Skip navigation.
G20 nations are meeting in London to discuss the economic crisis.

G20 nations are meeting in London to discuss the economic crisis.

Enlarge Image

Beijing, China — It’s April Fool’s day and leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies are gathering in London for 36 hours of talks on how to solve the world’s worst economic crisis since the 1930’s. Kind of apt, really.

It's apt because if they're not careful the joke will be on them. 

Staring them in the face is an environmental crisis that is many times more frightening in its capacity to bring the world’s economy to its knees than the current financial downturn.

And what we’ve been hearing is there are serious efforts to keep climate change off the negotiation table.

Serious efforts because short-sighted industry and governments just want to talk about encouraging consumption, jacking up spending on any sort of infrastructure and injecting money into propping up unsustainable and polluting industry to fix the economy.

And to hell with the environment!

But the ironic thing is that investing in green technology is one of the best ways of digging us out of these twin crises -- economic and environmental.

Greenpeace’s demands on the G20 is that the top economies need to commit at least one percent of their GDP to stimulating the green sector – energy efficiency and renewable energy and tackling climate change.

Yes, it costs money now, but most experts agree that such investments begin to pay off within 18 months to seven years. And then, the world’s your oyster!

G20 nations control 75 percent of global GDP, consume 75 percent of global energy, and produce 75 percent of climate-killing carbon dioxide emissions.

Their wealth is not in conflict with protecting the environment. It depends upon it.

A full-blown climate crisis raises the prospect of mass migration, mass starvation and mass extinctions.

Former World Bank Chief Nicholas Stern said climate change will likely cost the world up to 20 percent of current global output.

Yet to stop climate change we only need to fork out about one percent of global GDP.

Where is the sense in ignoring climate change any longer?

Perhaps the G20 are playing an April Fool's on us?

If so, it's not funny.