German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said at the climate summit being held in Bonn that climate change would decide the “destiny and wellbeing” of the human race. Merkel, who as an environment minister chaired the first climate summit 23 years ago, has been under pressure this week to phase out Germany’s large coal-fired power stations, which are likely to bust Germany’s climate targets.
The talks in Bonn have progressed reasonably smoothly, without the drama and walkouts of previous summits. But one issue has flared up – whether rich nations are doing enough before 2020 to cut their emissions and to help poorer nations cope with the impacts of global warming.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, told the Bonn conference of his visit to the Caribbean after this year’s hurricanes. “The catastrophic damage of climate change is upon us and when the frontline is devastated, the whole army is lost” he said, railing against the $825 billion invested in fossil fuels in 2016. “We must stop making bets on an unsustainable future.”