leadership to start behaving with a lot more responsibility,” McKibben admonished.